Ever had a straight up plain Burger? No, us neither, and there’s a reason for that. There are so many combinations and ideas that it seems a shame not try all of them at one point or another. We can’t promise to tell you everything that tastes great as a burger topper, but today we are going to give you 17 toppings for burgers that will go down a storm. Some are a little traditional and some are a little more offbeat.
Some of these might just be the most popular burger toppings you should consider having on your next burger.
Burger Toppings Ideas
Ok, maybe a bit obvious, but we figured we would start simple before blowing your mind. That said cheese doesn’t have to be boring. Ok you could go with American cheese slices and be completely conventional, but with a little thought you could actually go on a worldwide taste adventure.
What do we mean?
Why not try something that is a little stronger, we are thinking blue cheese. If you want to go all European, try a little Brie or Emmental. These cheeses are both quite distinct in flavor and as an added bonus tend to really go all gooey and delicious when they are subjected to heat.
2. Fried eggs
It’s no secret that burgers taste great with lashings of sauce. But why not go subtle and rich all at the same time with something more natural? A fried egg is really simple to cook. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it so that the yolk remains all runny. As you bite through the burger, you’ll be eagerly anticipating that oozy yellow goodness, extra points awarded if you can eat the entire thing without it jettisoning itself onto items of clothing or down your hand.
Ah Avocado, nature’s butter. The popularity of avocado has exploded in recent years. The nice thing about avocado is that it is a natural fat. This means it has a silky-smooth consistency, but is also quite good for you, as it is bursting with antioxidants and vitamins. Avocado works well as a flavor carrier too. It is relatively neutral in taste so won’t overpower anything else you would like to add at the same time.
Bacon burgers aren’t exactly a new invention but they add a deeper level of flavor and texture to your burger. For a start bacon is quite salty, and salt is a flavor enhancer. Depending on what bacon you use you may find other hints of hidden taste that perfectly compliment some grilled beef. You may detect undertones of sweetness and smoke. For a really luxurious treat, give your bacon a brush with maple syrup or honey before grilling. Watch it like a hawk and when it is just the right side of crisp, remove from the grill for 5 minutes to cool and harden up.
If chili works on a chili dog, then the same principle will apply to a burger. Ok it’s beef on beef. So what? chili encompasses lots of ingredients that work with burgers all on their own. Tomato, onions, chili. What’s not to love? This is one of the few times where it may be worth eating your burger with a knife and fork otherwise it’s going to get messy.
Ok raw white chopped onions might work, but only sparingly. For something slightly more refined try red onions for a milder flavor. If you want to make them super sweet and delicious finely slice half a red onion, add a pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar, and leave to marinate for around 15 minutes. When you return, they will have gone pink in colour, soft in texture and taken on a subtle sweetness.
For a different take, fried onions are an absolute joy. Chop one white onion into thin rings and fry in enough oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. For an extra crispy finish, add a pinch of salt at the start of the cooking process. This will cause the onions to release their moisture, so they fry crispy instead of steaming. Serve when they are a deep brown and look like they are in danger of burning.
This is a solid favorite, but it is loathed by some people. Pickles are actually baby zucchini that have been submerged in vinegar until they taste of little else. It is this acidity that makes them so special. Burgers can be a little greasy and the acidic element works as a beautiful and slightly crunchy counterpoint.
8. Chili peppers
So, this might not be for the faint of heart. Try it, even if it’s only once. The heat from chili’s can actually accentuate flavors. Jalapenos work well with beef tacos and chili, so why wouldn’t it work with beef burgers?
9. French Fries
You could view this as a value meal all in one hand. Don’t worry you didn’t include the drink on your burger, and we aren’t judging. French fries are actually super nice when combined with their meaty counterpart. They add a lot of texture and crunch. If combined with other sauces then they tend to soak up all the flavor too. Ideal if you want to stop troublesome drips.
Vegetables and mayonnaise with a little touch of acidic bite. If you use low fat mayo, coleslaw can actually be pretty good for you. The main ingredient is in fact white cabbage which is packed with vitamins and iron. Everyone knows that lettuce is good on burger, yet it is actually pretty tasteless. Coleslaw on the other hand gives you that crunch, whilst also providing a slightly stronger flavor.
If you’ve ever added a dollop of pesto to plain old pasta, you’ll already know that it can transform a dish. Well what works for pasta will also work for a juicy burger. Pesto is made from lots of tasty ingredients, which is handy for such a small serving. You’ll find notes of Basil, pine nuts, garlic, and cheese.
If regular pesto is not enough to set your burger senses tingling, give red pesto a try. It is similar but also incorporates crushed sun-dried tomatoes, giving a slightly sharp tang to your burger.
Ok it might seem obvious, but the world is your oyster when it comes to sauces. Did you know burger sauce is actually just ketchup, mayonnaise and capers mixed together? If plain old burger sauce isn’t enough to get your juices flowing feel free to play jazz. You could go with tabasco, mustards (of which there are hundreds), tartare sauce, thousand island dressing, blue cheese, ranch… We could go on but you get the idea. If it squeezes out of a bottle and tastes good, it should work with a burger.
Ok they can be slippery little devils but a handful of chopped and fried mushrooms are divine. They act like little sponges and tend to soak up any loose flavors that happen to be kicking around. A cool idea if you are going low carb is to sandwich your burger between two large fried mushroom cups. If you want to make a pairing made in heaven try some mushrooms fried in butter with a pinch of fennel seeds and a squeeze of lemon juice. When combined with the yolk of a fried egg this is truly the food of the gods.
Ok we’ll be honest it was mushrooms that inspired this one. This is a rare treat, but there isn’t a savory food on the planet that isn’t made better by a few shavings of truffles. If you are on a budget or can’t find any then fear not, you can get a similar taste by using truffle oil. The best way to incorporate this flavor is to fry your burger in it, or if you are grilling give it a little brush with this fragrant oil.
15. Peanut Butter and Jelly
No wait, bear with us. This is seriously good! Don’t view it as weird! We’ve all enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If it makes you feel better think of it as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a burger added. Peanut butter is a little salty which compliments grilled meat rather well. Fruit jellies with meat is not a new concept either. Lamb and mint, Turkey and cranberry, Duck with plum sauce? See it’s not that strange after all?
If you want a bit of crunch but don’t want all the mess of regular salad then a slice of tomato makes for a great texture. The best bit is that one tomato goes a long way where burgers are involved, just pick a large one such as a beef steak tomato. Slice it thinly and be sure to scrape away the seeds as they can tend to make your burger a little slippery and shoot out at odd angles.
17. Garlic Butter
Ok so you won’t have anyone kissing you afterwards but you’ll have a juicy burger dripping with fragrant butter in your hand, so who cares? Garlic butter is really easy to make. Just add one clove of minced garlic for every 4 tablespoons of butter to a pan. Fry gently until the garlic is just soft and then move to a container to turn solid. It lasts for a long time and can be spread onto your burger buns or used for quick basting on the grill.
Burgers can actually be pretty good on their own if you cook them right, but why waste a good opportunity to impart some flavor. If you liked our 17 toppings for burgers why not freestyle and mix and match until you find your own winning combo? If you have one already, why not tell us about it in the comments below?