Move Over Ketchup: 9 New Tasty Ways to Top Your Burger from Almond Butter to Kimchi

On average, Americans consume 50 billion burgers per year, according to Yahoo! Life. Already, plant-based burgers an upgrade, but when they’re topped with the standard lettuce, onion, and tomato, that can get rather boring relatively quickly. 

This summer, it’s time to get creative and take our burgers to the next level. We’re going rogue. From vegan secret sauce to marinara and melty mozzarella, these adventurous vegan burger toppings will turn your summer cookouts into a culinary celebration.

Jump to the toppings

How to find the best vegan burger for you

Before you’re ready for toppings, first, you need to find the best vegan burger for you. And good news, plant-based patties come in many different formats, so there’s something for everyone. 

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If you like things meaty, try the Beyond Burger or the Impossible Burger, both of which are designed to mimic the taste and texture of real beef. Or, for something a little more reminiscent of classic veggie burgers, check out our guide to nutritionist-approved options. Alternatively, you could make this beefy vegan beet burger recipe. We also love these vegan quinoa and chickpea burgers as well as these charred Mediterranean falafel burgers.

The best vegan burger toppings to try at your next cookout

Got your burger? Ok, now it’s time for toppings. Here are some of the best ways to make your plant-based patties even more delicious.

VegNews.KatsuBurgersLuke Albert

1 Wasabi mayo

Love a spicy kick? Wasabi provides a distinctive heat that is different from other traditional spicy burger condiments like hot sauce or jalapeños. It’s sharp, pungent, and can enhance the overall flavor profile of the burger. Plus it pairs well with various other creative toppings like avocado, pickled ginger, or even tempura.
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2 Hummus

Yes, you can literally put hummus on everything. Whether you’re grilling up a juicy Beyond Burger or making do with a homemade veggie patty, hummus can make it better. Opt for flavored hummus such as red pepper, beet, or chipotle for an extra punch of flavor, then top with fresh cucumber slices, tomato, and a drizzle of vegan tzatziki.
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3Kimchi

Swap the sad, limp green pickles for this spicy Korean pickled cabbage. Kimchi provides the necessary crunch in contrast to the soft bun and patty while also adding a vinegary element typically contributed by mustard. Plus, this fermented condiment gives a significant element of spice not often found in a basic burger. Vegan-friendly store-bought kimchis include Mother in Law’s Vegan Kimchi and any variety of kimchi from Wildbrine.
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4 Almond butter

Southern California’s popular Seabirds Kitchen placed nut butter on the toppings chart for thousands of skeptical patrons. The now-famous Beets Me Burger is comprised of a shiitake, beet, and chia housemade patty topped with a slick of smooth almond butter, grilled onions, arugula, dill pickles, and herby mayo, all encased in a lightly toasted bun. The nut butter offers an unexpected flash of flavor that makes you want to go in for another bite.
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5Barbecue sauce

It’s simple, but some have still not discovered condiments beyond ketchup, mustard, and mayo when it comes to their burger toppings. A juicy plant-based patty slathered with barbecue sauce and finished with grilled mushrooms and crispy fried onions is a pleasure beyond the typical burger experience. 
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6Pesto

This sauce isn’t just for pasta. Adding a swipe of pesto to your burger is not only a great way to use up that last remaining tablespoon of sauce, but it also adds a bright, herby element that most sandwiches lack. For a store-bought option, try Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto.
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7Vegan secret sauce

Recreate the taste of In-N-Out at home with a veganized version of the chain’s secret sauce. The company has hooked millions with its Thousand Island-esque condiment, but few realize that they don’t need to take a trip through the drive-thru to get it. The recipe below has nailed it. Make a double batch to pour over animal-style fries the next night. 
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8Nacho toppings

Load up a plain black bean burger patty with melty vegan nacho cheese, guacamole, tomato slices, and tortilla chips for a portable nacho experience. Enjoy the delicious moment, and add the nacho burger to your list of fantastic, barbecue-worthy edible creations.
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9 Marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella

Essentially, a burger with melty vegan mozzarella and marinara sauce is a meatball sub reincarnated. Top it with some peppery fresh arugula and a quick drizzle of balsamic glaze for a handhold worthy of a $20 restaurant price tag.
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For more vegan cookout essentials, read:

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