Speedy Suppers: Burgers for Under 250 Calories


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  48 comments   :  21,063 Views

Fire up the grill--it's dinner time! Tonight, let's celebrate summer with burgers, grilled corn, a salad and cantaloupe. Warm night, juicy burger, fresh melon… that's the life!

Burgers have earned a bad rep. When made with lean meat and kept a moderate size (3-4 ounces before cooking), burgers can have a regular place in a healthy meal plan.

Be creative with your burgers tonight! I've scoured SparkRecipes for new and delicious burger recipes. (If, like me, you prefer meat-free burgers, we've got plenty of those recipes, too.

Try the Super Juicy Grain & Seed Turkey Burgers, Blue Cheese Burgers or
Spicy Black Bean Burgers

I'm ready for dinner now!

250 calories or fewer, varied amounts of fat

Use a 100-calorie Sandwich Thin (or skip the bread, as I do most of the time)

1/2 c cantaloupe balls
about 30 calories

2 c salad greens with whatever veggies you have on hand
about 30 calories

1 T light dressing
50 calories, 3 g fat

1 ear corn
75 calories, 1 g fat

435 calories (535 with the "bun")
Add a glass of skim milk and a few low-calorie condiments for one great meal!

How do you top your burgers? Do you have a good burger recipe? Share your best burger tips with us!

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  • 48
    We eat alot of things grilled including burgers. We use or grill at least 4 days a week even in the winter... we just sweep the snow off of it. Burgers are probably one our favorites because they are so versatile... they are like a blank canvas and you can switch up seasonings and condiments to make them whatever you want them to be. - 7/28/2009   8:21:01 AM
    grilled sweet potatoes are delicious!!
    I will try the laughing cow on the burger,
    it sounds great. - 7/27/2009   8:20:36 AM
  • 46
    im pretty sure i read this trick on SP, but instead of a burger with cheese and/or mayo... use a laughing cow wedge spread on the bun, and that replaces the sliced cheese and gives a creamy moistness to replace the mayo. AMAZING. ps.. cheese and mayo are my downfall.. so trust me when i say this is just as good. - 7/26/2009   8:13:51 PM
  • 45
    While I love burgers (beef ones topped with onions and tomatoes and horseradish mustard and ketchup and a touch of cayenne pepper), I've recently been hooked on shawerma sandwiches instead ... well-spiced rotisserie beef rolled up with hummus, hot sauce, tabbouleh and a bunch of other Middle Eastern salads in a pita bread. Totally scrumptious, and just as healthy/not as a burger. :) - 7/26/2009   12:02:47 PM
  • 44
    I may have to try these burger, they sound really good. - 7/25/2009   6:20:44 PM
  • 43
    My husband loves burgers, and probably has at least one a day. I prefer grilled chicken "burgers" - my current fave is topped with a few sliced jalapeno peppers and some salsa, along with lettuce and tomato - and I usually eat it open-faced so I only get half a bun. - 7/25/2009   2:27:06 PM
  • 42
    I like black bean burgers with lettuce, onions and mustard. Although NO grilling for me. Don't want the char marks that can cause cancer, thanks. - 7/25/2009   12:24:27 PM
  • 41
    I use mustard, lettuce, fresh tomato if I can get good ones, and dill pickles. Boring but all low cal and add juiciness. I will some times use only 1/2 bun and have switched to whole grain buns. - 7/24/2009   10:33:42 PM
  • 40
    I love Boca Flame Grilled burgers, and now I use the new 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins. My toppings change depending on what I feel like. Sometimes I make a reuben burger with sauerkraut, a little cheese and lite Thousand Island Dressing. Sometimes it's just mustard, pickle and onion. Even though my DH is not vegetarian, he likes these better than meat burgers, his toppings vary, but must include tomato. - 7/24/2009   3:14:11 PM
  • 39
    GREAT THANKS !!! - 7/24/2009   2:03:38 PM
  • 38
    Thanks for a great articlr. - 7/24/2009   1:44:01 PM
  • 37
    I love a slice or two of avocado! - 7/24/2009   1:36:19 PM
  • 36
    jalapenos... just a few added to the pan or the juice added to the meat. Not enough to burn, but just enough to taste... mmm. And all the veggies added and a toasted bun. You know what's really good, although it might be worse than mayo, replace the mayo with Spinach dip. It's really good on sandwiches too. - 7/24/2009   1:29:04 PM
  • 35
    Turkey burgers, yum - 7/24/2009   12:53:08 PM
  • 34
    I agree that the Yves veggie4 burger tastes great. It even tricks my husband who can't tell it's not beef, after it is dressed, though I love them even plain. - 7/24/2009   12:17:27 PM
  • 33
    I love turkey burgers. I use a grilled ground turkey burger with a slice of onion, 1 Tb of ketchup, and 1 Tb of pickle relish on a whole wheat bun just like I always did with a beef burger; but we haven't eaten a beef burger for years. I prefer a turkey burger to a beef burger. I used to eat Boca burgers before I discovered ground turkey burgers. - 7/24/2009   12:10:34 PM
  • 32
    My husband is alergic to beef. The man just loves a big juicey burger now and again.
    I tried giving him turkey burgers. But he says he gets an after taste.
    Now I mix equal parts of ground chicken breast and regular ground turkey. He loves them.
    The ground turkey is 190 calories ( cooked ) for 3 ounces.
    The ground chicken breast is 170 calories ( cooked ) for 3 ounces.
    That makes a 180 calorie 3-ounce burger. Add an Arnold Sandwich Thin ( 100 calories ) and you can have a delicious burger for under 300 calories.

    Sometimes I add a wedge of Laughing Cow low fat cheese. Yum!

    I also use this 1/2 & 1/2 mixture to make my own sausage patties. It's just a matter of seasoning.

    A 4-ounce Black Angus ( chuck ) is 290 calories. - 7/24/2009   11:29:54 AM
  • 31
    Great recipe ideas and burgers are good just watch the fat take the burger patty after cooking and rinse with hot water or blot with paper towel and you take away half the fat to those who say yuk why are you reading this blog - 7/24/2009   11:17:24 AM
  • 30
    Sounds great. I usually skip the bun too. Last week I bought me some Sunbeam Lite Wheat buns and they are very good with only 70 calories and 5 grams of fat each. - 7/24/2009   10:50:15 AM
  • 29
    My husband is a hunter so we eat alot of venison. "Deer burgers" are just as good, if grilled right, as regular low-fat hamburger and they don't have all the artificial ingredients. I love venison steak as well. It's as good as filet mignon to me!

    - 7/24/2009   9:49:23 AM
  • 28
    I make burgers at home with 93% lean ground beef and have mine in a pita pocket instead of on a roll or bun. I also make baked or grilled potato fries. I don't do it often, but it's great to know I can indulge in these classics without feeling guilty. - 7/24/2009   9:33:16 AM
  • 27
    Love my grilled turkey burgers! - 7/24/2009   9:25:09 AM
  • 26
    Just had them last night. We have switched to turkey burgers on the grill. Use a dry rub mix on the burger when grilling. Village Hearth makes a great low-cal, low carb bun that is full size and can handle the toppings. Then we pile th burger high with fresh veggies -- lettuce, onion, tomato, etc. Anything fresh and crisp. The burger is almost like a meal in itself. Add some fresh fruit on the side and it was a great meal for little calories and fat.
    - 7/24/2009   9:17:06 AM
  • SZNN4570
    Love buffalo burgers without the bun. - 7/24/2009   9:12:32 AM
  • 24
    Oh Boy! Football season is coming and now I can tailgate party without guilt! - 7/24/2009   9:10:35 AM
    When I make my own burgers, I love to throw the salsa right in the mix with a very little bread crumbs, I also throw in some feta or blue cheese crumbles (just a little for that added flavor, and go cut calories we use either tortillas whole wheat or this product called flat outs they are very good flat breads. THANKS FOR SHARING ALL!!! - 7/24/2009   8:36:11 AM
  • 22
    Wow, there are some great suggestions here. Thanks, everybody, for sharing! - 7/24/2009   8:22:32 AM
  • 21
    I mostly forgo the bun when I consumer burgers. For me, they're either fish (salmon burgers, shrimp burgers) or vegetarian. Yves makes my favourite veggie burger. At around 100 calories/burger, enriched with nutrients, and pretty tasty, it hits the spot! - 7/24/2009   7:35:01 AM
    I love Spicy Black Bean Burgers. Every now and then I make up a big batch and put them in the freezer. Then, for lunches, I grab a frozen burger and a Thomas' Whole Wheat English Muffin & throw them in my lunch box. I pop the burger in the microwave for a minute, toast the muffin and top with a slice of red onion, a slice of green bell pepper and a slice of ripe tomato and it is a yummy, filling and healthy lunch.

    I also love turkey burgers. I mix ground turkey breast with dry bread crumbs and a little bit of low sodium soy sauce and grill on my Foreman grill. Sometimes I also lightly grill a slice of fresh pineapple and put that on top. Sometimes I put in hickory flavored Liquid Smoke instead of the soy sauce and serve on a toasted whole wheat English muffin with a light spread of horseradish sauce. Put a nice salad with it and you have a tasty and quick dinner.

    When we do ground beef burger, I always use the lowest-fat ground beef I can buy - usually 96 - 97% lean - and grill to medium well done. Hubby is a purist and prefers his with just mustard, but I like to experiment with unusual toppings like salsa and chopped cilantro or blue cheese and sauteed onions and mushrooms. By the time I've finished loading veggies on my burger, it's a complete meal, so I don't eat any sides unless it's a small salad. How easy is that for aquick weekday meal? - 7/24/2009   7:05:38 AM
  • 19
    I love to grill a red pepper and portabello mushroom with my burger. Then, top it with a 1 oz slice of swiss cheese! I also like village hearth light wheat buns! - 7/24/2009   7:01:14 AM
    I love a Boca Burger on a sandwich thin...with a little mustard, ketchup, relish...and a big slap o' tomato, and some onion...and lettuce...and it's not even 7:00 AM and I'm hungry!! - 7/24/2009   6:54:15 AM
    they can be 0 cal and free and i still won't eat them. yuck - 7/24/2009   6:14:30 AM
  • COUNTESS2005
    We love burgers and grill all the time - 7/24/2009   5:59:33 AM
    I like to cook any color bell pepper and onion with my burger, then I will top it with tomatoes, mustard and somtimes cheese. - 7/24/2009   2:33:29 AM
    Great recipes.

    I love beef and need the heme iron it provides so I like to make burgers once in awhile.

    I use 96 percent lean ground beef fresh preportioned and premade patties. I'd love to use 93 percent but they don't sell that anywhere around here.

    I am not worried about fat but choosing a lean beef keeps the calories down.

    I freeze the patties and microwave them briefly to thaw and then baste with extra thick Worcestershire sauce (one serving is two tablespoons) and grill on my George Foreman. I eat them plain or with "diet" ff mayo on a Thomas Double Fiber Whole Wheat English muffin.

    This is my ultra burger. Sometimes I put a slice of plum tomato on it. - 7/23/2009   10:33:44 PM
  • 13
    We love us some good burgers! We don't eat them often but when we do we use ground chuck steak and whole wheat buns (if we use buns). We load them with red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and mustard. If we use cheese it is a sharp cheddar. Yum, now I want a burger :)

    I am going to have to try the tip of mixing in bean sprouts and other veggies in the meat patties to make it go further as well as the health benefits. - 7/23/2009   8:58:06 PM
  • 12
    We don't eat burgers. - 7/23/2009   8:39:48 PM
  • REBIRTH7209
    Just in time! lol I was craving a burger. And yea turkey burgers are awesome i was kinda weary when i first tried it a while ago but all that went away within the first bite. - 7/23/2009   8:14:47 PM
  • 10
    I do turkey burgers for my family very often with rave reviews. However, I frequently really do crave a good juicy beef burger once in a while with feta cheese, onion slice, lettuce and tomato slice. I must say though that starting with only 3 oz of meat un cooked doesn't leave much more than a hockey puck once cooked.... so that portion size just befuddles me. Thus I tend to 'budget' my calories differently on days when I'm having beef burgers to accommodate for the portion size.
    Favorite sides: grilled sweet potatoes (aha! I'm not the only one), grilled squash, grilled stone fruits or bananas for dessert. - 7/23/2009   7:09:09 PM
    I've used ground buffalo meat for burgers and it tastes much the same as GB and is very lean. And, I've also enjoyed a large grilled portabello mushroom with lots of other veggies on the plate instead of GB. Yumm. Just thinking about it makes me want to have that for dinner tonight! - 7/23/2009   5:57:50 PM
    I enjoy a burger once in awhile i use 90% ground beef or turkey burgers. I usually have it with a select thin buns which are l00 calories, and salad made with romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce , tomatoes cucumbers and red vinegar. - 7/23/2009   5:12:55 PM
    Grilled sweet potatoes? That sounds great! And I love guacamole. These are great ideas! Thanks ;) - 7/23/2009   5:12:11 PM
  • 6
    I always use 93 % lean GB some mcormick seasoning and soysauce. Add lettuce, onion and tomato and usually skip the bun - 7/23/2009   5:04:37 PM
  • 5
    I love BIG burgers... so I mix bean sprouts (fresh or canned) into the ground beef or turkey and cook as usual. Experiment with adding other seasonings. Garlic, onion powder and soy sauce instead of salt so yummy! Thanks for the reminder! Got to make one tonight! Happy Day! - 7/23/2009   4:54:21 PM
    thanxs for the idea! - 7/23/2009   3:53:50 PM
    Guacamole and avacado slices are amazing on any kind of burger! They give great flavor and creaminess. Yum! - 7/23/2009   3:48:14 PM
  • 2
    My husband has become obsessed with turkey burgers!! Another side we've added to this meal is grilled sweet potatoes. Delish! - 7/23/2009   3:47:29 PM
  • 1
    I have grown to love turkey burgers. I dress it up with fat free cheese and low cal ketchup and it tastes great. The entire family loves them! - 7/23/2009   3:40:28 PM

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