Burgers just scream summer. Who doesn’t love a delicious burger straight off the grill. Whether it’s beef, bison, turkey, chicken or vegetarian, nothing quite satisfies like a big juicy burger off the BBQ. The great thing about burgers is how versatile they are. Change up the seasoning and you have a tasty Thai burger, or an Italian olive and sun-dried tomato burger. How about a Southwestern burger seasoned with chili and cumin. Sure you can stick to the classic recipes, but why not get creative and start wowing your friends these new twists on an old BBQ classic.

1: Thai Turkey Burger

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 garlic clove, minced
½ red onion, minced or grated
2 carrots, grated
1 green onion, chopped finely
¼ cup cilantro, chopped finely
1 inch ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon lime, zest
½ stalk lemongrass, chopped finely (optional)
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup

Thai Turkey Burger Sauce

¼ cup creamy tahini or organic peanut butter
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
3 tsp maple syrup
1 inch ginger, minced

1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
2. Prep all veggies accordingly, mix everything except for the sauce into a bowl. Shape into burger patties
3. Oil your grill with high-heat oil, like grapeseed oil.
4. Place burgers on the grill and flip once. If you insert a thermometer it should read 165 F°. This should take between 12-15 minutes total.
5. Spread the sauce on top and enjoy!

2: Greek Feta & Dilly Chicken Burger

1.5 lbs ground chicken
2 Tbsp fresh basil
3 Tbsp fresh dill
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 garlic clove
¼ cup sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup feta, crumbled
Pinch sea salt and pepper


1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
2. Place fresh herbs, garlic, sunflower seeds, and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor and blend until it becomes a pesto
3. In a bowl add the ground chicken, pesto, feta and shape into patties. Season the patties with sea salt and pepper.
4. Place patties on an oiled grill. Flip once and cook until intern temperature is 165 F°.

3: Summerlicious Salsa Beef Burger

1.5 lbs ground beef or bison
Sea salt and pepper

Summerlicious Salsa

1 peach, chopped into small cubes
1 mango, chopped into small cubes
¼ red onion, chopped very finely
1 green onion, sliced
1 limed, squeezed
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp honey
Pinch sea salt

1. Heat grill to medium-high heat and oil it with high heat cooking oil like grapeseed oil.
2. Shape the ground beef or bison into patties and season each side with sea salt and pepper.
3. Place on the grill until and grill 3-4 minutes per side.
4. As the burgers are grilling, make the Summerlicious Salsa. Chop all of the fruit, vegetables and herbs accordingly. Add to a bowl and add in all of the ingredients.
5. When the burgers are ready to be served, top with Summerlicious Salsa.

4: Mediterranean Chickpea Burger

1 can of chickpeas
¼ cup chickpea flour or spelt flour
½ red onion
1 carrot
½ sweet potato
¼ cup parsley
1 garlic clove
3 Tablespoons creamy tahini
½ lemon, squeezed
1 Tbsp honey
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat a grill to medium-high heat or an oven to 350 F°.
2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and shape into patties. If the batter is too wet, add more flour to it.
3. If cooking on a grill, you may need to put down a layer of tinfoil to prevent the burger from crumbling and falling through the grill. Grill for about 10 minutes per side or bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

5: Southwest Black Bean Burger

1 can black beans
½ red onion
1 garlic clove
¼ cup uncooked quinoa
½ sweet potato
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ cup cilantro
½ cup spelt flour
¼ tsp  sea salt

Simple Guacamole

1-2 avocados
½ lime, squeezed
4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Pinch sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F° or heat grill.
2. Place ¼ cup of quinoa in a pot with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Place all other ingredients, except for the simple guacamole, into a good processor and blend until it’s a smooth yet textured consistency.
4. Place in a bowl and add the quinoa. Mix and shape into patties.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes. Or place on grill for about 10 minutes per side. You may want to place the burgers on tinfoil over the grill to prevent them from crumbling and falling through.
6. Meanwhile, mix together the simple guacamole. Top the cooked burgers with guacamole and serve.

6: Sun-dried Tomato & Kalamata Olive Burger

1.5 pounds of chicken or beef
7 sun-dried tomato, chopped
¼ cup of pitted kalamata olives, chopped
Sea salt and pepper

1. Heat grill to medium-high heat and oil with a high heat cooking oil, like grapeseed oil.
2. Mix together the ground chicken or beef, sun-dried tomatoes and olives and form into patties.
3. Season patties with sea salt and pepper and place on the grill. Beef takes about 3-7 minutes per side. If using ground chicken, make sure the internal temperature is 165 F°.

Burgers are delicious and don’t have to be terribly unhealthy either. You can opt for leaner ground meat, poultry or a vegetarian version.  Spice up this BBQ season and experiment with different seasonings to take your burgers to the next level!

tamara-green-living-kitchen Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.