99 Ways to Enjoy Summer

Make the most of the season with our tips for eating well, staying cool, and making sure the livin' is easy

Build a Better Burger

Get inspired for summer grilling with these burger topping ideas—plus, learn how to layer burger toppings for maximum flavor!

burger ingredients toppings ideas patty vegetables cheese

Ingredient Mix-and-Match

When building a great burger, you need to start with great ingredients. Some ideas to get you started:

 

Bun

Fundamental building block of any good burger. Bonus points if you grill it first!

  • Sesame
  • Brioche
  • Sourdough
  • Ciabatta
  • English Muffin
  • Potato
  • Pretzel roll
  • Challah roll

Cheeses

Sure, you can skip cheese, but why would you want to?

  • Cheddar
  • American
  • Mozzarella
  • Monterey Jack
  • Pepper Jack
  • Feta
  • Goat Cheese
  • Blue
  • Provolone
  • Swiss
  • Brie
  • Queso Fresco (crumbly Mexican cheese)

Vegetables

Get a good crunch going to balance out texture and flavor.

  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Onion (Red, White)
  • Tomato
  • Basil
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Corn
  • Spinach
  • Peppers (jalepeno, pepperoncini, red bell)

Extras

A little extra flavor never hurt anyone!

  • Fried Egg
  • Sweet Potato 
  • Onion Rings
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Black Beans
  • Bacon
  • Pulled pork
  • Chili

Sauces

For when you're feeling saucy

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard (yellow, spicy, dijon)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pesto
  • Thousand Island (or: In N Out's secret sauce)
  • Salsa
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Ranch 
  • BBQ sauce

DIY Sauces

For when you've run out of mustard...

  • Asian Mayo: Combine 1 cup mayonnaise with 2 tsp. wasabi paste and 1 tsp. soy sauce. Mix well and chill before serving.
  • Pesto Mayo: Mix 1 cup mayonnaise with 1 Tbsp. prepared pesto and 1 tsp. grated lemon zest. Chill before serving.
  • Ranch Olé: Stir 1 tsp. minced, seeded jalapeño and 2 sliced scallions into 1 cup ranch dressing. Chill before serving.
  • The "Baconator": Mix 8 oz. cream cheese with crumbled bacon and 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire. Serve at room temperature.
  • Spicy Ketchup: Mix 1 cup ketchup with 1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish and ½ tsp. hot sauce, or more to taste. Serve chilled.
  • Buffalo Hot Sauce: Mix 1/2 cup hot sauce (like Frank's Red Hot) with 3Tbsp melted butter and 1 tsp honey. Serve at room temperature.

 

NEXT: How to put it all together (plus, some recipe ideas!)

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