When the weather heats up, nothing pairs better with an afternoon around the pool or out on the lawn than the all-American summer favorite—the burger! But a burger doesn’t always have to mean the same thing, so don’t be afraid to mix things up. From appetizers to desserts, burgers can come in many different shapes and sizes. These creative burger recipes are sure to add sizzle to your summer.
A twist on the familiar can be just what your summer menu needs. Open-Face Baked Burgers are just a lightened-up version of your favorite beef burgers, leaving you satisfied but not stuffed. Using sirloin lessens the heart-unhealthy fat, and halving the bread leaves you with less carbs and more protein bang for your buck. If garlic isn’t your thing you can always leave it out, but garlic in foods adds more than flavor; it’s high in antioxidant content, helping to boost your immune system and ease inflammation.
If you are looking for a crave-worthy, crowd-pleasing appetizer, look no further than my Hamburger Dip. With only four ingredients, even the least experienced cook can whip up this hearty appetizer in minutes. Serve with chips, or for a low-carb option, serve with cut veggies like cucumber rounds and bell peppers. I love to serve this dip in a slow cooker to keep it warm as guests return for seconds, thirds and fourths. Best of all, this dip is easy to double or triple for a crowd.
For a show-stopping dessert, the Burger Cake is sure to get oohs and aahs! This recipe uses easy cake mixes, so don’t let the length of the instructions intimidate you. The yellow cake layer represents the bun, the brownie layer serves as the burger, and the yellow whipped topping makes a perfect mustard lookalike. Kiwi becomes the lettuce and pickles, while strawberries stand in for tomatoes, making this dessert a great mix of sweet treats and summertime fresh fruit.
Classic is good, but variety is better. These trim and terrific burgers are healthy, easy and so delicious!
Holly Clegg is a Louisiana chef, healthy cooking expert and author of the best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbooks, which have sold more than 1 million copies. For Holly’s recipes and books, visit hollyclegg.com or thehealthycookingblog.com.
This is the corrected version of the recipe that appeared in the June 2015 print issue of inRegister.
Yellow Cake Layer:
1 (18.25-oz.) package yellow cake mix
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1/3 cups water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare Yellow Cake Layer, coat a 9-in. round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.In large mixing bowl, beat together cake mix, egg whites, egg, oil and water until well mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan. (You’ll need only one yellow layer for this recipe; save remaining batter for another use like cupcakes). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool. To assemble, when cake has cooled, split in half horizontally (into two 9-in. rounds) with long, serrated knife. Place bottom half on serving plate; set other half aside.
Topping and Assembly:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp. skim milk
1 (9-in.) round Brownie Layer (recipe follows)
1 envelope whipped topping mix
1/2 cup cold milk
1 tsp. yellow food coloring
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
4 kiwis, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. poppy seeds
In small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to form spreading consistency. Spread half of mixture on top of yellow cake layer. Top with cooled Brownie Layer. In mixing bowl, beat together whipped topping mix, cold milk, yellow food coloring until topping is very thick and forms peaks. Spread remaining half of confectioners’ sugar mixture on top of brownie layer to help the next layer of fruit stay in place. Cover with sliced strawberries and kiwis. Top with whipped topping mixture, making sure that fruit is showing on all sides. Carefully place remaining half of yellow cake layer on top of fruit and whipped topping. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 20 servings.
1 (18.25-oz.) package brownie mix
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. For Brownie Layer, coat a 9-in. round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.In large mixing bowl, beat together brownie mix, oil, water and eggs until well mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely before using.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 331 | Protein 4g | Carbohydrates 53g | Fat 12g | Calories from fat 32% | Saturated fat 3g | Dietary fiber 1g | Cholesterol 37mg | Sodium 361mg | Dietary exchanges:
3 other carbohydrate, 2 fat
Open-Face Baked Burgers
4 (5- to 6-inch) small sub rolls, split in half lengthwise
3⁄4 cup cornflakes, crushed
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1⁄3 cup skim milk
5 tablespoons ketchup, divided
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil. Bake rolls, cut side up, on baking pan until golden and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. In a bowl, combine cornflakes, onion, garlic, milk, 3 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, egg white, salt and pepper. Add meat and mix gently until combined. Top toasted rolls evenly with 1⁄3 cup meat mixture, spreading meat to edges of rolls. Brush tops with remaining ketchup. Bake until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Makes 8 burgers.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 229 | Calories from fat 25% | Fat 7g | Saturated fat 3g | Cholesterol 39mg | Sodium 437mg | Carbohydrates 23g | Dietary fiber 1g | Sugars 6g | Protein 20g | Dietary exchanges: 1 1⁄2 starch, 2 1⁄2 lean meat
1 pound ground sirloin
1⁄2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 (16-ounce) jar salsa
1 (8-ounce) package shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or Mexican-blend cheese
In a nonstick pot, cook meat and mushrooms over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until meat is well-browned. Drain any excess fat. Add salsa and cheese, stirring over medium heat until cheese is melted. Makes 20 (1⁄4-cup) servings.