11 Burger Toppings to Make Your Fourth of July Barbecue Truly Glorious

A classic burger is like your favorite pair of sweatpants. It’s not especially elegant, and it will never have the finesse of, say, gazpacho — but it will always be your first love. Like that velour tracksuit you pretend not to own, a burger will be there for you, now and five pounds later.

Sometimes, though, our burgers need to get all dressed up. Sure, they’re delicious every way you eat them, even when they're nothing but bread and meat. But if there’s ever a time to put on the burger ritz, it’s the Fourth of July, in honor of our fair nation. Slather them with whole-grain mustard and crown them with caramelized onions — if burgers are stretchy pants, then consider these toppings your haute couture.

Image: Heather Christo

You Say Tomato. We Say Ketchup.

Burgers have flirted with many a condiment — but their longest relationship? Ketchup, hands down. Naturally Ella shows us how to beat the bottle and make our own.

Image: Naturally Ella

Pass Mustard

Mustard comes in close second, but we think Adventures in Cooking’s Indian-inspired recipe will give ketchup a run for its money.

Image: Adventures in Cooking

Whip It

Feeling adventurous? Ditch both your ketchup and mustard in favor of Cooking for Keeps’ aioli. It’s zippy and creamy and just the thing to pretty up your burger.

Image: Cooking for Keeps

Cheese Wiz

Sure, you could do your standard cheddar — but why not go big with your own homemade ricotta? Katie at the Kitchen Door takes hers up a notch with roasted garlic.

Image: Kate at the Kitchen Door

Caramelize It

Onions and mushrooms are usual suspects when it comes to burgers, but caramelizing them opens up a whole new world of flavor. Though I Am a Food Blog uses her veggies for tarts, we think they’d be great on a quarter pounder.

Image: I Am a Food Blog

You Can Pickle That

Every summer, you go with the pickled cucumbers. This time, though, we’re pickling every vegetable we damn well please. Thanks, Love and Lemons!

Image: Love and Lemons

'Cue Up

Let’s be honest: we’ve all sat down with a burger, looked at the BBQ sauce on the table, and thought about putting the two together. Get the recipe over at Jelly Toast, and then follow your instincts. You know what to do.

Image: Jelly Toast

Pesto Party

BBQ sauce on your burger sounding a little uncouth? Swap it out for pesto instead, courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.

Image: Half Baked Harvest

Small Fry

Don’t pretend like you haven’t done this already. Burgers and fries were meant to be together — so let them. Thanks, Heather Christo!

Image: Heather Christo

Egg It On

We’ve already been known to put an egg on everything, and burgers are no exception. It’s like a second, gloriously golden sauce — how could you say no? Crepes of Wrath schools us on the perfect fry.

Image: Crepes of Wrath

Bacon Onion Rings

Plain onions? So passé. Bacon? Been there, done that. But together? These smoky, crisp rings of goodness are unstoppable. Kirbie’s Cravings has the recipe.

Image: Kirbie’s Cravings