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13 Healthier Burger Recipes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It’s National Burger Month and you’re probably wondering why SparkPeople is celebrating a food with such an unhealthy reputation. The reason is that SparkPeople sees beyond the calories, fat, and sodium to a tremendously fun and flexible vehicle for healthy eating. Each component—the patty, bun, spreads and toppings—provide opportunities for customizing to your tastes and nutritional needs. We’ve gathered our best tips and recipes to help you build a better burger, your own Spark burger. 


Burgers typically consist of protein, grains, a binding agent, vegetables, and spices. Use 1 pound of protein, 1 cup of grains, 1 cup of vegetables, 2 tablespoons of binder and 1 teaspoon of spices.

Protein Grains Binders Vegetables
Ground chicken or turkey

Lean ground beef

Ground lamb

Ground buffalo



Beans (pureed)



Brown rice

Oat bran

Wheat Germ

Whole-wheat bread crumbs
Egg whites

Flaxseed meal (mixed with water)

Chia Seeds
Spinach (chopped)

Kale (chopped)

Onions (chopped)

Carrots (chopped)

Zucchini (shredded)

Sweet potato (pureed)

Peppers (diced)


Tomato paste



  • Sandwich thin
  • Open face (Serve burger on top half the bun)
  • Whole wheat bun
  • Pita bread
  • Tortilla
ToppingsSpreads13 Better Burger Recipes

Greek Turkey Burger (Chef Meg's Makeover)

Chef Meg's Tangy Chicken Burgers

Chef Meg's Spicy Sliders

Chef Meg's Salmon Cakes

Cheddar-Stuffed Black Bean and Mushroom Burgers

Buffalo Burgers with Cheddar Cheese

Thanksgiving turkey burgers

Chipotle Eggplant Veggie Burgers


Quinoa Turkey Burgers

Vegan Lentil Burgers

Portobello Burgers

Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Create your Spark burger: what is your healthy burger recipe?

For more grilling recipes, check out our e-book: "SparkPeople's Ultimate Grilling Guide: 75 Hearty, Healthy Recipes You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into"! Click here to learn more.

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Some great ideas, I'm grilling hamburgers today. Report
DEE107 11/27/2018
thanks Report
thanks Report
Meatloaf has binders and grains, hamburgers are all meat Report
Love the suggestions and can't wait to try some of them out! Report
We like ground pork. I know it can be substituted for other ground meats, but am wondering why it wasn't listed. Report
Cleaning the grill this weekend; can't wait to try some of these burgers. They all look delicious. Report
When I go out, one of our favorite spots has delicious turkey burgers. Though we went to a new place that had buffalo burgers....they were fantastic! At home, we usually do lean beef or turkey, and use whole-wheat buns with lots of veggies (lettuce, tomato, onion, mushrooms). Season ground turkey right, and you won't know it's not beef! Report
I'm working really hard to go meatless now, or at least make my meat count, so only eat it when it's special (i.e. new steak house, famous burger spot on vacation) rather than as an every day every meal option.
That being said my favorite is lean ground sirloin, topped with grilled mushrooms and onions and doused in A1 steaksauce on a whole wheat bun. It's from the Cook This Not That cookbook and it is devine. I also like to mix 1 part olive oil mayo, one part blue cheese crumbles and two parts non fat greek yogurt for a sandwich spread. Yum. Report
I keep it really simple. I buy ground meat or fish of all sorts by the pound, divide the packages into four portions when I get home from the supermarket, mash the portions into burgers, bag them individually, and freeze them. I pull them out of the freezer a day ahead and then season the burgers when I cook them. They are delicious and simple, and there is no need for all that filler stuff! This is an especially good routine for a single person like me. (I'd just freeze the whole package if I were cooking for a family and save the hassles of divvying it up before freezing.) Report
These are some great burger combinations. Report
thanks for including fish & veg options! Report
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