Build a Better Burger

One of my favorite meals is a cheeseburger, fries, and coke (and this is my ultimate splurge meal on cheat days). What’s not to love about this all-american meal? It has meat, dairy, vegetables, and grains- all in one! But let’s be honest. It’s not exactly the most healthy meal and can easily triple the amount of calories necessary for the day. In an attempt to “have my burger and eat it too” I wanted to search for ways to make a burger a little more better for you in both nutritional value and taste.


The key to a perfect burger is to let the meat stand out. In other words, you really don’t need to add a ton on seasoning to it- just simple salt and pepper when you grill or pan fry. Also, the type of meat is very important. My favorite is angus beef but the healthiest choice is lean ground beef chuck. If you’re adventurous, try bison which is the leanest meat you could use without sacrificing the taste. Once cooked, add some raw vegetables to your burger (lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, pickles and onion), a slice of reduced fat cheese (swiss or mozzarella are both low-fat options), ketchup, mustard, light mayo, and a 100% whole wheat bun (or reduce your carb intake and substitute the bun with lettuce).

8 healthy recipes that will have you on your way to building a better burger:

  • Buffalo chicken burger with reduced fat crumbled blue cheese, hot sauce, and mayo-less slaw (thinly sliced carrot and cabbage mixed with red wine vinegar and olive oil)
  • Ahi tuna burger with arugula, alfalfa sprouts, thinly sliced cucumber and wasabi mayo (light mayo, lemon juice, and wasabi paste)
  • Mediterranean lamb burger with baby spinach, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, reduced fat crumbled feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce (plain greek yogurt, chopped garlic, diced cucumbers and chopped flat leaf parsley)
  • Spanish pork burger with sliced red onion, chopped green olives, piquillo peppers, sliced manchego cheese, and lemon mayo (light mayo, saffron, and lemon juice)
  • Salmon burgerΒ withΒ bibb lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced avocado, sliced red onion, and lemon dill mayo (light mayo, lemon juice, shallots, and freshly chopped dill)
  • Hawaiian turkey burger with teriyaki sauce, red leaf lettuce, sliced pineapple, and reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Veggie burger with roasted red pepper hummus, sliced red onion, and sliced avocado
  • Southwestern black bean burgerΒ  with guacamole, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, and reduced fat jack cheese

20 more healthy & unique toppings to try:

  • Sweet or spicy pickles
  • Pickled red onion
  • Pickled jalapeno
  • Goat cheese spread (reduced fat)
  • Mango or tomato chutney
  • Banana peppers
  • Sriracha mayo (light mayo and sriracha)
  • Olive tapenade
  • Chipotle ketchup
  • Pesto mayo (light mayo and pesto)
  • Poached egg
  • Sun dried tomato spread
  • French onion dip (reduced fat)
  • Cream cheese (reduced fat)
  • Thinly sliced apple
  • Hot pepper jelly
  • Sauerkraut
  • Garlic aioli (minced garlic, light mayo, lemon juice, and salt)
  • Pico de gallo
  • Chow chow


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