A classic burger topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion, combined with quality beef and a soft bun, offers its own tasty character. If you want to kick it up a notch this summer, try one of these classic and creative toppings.
There’s something admirable about eating a juicy burger stacked with classic toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. But while we’re further highlighting options today, we can’t skip traditional favorites.
Always choose large tomatoes, such as steak, as thick and thick slices give each bite a quality freshness. While iceberg lettuce is most popular for grilling at home, we recommend leaf lettuce as it has a rich buttery flavor and the curled ends add a nice touch.
Red onions are the most popular choice because you want a mild (not too onion-like) kick in every bite. Finally, dill pickles are our favorite selection for burgers, as they add a tart flavor and crunchy texture that many can resist.
All cheese please
Yes, you could say cheese is one of the classics, but honestly, if there’s one topping that deserves its own category, it’s the cheese. Think beyond American and cheddar, as just about any cheese will add a creative and unique flavor.
For example, add a few crumbs of blue cheese to a buffalo burger or feta cheese with a dash of homemade pesto for a fresh Mediterranean flair. Smoked Gouda goes like no other with a smoky barbecue sauce, and creamy goat cheese provides a spicy and light bite.
Take it up a notch with an old asiago or try mixing some of your favorite strains and create a new crowd pleaser for your next summer barbecue.
Bacon is known for making the most delicious meaty burgers, but there’s more to those slices than salty cured meat.
Be sure to set your bacon fat aside for sautéing onions, mushrooms, or any other vegetables you want to add to it. You can also use the bacon fat in place of butter to lubricate those tender buns before grilling.
Coleslaw definitely makes it onto our list of foods you might not expect atop a juicy burger patty, but it’s a must try. It’s the perfect finish for barbecue bacon burgers as it adds a creamy, refreshing crunch. Make sure to add the slaw just before serving for a nice ratio between hot and cold.
Sauteed mushrooms are popular alongside burgers, but there’s so much you can do with this humble, earthy ingredient. Keep it simple by frying them in butter (or bacon fat) with a pinch of seasoned salt.
We love filling large portabella mushroom caps with a variety of cheeses, including cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, goat cheese, or even feta. You can use just about anything you have stashed in your fridge, but use at least one creamy cheese for a good quality blending agent.
After cooking and cooling a portabella cap, fill it with your cheese concoction and place it directly on your grill (cheese side up) until the cheese melts. Place this right on your beef patty and enjoy every cheesy chomp.
Chile for the Win
If you haven’t given this one a chance yet, now is your chance. Use your favorite chili recipe and just put it on top of your burger patty. Take it one step further by tossing in freshly grated cheddar cheese, chopped red onion and a few pickled jalapeno slices.
This one gets messy enough, where (dare I say) a fork and knife may be needed for consumption.
Macaroni and cheese (because why not?)
If you haven’t yet enjoyed a burger with creamy macaroni and cheese, we recommend adding it to your foodie bucket list.
Like the chili burger, this one gets messy and requires at least a stack of napkins. Just before serving, spoon over your favorite mac recipe and enjoy two of America’s classics in one meal.
Fried eggs for a magical mouthfeel
Eggs are arguably one of the most controversial topping choices. Some love the idea, while others frown at the thought of stacked sunny side up.
The most exciting thing about this pick is the rich and oozing yolk that pops and gives a creamy mouthfeel to your tasty burger. The downside forever is the lack of flavor, as the burger and other toppings overwhelm this one ingredient.
Potato chips (Bobby Flay’s Choice)
Potato chips add a crunch factor and extra salty twist to burgers, and if you think they don’t belong, have a chat with grill chef, Bobby Flay.
He’s not afraid to say he loves American cheese on his burgers and he also enjoys crispy original potato chips with every bite. He calls it the “popping” of the burger.
Go spicy with fried jalapenos
If you’re looking for a way to add a subtle spicy kick to your meaty meal, fried jalapenos will undoubtedly be the answer. Here’s the perfect recipe that will make your burger scream with a spiciness like no other.
Cool down with avocado
Avocado is one of those wonderful ingredients that accompany and highlight meals across the board. Fresh slices of avocado provide a cooling and creamy bite, which is delicious and healthy at the same time.
Puree it and make guacamole to dollop on top or add a few thick slices instead.
As you can see, there are many brilliant toppings that you can add to your burgers. What creative additions can you think of?