General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

When you have a taste for a good cheeseburger, do you cook an ultimate alternative that makes beef take a back seat?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7804points) April 4th, 2009

i don’t do too much beef. for at least 20 years, my diet did not include any red meat. i got a whiff of a burger on the grill one day and had to just try a piece. OMG! never looked back!

but what recipes do you have that are really good alternatives to the classic burger?

are you grilling right now? what is the non-red meat hamburger recipe that makes them ask for more?

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27 Answers

Judi's avatar

replacing the beef with a tenderized chicken breast is still pretty good, but my downfall is the bread, so I haven’t had a good burger for 4+ years.

charliecompany34's avatar

@judi: i concur. chicken breast panini with pesto rub is so good!

funkdaddy's avatar

If I don’t have beef around, or the facilities to grill it right, a BLT comes close (although it’s no less meat based)...

I’ve had vegetarian friends who swear hearty mushrooms and a good brown sauce on a bun are a good thing, and when I waited tables this was ordered more than once despite not being on the menu.

Ground turkey burgers can be really good, buffalo and ostrich come closer in terms of “beefiness” but I think still fall under red meat… they are pretty lean, if that’s a consideration.

charliecompany34's avatar

try salmon croquette burger or fresh tuna filet with tarragon. grill it!

charliecompany34's avatar

right now i am grilling a ground chicken burger with spinach, onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper, and basil olive oil.

laureth's avatar

If you put cheese on it and a use a squishy bun, Boca Burgers are a pretty good substitute for a pre-fab patty (like fast food would use). They wouldn’t measure up by their naked selves, and they don’t taste like homemade, but they’re pretty good for being fakes.

ru2bz46's avatar

Ground beaver makes a great burger, as does ground lamb. Of course, they are both red meat. It’s so hard to get away from that. I have used ground turkey, but the taste just isn’t there, so I mix it with beef. 50/50 does the trick quite well.

Judi's avatar

ground turkey is usually full of skin and fat. Might as well eat beef as far as I’m concerned.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Judi I like to kill and process my own meat, so I’m going from that perspective, and my ground turkey is lean, delicious, and healthy. Yeah, the meat from the store has really lost its appeal for me.

miasmom's avatar

@charliecompany34 Do you grind the chicken yourself? Or can you buy it that way?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Bison meat is the ultimate replacement for beef. No fat, no cholesterol, and none of the drugs or additives that cattle are fed. Buffalo are all grass fed animals, and the USDA (at least in my part of the country) will NOT allow them to be fed except grass. Perfect healthy substitute to beef, in my opinion.

ru2bz46's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra All animals have cholesterol, though Bison is some great stuff. I have a friend through whom I buy my beef. I can get it grass fed (which I will do next time), or grain.

Nutritional Value of Bison
3 oz. serving—Calories—Fat— Cholesterol
Bison— 93— 1.8 g— 43 mg.
Turkey— 125— 3.0 g— 59 mg.
Beef— 183— 8.7 g— 55 mg.
Chicken— 140— 3.0 g— 73 mg.
Fish— 125— 3.0 g— 59 mg.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@ru2bz46 thanks for the correction, I should have said lower fat and cholesterol. Mea Culpa.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Nothing beats a good cheeseburger if you’re in the mood for one.

ru2bz46's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra No problem, I just dislike inaccuracies so much…

Also, important differences when compared to beef include:

72% to 92% less fat (depending upon the cut of the meat.)
An average of 50% less cholesterol.
30% higher in protein and less calories.
No growth-inducing hormones or steroids.
No know human allergies.

Oh, and I forgot to cite these numbers Mea culpa.

Darwin's avatar

@funkdaddy – The mushroom in question is a Portobello mushroom. The caps of these easily reach 4 to 5 inches across. If they are marinated in olive oil and a touch of salt, and then grilled just as you would a burger you can then serve them just as if they were made of meat, and you will discover a wonderful, juicy alternative to ground meat patties.

I love them with a slice of good cheddar, some catsup, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion on a toasted bun. In fact, I much prefer the Portobello mushrooms to the “real” burgers, hands down.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Darwin Portobellos are really good. I wouldn’t replace my burger with one all the time, but I have done just as you on occasion as an alternative. They’re also good with the burger and the mushroom!

YARNLADY's avatar

Patties made with cooked oatmeal/bulgar wheat, chopped mushrooms, onions, garlic, chopped pecans, soy sauce, and some mashed beans, fried in olive oil and served on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, mustard and ketchup. I also make a tasty sandwich spread with tomato juice, spices and mashed squash.

ru2bz46's avatar

@YARNLADY You make it all sound so tasty. Sign me up! I have had some yummy stuff at Sunflower Restaurant in Fair Oaks, CA. As a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore, I was quite impressed. I’ve never known anyone who knew how to make the fake meat stuff before, though.

JellyB's avatar

Well, this doesn’t compare with a good beef burger, but i have soy burger patties (from Fry’s – dunno if you get them there?). If you add all your favourite accompaniments and sauces and stuff, it makes for a delicious burger. I wouldn’t really eat the patty alone though, it’ not all that.

ru2bz46's avatar

@JellyB I think I’ve had one of those (or similar), and I agree. It’s great at a party, but dull when alone.

JellyB's avatar

@ru2bz46 Haha! Yes, just so! :D

JellyB's avatar

Ya’ll are making me want a burger now….. :(

JellyB's avatar

@ru2bz46 And oh yes, ostrich meat is supposed to be lower in fat and colesterol and things too, and i don’t think it tastes too bad, just different – can’t really remember…

ru2bz46's avatar

@JellyB You poor reluctant vegetarian. (you really should come back to the dark side) Yes, ostrich and emu are nice red delicious bird meats. I could use some now!

JellyB's avatar

@ru2bz46 Aye, it’s torture, i tell ya! :D
I could use some mashed potatoes now….mhmm, my homemade one….it’s the best… :)

DREW_R's avatar

Of course. Deer and/or Elk meat beats beef hands down. ;)

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