Amazing Burgers for All Year: 5 Varieties

January 30, 2022

6 min read


From classic beef, to mini lamb, salmon, and gluten free black bean burgers.

Burgers are not just for summer BBQ. They are great all year long. I make so many varieties, from classic beef, to mini lamb, salmon, black bean, broccoli and so many more. Here are a few burger making tips too to keep in mind for all types of burger making. Weeknight cooking just got easy and delicious with these indoor and outdoor burger ideas.

Fat is good in a meat burger. You want to use ground beef (FRESHLY ground by the butcher) that contains about 80% beef and 20% fat.

Be gentle! Kneading is for bread. Handle the meat gently and form loose patties to retain flavor. Packed patties become tough.

Burgers need salt and pepper. We recommend kosher salt and pepper and then whatever other seasonings you like, mesquite, onion, etc. The experts are claiming that they need little other than salt and pepper. I still like a few dried spices like onion powder and mustard.

Spatulas are NOT for pressing. Use them for flipping and DO NOT press on your burgers. All that juice that drips out is the flavor.

Make a small indentation in the center of each burger. Burgers contract as they cook, causing the middle to form a dome-like top. Making a small indentation in the center of the patty will keep the burger flat and even and therefore allow all the toppings to stay on under the bun.

Use a meat thermometer to check doneness. A rare burger is about 125 degrees, and a well-done burger is 160 degrees.

Add a little liquid. Some experts disagree with me on this, but Cook’s Illustrated and Bobby Flay agree that moisture is the key to a juicy burger. Remember not to press on the burgers to lose moisture. I add 2 to 3 tablespoons of ice water to the meat or any other liquid of your choice, like a combination of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, seltzer, beer, mustard, you name it but add a bit to add moisture to the patty.

Buy lots of condiments for a burger bar. I love serving fried onions, guacamole, spicy mustard, sautéed mushrooms, and tons of store-bought mustards, salsas, tapenades, or whatever you like, for a fun burger bar evening with guests.

Salmon Burgers

Photo by the Recipe Critic

Serves 6

Canned salmon has all the Omega-3’s that fresh does and is so affordable that if made right, it’s a winner. These can be made with tuna too, but I like the flavor combination with salmon best. Don’t be afraid of the chilis in this recipe, it just gives it loads of flavor and not that much heat. Serve with a zesty coleslaw, or a traditional one, pickles, and some baked fries.

  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup corn kernels, frozen (thawed) or canned (rinsed)
  • 1 tablespoon canned green chilis, minced (more if you like heat)
  • 1 ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 cans (5 ounces each) boneless, skinless, salmon, drained
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Buns, optional


  • ½ cup nonfat plain greek yogurt, mayonnaise or sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For the burgers: Whisk mayonnaise, lime juice,egg, soy sauce, cayenne and salt together in a medium bowl. Add pepper, onion, corn, and chiles and combine. Add panko and stir. Gently mix in salmon.

Divide mixture into 6 equal parts and shape into a ball, then pat into a 3-inch diameter patty, about 1-inch thick.

Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, grease grates and reduce to medium, and add patties. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2 – 3 minutes, then gently flip with a spatula and brown the other side, an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper lined plate.

For the sauce: Whisk yogurt, chives, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.

Serve burgers on a toasted bun with sauce.

Mini Lamb Burgers with Lemon Sauce


Image by Food network

Serves 6

Rich spiced lamb is paired perfectly with fresh lemon sauce.

This is a great and easy way to spice up a midweek meal. The lamb burgers are a refreshing and flavorful twist to a regular burger and the lemon sauce adds a coolness to the dish.

For the lemon yogurt sauce:

  • 1 pint non-dairy sour cream (like Tofutti)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the mini burgers:

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 12 slider buns or 1 challah, sliced

Make the sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the non-dairy sour cream, lemon zest and juice. Season, to taste, with salt. Sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before using.

Make the burgers: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently mix together until they are fully incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently form little balls about 1 to 1 1/2 inches big and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking pan. With a fork, flatten burgers to about 1/2-inch thick.

Heat grill, grill pan, or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Grease grates, and cook burgers for about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until fully cooked through.

Slice buns and toast if you like. Serve burgers with lettuce, tomato, and lemon cream sauce.

Gluten Free Black Bean Burgers

Serves 8, makes about 15 patties

Recipe by Orly Gottesman,

Most veggie burgers in supermarkets either contain gluten, are solely made of vegetables and don’t have enough protein, or are soy based. As I like to minimize the soy in my diet, I wanted to create a high protein veggie burger that is also gluten free, hardy and delicious! This recipe is packed with multiple sources of protein, fiber, fresh vegetables, spices and herbs. So delicious that you can enjoy it without a bun!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups chickpeas or 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Stir together 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan, and season with salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 14 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

Mix together the black beans and chickpeas in a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, place onion, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in a medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat. (The oil left on the tomatoes should be enough to sauté the onion.) Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Stir in 1.5 cups black beans/chickpea mixture, 1 ¼ cup cooked quinoa, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir all ingredients together for 2 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups water and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Transfer mixture to food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining ¾ cup quinoa and remaining 1.5 cups black bean/chickpea mixture. Season with salt and pepper and set in the fridge to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat the baking sheet with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop with a lever, shape bean mixture into 15 patties and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown. Serve on a gluten free bun or between two pieces of romaine lettuce.

Classic Dad’s Beef Burger


Photo by I heart naptime

Makes 4 burgers

Classic and easy. I make lots of varieties of beef burgers. This is an easy go-to. The meat and patties can be prepared and cooked right before ready to eat.

  • 1 to 1-1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons steak sauce (such as A.1.)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely minced onion

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. Shape into 4 patties by hand, making the center of each just a little thinner than the edges. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

Heat a grill, grill pan or a cast-iron skillet. When the pan is hot, grease the grates and cook burgers for about 3 minutes each side. Serve with lots of burger toppings.

Asian Chicken Burgers with Slaw

Photo by Betty Crocker

Makes 4

I make these with chicken because it's a great backdrop for Asian flavors and soaks up the seasonings. It’s a bit healthier than a beef burger and super tasty.

  • 3 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, divided
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce, divided
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ pounds ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns, split

Mix cabbage, ¼ cup green onions, vinegar, 1 teaspoon each garlic and ginger, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and ½ teaspoon chili sauce in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.

In another bowl, mix mayonnaise with remaining 1 teaspoon chili sauce. Set aside to top burgers after cooking.

Combine chicken, soy sauce, and remaining ¼ cup green onions, remaining 1 tablespoon each garlic and ginger, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Shape into 4 patties, each about ½-inch thick.

Heat grill, grill pan or cast iron skillet. Oil cooking grates. Grill burgers, covered, turning once – 7 to 8 minutes total for medium.

Serve on toasted buns, if desired. Top with chili mayonnaise and serve with Asian slaw.

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