12 Burger Recipes Under 500 Calories

Trinh Le, MPH, RD
by Trinh Le, MPH, RD
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12 Burger Recipes Under 500 Calories

The traditional burger packs a powerful calorie punch, but if you’re going to enjoy it, you might as well do it right! You’d be hard-pressed to find a flavorful burger in a floppy fast-food wrapper. Instead, try making your own with these burger recipes using real ingredients. At less than 500 calories per burger, it’s less than the average deluxe version at your corner fast-food joint. Check out 5 Tips for a Healthier Burger to learn more.


1. Chipotle Chicken Burger | Clean Eating

Chicken-lovers, try your hand at this recipe featuring chicken breast marinated in a chipotle chili spice. Powerful flavors like jalapeno chile pepper, lime and cilantro culminate in a refreshing burger. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 chicken patty + 1 teaspoon aioli each. Nutrition information doesn’t include the bun, but feel free to add a 100% whole-grain bun (approx. 100-120 calories each).

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 183; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 90mg; Sodium: 102mg; Carbohydrate: 2g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 21g

2. Cilantro Burgers with Sriracha Mayo | Cooking Light

Fire up that grill and cook up cilantro beef burgers dressed with spicy Sriracha mayo. Chopped cilantro flavors the beef while whole sprigs take the place of lettuce. Serve with a fruit salad on the side for a complete meal. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 burger each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 363; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 79mg; Sodium: 491mg; Total Carbohydrates: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 27g

3. Meat & Grain Burger | The Runner’s World Cookbook

No grill? No problem! These drool-worthy meat and grain burgers are roasted in the oven and pack 26 grams of protein for less than 400 calories. Recipe makes 6 burgers at 1 burger each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 389; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 81mg; Sodium: 724mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 26g

4. Salmon Burger | Mantitlement

Form budget-savvy salmon burger patties using canned salmon and breadcrumbs. Salmon is a good source of healthy omega-3 fats, and you don’t always need to eat it fresh to get it! If you’re watching your sodium, we suggest you drop the salt from this recipe since canned salmon has plenty of it. Nutrition information omits mayonnaise spread and salt. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 burger each (includes bun).

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 422; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 114mg; Sodium: 114mg; Total Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 12g; Protein: 31g

5. Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers | Eating Bird Food

Lean ground turkey gets pumped with flavor from baby spinach and feta cheese in this burger patty. Ground turkey is a great substitute for ground beef if you’re concerned about saturated fat. Carb-conscious folks can enjoy these patties with a side salad while the rest of us can pair it with a whole-grain hamburger bun. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 patty each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 143; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 613mg; Total Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 20g

6. Lower Carb Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cheddar Burger | Kiwi & Bean

If you want to go old-school and use ground beef, make sure to get the best quality beef you can find. We suggest going with 90-95% lean ground beef for a slimmer take. Caramelized onion, mushroom and cheese give this dish plenty of savory flavors. Nutrition information is for 95% lean ground beef. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 burger patty + 1/8 onion and mushroom mixture.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 252; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 83mg; Sodium: 198mg; Total Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 28g

7. Tangy Tuna Burgers | BBC Good Food

Impress your friends by turning tuna steaks into a backyard burger meal. Juicy tuna steaks are chopped and seasoned with garlic, ginger and soy sauce for a hint of tang. Recipe makes 2 servings at 1 patty each. Serve with a 100% whole-grain hamburger bun (approx. 110-120 calories each) for a complete meal.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 97; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Sodium: 740mg; Total Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 12g


8. Sweet Potato Chickpea Veggie Burger | Cook Smarts

Eat a veggie burger patty that’s neither processed nor dressed in preservatives. Sweet potato and chickpea burgers will give you a fresh and filling alternative to a classic American meat dish. This is a great way to get your fill of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. Fire up that oven and you could be chomping on these burgers in 35 minutes flat! Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 veggie burger each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 424; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 30mg; Sodium: 768mg; Carbohydrate: 63g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 16g; Protein 20g

9. Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo | The Skinnytaste Cookbook

Budget-friendly black beans debut in veggie burgers packed with fiber, protein and iron. Make a batch ahead of time and freeze for when you’re ready to cook and serve. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 burger (includes bun + 1 tablespoon spicy mayo) each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 343; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 51mg; Sodium: 587mg; Total Carbohydrate: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 11g

10. Grilled Portobello Burgers with Blue Cheese | Clean Eating

With their meaty texture, portobellos make ideal vegetarian burgers and sandwich fillers. You may be surprised to learn that portobellos (cappellone, or “big hats,” in Italy) are actually oversized cremini mushrooms. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 burger (includes 1 tablespoon sauce).

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 253; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 487mg; Total Carbohydrate: 31g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 10g

11. Easy Quinoa Burgers | Coffee & Quinoa

Combine quinoa, white bean, breadcrumbs and egg to make this tasty vegetarian patty. Serve with cheese for a hit of savory goodness. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 burger (includes bun + 1 thin slice cheddar cheese + 1 slice tomato + 1 lettuce leaf ) each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 468; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 47mg; Sodium: 284mg; Total Carbohydrate: 72g; Dietary Fiber: 15g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 24g

12. Easy Chickpea Oat Veggie Burgers | Whole Living Lauren

This vegan-friendly veggie oat burgers are as filling as they are delicious! Good plant-based sources of fiber and protein—oats, walnuts and chickpeas—pair perfectly in these burger patties. Recipe makes 8 burgers at 1 burger patty each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 205; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 222mg; Total Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 6g

About the Author

Trinh Le, MPH, RD
Trinh Le, MPH, RD

Trinh Le is a registered dietitian for MyFitnessPal. She holds her master’s in public health, nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Trinh is a proponent of balancing food and exercise for a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys hiking, strength training, yoga, running and fidgeting.


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