Trying to lose weight? Craving a burger?
Though you may feel as if you need to choose one or the other, you are in luck! Besides, a lean beef burger is filled with protein, iron, zinc, and other beneficial nutrients.
Thanks to the bistroMD chefs, we have a healthy burger to enjoy without a single ounce of guilt!
Healthy Hamburger Recipe
Yield: 4 hamburgers
Nutrition per serving (with bun and toppings): 330 calories, 10 grams (g) fat, 35 protein, 20 g net carb
• 3/4 pounds of extra-lean ground beef
• 2 tablespoons chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard
• 4 slices of reduced-fat cheddar cheese
• 4, 100% whole-wheat hamburger buns
• Lettuce and tomato slices
1. Combine the hamburger meat, chopped onion, and mustard in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together to form four, 1-inch thick patties.
2. Take the formed patties and place in a medium broil pan. Broil each patty for 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium, to well-done burgers. For more rare burgers, broil 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Tips: You can also cook on the grill if preferred. The USDA also recommends ground meat should reach 160°F.
3. A few minutes before burgers are cooked through, top each burger with a cheddar cheese slice to melt. Once melted, remove burgers from the oven.
4. Transfer each patty to a whole-wheat bun and top with favorite toppings, including lettuce and tomato.
5. Serve and enjoy!
For a completely balanced meal, pair the burger with one of the following sides:
• Side salad with mixed salad greens, fresh tomatoes, and chopped onion. Dress with a light drizzle of olive oil, a vinegar of choice, fresh lemon juice, and cracked black pepper.
• Grilled vegetable salad with herb dressing, offering a hint of smokiness and extra flavor to the season's best vegetables.
• Dill cucumber salad, which is light, refreshing, and a mere 5 net carbs per 1 cup!
• Steamed veggies, including broccoli or cauliflower. Add salt and pepper to taste.
How to Build a Healthy Burger
When it comes to building a healthy burger, consider the ingredients from top to bottom. Use these tips for the ultimate delicious and nutritious burger:
• Select a whole wheat or grain bun, as white and refined bread is stripped away from valuable nutrients such as fiber and B vitamins.
• Sauce with caution due to sugars and other unwanted ingredients often added to BBQ sauces, ketchups, and other condiments. Mustard is a great choice to pack flavor with minimal calories and added ingredients.
• Choose lean beef, turkey, chicken, or other preferred meat to maximize protein content while minimizing fat intake and overall calories.
• Pile on all the veggies (without all the calories) for a mega nutrient boost while elevating texture.
• Use low-fat choose to cut down on overall fat and calories without sacrificing gooey, cheesy goodness!
Extra Ideas for Hamburgers From Scratch
A traditional burger is often hard to bargain with. However, there are many ways to prepare and enjoy a hamburger from scratch.
Because truly, everyone has their own version of a perfect burger! But here are just a few of our favorites:
1. Breakfast Burger
Enjoy a breakfast burger for an exclusive morning meal or the notorious "brinner" (also known as breakfast for dinner).
To make, prepare an egg to preference, such as sunny side up or over easy. Top egg to a burger and serve on a toasted English muffin or bagel thin. Dress with preferred toppings.
1. Jalapeño Turkey Burger
For all the spice lovers out there, relish on this easy jalapeño turkey burger recipe! The jalapeño pepper and chipotle powder in the burger recipe adds a special kick.
Also prepared with lean ground turkey and paired with low-carb condiments, it is a nutritious and delicious burger option.
2. Pizza Burger
Two dinner favorites collide for a pizza burger!
Simply add fresh or dried parsley, basil, and oregano to the ground beef. Cook patty then add to a toasted English muffin.
Top with pizza sauce and favorite toppings such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and Italian sausage crumbles.
3. Taco Burger Wraps
Split between tacos or burgers? Why not have both! The flavors of Taco Tuesday harmonize into cohesive taco burger wrap.
To prepare, add a low-sodium taco seasoning packet to the ground meat of choice. While letting the patty cook, sauté some onions and peppers.
Add burger and filling to a whole wheat tortilla. Folding the sides of the tortilla over the burger to form a square. Place wraps in a skillet with the seam side down. Cook on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Once the wrap has finished cooking, let cool for 2 minutes. Feel free to top with favorite taco toppings, including light sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce.
4. Mediterranean Burger
Take a quick trip to flavor town with this burger inspired by Mediterranean cuisine.
Swap out ground beef for ground chicken, adding onion and garlic powder to the meat. Cook the patties then top with red peppers and feta cheese.
5. Black Bean Burger
Not all burgers have to be meats. And this homemade black bean burger is perfect for someone following a loose or strict vegetarian diet.
It is cost-friendly and ample in protein and fiber, leaving both your wallet and appetite full! Recommended optional toppings include ketchup, lettuce, and tomato.
6. Burger Sliders
Prepare burger sliders for a build your own burger night! Simply form selected ground meat into smaller patties. Use slider buns as well.
Set out various healthy burger toppings for family or guests to choose from. This may include tomato, onion, lettuce, pico de gallo, plain Greek yogurt, and any other favorite or unique selections!
7. Low-Carb Burger
A bun can certainly fit into a balanced diet. However, it can easily be omitted if watching carbohydrate content.
For a lower-carb option, swap the bun for a lettuce wrap. Also, feel free to use whichever burger patty is preferred. Use low-carb toppings and condiments, too, including reduced sugar or sugar-free ketchup and spicy mustard.