Blue Cheese Chicken BLT Burger recipe

Don’t eat red meat? Can’t find any right now at the store? Or just hungry for a change from ground beef? These 11 alternative burger recipes will hit the spot, on Labor Day weekend and beyond.

Despite the inroads made by alternative options like turkey burgers and meatless burgers, beef is still the defining protein for burgers by default. Still, even the most avid Big Mac munchers crave the occasional break. (Vegetarians, vegans, and the red-meat averse have their own, well-grounded reasons for avoiding cows, of course, but we’ve got them covered too.) Here are 11 burger recipes that taste amazing and contain approximately (okay, exactly) zero beef.

If you’re making a meat-based burger, these tips for juicy burgers still apply to other proteins, but for veggie burger pointers, learn how to make your meatless burger awesome. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can make your own hamburger buns too.

Related Reading on CNET: The Best Meat Delivery Services and Butcher Subscription Boxes

1. Kimchi Chicken Burgers

Kimchi Chicken Burger recipe


Ground chicken patties give burgers an admirable low level of fat, but they present a challenge: How to make them taste anything other than bland? Enter this recipe. Not only does it call for ginger and garlic in the patty, but tops it with a high-flavor, optionally spicy slaw spiked up with Sriracha and kimchi. Get our Kimchi Chicken Burger recipe.

2. Breakfast Turkey Burgers

breakfast turkey burger recipe


A burger—for breakfast? Absolutely. Especially when it’s made from a patty containing not lethargy-inducing beef, but relatively light ground turkey. Chopped fresh sage, fennel seeds, and a touch of sugar give it the nicest breakfast-sausage flavor. A fried egg is a must. Get our Breakfast Turkey Burger recipe.

Related Reading: 15 Eye-Opening Breakfast Sandwiches

3. Blue Cheese Chicken BLT Burgers

Blue Cheese Chicken BLT Burger recipe


This is not a chicken burger for the faint of heart! We blended the two best sandwiches—the burger and the BLT—to create a twist on both, taking it a step further by stuffing the burger with a piece of creamy-salty blue cheese. Get our Blue Cheese Chicken BLT Burger recipe.

Related Reading: The Best Way to Cook Bacon Is Also the Easiest

4. Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers

vegan burger made from black eyes peas

Chowhound’s Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers

Mushrooms and black-eyed peas give these vegan burgers the right moisture and density, plus bold natural flavors. Will you know you are not eating a chuck burger? You will. Will you enjoy it anyway? Absolutely. Get our Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burger recipe.

Related Reading: 11 Best Veggie Burgers

5. Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers

cumin cucumber yogurt relish


Beef burgers are great, but every once in a while you might want something different to throw on the grill. Try this lamb burger: meaty and juicy, with loads of aromatic spices, and topped with a cooling Cucumber and Cumin Yogurt Relish that beats ketchup any day. Get our Middle Eastern Lamb Burger recipe.

6. BBQ Bacon Turkey Burgers

BBQ Bacon Turkey Burger recipe


One way to give generally mild-tasting turkey burger patties some flavor personality is to slather them with BBQ sauce. That’s what we call for here—along with piling on crispy bacon, of course. These are turkey burgers for inveterate haters of such a concept. Get our BBQ Bacon Turkey Burger recipe.

Related Reading: 13 Turkey Burgers That Will Make You Forget About Beef

7. Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers

Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger recipe


Chicken Cordon Bleu is a classy dish—chicken breast sandwiched with Gruyère cheese and prosciutto. It literally turns into a sandwich here: a ground chicken burger patty that meets up with Black Forest ham and Swiss cheese. Get our Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger recipe.

8. Falafel Burgers

Vegetarian Falafel Burger recipe


The problem with veggie burgers is that they can come across as mushy bean patties, which—let’s face it—many are. In this twist on Middle Eastern falafel, raw chickpeas are soaked for enough hours to make them soften, then ground to form the basis of delicious parsley-tinted patties that do not cook up like mush pucks. Get our Falafel Burger recipe.

9. Grilled Salmon Burgers

Grilled Salmon Burger recipe


These homemade salmon burgers are not the thin, mealy little pucks you may be accustomed to from the freezer case—they’re thick, juicy, and full of flavor, especially if you top them off with one of the sauces or relishes in our salmon burger guide. Get our Grilled Salmon Burger recipe.

10. Apple and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burgers

Apple Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burger recipe


Remember that breakfast turkey burger up top? This is its porcine cousin: a juicy patty of sage-flecked breakfast sausage grilled alongside a maple-glazed apple slice, the two then stacked together with melty sharp cheddar cheese for a truly inspired take on the run-of-the-mill breakfast sandwich. Get our Apple and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burger recipe.

11. Pork and Chorizo Chile Burgers

pork and chorizo burgers with grilled chiles


Plain ground pork can be a little pedestrian, but mixing it with spicy Mexican chorizo lends tons of flavor and extra fat to keep things juicy. Topped with grilled chiles and mashed avocado, these burgers are a delicious change of pace—and demand a frosty beverage to wash them down. Get our Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger recipe.

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