What Are the Different Types of Healthy Burgers?

Amber Eberle

Traditional burgers are made with ground beef that is high in fat, and are often topped with unhealthy options such as mayonnaise and bacon. It is possible to make healthy burgers, however, by using a protein lower in fat — like very lean ground beef, or ground turkey, salmon, or chicken. Vegetarian burgers can be made with a bean or vegetable patty, or by using a portobello mushroom cap. The cooking method is important when making different types of healthy burgers, and care should be paid to what is used to top them.

Meat from a bison tends to be leaner and more healthy than ground beef.
Meat from a bison tends to be leaner and more healthy than ground beef.

Ground beef burgers can be made more healthy by using lean cuts of beef that have either 5% or 10% fat. While these burgers may not be as juicy as those made with higher fat beef, different cooking methods can keep the dish healthy while also retaining moisture. Grilling is a healthy choice that should also give a good taste to the burgers. The meat patties should be cooked over medium heat to sear in the moisture. Adding soft bread crumbs or an egg white to the ground beef mix can also help to keep a finished burger both juicy and healthy.

Low-fat, grilled turkey burgers are a perennial favorite at backyard barbecues.
Low-fat, grilled turkey burgers are a perennial favorite at backyard barbecues.

Healthy burgers do not have to be made from ground beef. There are a wide variety of different recipes, including some made from turkey, chicken, salmon, or less common meats, such as bison. These alternative meats are usually ground and then formed into patties. These proteins are lean, meaning they have low amounts of fat. They can be grilled or cooked in the same manner as a lean ground beef burger.

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A cheeseburger.
A cheeseburger.

People who do not eat meat can have a vegetarian burger. Vegetable, bean, and portobello mushroom burgers are very common and are easy to make. The texture and taste of these burgers differs from a traditional burger, but many people enjoy them and like the fact that they are good for the body. These types of healthy burgers are also served on buns, and can be topped in the same manner as any burger made from meat.

Ground salmon can be used to make a healthy burger.
Ground salmon can be used to make a healthy burger.

The choice of toppings can give healthy burgers many different types of flavors. A Hawaiian-flavored burger may be topped with teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple slices. A Mexican-inspired burger may feature guacamole and salsa as toppings. A traditional burger with lean ground beef can be topped with fresh vegetables, like sliced tomato and onion, and a small amount of ketchup or mustard. If mayonnaise or cheese is desired on a healthy burger, a low-fat option of each should be used.

Roasted vegetables, like peppers, make a nutritious topping for hamburgers.
Roasted vegetables, like peppers, make a nutritious topping for hamburgers.

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