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Top This: A Burger Contest

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, April 29, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

A few months ago we had an unseasonably warm Sunday. It was the sort of spring day when I open as many windows as possible in hopes of airing out the stale winter air that inhabits the house from fall through winter.

By midafternoon, the beloved scent of barbeque wafted through the open windows, tickled my nose and ignited my appetite. With simply a hot grill, some meat and veggies, my neighbors had officially kicked off grilling season.


Read on to find out how you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card for your next homemade hamburger dinner.

One of many reasons I’m an ardent fan of grilling is because you can make a fuss-free meal and it doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Take the hamburger for example. Over the years, my husband and I have experimented with lots of different recipes in hopes of creating the best burger ever.

During this quest for perfection, we’ve tried (and enjoyed) lamb, grass-fed beef, portobello mushrooms, turkey and black bean patties. But where we’re able to truly elevate our burger is in our choice of topping. Roasted red peppers. Goat cheese. Savory and sweet relishes. Bacon. Chipotle-spiked mayo.

Surely the world’s perfect burger must include some of these. At my house, we haven’t discovered the ultimate burger topping but we have enjoyed the search and are looking forward to another grilling season of tasting our way through more potential winners.

If you too are on a quest to build a better burger, here are a few of our favorite recipes to inspire you.

Wow your dinner companions with beef burgers topped with cherry-spiked mustard, sweet grilled onions and tangy blue cheese.

Portobello and Pineapple Teriyaki Veggie Burgers offer a delicious family-friendly option without the meat.

Fans of cheese and bacon step forward and try these hearty and flavorful Gorgonzola and Smoky Bacon Burgers.

Raita, a cool cucumber and yogurt sauce, makes an ideal complement to the spicy patties in this lamb burger recipe.

The touch of finely chopped habanero pepper may be just the thing to make Turkey Burgers with Roasted Pepper and Avocado Salsa a star at your table.

Enjoy the fresh flavor of a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich straight from the grill with this burger version.

Do you shake up the standard condiment rundown? Share your best-dressed burger in the comments below by June 30, 2012 and you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card. Update: The contest is over. Thank you to all who participated.  

Let the grilling begin!




Elizabeth says ...
My new favorite is a caprese burger... toppings are fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, and basalmic glaze.
04/30/2012 12:54:03 AM CDT
Jessica Tunon says ...
Brie Roasted pepper ketchup Avocado Sprouts Organic spring mix
04/30/2012 8:57:29 AM CDT
Scott @ The Healthy Eating Guide says ...
I'm a fan of keeping it simple: grass-fed sirloin mixed with a little salt and pepper, topped with some sauteed onions and sliced avocado with a sprinkle of lime on a whole wheat bun.
04/30/2012 8:59:12 AM CDT
Reva says ...
My favorite is ohsheglows best veggie burger topped with avocado, spinach, red onion, and hummus
04/30/2012 9:07:59 AM CDT
Mary says ...
I love to grill Plant Burgers made with roasted beets, lentils, cashews, mushrooms, onion and seasoning - all blended together in the Vitamix. So easy and flavorful!
04/30/2012 9:15:34 AM CDT
Claire says ...
Brie & fried egg!! Yum!
04/30/2012 9:50:01 AM CDT
Marianna says ...
I love ground beef or turkey burgers with spinach, feta, black olives + a fresh tomato!
04/30/2012 10:08:02 AM CDT
Steph says ...
My new favorite burger is what I call the Ultimate (Vegan) Veggie Burger. Homemade veggie patty with spinach, peas, and corn, topped with vegan homemade Thousand Island dressing (Vegenaise, WFM 365 OG ketchup, and WFM 365 OG dill relish), carmelized onions, chopped Napa cabbage, sweet pickle slices, and tomatoes! Yum!
04/30/2012 10:32:20 AM CDT
Melinda says ...
My favorite is burger made of ground turkey mixed with bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and tomato paste. It comes out extra juicy and delicious this way! I slap it on a whole wheat bun with crisp fresh baby spinach and vine-ripened tomato (and sometimes BBQ sauce). The turkey burger is so juicy and delicious!
04/30/2012 12:00:28 PM CDT
Candy says ...
I always out grilled pineapple and bbq sauce on my burgers.
04/30/2012 12:51:03 PM CDT
Ana Chiu says ...
Hawaiian style - grass fed burger with a runny fried egg and gravy on top.
04/30/2012 1:53:27 PM CDT
Samantha says ...
a little whiskey steak sauce on the bottom of a kaiser or potato roll, grass-fed beef patty, spanish onion confit with thompson farm bacon crumbles, melted blue cheese and bok choy chiffonade. Wowza!
04/30/2012 2:01:48 PM CDT
Faith says ...
My family's fav are the over-the-top turkey burgers I make! I mix both feta and cheddar cheese in the meat along with oregano, basil, salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, chives and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then I top it with white American cheese (pepper jack if I'm feeling spicy) and chipotle mayonnaise. Delish!
04/30/2012 5:26:50 PM CDT
Julie {BananasForBourbon} says ...
My favorite burger toppings are roasted poblano peppers, avocado, and pepperjack cheese. Preferably over bison/wild boar burgers on a sweet potato roll. That's how I do it!
04/30/2012 5:36:03 PM CDT
Amy D. says ...
Mine is not terribly creative, but my favorite vegan burger has the works! My go-to toppings are lots of ripe tomatoes, sweet fresh onions, crunchy lettuce (romaine), mashed avocado (spiked with lemon juice), toasted sesame seeds, and spicy mustard on top of a grilled veggie burger - in a seeded whole grain bun. Whew! :)
04/30/2012 8:51:30 PM CDT
Erich says ...
Patties made with a few different types of ground beef (can even add bison) and topped with pimento cheese and a little sweet slaw. Looking forward to trying it with homemade kaiser rolls.
05/01/2012 11:03:41 AM CDT
JennyM says ...
Gorgonzola and caramelized onions! Or avocado and garlic Veganaise...so many options to top a good homemade grass-fed beef burger or wild Alaskan salmon burger.
05/01/2012 12:38:21 PM CDT
Jan Mari says ...
We used to drive 82 miles for Cesar Burgers in Oklahoma City. I live in Illinois now and I make my own. Thick juicy grass fed beef, grilled of course, topped with shredded romaine lettuce and my mother's Cesar Salad dressing, and lots of Parmesan cheese on a toasted bun. YUM, I think that will be on the menu this week.
05/01/2012 3:23:13 PM CDT
L says ...
I love jalapeno pickle slices and avocado on my burger.
05/01/2012 6:56:46 PM CDT
Jerri Grern says ...
I love my veggie burgers w/provolone, tomato pesto, & carmelized onions and baby bellas. My hubs likes real meat with cheddar, BBQ sauce & bacon. See pics here - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2011/02/two-burgers-two-ways.html?m=0
05/01/2012 7:16:42 PM CDT
denise oreilly says ...
Top a classic grilled beef burger with Grilled mt. vikos halloumi, carmelized onions and fig jam.
05/01/2012 7:46:31 PM CDT
Renee says ...
My family's favorite burger is ground turkey, egg white, bread crumb, and Greek oregano. Extra juicy and awesome taste!! Optional toppings: raw spinach and mustard, and red onion.
05/01/2012 8:01:03 PM CDT
Christine says ...
smoked gouda on top!
05/01/2012 8:12:48 PM CDT
kristen says ...
I'm a simple girl. My favorite is lamb burgers. We raised some of our own lambs last year. Take the ground lamb (add ground beef for some moisture) s&p. Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion. I put mayo, but my family says thats gross! They use ketchup. :)
05/01/2012 8:19:34 PM CDT
Mark D says ...
Fresh ground chuck mixed with crumbled applewood smoked beacon, grated sharp cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Form into generous sized patties, prepare medium on a hot direct grill and serve on a toasted bun with beer battered onion rings.
05/01/2012 8:59:44 PM CDT