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Eight burger toppings you have to try

Everyone loves a burger, but what turns the standard into the sensational is all the tasty toppings you pile into that bun. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a traditional beef, crispy chicken or veggie patty, adding a tangy sauce, oozy cheese, tart pickles and crunchy slaws will take any burger recipe to the next level. So put on an apron, fire up the grill and try these mouthwatering ideas for burger toppings this summer.

  1. Classic

    A classic burger is a classic for a reason. You can't go wrong with a meaty beef patty topped with melting Cheddar cheese, a juicy slice of tomato, the crisp crunch of lettuce and the sweet tang of tomato ketchup. Simple, but delicious nonetheless.

  2. Extra smoky flavour

    Whether cooked on a grill or a barbecue, burgers are best with a slight smoky char that adds to the flavour and creates that deliciously crispy exterior. You can ramp this up further with a selection of smoky toppings such as the paprika mayo and charred red peppers on these Spanish-inspired burgers, or with the smoked cheese that melts over these Mexican-style chicken burgers.

    Extra smoky flavour
  3. Add spice

    If you like it hot, you can simply add a little chilli to the burger mix itself, but a spiced topping can really add depth and heat. These spicy burgers replace the normal slice of tomato with a fresh salsa, flavoured with zingy red chilli and fragrant coriander. This pulled chicken burger recipe is topped with a fruity mango salsa, while these easy marinated chicken burgers use a hot Korean sauce instead of ketchup.

    Add spice
  4. Crunchy slaw

    Different textures are key to a good burger, so a fresh, crisp slaw is the perfect topping for adding a satisfying crunch – and you can serve any extra on the side. These earthy beef and beetroot burgers are topped with a buttermilk slaw, which adds a refreshing tang. Asian flavours also work well with the crunchy veg in slaws: try with cashew nuts and soy sauce on these pork burgers, or with zesty lime and ginger on top of succulent mushroom burgers.

    Crunchy slaw
  5. Tangy pickles

    Love 'em or hate 'em, gherkins are a burger's best friend. They add a sweet-sour-salty combination that cuts through the richness of the patty, like in these intensely-flavoured Guinness burgers. For something a little fresher, try making your own cucumber pickle and pair with salmon burgers, or super-quick pickled red onions for these loaded South American-style beef burgers.

    Tangy pickles
  6. All the veg

    Whether you're veggie or not, there’s no harm in piling as much veg into your buns as they can hold. Start small if you’re unsure and treat burgers like hot dogs with a pile of sticky onions such as on these pork and pear burgers. Or go the whole hog (well, the whole veg patch) and enjoy the rainbow of colours in these beetroot burgers, which have layers of sweet orange pepper, creamy avocado, smoky sun-dried tomatoes, crunchy gherkins and a handful of peppery cress to finish.

    All the veg
  7. Super sauces

    To help hold everything together, a good dollop of ketchup, mayo or mustard can do the trick when it comes to burgers. If you fancy being a bit more adventurous though, consider a flavoured sauce instead. Transform your favourite salad dressing into a burger with this chicken Caesar recipe, or add a spicy seafood drizzle to these prawn burgers with a sriracha mayo. For an even creamier twist, try these halloumi burgers, which feature a thick layer of houmous on the bottom.

    Super sauces
  8. Have it all

    Can't decide or just love it all? Well there's no reason not to have it all – burgers are perfect for customization so just pile up your favourite toppings at home. We're big fans of our best ever burger recipe which we think has pretty much everything, with classic ketchup, Cheddar and tomato, but also pickled cucumber, crunchy coleslaw and crisp, salty bacon, too.

    Have it all