What is it about a burger and fries that just works? This classic combination is high on a lot of people’s comfort food/barbecue/late-night diner trip list, but unfortunately it doesn’t score too well on the healthy eating scale. Next time you find yourself with a major burger craving, try out one of our top picks for healthier takes on this fast food favorite: 

THE BURGERS

Mediterranean Turkey Burger via Cooking Light – This burger uses panko breadcrumbs for a light, crunchy texture and whole-wheat pitas instead of traditional buns to save on calories. The feta cheese and creamy tzatziki sauce add a tangy Greek flair, and the arugula gives it a peppery bite.  

Spicy Wasabi Salmon Burger via Shape Magazine – The wasabi powder in this Asian-inspired burger gives it heat, while a beaten egg white and low-sodium soy sauce make it a healthier dinner choice. As an added bonus, the wild salmon patty is packed with heart-healthy omega-3’s. 

Veggie Burger with Mushrooms via Food Network – This veggie burger means business! It’s got mushrooms, carrots, scallions, red onion and spinach, along with walnuts and kidney beans for a filling but healthy meal. Serve on a whole wheat English muffin to make it even better. 

Blue Cheese Portobello Burger via Eating Well – Blue cheese and wine-cooked caramelized red onions make this burger so delicious that you won’t even miss the meat. As if that isn’t tasty enough, balsamic vinegar and garlic amp up the flavor even more.

 

THE FRIES
Oven-Baked French Fries with Homemade Ketchup via Food Network – Basic baked French fries get a spicy makeover with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve the super-simple homemade ketchup on the side as a preservative-free alternative to store-bought.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Parmesan & Cinnamon via The Daily Meal – Cinnamon provides a natural complement to these sweet potato fries with Parmesan cheese added at the end for a pop of flavor.

Baked Balsamic Eggplant Fries via The Daily Meal – These might just win the prize for healthiest fries ever. Not only does this recipe include antioxidant-rich green tea, flax seeds and fresh basil, but it also gets an amazing flavor boost from balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and paprika.

Crispy Turnip Fries via All Recipes – Root vegetables like turnips, carrots, and rutabagas make excellent fries. This recipe calls for Parmesan cheese, garlic salt and paprika, but feel free to experiment with any kind of spices you like.

 

These flavorful but healthy burger and fries alternatives just might make you think twice about falling back on the old standby. If you still want to stick with the “meat and potatoes” approach, try making some healthy additions to your burger. Layer on some avocado slices, or use a dark leafy green like kale or spinach instead of regular lettuce for more vitamins and minerals.

 

What’s your favorite way to make a burger?

VIDEO: Herbed Turkey Burgers

Herbed Turkey Burgers

 

Image courtesy of SweetOnVeg on Flickr (CC BY 3.0)