As temperatures warm and days lengthen, it’s the perfect excuse to eat—and cook—outdoors. And nothing grills better than a burger. Set a festive table, fire up the barbecue, and try these clean alternatives to the classic beef burger. It’s a great way to heat up your cooking routine.
Southwestern Bison Burger with Chipotle Mayonnaise
Prep/cook time: 30 minutes. Serves 4 / A spicy mayo gives this lean burger a feisty kick; it’s also great for making a simple turkey sandwich spectacular. Serving tip: For a lower carb count, skip the bun and serve with two warm corn tortillas. View recipe.
Thai Turkey Burgers with Mango Chutney
Prep/cook time: 24 minutes. Serves 4 / Hints of curry and ginger add a fragrant, slightly sweet twist to these supermoist turkey burgers. Ingredient tip: Look for red curry paste in the Asian foods section of your natural market. Serving tip: Serve open-faced on a square of naan, tucked in a whole-wheat pita, or between two thin slices of boule bread (a regular bun works, too). View recipe.
Cajun Tuna Burgers with Spicy Rémoulade
Prep/cook time: 28 minutes. Serves 4 / A speedy take on the classic rémoulade uses kitchen staples and standard burger fixin’s—ketchup, mustard, and mayo—for a tangy sauce. Ingredient tip: Look for Cajun seasoning in spice-rack bulk bins. Dolphin-safe tuna is readily available in natural foods stores. Prep tips: The trick to these tasty, quick-cooking burgers is a well-oiled grill. Make your own fresh bread crumbs by whirling a heel of whole-wheat bread in a food processor until finely crumbled. Serving tip: Serve open-faced, or on a bed of arugula or butter lettuce. View recipe.
Shiitake and White Bean Burgers with Watercress Pesto and Goat Cheese
Prep/cook time: 35 minutes. Serves 6 / Small, peppery cress complements these rich, high-fiber burgers. Prep tips: Substitute arugula if you can’t find watercress, or use lentils instead of white beans for a more rustic flavor. These burgers hold together better when panfried, but if using a grill, just be sure to coat it well with oil. View recipe.