Squeezed between two golden buns, and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese and bacon, the classic hamburger is delicious. Nobody’s disputing that. But after a spring filled with tailgates and backyard “it’s finally warm out” barbecues, the hamburger can easily be played out. For those whose palates tire of the taste, but whose hands still crave the clench, here are three burgers — one chicken, one veggie and one pork — to make and devour this summer.

The Recipes

Three Burgers, Professionally Made

Joe’s McLeanie Burger

Joe Wicks specializes in healthy and simple meals, and his 2015 cookbook, Lean in 15: 15 Minute Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy, is full of them. His take on the turkey burger prioritizes lean meat and adds savory touches, like Greek yogurt and fish sauce, to ensure that it doesn’t bore your taste buds.

Serves 2
14-ounce ground turkey
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
2 teaspoon sesame oil
4 scallions, finely sliced
salt and pepper
2 burger buns
2 tablespoon full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chipotle paste
Sliced tomato and lettuce leaves, to serve


1. Preheat the broiler to high.

2. Chuck the turkey, fish sauce, cilantro, sesame oil and scallions into a large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper, then stick your hands in and work the ingredients well. The more you work the meat, the better the burgers will hold together when cooked. Shape the meat into two equally sized patties.

3. Place the patties on a broiler pan or a baking sheet and broil the burgers for five minutes on each side or until they are totally cooked through. Check by slicing into one of the patties to make sure the meat is white all the way through, with no raw pink bits left.

4. Meanwhile, cut your burger buns in half. Mix together the yogurt and chipotle paste and spread over the burger buns.

Beefsteak Burger


Chef José Andrés has won many awards, most notably the James Beard award for “Outstanding Chef” in 2010. He’s also widely regarded as being pivotal in bringing small plates — tapas — to America. At his fresh-vegetable-driven restaurant in D.C., Beefsteak, they serve this delicious vegan burger. It’s made with a thick slice of beefsteak tomato, pickled onions, alfalfa sprouts and smoky chipotle vegan mayo, and it’s all sandwiched between an olive oil brioche bun.

Makes 1 Sandwich
For the Herb Dijon Mayonnaise:
2 cups Just Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 tablespoon chopped dill
3/4 cup lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste

For the Pickled Onions:
1 red onion, julienned
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

For the sandwich:
1 brioche olive oil bun, toasted
3 tablespoons Dijon mayonnaise
1 large beefsteak tomato, blanched, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch slices*
1/2 avocado, cut into 6 slices
2 tablespoons pickled onions
Alfalfa sprouts
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil


1. Make the the herb Dijon mayonnaise. To do so, mix all of the ingredients (listed above) together in a bowl and season with salt, to taste.

2. Make the picked onions. First slice the red onions julienne and set aside in a container. In a saucepan, heat the red wine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, thyme and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Pour directly over the red onions and let steep for one hour. Drain the liquid and reserve for next use.

3. Make the sandwich. Spread each half of the bun with the mayonnaise. Top the bottom half with one slice of beefsteak tomato. Season the tomato with salt and pepper, to taste, and drizzle with olive oil. Top with the avocado slices, pickled onions and alfalfa sprouts.

Note: One large beefsteak tomato should yield three sandwiches.

Piggy Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup


Excerpted from Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright 2013. Photograph by Grant Cornett.

In his 2013 cookbook, Smoke and Pickles, chef Edward Lee recalls being in San Sebastián, an epicenter of European cuisine, yet having lunch at the city’s only McDonald’s. Why? He needed to try their fast-food pork burger. Although it wasn’t as great as he anticipated, it inspired him to make a savory, more healthy alternative. And, as he says, it goes great with cold root beer.

Makes 4 Large Burgers
For the burgers
1 pound ground pork (85 percent lean)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Greens from 3 scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sun-dried tomato ketchup
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 dried pasilla peppers, stems and seeds removed
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons peanut oil


1. To make the burgers: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Form the meat into eight thin patties (~2 ounces each); the patties should be thin enough to use two per burger. Stack the patties between squares of wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking. (The patties can be wrapped, stacked, and stored in the freezer for up to one week; pull some out whenever you feel like a burger.)

2. While the patties are chilling, make the ketchup: Combine all the ingredients except the water in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.

3. Transfer the tomato mixture to a blender and puree on high, slowly drizzling in enough water to create a smooth purée. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. (Leftover ketchup will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of the peanut oil.

5. Add four of the pork patties to the pan, and cook for two minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another minute on the other side, until cooked through. Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate and keep warm in oven (low heat). Cook the remaining patties in the same way.

6. To assemble the burgers, smear a little of the ketchup on the bottom of each bun and top with a pork patty. Spread some ketchup on each patty and top with the remaining patties. Top each one with some kimchi, a few bean sprouts, a couple of cilantro leaves, and a small fistful of pork cracklin’. Serve immediately.

3 Easy-to-Make Sides to Compliment Your Burger


Your burger is grilled, or assembled, to perfection. Now elevate your entire meal with the perfect side. Read the Story

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