Happy summer grilling season! It's the time of the year when everyone is pulling our their charcoal, shucking corn on their porch, and firing some delicious eats. One of the most iconic summer grilling staples is the burger! My favorite part about burgers is how versatile they are. Although many people opt for a beef patty, you can also go for a chicken or a turkey burger. If you're plant-based (like me), you can enjoy a meat alternative (my favorite is The Meatless Farm Co., but you can also choose from other brands like Beyond and Impossible Meats) or a bean burger. Here is a good recipe for a black-bean burger using walnuts and rice. If you're allergic to nuts, you can try this recipe made with mushrooms and flax seed

Burgers don't have to be boring! Here are some creative and fun topping ideas for your burgers, many of which can be adapted to be fully plant-based or gluten-free. 

Southwestern Burger

Caramelize some onions in a fry pan with cumin, cayenne, and coriander. Layer with a smear of guacamole, tomato, and lettuce. Top your burger with melty cheddar cheese and jalapeños! 

Breakfast Burger

Bacon, poached eggs, and a hash-brown patty will give you the best of breakfast with some BBQ infusion! 

Korean BBQ Burger

The star of this burger? Kimchi slaw paired with a delicious Korean BBQ sauce. Is your mouth watering just yet? 

The Vermonster

You might be wondering why anyone would ever dare put apples on a burger, but there's a tasty reason why! Caramelize some granny smith apples on the stove with a little bit of cinnamon. Top your burger with the apples, cheddar, and bacon. And while you're at it, use a cooking brush to paint on a layer of maple syrup on your burger bun before you sear it. 

The Caprese Burger

This burger has the potential to be very light and summery- especially when paired with a chicken or turkey patty! Layer fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and a sprinkle of basil on this burger. I recommend using ciabatta instead of a burger bun; it's fresh and has a nice crunch! 

Thai Burger

The Thai burger contains a medley of peanut butter, fresh cabbage slaw, cilantro, ginger, and fish sauce. It's a spicy addition to your summer grilling portfolio! 

Truffle Oil, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Burger

This recipe will make you feel like you're eating at a fine dining... burger restaurant? If you've never tried truffle oil, a little goes a long way. Make sure to be mindful of how much you add to the recipe to avoid packing on excess calories and without drowning out the flavor of the burger's other delicious components. 

Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Burger

For a taste of the tropics, check out this recipe! You can add traditional burger toppings on top of these wrapped-patties to maximize your crunch factor. Another crunchy tip? Try adding kettle chips; you won't regret it! 

Buffalo and Blue Cheese Burger

If you love buffalo wings, you'll love this recipe for buffalo and blue cheese burgers! They can be made super spicy or mild based on your liking. 

Thanksgiving Burger

The best part about Thanksgiving is the leftovers, so why not celebrate early with this burger recipe? It includes cranberry sauce, a stuffing "hash-brown," and tons of nostalgic flavors.