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High-Protein Burgers That Aren't Beef

  • Jessica Boone/Getty Images

    The Importance of Protein

    Protein is a major part of a healthy diet, especially if you hit the gym regularly. Not only does protein repair muscles after a workout, it also rebuilds those muscles fibers, leading to stronger, more defined muscles. Eating meat probably isn't going to kill you, but you probably don't want a beef burger every. single. day. Mix it up with these delicious high-protein burger recipes made with lean protein options like quinoa, salmon, and bison.

    Keep in mind that those ground beef burgers are so juicy partly because of their fat content. So for burgers made from low-fat alternatives like ground chicken, you'll want to add a little fat (the good kind!) back in with condiments like creamy vegan mayo, says chef Eric LeVine of New Jersey restaurants Paragon Tap & Table and Morris Tap & Grill. On the other hand, a salmon burger will stay moist and flavorful without any help, thanks to salmon's healthy monounsaturated fats.

  • Kiipfit

    Lentil Curry Burger

    Lentils are relatively low on the glycemic index, so you'll avoid a carb-induced blood sugar spike. The curry flavor will trick people into thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. 

    Get the recipe: Lentil Curry Burger

  • Laughing Spatula

    Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Salsa

    One of these juicy salmon burgers provides about half your recommended protein for the day, plus lots of omega-3 fats. Avocado salsa made with poblano pepper and green onion ups those healthy fats even more.

    Get the recipe: Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Salsa

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    Thai Chicken Burgers

    You already know that grilled chicken breast is basically the no-brainer go-to option for lean protein, so these Thai Chicken Burgers just kick that healthy choice up a notch. Ground chicken is enhanced with jalapeño, garlic, fresh ginger, and more for a flavorful patty. But it's really the homemade slaw tossed with peanut butter dressing that'll make your mouth water.

    Get the recipe: Thai Chicken Burgers

  • Vegan Miam

    Vegan BBQ Tofu Burger

    LeVine, who was previously a vegan for many years, says that nonvegans order his restaurant's vegan veggie burger all the time (it's made with black and white beans, red pepper, mushrooms, and even steel-cut oats). 

    Get the recipe: Vegan BBQ Tofu Burger

  • Cherished Bliss

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burger

    This recipe combines two protein- and fiber-rich winners: sweet potato and black beans. When you look at the ingredient list (or the burger components in the mixing bowl) it may seem a little intimidating, but it's all stuff you already have in your kitchen—swear. Regardless, the cilantro-lime sour cream makes any prep work well worth it.

    Get the recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burger

  • Simply Quinoa

    Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Burgers

    The cheesy flavor of these plant-based burgers comes from nutritional yeast. Are you wondering WTF Is Nutritional Yeast and Why Should I Be Eating It? All those questions will melt away the second you try these healthy high-protein burgers.

    Get the recipe: Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Burgers

  • Hapa Nom Nom

    Greek Lamb Burger with Tzatziki, Tapenade, and Feta

    You'd be hard-pressed to find a better flavor pairing than lamb and tzatziki—it's a classic Greek cooking combo for a reason. It's true that 3 ounces of lamb will be a little fattier than say, a veggie burger (duh). But that means you'll get one seriously juicy burger and 21 grams of satisfying protein.

    Get the recipe: Greek Lamb Burger with Tzatziki, Tapenade, and Feta

  • Running to the Kitchen

    Pomegranate Feta Bison Burger

    Bison offers the same familiar taste of a beef burger, but for fewer calories and less fat. Plus a 3-oz. bison burger offers up 22 grams of muscle-building protein.

    Get the recipe: Pomegranate Feta Bison Burger

  • The Domestic Kitchen

    Spinach Burgers

    It doesn't get much more "veggie" burger than this. These patties are made with chopped spinach plus egg whites for an unexpected protein boost. They are held together by cheese (yes!) and breadcrumbs for a flavorful burger that you can feel good about eating.

    Get the recipe: Spinach Burgers

  • The Beautiful Balance

    Grain-Free Falafel Burgers

    Your favorite chickpea snack is transformed from a pita sandwich into a tasty grain-free burger—just make sure you go sans bun if you want to go totally gluten-free. Fiber-filled chickpeas offer 7 grams or protein per half cup, which does a good job satisfying your hunger.

    Get the recipe: Grain-Free Falafel Burgers

  • Healthy Helper

    Hawaiian Tuna Burgers

    The genius recipe for these well-crafted tuna burgers is both gluten-free and paleo-friendly. You'll get your protein fill from white albacore tuna, egg whites, and almond flour, plus tons of flavor from liquid aminos, red chili flakes, and cilantro.

    Get the recipe: Hawaiian Tuna Burgers


Alyssa Sparacino

Alyssa is the deputy digital editor for SHAPE & FITNESS and an ACE certified personal trainer. She is a cycling and barre enthusiast, and lover of both planks and pasta. Before joining the #ShapeSquad she was the digital editor for HGTV Magazine and assistant editor of  More →

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