If you’re tired of tomato, we got you.
Let’s say you’re at your first (or fifth) BBQ of the summer and you’re in charge of the burgers. And let’s say you want to add something a little different to your perfectly grilled grass-fed beef patties and crisply toasted bun; something that stands out from the typical lettuce leaf and tomato slice. We’ve got you covered.
These new takes on burger toppings will add flavor, texture, and some nutritious gusto to the party and the palate—from a classic side dish turned condiment to a hearty, crunchy (and more colorful) mix of veggies. You can find them all at ALDI, the grocery store known for its high-quality food and consistently low prices. Bonus: order online for delivery or curbside pickup for added convenience.
So, smash the standard. Give rest to the routine. Break the topping hegemony with eight alternatives that will add a new zest to your hamburgers all season long.
This cabbage-laden, summertime staple usually sits next to burgers and hot dogs, but think about mixing up your plate and putting it on top of that patty. Why? “Cabbage is one of the most underrated vegetables,” says Jennifer Maeng, a clinical and culinary registered dietitian and the founder of Chelsea Nutrition. “It’s packed with vitamin C, K, B, fiber and a powerful antioxidant polyphenol. It adds a nice crunchy texture to your burger that’s beneficial for your gut health and reduces inflammation.”
Swap tomatoes for some colorful peppers—sautéed in advance or, for something crunchier, sliced raw. In addition to adding some zing to your next outdoor eating extravaganza, “peppers—especially red, orange and yellow—are all high in vitamin A, B, C, and potassium,” says Jennifer Maeng. “Potassium is important for fluid balance so when you feel a little bloated, try to get more potassium from vegetables like peppers.
Not a fan of peppers? Peep the wide selection of fresh and organic produce at ALDI for a more satisfying swap.
“This is a great creamy topping,” says registered dietician Matthew Kadey. And he’s right: including a dollop of guacamole gives a silky texture and a slight kick to the palate that traditional burger toppings could never do. And, as Kadey adds, “It provides a good dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber.”
Sauerkraut and sausages may be consummate companions in Central Europe, but it’s time to move beyond the beer garden and onto the hamburger patty. The fermented cabbage adds a refreshing mix of salt and sour (and crunch) to your bite. Sauerkraut even helps with digestion.
A mixture of pine nuts, basil, parmesan, and olive oil, pesto is a surprisingly perfect partner for any ground beef patty. “It lends a fresh herby flavor to burgers along with antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory compounds in olive oil,” says Kadey.”
It’s of the most versatile vegetables, but have you tried pairing it with a beef patty? (While you’re at it, consider adding in some shredded kale too for some added crunch and health benefits. “Iceberg lettuce may add crunch but not much nutritional value,” says Maeng. “Instead, the combination of kale and zucchini will give you lots of vitamin A, which is important for normal vision, immune function and reproduction.”
If you’re going to add cheese to your burger—and yes, you should—then eschew the usual American cheese for something better and bolder. Stilton is a creamy blue cheese with a nutty, semi-sweet aftertaste that will pair well with the umami flavorings of a juicy burger. (ALDI has more, bold seasonal flavors available where this came from—all summer long.)
This Greek cucumber-spiked yogurt dip is an unlikely and underused topping for burgers. “It can freshen up burgers and delivers an extra protein bump,” says Kadey. And while you’re adding a spoonful to your patty, consider crumbling on some feta cheese as well, just to go the full Greek.