Create: Beyond Beef

Grilled Chicken Tequila Burgers
Photography by Cindy Momchilov :: Styled by Muriel H. Wilkins


Have you been thinking about alternatives to burgers and fries? While you’re probably familiar with turkey burgers, you may not know that ground chicken, lamb, tuna and salmon also make great burgers. Have you made your own chickpea or black bean burgers? There is a whole world of options out there. The following recipes, as well as several we’re featuring online at, will help you explore options to beef.

Grilled Chicken Tequila Burgers


1 pound ground chicken breast
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup panko breadcrumbs or ¼ cup uncooked oats
2 tablespoons tequila
1 teaspoon lime zest
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon soy sauce
sliced bell peppers
sliced onion
5 hamburger buns
cilantro-lime mayonnaise


Prepare grill to 350 to 400 degrees. Pulse ground chicken, cilantro, garlic and jalapeño pepper in a food processor three or four times, until combined. Add panko or oats, tequila, lime zest, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Pulse to combine. Shape into five patties. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side, covered with grill lid, until thickest portion registers 165 degrees on meat thermometer. Remove from grill; keep warm. Reduce grill temperature to 300 to 350 degrees. Grill peppers and onion 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Serve burgers, peppers and onions on buns with cilantro-lime mayonnaise.

Serves 5.

Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise


¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice


Stir together all ingredients.

From Southern Living

Sesame Tuna Burgers with Zucchini Noodles

Sesame Tuna Burgers with Zucchini Noodles

Sesame Tuna Burgers with Zucchini Noodles


¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons hulled sesame seeds, black and golden, divided
4 medium zucchini, about 2 pounds
1 pound well-chilled, sushi-grade tuna steak
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided


Toast sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove seeds from skillet, transfer to a pie plate; cool completely. Measure out 2 teaspoons and reserve separately in a small bowl.

Prepare zucchini noodles: Using a vegetable peeler or slicer, cut the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons or “noodles.” Gently toss with ¼ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and set aside while you prepare the burgers. The zucchini will wilt. 

Form burgers: Finely chop tuna with a large, wet knife. Stir together soy sauce, sesame oil, ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Add tuna. Divide tuna mixture into four portions. Pack 1 portion into a ½-cup dry measuring cup, then invert onto the sesame seeds in the pie plate. Gently press tuna to form a patty, then coat completely with seeds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat to form four patties. Chill, covered in plastic wrap, until ready to cook. Discard any remaining sesame seeds. 

Cook and assemble dish: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, cook the burgers, turning once, about 3 minutes total for medium-rare tuna. Seeds should be golden brown. Separately, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a second heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Rinse the zucchini noodles; pat off excess water. Sauté until moisture evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and remove from the heat. To serve, divide the zucchini between four plates and top with the burgers. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4.

Greek Sliders with Tzatziki Sauce


1 pound ground lamb
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
pinch each of salt and pepper
slider buns, optional


Combine all ingredients. Grill. Serve with Tzatziki Sauce and salad composed of: arugula, lemon juice, oil, feta cheese and Kalamata olives.

Makes 8 slider-sized burgers.

Tzatziki Sauce


1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 cup English cucumber, grated
1 teaspoon white vinegar
salt to taste


Combine all ingredients. Serve with Greek sliders and cucumber sticks.

Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Mayo Sauce


1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed
1 cup baby carrots, shredded
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons canola mayo
2 to 4 teaspoons wasabi paste, to taste
2 teaspoons sweet rice vinegar, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil, to taste
sautéed Napa cabbage or bok choy, to serve


Slice the salmon into large chunks, and place in a food processor. Pulse carefully, two or three times, just enough to mince the salmon — don’t turn it to mush. Turn into a large glass bowl; combine with carrots, ginger, egg, breadcrumbs and salt. Form mixture into four large or six medium patties, compacting the mixture as much as practical. Put onto a plate, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before grilling.

To make the sauce, combine mayo, wasabi paste, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Taste; adjust ingredients to your preference. Grill burgers over a hot fire 3 to 5 minutes per side, with the grill rack set as high as possible. Garnish with the sauce and serve with sautéed Napa cabbage and/or bok choy.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Chickpea Cakes with Fresh Mango Salsa

Technically these are not burgers; however, they are an excellent complement to any meal.


1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg yolk
1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
½ cup carrots, grated
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried, to serve
sriracha sauce, to serve


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush a little oil over the foil to keep the cakes from sticking.

Put the first seven ingredients for the cakes into a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Process until just smooth. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to scoop onto the baking sheet, then use a fork to flatten and form a patty. Brush the tops with oil. Bake for 8 minutes, turn over and bake for 8 minutes more, until golden and crispy. To serve, put each patty onto a lettuce leaf and top with a spoon of the mango salsa. Drizzle with sriracha.

Makes 10 small cakes.

Mango Salsa


1 ripe mango
¼ teaspoon minced shallot
½ red bell pepper, minced
2 tablespoons slivered cilantro, basil or mint
½ teaspoon ground cumin
freshly squeezed lime juice, ½ lime
salt to taste


Put all the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir.

Adapted from Eat Fresh Food by Rozanne Gold

Black Bean Cakes with Avocado Corn Salad


1 can black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 tablespoons canola mayo
1/3 cup coarse breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoon cumin, more to taste
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, more to taste
¼ cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided


Put ½ can beans in a food processor with mayo, breadcrumbs, cumin, oregano, cilantro/parsley and cayenne until a coarse puree forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining beans. Taste; adjust seasonings.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Scoop mixture with spoon or ice cream scoop onto skillet and flatten into cake with a fork. Brush tops with remaining oil. Cook cakes until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 to 7 minutes total. Serve with butter lettuce salad.

Makes 6 medium-sized patties.

Butter Lettuce Salad


1 head butter lettuce
1 avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt to taste
pepper to taste
fresh corn cut from the cob, 2 ears


Toss all ingredients and serve.

Makes about 9 servings.

Adapted from

Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Chevre


1 pound lean ground turkey
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
6 teaspoons soft fresh chevre (goat cheese)
6 whole wheat buns


Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, lemon peel, thyme, salt and pepper in large bowl.  Mix well. Divide turkey mixture into six equal portions. Form one portion into two patties. Place one teaspoon of goat cheese atop one turkey patty; place second patty atop cheese. Seal patties at edges to enclose cheese. Repeat with remaining five portions (can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate).

Prepare grill. Heat to medium-high heat. Grill burgers until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Grill hamburger buns, cut side down, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.

Makes 6.

Submitted by Helen Anaya, Stockton, New Jersey

tagged in Create, recipes

1 Comment

  1. by Kelly on September 2, 2015  6:27 pm

    Daughter Jordan (Butler) has just shared your website with me. These recipes look delicious and I'll definitely be trying a few. Thanks for the great work you do to bring clean food to kids. I may be your newest fan. kab

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