Tender, juicy beef burgers topped with a colorful fruit and veggie "slaw" and creamy lime aioli, Rainbow Beef Burgers are a summertime BBQ staple!
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What are some of your "must have" grilled summer foods? For us, loaded, juicy, beef burgers always top the list! Burgers are loved by all members of the Compston household and provide essential nutrients, like zinc, iron, and high-quality protein, for bodies of all ages. They're totally versatile too! Whether you like to keep things classic with lettuce, tomato, and onion, or go big with a falling-all-over-the-place-fruit-and-veggie-slaw (that's us), there's really no wrong way to beef-up your burger. The flavor possibilities are endless! Beef burgers truly are the perfect vehicles for adding more fruits and veggies into your diet
WHY WE'RE BIG ON BEEF BURGERS
It's no surprise that burgers are delicious and a quintessential summertime food, but did you know that they are also a source of key nutrients? It's true! Not only are they a popular American food item, but their nutrient-rich, flavorful beef base is a perfect foundation for increasing intake of under-consumed foods, such as vegetables and whole grains.
The recently released 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee scientific report recognizes that foods like burgers and sandwiches contain important nutrients for all bodies and simple additions, like colorful fruits and vegetables, can turn them into nutritious, balanced meals. Unfortunately, more and more often burgers are being served up sans produce altogether! In our kitchen we are all about "upgrading" your favorite everyday meals - without compromising flavor or satisfaction. That's why we've made it our mission to create a beef burger so deliciously epic, you may never want to burger another way again.
These Rainbow Beef Burgers have it all from a nutrition and taste standpoint. Sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, a touch of heat and that eye-catching color everyone is sure to love.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Beef - Ground Beef (85-90% recommended)
Juicy beef burgers start with nutrient-dense Ground Beef. We love using 85% lean/15% fat for our burgers but you can use the fat to lean ratio you prefer best!
- Slaw Salad Mix
To save time and chopping, we like to grab a bag of our favorite dry coleslaw mix. For a crunchy twist, swap cabbage out for broccoli slaw, or even toss in some sunflower seeds. Not a fan of raw? A quick sauté will soften those cruciferous veggies up nicely.
Pineapple adds that zesty pop to our rainbow slaw. Fresh pineapple holds up really well to slicing or even grating but canned can also work in a pinch. If using canned, you can add a splash of the canning liquid to your aioli for a tropical twist! Take it next level: If you've got the time and grill space, pop a few slices of pineapple onto the grill for a few minutes to caramelize before slicing up into your slaw.
- Bell Pepper
Peppers add color and crunch to our slaw mix. We opted for red but any favorite color(s) will work!
We are BIG fans of sweet-meets-heat and where pineapple goes, jalapeños follow. If not big on spice you can omit altogether or swap with banana peppers or extra bell peppers. If you can handle the heat, swap jalapeños out for habaneros.
- Lime Juice & Olive Oil
Our slaw gets a zesty pop from a simple lime "vinaigrette". If you like a touch of sweetness, a drizzle of honey is a great addition.
Bright, fresh cilantro adds a tasty pop of flavor to our slaw. Not a cilantro fan? Parsley makes an easy swap.
- Lime Aioli
Our simple lime aioli (recipe below) comes together in mere minutes and adds creaminess and zest to our burger combo. Want some punch? Add a sprinkle of chili powder or smoked paprika for some spice and smoke!
- Buns or Wraps
Don't forget your buns! Brioche, whole wheat, gluten free, or lettuce wrap - use your favorite!
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Start by preparing the slaw.
For best results, the slaw mixture can be made up to 24 hours in advance (a bit longer if you keep the pineapple and lime juice separate). Citrus juices cause red cabbage to lose its vibrancy, so combine just prior to eating.
Next, whip together the aioli. Aioli is traditionally made by whipping together eggs and olive oil. Our shortcut sub is using prepared mayonnaise, which we think still tastes fantastic.
Now it's time to prepare the Ground Beef burger patties! Each pound of Ground Beef will yield roughly five, three-ounce patties. Take care to use a gentle touch! Over-mixing can cause burgers to end up with a firm, compact texture.
It's time to grill! Cook patties, covered, for about 8 to 10 minutes over the preheated grill until thermometer registers 160°F, turning occasionally. About 2 minutes before the burgers are done, add buns and grill until lightly toasted.
For more healthy grilling tips, click here.
Time to assemble! Once the burgers and buns are off the grill, it's time to grab your colorful toppers and start building!
Now, it's time to eat! Grab your favorite summertime sides like juicy watermelon, sweet corn, potato salad, and fresh green salad and enjoy your beef burgers with those you love.
BEEF BUYING TIPS
What should you Iook for when buying beef?
When selecting fresh Ground Beef, choose a product with a bright cherry-red color that firm to the touch. Ground Beef packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag will typically have a deep purplish-red color; when exposed to the air, it will turn bright red.
Make sure the package is cold with no holes, tears, or excessive liquid. Always purchase Ground Beef on or before the sell-by date.
How do you select your Ground Beef?
The percentages listed on the package refer to the ratio of lean Ground Beef versus fat. The higher the percentage means less total fat overall. We like using 85% as our beef burger base, as it helps maintain a juicy, moist burger that holds together well when cooked. Percentages of 90% or higher are perfect for scrambles, sauces, and tacos.
Rainbow Beef Burgers
- 1 lb Ground Beef 85% or leaner recommended
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- 5 hamburger buns can sub with GF or lettuce wraps
- 3 cups dry coleslaw mix
- 1 cup diced pineapple pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced optional
- 2 tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tbsps freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- To a bowl, add dry coleslaw mix, sliced peppers, pineapple pieces, and chopped cilantro.
- Add lime juice, olive oil, honey and pinches of salt and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat. Taste and adjust seasonings per preference; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, Dijon, and garlic powder until smooth and creamy.
- Turn on grill and preheat to medium heat. As grill heats, prepare your patties.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Gently combine until mixed, being careful not to over work.
- Form into three-ounce patties (each pound will yield roughly 5, 3-oz patties) and lightly season the exterior of the patties.
- Place patties on the grill, cover, and let cook for 4-5 minutes, each side, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- About 2 minutes before the burgers are done, add buns and grill until lightly toasted.
- Once burgers and buns are grilled, assemble and pair with your favorite colorful summertime sides!
This recipe looks amazing! Love how colorful and refreshing it looks! I would definitely try this out.
So good and so fun to include all the colors. My kid loves them!
Stephen & Elise Compston, RD, LDs
We love to hear the burgers were kid-approved! Thanks for the great feedback!
Thank you for this recipe! We do veggies on all our sandwiches and burgers are no exception. Also, this slaw and the dressing are truly refreshing. Thanks again!
Stephen & Elise Compston, RD, LDs
Thank you so much for the great feedback! Love to hear you are loading up those burgers with veggies!