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    3 Great Meatless Burgers

    Where's the beef? With these delicious alternatives, no one will miss it

    En Español | Once upon a time, meat was a staple of almost every American meal. Today? Not so much! Meat consumption in general — and especially beef consumption — has been falling steadily for the last 20 years. With concerns about health, and concerns about cost, many of us will be looking for meat alternatives during the grilling season. Check out these three non-beef burger recipes, made with bean, Portobello mushroom and salmon.

    Pam Anderson: Three Great Non-Beef Burger Recipes: Black Bean Burger

    Salmon burgers with tzatziki sauce makes a tasty, meatless meal. — Threemanycooks.com

    Salmon Burgers with Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

    Serves 6

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    Salmon is known to lower cholesterol and improve brain function and memory and is a tasty, healthy alternative to beef. Why settle for just a plain salmon fillet or steak? With very little effort you can chop and mix it with bright, fresh, fun flavorings.

    • 1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon filet, finely chopped
    • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
    • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
    • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
    • 12 saltine crackers, finely crumbled
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, coarsely grated and squeezed dry
    • 6 whole-wheat sandwich buns

    Thoroughly mix salmon, 1/4 cup of the dill, 4 of the scallions, lemon zest, crackers, egg, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in medium bowl. Divide into 6 equal portions and form into firm patties. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

    About 20 minutes before serving, heat gas grill, with all burners on high for about 10 minutes. Use a wire brush to clean grill rack, then use tongs to wipe an oil-soaked rag over it. Close lid and return to temperature. Alternatively, build a hot charcoal fire.

    Lightly brush burgers with oil and place on hot grill rack; cook, covered, until first side develops impressive grill marks, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill, covered, on remaining side, 2 to 3 to minutes longer. Grill buns until spotty brown and warm, just a minute.

    Meanwhile, mix yogurt with remaining 2 tablespoons of dill, 2 scallions, and a sprinkling of salt. To serve, spread a portion of sauce over each bun half.

    Note: If you don't feel like firing up the grill, this salmon burger can be cooked indoors by heating 1/4 cup olive or canola oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over strong medium heat. Add patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Warm buns in a 300-degree oven, about 5 minutes.

    Pam Anderson: Three Great Non-Beef Burger Recipes: Black Bean Burger

    Black bean burgers are a good source of protein. — Threemanycooks.com

    Black Bean Burgers With Red Onion, Guacamole and Creamy Salsa

    Makes 6 burgers

    Over time I developed a recipe for a first-rate bean burger with just two cans of drained beans — one can mashed, the other left whole. The resulting patty had the look and texture of a meaty burger. I've since discovered that as long as I sandwich the bean burger in a great bun and surround it with familiar burger toppings, I really can't tell the difference. Small white beans, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans are all good choices. Avoid larger beans like chickpeas and cannellini beans. Patties made from these larger varieties tend to fall apart during cooking.

    • 2 cans (15. 5-ounces each) black beans drained, 1 can left whole, 1 can fork-mashed
    • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3/4 cup prepared salsa, divided
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin and coarsely ground pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 2 avocadoes, mashed
    • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 6 slices red onion

    Mix beans, breadcrumbs, eggs, salsa, cilantro, cumin, pepper, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten into 4-inch patties.

    About 20 minutes before serving, heat all burners of a gas grill on high. Use a wire brush to clean grill rack, then use tongs to wipe an oil-soaked rag over it. Close lid and return to temperature. Alternatively, build a hot charcoal fire.

    Lightly brush burger tops with oil. Place burgers, oiled side down on hot rack, cover and grill until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Lightly brush tops with oil and turn. Cover and continue to grill until burgers are spotty brown on remaining side, about 3 minutes longer. Place buns on grill rack, turn off heat, and let burgers and buns continue to cook until cheese melts and buns are warm.

    Meanwhile, mix 2 mashed ripe avocados with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix remaining 1/4 cup salsa with yogurt. Spread a portion of yogurt sauce over each bun bottom. Set burger on bun bottom, top with a portion of guacamole, red onion and yogurt sauce.

    Note: This burger can also be cooked indoors by heating 1/4 cup olive or canola oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over strong medium heat. Add patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Warm buns in a 300-degree oven, about 5 minutes.

    Pam Anderson: Three Great Non-Beef Burger Recipes: Mushroom Burger

    Portobello mushroom burgers fill you up with plenty of nutrients. — Threemanycooks.com

    Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers With Mozzarella, Pesto, and Tomato

    Portobello mushrooms also make tasty, substantial (and easy!) meatless burgers. Just remember to cook them gill side down to start, so that you've cooked as much of their moisture out as possible before topping them. Otherwise you'll end up with mushroom cooking liquid pooling in the cap. 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced and divided
    • 4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 1 medium tomato, cut into 4 slices and lightly salted
    • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
    • 3 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

    About 20 minutes before serving, heat all burners of a gas grill on high. Use a wire brush to clean grill rack, then use tongs to wipe an oil-soaked rag over it. Close lid and return to temperature. Alternatively, build a hot charcoal fire.

    Meanwhile, mix oil and garlic in a small bowl; brush mushroom cap bottoms with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn mushrooms, gill side up, and repeat.

    Place mushrooms on hot grill rack, gill side down; cover and grill until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Turn mushrooms, gill side up, turn grill to low heat. Top each with a tomato slice and a portion of pesto and cheese. Place buns, cut side down, on grill rack and grill until cheese melts and bus are warm and spotty brown and warm, about 3 minutes longer.

    You may also like: Healthy hors d'oeuvres and appetizers.

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