Although hamburgers are an “All American” food, not all Americans like to eat beef. I shared some fantastic hamburgers last week, but some want another choice for health reasons or simply as a preference. Here are a couple of alternatives to the standard burger to keep handy this 4th of July.

Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Burger

This is a picture of the Rosemary Garlic Chicken Burger.

This is a delicious option for those that don’t want beef this 4th of July!

This recipe is from Giada at Home on the Food Network. Here are a few Dinner Diva changes: The rosemary was a little dominant, so I’d cut it in 1/2 next time. I’d also add sautéed mushrooms and the grilled onions over the top.



  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sandwich rolls or burger buns
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup arugula, divided


For the mayonnaise: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary; set aside.

For the hamburgers: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture. Using clean hands, gently combine the ingredients and form the chicken mixture into 4 patties. Place the hamburgers on the grill and cook for about 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels and let rest for a few minutes.

Brush the cut side of each roll with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the mayonnaise mixture. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly golden.

To assemble the hamburgers: Spread a dollop of the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the tops and bottoms of the toasted buns. Place the chicken burgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Top each with 1/4 cup of arugula and finish with the top half of the bun.

Download and print the recipe here.

Burger Alternative – Grilled Brats With Caramelized Onions

This is a picture of brats on the grill.

Who says you need a burger for the 4th of July? Try these grilled brats.

Are you more of a brats fan? A great alternative to a burger on the 4th of July is grilled brats with caramelized onions in a beer bath, or what we like to call a “beer hot tub.” The Dinner Diva’s favorite is Johnsonville, but of course, you can use whichever brand you prefer.

But before you cook the brats, you’ll want to prepare your beer bath by caramelizing the onions.


  • Onion, any variety (such as Walla Walla, white, yellow, etc.) – one onion is enough for a small crowd, but if you have as many as 8-10 people you may want to use two
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


Peel the onions and slice into rings.

Place a skillet on the stove and turn heat to medium-low. Add the butter and olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and sauté until they’re softened, which could take 20-30 minutes.

Once the onions are caramelized, put them in a pan with beer placed over the grill and let them sit until you add your brats.

Dinner Diva Tip: Use a little bit of beer in the skillet to help the onions brown but not burn.

So how do you cook the brats? Grilling With Beer has some great ideas, but here are the basic instructions the Dinner Diva recommends:

  1. Poach the brats and cook them on the stovetop so they cook all the way through without burning. After 8 minutes, take them off the stovetop and add them to the beer bath until they’re ready to grill. This will keep them from drying out. The bath can be covered or uncovered; either way they will stay nice and juicy.
  2. Once the grill is ready, remove the brats from the beer bath and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Put the brats back into the beer bath until they’re ready to eat. This will keep them moist and flavorful.
  4. Serve the brats with caramelized onions, with or without a bun depending on your preference.

Download and print the recipe here.

Whether you make a chicken burger, grilled brats or something else entirely, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July! What’s on the menu this year?

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: for more info.