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If you’re like most Americans, the mere thought of a burger covered in melted cheese inside a fluffy, slightly shiny bun, maybe with a side of french fries, can likely get your stomach rumbling at least a bit. Since today is National Burger Day, you have all the excuses you might need to treat yourself to such a delight, even if some health experts might object.
Or you could change things up a bit.
You’ve likely had plenty of classic hamburgers and cheeseburgers in your life. But have you tried topping your burger with hummus instead of cheese? What about swapping your usual beef burger for a patty that tastes like chicken but is actually made from sweet potatoes, rice, and chickpeas? For National Burger Day, try these weird toppings and meatless patties instead of your usual cheeseburger.
Artichoke-Goat Cheese Spread
Although goat cheese may not be as commonplace as American, cheddar, mozzarella, and even Swiss cheese, it’s an absolute delicacy. Combined with artichoke, it’s even more heavenly. Cook your burgers as usual, and separately, mix a few ounces of goat cheese with canned artichokes, herbs, and Parmesan cheese. Spread your mix onto however many burgers you make and refrigerate the rest for another time — this one’s great cold. Get the recipe from MyRecipes.
Instead of topping your burger with ketchup or barbecue sauce, why not use hummus? Whereas many traditional condiments contain unhealthy amounts of sugar or fat, hummus is a well-balanced dip that doubles as a tasty, creamy spread. You can certainly use a store-bought tub of hummus, but making it yourself is a quick, simple way to adjust the taste of your hummus to however you’d like it. Get the basic recipe from The Spruce Eats, and don’t be afraid to swap out a tablespoon of lemon juice for a flavor-changing dip such as red pepper spread or pesto.
Portobello Mushroom Burger
Imagine something that’s the size of a burger and just as juicy but doesn’t have any meat. Portobello mushrooms, which are far larger than most mushrooms, perfectly fit the bill. A grilled portobello mushroom pairs perfectly with pesto, mayonnaise, roasted red peppers, spices, and herbs. The ideal portobello burger is grilled as the filling is prepared and spread onto hamburger buns, where the portobello patty will go the moment the buns are properly covered with filling. Get the recipe from the Food Network, courtesy of Paula Deen.
Vegan “Chicken” Patties
When you combine chickpeas with sweet potatoes, brown rice, and a bunch of herbs and spices, you’ll get patties that even meat lovers might not realize isn’t real chicken. Once everything is combined in a food processor or blender, it’ll be sticky and shapeless enough to dip into bread crumbs and mold into patties, which need only a few minutes of frying before serving. Get the recipe from She Likes Food.
What are some of your favorite unusual topping choices or meatless burger recipes? Share your go-tos with us in the comments!