At RiceSelect® we’re all about taking classic dishes and turning them on their heads so that you can learn new innovative ways to enjoy your favorite meals. Today it’s the turn of the humble hamburger, which has long been a mainstay of popular American cuisine. Although there is no precise consensus as to the origins of the hamburger, it’s believed to have been first developed in Hamburg, Germany. Later, it was introduced to the US by German immigrants arriving in the early 20th century. Nowadays, there’s no disputing its popularity, not only in America but all around the world. So join us as we get creative with this all-American classic and break a few rules along the way!

Get Creative with Burger Toppings

First off, let’s take a look at a very important component of any homemade burger recipe, the toppings. Finding the best toppings for burgers is a fine art in and of itself. Most burgers will count among their ingredients: lettuce, cheese, ham/bacon, sauce/condiment, and chopped vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, or pickles. Each of these layers adds its own dimension to the burger experience. Now let’s take a look at ways for you to experiment with alternative toppings.

  • Lettuce: For a lettuce alternative that adds earthy flavor to your burgers, try spinach, kale, or arugula leaves. If you want a little extra crunch in your burger, try adding cabbage, asparagus, or rainbow chard.

  • Cheese: Cheese brings a soft, gummy dimension to burgers. If you’re looking for a non/dairy way to achieve the same effect, try adding avocado slices or zucchini cheese.

  • Ham/bacon: If you like your burgers with a savory kick, how about adding Spanish serrano ham or spicy chorizo slices? For a meat-free alternative to ham, use thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms for a savory, umami flavor.

  • Burger sauce/condiment: Although ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise are the go/to sauces for most people, if you’re looking to add some flavor from left field, consider using sauces like pesto, tzatziki, sriracha, chimichurri, peri peri, or guasacaca.

  • Veggie Burger Toppings: You’ll rarely find a burger without traditional toppings like tomato or onion, and for good reason. However, if you’d like to add an extra dimension to your creations, experiment with ingredients like beetroot, sauerkraut, chopped Brussels sprouts, zucchini, or radish.

Now that we’ve looked at how a little creativity with toppings can elevate your burger game, let’s take a look at some burger recipes that break the rules.

Unique Japanese Take on Classic Beef Burger

At RiceSelect® we’re all about thinking outside the box when it comes to recipes, and this Sushi Burger recipe is the perfect example of that. By taking one simple component of the burger, i.e. the humble burger bun, and reimagining it with RiceSelect® Sushi Rice, you can create something unique and interesting, not to mention insta-worthy!

Mini Burgers with Quinoa

If you’re a fan of burgers but don’t feel up to a whole one, these Quinoa Meatball Sliders are the perfect solution. Made with savory beef bouillon cubes and RiceSelect® Tri-Color Quinoa, they offer all the flavor of a conventional burger but in bite-sized proportions. You’ll also love the added fragrance and texture that our tri-color quinoa adds to these baby burgers.

Vegan and Vegetarian Burger Recipes to Dazzle Guests

In recent years, the arrival of vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes have taken the burger world by storm. Not only have they become hugely popular among those who prefer meat-free options, but also among aficionados of the traditional beef burger! Let’s take a look now at some trending substitutes for meat and a few neat recipes that they’ve inspired.

  • Rice

  • Orzo

  • Couscous

  • Quinoa

  • Beans

  • Chickpeas

  • Lentils

  • Tofu

  • Seitan

Meat-Free Mexican Inspired Adobo Burger

Here’s one for lovers of both meat-free and Mexican cuisine. These Mexican Burgers with Adobo Sauce, made with RiceSelect Texmati® Brown Rice, offer meaty texture without the meat, not to mention a spicy chipotle adobo kick.

Grain-based Veggie Burger

Made with a delicious combination of RiceSelect® Royal Blend, black beans, garlic, cloves, and walnuts, this Grilled Veggie Burger is a great option if you’re looking to replicate traditional burger recipes. Its unique blend of ingredients offers the herbaceous flavors that lovers of gourmet burgers expect, as well as a sumptuous meat-like texture. All in all, it makes for a familiar yet original burger experience that guests will truly appreciate.

Alternative Sides to Serve with Burgers

Finally, no burger meal is complete without a complimentary side dish, usually in the form of a simple salad or a serving of french fries. However, getting creative with sides to accompany your burgers is a terrific way to elevate your meal and surprise your guests at the same time. These Orzo-stuffed Zucchini Boats are visually stunning yet deceptively easy to make and work well as a side in much the same way as a portion of french fries would. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a salad that stands out from the crowd, try this Cucumber Pearl Couscous Basil and Watermelon Salad. This refreshing, fruit-infused wonder offers the perfect counterpoint to a savory burger recipe.

Dare to Be Great in the Kitchen!

Sometimes, to be creative, you have to break some rules. Don’t be afraid to try new things in the kitchen. Experimenting is the secret to discovery. For more expert tips and culinary insight, check out our blog.