Memorial day, the official kick off for summer, is a time for the three B’s: barbecue, beaches, and burgers. And while anyone can buy a few frozen patties and throw them on the grill, you read Chowhound for a reason!
So to help celebrate Memorial Day weekend, we’ve pulled together a list of 11 non-traditional burgers that will top anything you could buy in the frozen isle. They may take a little extra time or force you to plan a trip to the grocery store, but trust us, it will be worth the extra effort.
1. Black Eyed Pea Vegan Burger
Vegans rejoice! The luck of black eyed peas is on your side. You can now enjoy a delicious burger that rivals those of your meat-eater friends. Featuring mushrooms, beans, and a bevy of fresh herbs and seasonings, this healthy concoction will be your go-to recipe for alternative summer grilling. Get our Black Eyed Pea Vegan Burger recipe.
2. Falafel Burger
If you're a fan of the almighty garbanzo, look no further than this creative take on a Middle Eastern classic. Serve with tomato jam and an herb-infused Greek yogurt to kick up your condiment game and wow your partygoers. Get our Falafel Burger recipe.
3. Meatloaf Burger
The idea of meatloaf anything may be a scary one, but we guarantee the dreaded lunchtime classic gets an amazing, modern-day upgrade with this delicious recipe. The addition of hoisin and sriracha gives the meat a slight Asian-inspired taste, but don't skimp on the ketchup. That's where it gets all the moisture. Get our Meatloaf Burger recipe.
4. Kimchi Chicken Burger
Spice things up with fiery kimchi served on a chicken patty doused in spicy mayonnaise. It's the perfect excuse to ditch conversation with the in-laws as you fetch a glass of ice water. Get our Kimchi Chicken Burger recipe.
5. Juicy Lucy Burger
Standard cheeseburgers are great. Our Juicy Lucy, where the cheese is INSIDE the burger, is even better. Adapted from a Minneapolis bar favorite (two bars have competing claims for the invention), the Juicy Lucy is a traditional hamburger stuffed with your choice of cheese - just make sure you go with a soft, meltable one. Get our Juicy Lucy Burger recipe.
6. Chow Veggie Burger
Fresh is always better, so ditch the frozen veggie patty and try out the recipe for our official Chow Veggie burger. It’s packed full of veggies, brown grains and flavor. Get our Chow Veggie Burger recipe.
7. Mediterranean Lamb Burger
With flavors reminiscent of a gyro, our burger is an easy entry point for anyone looking to incorporate lamb into their protein repertoire - just treat it like ground beef and you’ll be food to go. You may have a little trouble finding Harissa in smaller grocery stores, so feel free to substitute Sriracha. Get our Mediterranean Lamb Burger recipe.
8. Bull Market Burger
If you’re spending your memorial day in the Hamptons or on your boss’s yacht, this might be the recipe for you. Inspired by the DB burger from French god chef Daniel Boulud (which originally cost $32), the Bull Market burger is a decadent way to impress this Memorial Day weekend. Get our Bull Market Burger recipe.
9. Bison Burger with Mushrooms and Spring Onions
Get your Oregon Trial on with our recipe for bison burgers! Bison, a throwback animal from the days of wagon rides and dysentery, has found a nice resurgence thanks to the health conscious movement (and all those Paleo practitioners). And thats not without reason - it’s flavorful, lean and high in protein. Get our Bison Burgers with Mushrooms and Spring Onions recipe.
10. BBQ Bacon Turkey Burger
Usually, turkey burgers suck. Thanks to your friends at Chow [can we link to the turkey burger article here?], however, they don’t have to. Take for example, our BBQ Bacon Turkey Burger. Covered in BBQ sauce and topped with bacon, it could go 12 rounds with any beef burger in a flavor fight. Get our BBQ Bacon Turkey Burgers recipe.
11. Pork and Apple Burger
Pork, apple, and rosemary make a pretty solid combo, so we know that this recipe is a winner. We recommend serving them as sliders - any leftovers could be used to make a mean sausage, egg and cheese sandwich the next day. Get our Pork and Apple Burgers recipe.
12. Banh Mi Chicken Burger
If everyone in America knew the unbridled joy that is a good Banh Mi’s, there would be Banh Mi shops dotting every rest stop and shopping plaza in the country. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case so it’s up to you, our loyal Chow reader, to spread the joy that is a Banh Mi, in burger form! Get our Banh Mi Chicken Burgers recipe.
13. Grilled Salmon Burger
Salmon is one of our favorite fishes to throw on the grill - it's hearty, healthy and much easier to grill than some of the other, lighter or whiter fishes (hey that rhymed). Follow the recipe and you can top it with anything, from storebought tartar sauce to your favorite homemade concoction. Get our Grilled Salmon Burgers recipe.
14. Double-Decker Marinated Portobello Burger
Big Mac’s aren’t the only double decker burger in town. Try our marinated portabello burger for a healthier version of the Mickey D’s classic. Portobellos are one of the easiest vegetables to use when converting a non believer - they taste exactly like steak when grilled. Get our Double-Decker Marinated Portobello Burger recipe.
15. Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger
Pork can be a little dry and bland on it’s own, which is why our recipe ups the flavor ante with the addition of Mexican chorizo. Spicy and salty, the burger is paired with fresh avocado and roasted Anaheim chilies. This is the perfect burger to serve if you need an excuse - editor's note: you should never need an excuse - to have a cold beer with lunch. Get our Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger recipe.
Check out Chowhound's Memorial Day recipe hub for more idea including side dishes to go with your non-traditional burgers.
Dan McKay is a Canadian actor, film director, screenwriter, and musician—oh wait, that's Ryan Gosling. Dan is a Philly-based freelance writer, photographer, and digital marketer. He has written for Eater and Thrillist, in addition to other publications. Outside of work, you might run across him in the Asian market or in one of Philly’s local drinking establishments.