3 Salad-Inspired Alternatives to Summer Burgers

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance for those who have served and for those who never made it home, but it also marks a time of togetherness for food, family and friends. Between grabbing microbrews with your old college friends and hitting up barbecue after barbecue, you’ll probably have your fair share of cookout meals. I love burgers as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s great to switch up your ingredients and put a different spin on the classic barbecue dish. 

These burger spinoffs are great alternatives because they feature fresh ingredients and are light too (for those who are watching their figure like I am!).

Grilled Turkey Caprese Sandwich

inspired by a caprese salad

Lean turkey cutlets 
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil leaves, stems removed
Fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced

Heat up your grill or set your stovetop to medium heat if using a grill pan. Season your turkey cutlets (I used a combination of parsley, salt, pepper and garlic salt) and arrange on your grill an inch apart. Cook for four to five minutes. Flip the cutlets and cook for another four to five minutes. On the other side of the grill, lightly toast the buns for about two minutes or until grill marks appear. Layer the basil and mozzarella cheese, then add turkey cutlets and top with tomatoes. Serve sandwiches and enjoy!
Tip: During the last few minutes of grilling, add the mozzarella cheese on top of the turkey for delicious melted cheese. 

Chicken Caesar Sliders 

inspired by a chicken Caesar salad

2-4 chicken breasts, cooked in boiling water then shredded
1/2 cup to 1 cup Caesar salad dressing
3/4 cup shredded broccoli slaw
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Leafy romaine lettuce for garnish

To prepare the chicken, bring 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Add chicken breasts and cook with lid on for 50 minutes. Drain contents of pot and remove chicken, place in large bowl and shred into fine pieces. Fold in Ceasar dressing, shredded broccoli, and Parmesan cheese. Mix ingredients until well combined and coated with dressing. Add leafy romaine to bun, top with a large spoonful of chicken Caesar filling and top with extra cheese and bun. Serve and enjoy!
Tip: These can be served warm or cold. 

Black Bean and Quinoa Burger

inspired by a black bean and quinoa mexi-salad

1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup breadcrumbs/panko crumbs
1/4 cup minced bell peppers (I used a mixture of yellow and red peppers)
1/3 cup corn
2 tablespoons minced onions
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
olive oil
condiments, fresh lettuce and onions for garnish

Cook quinoa according to package directions. While quinoa is cooking, mash the black beans in a large bowl, leaving a few beans mostly intact. Once quinoa has finished cooking, add it to the beans and mix. Next, fold in the breadcrumbs, peppers, corn, onions, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and egg. Combine the mixture thoroughly with a large spoon or with your hands. Heat grill or grill pan, then form patties. Place patties and cook for 4-5 minutes each side, if using grill. If using a grill pan, heat the pan with olive oil and cook patties for three to five minutes each side. Serve with buns, garnish and enjoy. 
Tip: Remember, these are black bean burgers and they will come out a little soft—they don’t cook the same way beef burgers do!