burger sides

What To Serve With Burgers?

Burgers are a staple in many countries, especially the United States. If you prepare them for a cookout, get-together, or weekend dinner, you know they are a favorite for many. However, serving the perfect side dish is very important in complementing your burgers.

Keep reading here to find out the best side dishes for burgers and when to prepare these side dishes.

What Are Burgers?

A burger is food similar to a sandwich that consists of a meat patty served between bread buns. The meat is usually ground beef, but you can find it with chicken, turkey, salmon, and vegetarian variations. Other ingredients in a hamburger include cheese, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, pickles, bacon, mustard, and ketchup.

The meat patty can often be referred to by the same name, even when served on its own. Unlike what people think, the term hamburger is German, from the region of Hamburg. However, it became popular in the United States thanks to European immigrants.

In the United States, hamburgers are the main dish served in fast-food restaurants. Some popular hamburgers, or “burgers” for short, restaurants include Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King. Still, many fast-casual, American food, and Tex-Mex restaurants serve hamburgers as well.

These days you can also find many added toppings to hamburgers, including feta cheese, fried egg, avocado, pineapple, chili peppers, jalapenos, salsa, tartar sauce, and more. Burgers are a staple of a cookout or barbecue meal as well.

You can prepare them at home with vegetarian substitutes like shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and seitan.

Nutrition Facts

One hamburger with a single patty and condiments (97 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 255 calories
  • 43.5 g water
  • 12.9 g protein
  • 9.89 g fat
  • 28.7 g carbohydrate
  • 1.75 g fiber
  • 5.77 g sugar
  • 113 mg calcium
  • 2.78 mg iron
  • 21.3 mg magnesium
  • 107 mg phosphorus
  • 191 mg potassium
  • 472 mg sodium
  • 24 µg selenium
  • 2.91 µg vitamin A
  • 28.1 mg cholesterol

Hamburgers are such a staple in parties, restaurants, and cookouts that knowing whether they are healthy or not can make a difference.

In general, burgers can be high in fat and calories, but you can make them healthier by using turkey, chicken, salmon, or vegetables instead of beef. Choose healthier condiments as well, and a high protein cheese too.

What Are The Best Sides for Burgers?

Below are some options for side dishes that you can serve with hamburgers at any time!

#1. Garlic Parmesan Fries

Fries always go with burgers, and they are a staple of a burger meal. However, these garlic Parmesan fries are delicious and complex, elevating your burger to the next level.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 Russet potatoes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your garlic Parmesan fries:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot with water and salt. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain them and let them cool down.
  3. Once cool, slice your potatoes into long sticks.
  4. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and place the potatoes on top.
  5. Mix the olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  6. Sprinkle your potatoes with the garlic and cheese mix. Toss well.
  7. Bake them for 15 minutes, then toss the potatoes again.
  8. Finish your potatoes by baking them for another 8 to 10 minutes or until golden.
  9. Serve warm with fresh parsley on top and extra Parmesan cheese if you need it.

#2. Creamy Coleslaw

Coleslaw is another American delicacy that is often part of barbecues and cookouts, and it makes sense to serve it with hamburgers. You can make this recipe ahead of time and let your coleslaw cool down for hours before serving it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage and carrots
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamy coleslaw:

  1. Place your coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise, brown sugar, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Add the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss everything.
  4. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the large bowl and toss.
  5. Once everything is well mixed, cover the bowl, and place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Serve your coleslaw cold with your hamburgers.

#3. Avocado Salad

Since hamburgers tend to be a fast food dish, pairing it with a salad can be a little weird. Still, this avocado salad is creamy and delicious, so it complements your burger any time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your avocado salad:

  1. Peel, pit, and dice your avocados. Place them in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and chop your red onion and cherry tomatoes, and place them in the bowl with the avocados.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the lemon juice, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the large bowl, and toss continuously.
  5. Chop and add the cilantro on top.
  6. If you want, place your salad in the fridge for half an hour, but not too long or the avocado will brown.
  7. Serve your avocado salad cold with your hamburgers.

#4. Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

This three-cheese mac and cheese is a fantastic way to accompany your hamburgers. You can serve it warm or prepare it ahead of time for other meals later on.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box elbow pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ½ stick butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Gruyere cheese
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your three-cheese mac and cheese:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cook your pasta in a large pot according to the box instructions. Drain it and set it aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil with the garlic powder. Add the milk and bring it to a low simmer.
  4. Add the butter and flour to the saucepan, and continue mixing. Bring to a simmer again and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cheddar, Parmesan, and Gruyere cheese. Continue mixing. Add the paprika, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Slowly pour the pasta into the cheese mix and mix for a couple of minutes. Add the sour cream and mix once more.
  7. Place your cheese and pasta in a baking dish. Add the breadcrumbs on top and mix again.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden.
  9. Serve warm with your hamburgers on the side.

#5. Corn Salad

Another great choice, if you are trying to stay healthy, is a corn salad. This fresh and citrus recipe complements the hamburger’s smoky and dense flavors very well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of sweet corn, drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your corn salad:

  1. Begin by draining your corn and placing it in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and chop your vegetables, then add them to the same bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the vinaigrette ingredients, including garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
  4. Slowly add the vinaigrette onto the vegetables, and toss well.
  5. Finish off by adding the fresh parsley and tossing once more.
  6. Serve fresh next to your favorite hamburgers.

#6. Pesto Pasta Salad

For those that think of hamburgers in the context of summer cookouts, then a pasta salad is a must. In this case, adding the pesto will go well with any burger of choice and will give your recipe some zest and sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box rotini pasta
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your pesto pasta salad:

  1. Begin by cooking your pasta according to the box instructions in a large pot with water. Drain it and set it aside in a large bowl to cool down.
  2. In the meantime, chop your onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. Add them to the large bowl with the pasta.
  3. Mix the olive oil, pesto, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Once your pasta is cool, add the sauce ingredients slowly. Toss well until you coat the pasta entirely.
  5. Cover your bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. Serve your pesto pasta salad cold.

#7. Grilled Vegetables

Since you will be cooking your hamburgers on the grill, why not try a recipe that you can also prepare this way? These grilled vegetables are all delicious and take minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers, sliced in half
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced in quarters
  • 1 red onion, sliced coarsely
  • 3 large carrots, sliced in half
  • 2 yellow squash, sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your grilled vegetables:

  1. Combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add your sliced vegetables to the bowl. Toss well to cover all of them with the marinade. 
  3. Preheat your grill, or if it is already hot, add the vegetables starting with the harder ones, like carrots and onion.
  4. Cook your vegetables for about 4 minutes, or until they turn soft and brown.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and continue turning the vegetables.
  6. Transfer your grilled vegetables to a serving plate and serve them at the same time as the hamburgers.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Hamburger Sides?

Hamburgers are not hard to make, but you will likely find many variations out there. Depending on what type of burger you are preparing, you might want to adjust the side dishes you use.

These are all great options that do not take too long to prepare and always turn out delicious.

For a traditional hamburger with cheese, mustard, ketchup, onion, tomato, and lettuce, go with something crunchy and not too heavy. Go with the garlic Parmesan fries that are always a hit with guests. You could also serve the grilled vegetables if you are trying to cut calories and fat.

If you are preparing a chicken or turkey hamburger, you might want something a bit different as well. You could try serving it with the avocado salad, which is nutritious and very filling. Otherwise, try serving it with a classic side dish, like the creamy coleslaw.

Instead, when you prepare a salmon or veggie hamburger, you might want a side dish that is a little denser. You could try the three-cheese mac and cheese, which although heavy, is always popular among guests.

Another option would be the pesto pasta salad that is perfect for a summer cookout or the corn salad if you feel like avoiding more carbs.

Conclusion

Who does not like the sound of a good hamburger? Do not fret over what to serve it with anymore, and instead, try any of these dishes. You can prepare two or more together and place them in the middle of the table for everyone to try.

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*image by Jim_Filim/depositphotos

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