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10 Ways to Elevate Your Backyard Burgers

elevate your backyard burgers, burger hacks

It is officially grilling season and now that your grill has officially been taken out of hiatus from hibernation it is time to host all of the backyard BBQS and cookouts. Whether it is Memorial Day, the First Day of Summer, Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day weekend, summer grilling is always a good idea.

Cheeseburgers and hamburgers are fan favorites for summertime and are perfect for meal prep parties or feeding the masses of summertime guests. If you are looking for an easy yet elegant way to level up that backyard burger, check out these simple and tasty topping ideas.

#1 Arugula

A flavorful alternative to lettuce, arugula is an easy elevated burger topping. (Bonus: You can even grow it in your own backyard garden). Belonging to the family of cruciferous vegetables, arugula is a peppery leafy green that adds a mildly spicy bite to burgers. It also pairs particularly well with chicken or turkey burgers.

#2 Avocado

Avocado may be often associated as a salad topper, but avocados create a creamy and delicious elevated burger topping, especially when cooking turkey burgers. Loaded with filling fiber, heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and potassium, avocados make a great alternative to traditional mayonnaise. For an added touch of summer, give your avocado some grill marks with a quick flip on the grill.

#3 Bacon

Crispy smoked bacon makes an easy elevated burger topping. Savory and sweet, bacon is super simple to make and adds a tasty additional crunch to that backyard burger. If you want to channel a classic sandwich combination, add on a layer of bacon, lettuce, and tomato for some BLT burgers.

#4 Cheese Crumbles or Slices

If you are crazy about a classic cheeseburger, opt for something more than a basic slice of cheddar cheese. How about a spoonful of something a little more fanciful like blue cheese, brie, feta, goat, gruyere, manchego, and smoked gouda?

#5 Fresh Herbs

Adding some homegrown herbs is a super easy way to add a layer of elegant flavor to your backyard BBQ. When you are mixing up your hamburger meat, add in a few sprigs of basil, rosemary, or thyme for a flavorful handcrafted hamburger.

#6 Fried Eggs

Feeling like a backyard burger with some breakfast or brunch vibes? Add a fried egg. Not only will you be adding a savory touch of flavor to your culinary creation, but you will also be adding some additional protein. Add a few slices of bacon and you have the perfect backyard breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Mimosa anyone?

#7 Infused-Sauces

Ketchup and mustard are summertime classics for hamburger toppings, but if you want something more than basic condiments, add an infusion of flavor to your favorite sauces with some fun flavors. Think of things like BBQ sauce infused with coffee, buffalo sauce, chili ketchup, honey mustard, and pesto mayonnaise. Yum!

#8 Kimchi

Give your backyard burger a spicy Korean twist with a spoonful or two of kimchi. A red pickled cabbage, kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made with fermented and salted vegetables. It also works as a tasty hotdog topping too. Kimchi can pack a spicy punch, which may heat up your taste buds, so if you are looking to cool down during summer, only use a small spoonful.

#9 Mushrooms

Shopping at the local community farmers market? Pick up some mushrooms. Mushrooms add an earthy layer of flavor to beef burgers and are an excellent option for an easy yet elevated burger topping. Besides lending fresh flavor and juiciness, mushrooms are one of the few sources of Vitamin D. You can also add them to homemade veggie burgers for even more flavor and a hearty, meaty texture.

#10 Onions

Onions are often included on top of pizzas, but they are also a delicious burger topping. Onions are naturally low in sodium and are a good source of dietary fiber, folic acid, and vitamin C. When caramelized, onions offer a natural sweetness that compliments burgers well, especially when paired with savory mushrooms.

Traditional side dishes that pair well with burgers can also make some pretty tasty elevated burger toppings, so grab a handful. Some delicious options include:

  • BBQ baked beans
  • Black beans
  • Coleslaw
  • French fries
  • Fried onion rings
  • Mac and cheese
  • Potato chips
  • Roasted corn

The next time you are looking to elevate your backyard burgers, look no further than the ingredients you already have stocked in your kitchen. Summertime burgers have never been so delicious and easy.


ashley martens

Meet The Author

Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing on her portfolio.