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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.