Our Definitive Healthy-Burger List

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Try as we might to limit our caloric intake during the warm-weather months, there’s no getting around it: Summer feels incomplete if you don’t have a hearty burger in hand from time to time. But what if we told you there was a burger that is just as satisfying as the one you’ve had at your favorite barbecue or fast-food joint but won’t sabotage your summer health goals? Luckily, there is. Not just one, in fact, but 10 — in various permutations of smoky, grilled perfection. You aren’t dreaming. From savory beef and poultry burgers to hearty fish and vegetable patties, here’s a rundown of our favorites that cater to various tastes, dietary restrictions and nutritional goals.

Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers
If you think you need to skip beef entirely in order to reduce calories, think again. Food Network Kitchen’s Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers take the guilt out of this summertime staple and weigh in at just under 400 calories per serving — roughly half of what you could expect from most fast-food options.

Chicken Burgers
These golden chicken burgers are unbelievably juicy but surprisingly low in fat. To keep the calorie count low, use ground white chicken meat and low-fat milk when preparing the burger patties.

Asian Chicken Burgers
Lighten up these burgers by cutting back on the meat and adding some texture with bulgur. Add great Asian flavors with a quick pickling of cucumbers and onions, plus a spicy yogurt sauce to tie everything together.

Turkey Burgers
“I always like to offer a turkey burger at my outdoor barbecue for friends who no longer eat red meat,” says Bobby Flay. “Luckily poultry is a perfect canvas for many big flavors, and this combination of tart goat cheese, sweet Meyer lemon-honey mustard and peppery arugula makes for one outstanding burger.”

Stuffed Turkey Burgers
The trick to stuffing Ellie Krieger’s burgers perfectly with gooey cheese is to start by making eight half patties. After putting cheese on half the burgers, stack another patty on top of each and seal around the edges. Voila!

Asian Turkey Burgers
Lighten up these burgers by cutting back on the meat and adding some texture with bulgur. Add great Asian flavors with a quick pickling of cucumbers and onions, plus a spicy yogurt sauce to tie everything together.

Perfect Salmon Burgers
“Perfect” is a tough name to live up to, but this recipe delivers on its promise. The secret? Hand-formed patties made with a combination of pureed salmon, which includes mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cayenne, and small-diced pieces of center-cut salmon. Incorporating the hearty pieces of diced fish will ensure that the burgers retain the soft, buttery texture of a salmon fillet.

Vegan Lentil Burgers
These burgers are packed with flavor, fiber and protein while still being low in fat. We love them grilled, but you can also pan-fry them: Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and fry patties until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. (Remember: The extra oil will alter the calorie and fat totals.)

Edamame Veggie Burger
Edamame are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in fiber and protein but low in fat and cholesterol, and they lend a hearty texture and a buttery flavor to any meal. The best part of this recipe is the contrast between the melt-in-your-mouth center and the crisp, brown crust, reminiscent of falafel, which you can achieve by cooking the burgers under the broiler.

Healthy Chili Bean and Bulgur Burgers
Don’t let these veggie burgers fool you: They may look like fried-chicken sandwiches, but they’re actually packed with plant protein and fiber — and flavor! We love the simple broiler method for cooking the patties. A light coating of cooking spray makes the outside come out nice and crunchy.

For more mouthwatering burgers, check out these recipes from our friends:

Feed Me Phoebe: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with Sriracha Aioli (Vegetarian Paleo)
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Six Hamburger Recipes To Get You Through Summer (Two Are Vegetarian!)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Stuffed Cheeseburgers
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Beet and Oats Vegan Burger
Creative Culinary: Beef Burger with Homemade Guinness Irish Stout Ketchup
Taste with the Eyes: Open-Faced Swiss Burger with Flower Salad
FN Dish: 7 Surprising Ways to Better Your Burger Game This Summer

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