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4 Delicious Recipes for Any Kind of Burger Fan

06/26/2015 12:43 pm ET | Updated Jun 26, 2016

Nothing says summer more than burgers sizzling on the grill. We have four delicious recipes for any kind of burger fan -- Bistro Burgers with Caramelized Onions, Perfect Juicy Turkey Burgers, Savory Tuna Burgers with a Zesty Sauce, and Supreme Crispy Quinoa Vegetable Burgers. To cook them on the barbecue grill, preheat the grill to high and brush the grill grate with extra virgin olive oil. Cook them as you would in the skillet or grill pan, as called for in the recipes.

Bistro Burgers With Carmelized Onions
Makes 6 servings

pollan family table bistro

Sometimes there is nothing better than a big, messy burger. The caramelized onions offer a deep, rich, sweet flavor, which contrasts beautifully with the earthiness of the beef, making this perfection on a bun.

1 large Vidalia onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
2 pounds ground beef chuck (80% lean)
1 teaspoon finely grated red onion 1 teaspoon steak sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
6 slices of Swiss, cheddar, or jalapeño Jack cheese (optional)
6 hamburger buns (preferably whole-grain)
Your favorite burger toppings for serving

  • Place a large dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sliced onion and stir continually until it is a rich, dark golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for an additional 3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Place the ground chuck in a large mixing bowl. Add the grated onion, steak sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and mix well.
  • Using your hands, form the meat into six patties. Make an indentation in the center of each patty and press a piece of butter into it. Mold the meat gently over the butter to completely enclose it in the beef.
  • Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the patties and cook until the meat begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes; for the juiciest burgers, leave them untouched until you are ready to flip them. Flip the burgers and, if desired, top with a slice of cheese. Cook for an additional 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium-rare, and 5 minutes for medium.
  • Arrange the burgers on the buns, and top each with a few spoonfuls of the caramelized onions. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Perfect Juicy Turkey Burgers
Makes 6 servings

pollan family table turkey

This turkey burger is always a hit and a great alternative for those who don't eat red meat. The savory mix of seasonings and the pat of butter in the center of these patties give them all the juice and flavor of a traditional beef burger.

2 pounds ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for coating hands
1 tablespoon finely grated red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon ketchup Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
6 slices Swiss, cheddar, or jalapeño Jack cheese (optional)
6 hamburger buns (preferably whole-grain)
Your favorite burger toppings for serving

  • Place the turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil, the onion, mustard, parsley, garlic, ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and mix well.
  • Put the Parmesan cheese in a small dish. One at a time, dip the butter pieces into the Parmesan, making sure to coat all sides.
  • Oil your hands and form the turkey into 6 patties. Make an indentation in the center of each patty and press a piece of butter into it. Mold the meat gently over the butter to completely enclose it in the turkey.
  • Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, arrange the patties in the pan and cook until the meat is brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Flip the burgers and place a slice of cheese on top, if desired. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, until cooked through. Place the burgers on the buns and serve with your favorite toppings.

Savory Tuna Burgers With a Zesty Sauce
Makes 4 servings

pollan family table tuna

Despite all our good intentions of eating fish more frequently -- and how hard we try to incorporate it into our weekly menu -- more often than not, we fail. But now that summer is here we have an easy solution: tuna burgers. We've experimented with a number of tuna recipes only to have the burgers fall apart before we can place them in their buns. But these burgers hold their shape and are a snap to make, either on the grill or on a grill pan on the stove. We like to spice them up by adding mustard, cilantro and cayenne pepper to the tuna, and we serve them with an assertive sauce.

There's no need to use a meat grinder for the fish. We've discovered that after placing the tuna in the freezer for 10 to 12 minutes, a large sharp knife quickly and easily does the job of chopping the tuna into the texture of hamburger meat.

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (a.k.a. "Rooster Sauce") is totally addictive -- spicy, tangy, with just a hint of sweet. It's made from red chili peppers, garlic, distilled vinegar, salt, and sugar. It's so popular you can find it just about anywhere -- from supermarkets to mom and pop stores. Though it's terrific straight from the bottle, we love it mixed with mayonnaise for a speedy and delicious creamy topping for burgers.

For the Zesty Sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chile Sauce, or to taste
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon organic low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

For the Tuna Burgers
1 1/2 pounds sushi-grade tuna
1 1/2 tablespoons of grated onion
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/ 2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, or more for brushing the patties
Organic olive oil cooking spray
4 hamburger buns (preferably whole-grain)
Your favorite burger toppings for serving

For the Zesty Sauce

  • Place all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.

For the Tuna Burgers

  • Place the tuna in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes until firm.
  • Using a large sharp knife chop the tuna into the size of hamburger meat.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, mustard, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Add the tuna and mix thoroughly to combine. Divide the mixture into 4 even-sized patties and lightly brush each side of the patties with olive oil.
  • Spray the grill pan with the olive oil spray, heat the pan to medium-high, and add the burgers. Cook for 2 minutes on each side for rare, 3 to 4 for medium rare.
  • Place the burgers on buns, spread them lightly with the Zesty Sauce and serve with your favorite burger toppings.

Supreme Crispy Quinoa Vegetable Burgers
Makes 4 servings

quinoa burger

We have eaten so many veggie burgers over the years, but never found one that we really loved, one that made us say, "This is a great burger!" We call these burgers "supreme" because they truly are. The beans and vegetables keep them moist on the inside, and the quinoa adds a mouthwatering crunch when you bite into them.

1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup organic canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup plain Breadcrumbs (page 264, or your favorite store-bought)
1 large clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 multigrain hamburger buns
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
Your favorite burger toppings for serving

  • Combine the quinoa and vegetable broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside and let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher, making sure to leave a few chunks. Add the scallions, carrots, breadcrumbs, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt,

  • and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and mix well. Add the cooked quinoa and the egg and combine.
  • Using your hands, form the mixture into four individual patties and place on a platter.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium, place the patties in the pan, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip and brown the other sides, about 5 minutes more. Assemble the burgers and buns on a platter. Top with slices of avocado, if desired,
  • and serve with your favorite toppings.