9 Creative Custom Burger Toppings

Get Your Grill On!

Let's assume that you already know what your perfect burger is and how to cook it. It might be a cheese and bacon stuffed burger, a lamb burger, a combination of beef and pork burger, a vegetarian delight burger, or whatever else your heart desires.

Whatever it is, you can dress up that patty to create your own personal masterpiece. The buns and the toppings are an effective weapon for taking a burger from ordinary to memorable. You know that's a fact.

Customize the burger toppings to your taste and preferences. From classic, tried-and-true all American garnishes to ones that borrow flavour profiles from popular international cuisines, let's take a look at a few simple-to-execute and incredibly delicious suggestions.

  • 01 of 09

    Candied Bacon

    Candied bacon burger
    Milena Perrine

    Our first topping on our burger journey is this delectable candied bacon topping. No one can blame you if you ate four, five, or maybe more pieces of candied bacon before it even made it to the burger. We suggest making a larger batch of it, so you can candy your bacon and eat it, too.

    You will need:

    • 10 to 12 slices of thick cut bacon
    • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp. thyme
    • 1 tbsp. rosemary
    • 1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
    • 2 to 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

    Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices onto the paper. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, and red chili pepper flakes and set aside. Bake the bacon for 8 minutes, take it out of the oven, and apply a thin coat of Dijon mustard with a brush onto each slice of bacon. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the mustard brushed bacon slices. Place back in the oven and cook for additional 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool off (beware of the high temperature of caramelized sugar).

  • 02 of 09

    Grilled Scallions, Cucumber, Hoisin Sauce, and Sriracha Mayo

    burger toppings
    Milena Perrine

    This combination adds an Asian flair to your burger. For best results, use English cucumber. Both its texture and its flavor are superior to the smoother skinned garden cucumbers with larger seeds.

    You will need:

    • 1 bunch of scallions
    • 1 tsp. cooking oil
    • 1 cucumber (thinly sliced)
    • hoisin sauce (as needed)
    • sriracha mayo (as needed, store-bought or mix 2 tbsp. mayo with sriracha sauce to taste)

    Instructions: Brush the scallions with cooking oil and grill them. Drizzle the sriracha mayo over the buns. Generously pile up the sweet charred scallions over your patty. Add the thinly sliced cucumber and drizzle with hoisin sauce.

  • 03 of 09

    Fresh Herb Compound Butter

    burger toppings
    Milena Perrine

    Compound butter works particularly well if you are trying to spruce up a drier meat or a vegetarian patty. It is also appropriate over a juicy beef patty as well- think of a classic steakhouse using melted herb butter.

    You will need:

    • 1 stick butter (at room temperature)
    • 2 tbsp. fresh herbs (finely chopped)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions: Combine soft butter with the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and spoon it over parchment paper. Shape it as a log and roll it up with the paper. Refrigerate and slice once solid.

  • 04 of 09

    Mac and Cheese Fritter

    Milena Perrine

    This is a true gem among burger toppings and a great way to use up leftover mac and cheese. Who knows, you might consider the fritter tastier than the burger after you try it.

    You will need:

    • 2 cups leftover mac and cheese (depends on how many fritters you are planning to make)
    • Salt and pepper seasoned flour (as needed)
    • Egg wash (1 to 2 beaten egg(s), as needed)
    • Panko bread crumbs (as needed)
    • Cooking oil (as needed, for frying)

    Instructions: Scoop mac and cheese into a small (about the size of a burger patty in diameter) round container with a lid and refrigerate. When you are ready to make the fritter, bring the cooking oil to 350 F. Gently remove the solid Mac and Cheese from its round mold and carefully slice it across to form a thick patty. Dredge the patty in flour, dip it in the egg wash and roll it in the Panko. Pan fry until golden brown on each side.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Kimchi & Fried Egg

    Milena Perrine

    This Korean twist combines the crunch and sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavours of Kimchi with the warming effect of the runny yolk of a fried egg.

    You will need:

    • Store-bought Kimchi (as needed)
    • Large egg(s) (as needed)
    • Cooking oil
    • Korean chili flakes (optional)

    Instructions: In a small pan over medium-high heat, heat up the cooking oil and fry the egg. Place Kimchi both underneath and on top of the burger patty. Place the fried egg on top of the Kimchi. Sprinkle with Korean chili flakes (optional).

  • 06 of 09

    Roasted Red Peppers and Feta Cheese

    burger toppings
    Milena Perrine

    The flavours of a roasted red pepper get a boost from tangy feta cheese. Use Bulgarian sheep's milk feta in brine for best results - its creamy texture is superior to other feta cheese varieties and it is not chalky like cow's milk feta sold already crumbled can be.

    You will need:

    • Roasted red peppers (freshly roasted and peeled or store-bought)
    • Chunk of sheep's milk feta
    • Flat-leaf parsley (chopped)

    Instructions: Pat dry the roasted red peppers from excess moisture. Arrange over the burger patty and top with feta. Garnish with parsley.

  • 07 of 09

    Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese

    burger topings
    Milena PerrineOwner

    Olive tapenade and goat cheese add an indisputably Mediterranean flair. This topping is particularly well suited for lamb burgers.

    You will need:

    Instructions: Add as much tapenade and goat cheese as your heart desires. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the cheese and garnish with basil or mint.

  • 08 of 09

    Quick Pickled Radishes

    burger toppings
    Milena Perrine

    This topping is a play on horseradish and steak, but the spiciness level is considerably milder.

    You will need:

    • 8 to 10 red radishes (aka summer radishes)
    • 1 tbsp. white wine or rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tbps. water
    • Green onions (thinly sliced)

    Instructions: Slice the radishes really thin and place in a glass container. Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Then add the water. Add the mixture to the sliced radishes and let brine for 15 minutes. Mix in the green onions at the very end and briefly coat them in the pickling liquid. Top your burger patty with the quickly pickled radishes and green onions and enjoy!

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Caramelized Onions, Dates, and Blue Cheese

    burger toppings
    Milena Perrine

    Truly a decadent topping. The burnt notes and sweetness of caramelized onions are boosted by the potent candied presence of Medjool dates. The blue cheese crumbled on top provides a sharp contrasting tangy flavor that you will keep coming back to again and again.

    You will need:

    • 1 large red onion (thinly sliced)
    • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
    • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. thyme
    • Medjool dates (pitted, sliced small)
    • Blue cheese (crumbled)

    Instructions: To caramelize the onion heat the cooking oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, stir and let soften a little bit. Add the sugar and the thyme, stir and let caramelize. Top the burger patty with caramelized onions first, then add the dates and blue cheese.