15 guilt-free burger recipes to try this weekend
Sometimes, nothing but a meaty, juicy beefburger will do. Relish, pickles, maybe some cheese and a soft bun. Delicious as an occasional treat – and full of protein! But for those other times a burger craving strikes, where do you turn? There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options out there – and even lean meat options such as turkey or chicken – to choose from, many of which are just as tasty as the real thing. So check out our list of 16 guilt-free alternatives to the traditional burger; which one will you be chowing down on this weekend?
#1. Thai Turkey Burgers
You can rely on this BBC Good Food recipe to give mealtimes a spicy Thai kick. We're a bit obsessed with Thai flavours and the addition of red Thai curry paste and spicy mango salsa revs up the flavour in these fab burgers. Turkey mince is a lean source of protein, whilst the addition of sliced tomatoes adds a dose of lycopene and antioxidants to your meal. Yum!
#2. Lentil and Chickpea Burgers
Cookie and Kate's blog is filled with fresh vegetarian ideas and we're totally in love with these lentil and chickpea burgers, served with spicy Avocado harissa. If you can't handle the heat, you'll want to get out of the kitchen whilst these are being made.
The combination of lentils and chickpeas boosts your fibre and protein intake without the need for meat, whilst the spicy harissa is packed with good fats from the avocado and olive oil, plus onions and garlic to keep your immune system healthy.
#3. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers
Another Cookie and Kate recipe – this time with antioxidant and vitamin-packed sweet potatoes. These are sweet and spicy as well as being vegan and gluten free; did we mention they're guilt-free too? You can enjoy them the traditional way, in a bun with plenty of lettuce, tomato and red onion, or simply leave the bun out and serve them with fresh guacamole and salad.
#4. Tuna Burgers
Plain and simple, this BBC Good Food recipe is ideal for when time is short. Tuna is packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and it's also low in fat. The addition of ginger, soy and garlic adds an oriental twist; try serving these over noodles or rice instead of in a bun.
#5. Chicken and Lentil Burgers
If you're not ready to go veggie but you want the health benefits of pulses, Martha Stewart's tasty recipe is for you. Serve these chicken and lentil burgers on a toasted English muffin with salad and ketchup for a healthy dinner. This recipe uses minced chicken, but you could use minced turkey if you like. The addition of lentils makes this a really filling meal, so you're less likely to snack later.
#6. The Best Vegan Burger
Jamie Oliver boldly claims this vegan burger is the best; we'll agree that it's up there in terms of flavour. With the sweetness of corn, the earthiness and fibre of chickpeas and spiced cumin and paprika adding a fiery kick, it's pretty darn tasty. We swap the rapeseed oil for olive oil when we make this recipe; but it's a personal choice. Relish is a great alternative to ketchup too.
#7. Thai Sweet Potato Burgers with Peanut Sauce
Oh She Glows has come up with a great way to use satay sauce – over your burger! This Thai-inspired veggie burger includes sharp lime, sweet potato, earthy chickpeas and plenty of fresh herbs. Roasted peanuts feature in the burger mix and you can make the peanut sauce with sunflower seed butter or almond butter for a healthier alternative.
#8. Tuna Burgers with Grilled Pineapple
Boost your way towards five-a-day with A Spicy Perspective's Hawaiian-inspired tuna burgers. These are a taste of sunshine in a bun – fresh tuna is best and packed with essential fatty acids to aid brain and muscle development, but you could use tinned tuna at a push. It's a simple recipe, and cooking the patties on a griddle gives the best results. The addition of siracha chili sauce adds a kick, whilst grilled pineapple is the perfect accompaniment to this super-healthy-yet-delicious recipe.
#9. Zucchini, Pea and Quinoa Burgers
You can always rely on Deliciously Ella for the healthiest recipes around and these burgers are no exception. Packed with courgettes, juicy tomatoes, peas, heart-healthy almonds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and quinoa, these burgers pack a real punch in the nutrition stakes! Serve them with home-made hummus or guacamole and Ella's home-made buns. She even has a recipe for Celeriac Fries, if you feel the need!
#10. Lentil, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Burgers
Veggie Runners have some awesome recipes and this different take on a veggie burger is one of our favourites. Salty feta blends perfectly with tart, sweet tomatoes. Did you know sun-dried tomatoes are packed with fibre, protein and vitamins A, C and K? Lentil and feta are both great sources of protein. Serve this burger in a wholemeal roll for the perfect post-run meal.
#11. Olive and Lentil Burgers
Post Punk Kitchen has created this great baked burger recipe, with olives, lentils and mushrooms. The recipe uses Kalamata olives, but any you have to hand will do. These burgers are packed with vitamins and minerals, plus fibre and protein from lentils. It tastes great with pesto or vegan mayo – yum!
#12. Easy Curry Burgers
Looking for a recipe that makes great recipe for easy curry burgers – you can use leftovers from any curry, whether you had a cheeky takeaway last night or made your own Indian curry from scratch. It's up to you how you serve these; they're great with salad and mango chutney, or in a bun with fresh coleslaw.
#13. Parmesan-Crusted Mushroom Burgers
The title of this recipe from Ramsons and Bramble makes these burgers sound pretty amazing. It uses puffball mushrooms; but you could use portobello instead. The toasted, golden parmesan crust adds protein and makes these the ideal treat, served topped with a fried egg.
#14. Courgette, Feta and Lemon Burgers
We love courgettes – if you have any left after making our courgette pasta recipe, you can whip up these burgers! These are baked, so they're low in fat, and they are packed with fresh garlic and herbs, lemon, feta cheese and of course, courgettes. You can make these vegan by swapping out the feta cheese and using ground flax seeds in place of egg. Top with grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and lettuce.
#15. Home-Made Veggie Sliders
Sometimes, you don't want a full-sized burger; if you're entertaining for example. These mini-burgers are packed with wintry flavours and use dried texture soya mix as their base. Broccoli, lemon and pine nut, beetroot, chilli and walnut and brussel sprout and stilton are the three flavours – we love them all! Packed with plenty of vegetables and healthy nuts to fill you up.