Think hamburgers can’t be healthy? Think again! Instead of turning to unhealthy restaurant burgers that pack in thousands of calories in one dish, enjoy these healthy hamburger recipes that slash the calories in half—sometimes more!
Between regular beef burgers, turkey burgers, and even burgers made of fish, these healthy hamburger recipes will be your favorite new weeknight dinners to make.
1.Red Wine-Infused Mushroom Swiss Burger
Our take on the upscale dish is a mushroom swiss burger, and it’s a snap to make, tastes like it costs 20 bucks, and packs fewer calories than an average restaurant salad.
2.Vegetarian Mushroom Burger With Mozzarella Cheese
We don’t mess around with fake patties in this mushroom burger recipe. Instead, we go straight for a meaty portobello cap, rubbed in olive oil and balsamic, and topped with a crown of melted mozz. Even if you’re a beef buff, we think you’ll like this meatless burger.
3.Asian-Inspired Tuna Burger With Wasabi Mayo
A firm, meaty fish like tuna is prime picking for the burger treatment, and we love making tuna burgers for a protein-packed meal. All it takes is a quick pulse in the food processor or even just a bit of fine chopping.
This jalapeño cheeseburger recipe packs a bite for you spice lovers, while still staying lean thanks to a few smart swaps (like using lean sirloin and olive oil mayonnaise), which cut calories dramatically. This is a restaurant-worthy burger you can actually perfect right in your own kitchen.
5.Paleo Bacon-Chile Burgers With Guacamole and Fresh Salsa
While some popular chains do sell burgers with more than 1,000 calories, you can actually enjoy a delicious burger with bacon (yes, bacon!) for a mere 402 calories. By simply adding some guacamole and fresh salsa, you’ll have a flavorful patty that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, it’s one of those healthy hamburger recipes you can also meal prep for lunches during the week!
6.Southwest Turkey Burger
A few years back, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s reached out to us and asked for help designing a new line of turkey burgers that would improve on an otherwise high-calorie menu. A lot of time and testing went into the burgers, during which we learned just how well turkey takes to intense, vibrant flavors that might not jibe as well with beef. In the end, this spicy-cool burger didn’t make it on the menu, but it remains one of the best turkey burgers we’ve had. Now, with this turkey burger recipe, you can judge for yourself…
7.Smashed A.1. Swiss Burger
The United States is flush with quirky regional burgers, from the pastrami-topped burgers of Utah to the butter burgers of Wisconsin. Our favorite is the Midwestern smashed burger, which involves using a spatula to thwack a ball of ground beef into a thin patty while it cooks in a cast-iron skillet.
8.Chicken Burger With Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
We’ve gone ahead and helped you out by reinventing the chicken burger, using a lean grind of meat and a hugely flavorful—but surprisingly low-calorie—spiked mayo to deliver on the promise of a truly healthy burger you can happily indulge in.
9.Pan Burger With Fried Egg and Special Sauce
There’s nothing quite like taking a bite out of a juicy burger, and while the idea of firing up the grill might seem daunting, you don’t actually have to cook a burger that way. Instead, you can pan fry your patty for an easy way to satisfy your burger craving. However, we take things one step further, creating the perfect fried egg burger, complete with a special sauce that rivals any you would find at a restaurant.
10.Grilled Pizza Burger
This recipe takes what you love about pizza—the tomato sauce, the mozzarella, and the seasonings like oregano—and adds them to a juicy turkey burger. Bursting with flavor, as well as fiber, this meal is way more nutritious than the average pizza slice—and probably one of our favorite healthy hamburger recipes to make!
11.Copycat Big Mac
We replace the mystery meat with lean ground sirloin, sear it in a cast-iron skillet until beautifully browned, then bring the classic ingredients together inside a single, squishy sesame seed bun.
12.Breakfast Veggie Burger
Go bunless (and low-carb) by nestling your veggie patty on a thick and juicy tomato slice instead of bread, and then serve it alongside onions and avocado. You can also top your breakfast with a runny sunny-side-up egg for a savory flavor. With a runny yolk, you can skip condiments, too.
We’re not afraid to admit when a fast-food joint has a good idea. The inspiration for this cowboy burger comes from a Carl’s Jr. classic, the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, a how-can-it-not-be-delicious commingling of beef, barbecue sauce, and fried onions. Problem is, the small version of Carl’s burger packs 750 calories and a full day’s worth of saturated fat. This version uses naturally lean bison and replaces the breaded onion rings with sweet grilled ones.
14.The Ultimate Burger
Here, we start with ground brisket, which is relatively lean but packed with perfect burger flavor. (The butcher at your local market should be happy to grind up a hunk for you.) Combine that with the great beef and some peppery arugula for a first-class burger experience. If you must add cheese, a bit of crumbled blue goes well here atop this ultimate burger.