15 Burger Toppings to Take Your Burger from Drab to Fab

Planning a burger bash for a crowd can seem a little daunting, but these toppings will spice up your patties!

Best Burger Sauces and Toppings for Your Burger Bar

Simply Recipes

Grilling season is here, and you know what that means…BURGERS, BURGERS, AND MORE BURGERS (sorry I got a little excited there). Nothing says grilling season like throwing a burger bash and we’re here to help.

Sauces and toppings are the perfect building block for any patty. Start with any burger as your base (beef, turkey, chicken or veggie) and build from there. Here is a guide on how to mix, shape, and grill the best beef burgers. After using these techniques, your guests will surely be impressed.

Make sure your burger bar has the usual suspects—an assortment of cheeses, ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes and from there you can get creative.

Guacamole or pesto of any kind are ideal sauce additions for your backyard barbecue. With these sauces you can make a nacho burger or a caprese-style burger. Be sure to include jams like tomato and bacon which can be used for a breakfast burger with a fried egg. All of you guests will have a fun time creating their own patties. It will be a fun way for everyone to experiment and try different burgers!

Get ready to dive into the best burger sauces and toppings for your burger bar.

  • Fresh Basil Pesto

    Basil Pesto Sauce
    Elise Bauer

    This Fresh Basil Pesto combines basil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Romano cheese, garlic, and olive oil to create an aromatic herbaceous sauce. Make a caprese style burger by topping your patty with pesto, Buffalo mozzarella, and roasted bell peppers. 

  • Caramelized Onions

    How to Caramelize Onions
    Elise Bauer

    Your summer burger bar would not be complete without caramelized onions. The best part? No matter what patty you choose (ground beef, turkey or veggie) these onions will add sweet, rich flavor to your burger. You won’t even need a slice of cheese.

  • Thousand Island Dressing

    Thousand Island Dressing
    Elise Bauer

    Whip up this sweet and tangy Thousand Island Dressing and make your own McDonald’s style Big Mac. Top your cheeseburger with thousand island, minced onion, pickles, and shredded lettuce for a patty that will remind you of the fast food classic.

  • Bacon Jam

    The best bacon jam on top of a hamburger with chips on the side.
    Sheryl Julian

    Take your backyard barbecue to the next level with this Bacon Jam. Trust us, bacon makes EVERYTHING better. Pair this sweet and salty jam with your best grilled burger and pile it high with lettuce, red onion, and our blue cheese burger sauce.

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  • Copycat Chipotle Guacamole

    Best Restaurant Guacamole like Chipotle
    Marta Rivera

    No burger bar would be complete without guac! Top your chicken burgers with this lime and cilantro laced guacamole for the perfect summertime treat. Add a drizzle of tomato salsa and finish with Oaxaca cheese for the nacho burger of your dreams. You can even add a few tortilla chips for crunch if you’re feeling daring…

  • Sauteed Mushrooms

    How to Cook Mushrooms without Fat
    Elise Bauer

    Who could resist a grilled mushroom Swiss burger? Layer your grilled ground beef burger with Swiss cheese and pile high with sauteed mushrooms for a hearty patty.

  • Tomato Jam

    Easy Tomato Jam Recipe
    Sheryl Julian

    If you’re looking to mix things up a little make a breakfast burger! Add a layer of this Tomato Jam right on top of your cheeseburger, layer on a few slices of bacon, and finish with a runny fried egg. You could even enjoy these on an English muffin instead of traditional burger buns.

  • Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

    Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
    Elise Bauer

    Once you try this homemade barbecue sauce, you’ll never want to buy the store-bought variety again. This version is made with Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, molasses, lemon juice, chili, and onion. Slather this on a burger with thick cut onion rings and you’re all set.

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  • Onion Jam

    Balsamic onion jam in a grey bowl with a spoon.
    Sally Vargas

    Topping your burgers with this condiment will blow your guests away. Onion jam adds a rich, sweet flavor to your patties. Keep it simple with a smattering of jam or complete the burger with a few slices of Roma tomato and enjoy!

  • Dijon Mustard

    Dijon mustard from scratch in a white bowl with a white spoon.
    Sally Vargas

    I know, I know. You are either pro mustard on a burger or very, very against it. I personally like my patties without mustard, but will say this Dijon Mustard recipe is unforgettable. Top your burger with lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onion and a drizzle of mustard for a memorable bite.

  • Blue Cheese Sauce

    Blue Cheese Wing Dip - sauce in bowl surrounded by burgers and sides
    Alison Bickle

    A grilled ground beef burger would not be complete without this salty and tangy Blue Cheese Sauce. Top your burger with lettuce, bacon, and thinly sliced fried onions for a patty bursting with flavor and texture.

  • Homemade Ketchup

    A ketchup recipe being spooned out of a glass jar.
    Alison Bickel

    A burger bash requires all of the out-of-the-box toppings, but it's also nice to keep things classic with ketchup. Instead of grabbing a bottle from the store, blow your guests away by whipping up your own batch. Top any burger with this homemade ketchup, mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes for a classic burger combo.

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  • Quick Kimchi (Mak Gimchi)

    A bowl with easy homemade kimchi is in front of the jar of it and white rice is behind it.
    Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee

    Kimchi is a combination of Napa cabbage or a radish, garlic, ginger, chile powder, salt, and a salted seafood. It's a sour, salty, and spicy topping used in Korean cuisine (and it makes for an amazing burger topping!) Finish your patties with a heaping spoonful of kimchi, a spicy mayo, and scallions for a Korean-style burger everyone will enjoy.

  • Homemade Mayonnaise

    homemade mayo on a wooden spoon
    Alison Bickel

    Making mayo from scratch is easier than you think when you use a food processor or blender. You can even add herbs, spices or hot sauce to jazz this recipe up—let your imagination run wild. Then drizzle it on your favorite burger and top with Cheddar cheese (and a few tater tots) just for fun.

  • Honey Mustard

    Spooning honey mustard sauce out of a glass jar.
    Alison Bickel

    Add a little extra sweetness to your turkey burger with this Honey Mustard recipe. Garnish your patties with tomatoes, lettuce, and red onion for a crave-worthy bite!