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California Burgers on a white plate

California Burgers #4thofJulyParty

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I adore a grilled burger topped with mayo, lettuce, and a garden fresh tomato slice. Dubbed California Burgers, the fresh toppings over charcoal seared hamburgers create a summer’s delight for the palate.

California Burgers on a white plate

California Burgers

I must make this disclaimer: I grew up in Iowa. So what my mom called  California Burgers is probably not the same as what those on the west coast would envision. As far as I recall, any burger with lettuce, tomato and mayo was differentiated from the traditional ketchup and mustard version and dubbed a California burger. Those are still my preferred toppings, though I will add a wee bit of ketchup and mustard to my mayo…and maybe some avocado slices. The rest of the family seems to put equal parts Heinz ketchup to burger. Yeah, I hang out with a sophisticated crowd.

California Burgers on a plate on a red and white checked napkin

Fire Up the Grill!

We grill all year round. And it has to be with a charcoal grill. We love that extra dose of carcinogens smoky flavor. Bill has been known to scrape the snow off  our Weber kettle mid-January just to sear a juicy burger. Of course, none are better than mid-summer burgers with ripe garden tomatoes…and it is our 4th of July tradition to fire up the grill. Most times, I liberally season our burgers with salt and pepper, but a Cook’s Country recipe for Grilled Steak Burgers inspired me. I added some minced garlic, onion powder, and soy sauce to melted butter which was then mixed with the ground beef. I loved the subtle garlic and onion undertones. These California burgers were such a delicious change from our typical fare.

4th of July Recipes

I’m joining the Holiday Blog Party for the 4th of July. My friends and I are sharing Summer, American or Red, White and Blue recipes…perfect for Independence Day or any summer gathering. Please check out their amazing recipes:
1. Berry Cheesecake Crumb Tart from Hungry Couple NYC
2. California Burgers from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
3. 4th of July Ice Cream Cones from Roxana’s Home Baking
4. Red, White & Blueberry Parfaits from Cravings of a Lunatic
5. Red, White & Blue Deviled Eggs from Created by Diane
6. Summer Berry Pizza from Magnolia Days
7. Sparkling Pineapple Cake Martini from The Messy Baker
8. Red, White & Bleu Mac ‘N Cheese from Juanita’s Cocina
9. Red, White & Blue Vanilla Bean Spritzers from Pineapple and Coconut
10. Red, White & Blue S’mores Pies from Big Bears Wife
11. Lemon Raspberry Sugarless Cookies from What Smells so Good
12. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Squares from Chocolate Moosey
13. Berry Trifle from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
14. Watermelon Mojito Ice Pops from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

4th of July recipe photo collage

California burger on a white plate over a checked napkin

The Recipe: California Burgers

Dubbed a California Burger, the fresh toppings over charcoal seared hamburger create a summer's delight for the palate.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (85-90% fat)
  • Hamburger buns
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced avocados
  • Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard
  • 4 hamburger buns


  1. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl, then add garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Microwave about 15 more seconds to infuse flavors into butter (watch carefully so butter doesn't boil out of container). Gently mix into ground beef. Form into 4 hamburger patties.
  2. Grill to desired doneness.
  3. Serve with condiments of your choice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 burger

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 763Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 183mgSodium: 980mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 56g


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47 comments on “California Burgers #4thofJulyParty”

  1. Mmmm…carcinogens! I love that smoky, charcoal taste too, Liz. And put avocado on a burger and I’m all over that (that totally makes it Californian). My husband could drink ketchup, that’s how much he loves it. So I’m obviously married to an extremely classy guy 😉

  2. My mouth is watering! I’m having such a grilled burger craving lately but I know I’ll get my fix on the 4th. Brian makes the burgers with salt, pepper, garlic and Worcestershire sauce and they’re amazing. I’ve actually never tried avocados on top but…I don’t know why not! 🙂

  3. Love burgers anytime of the year and any way… We are also very fortunate to be able to grill year round. We dont get changes in season, its either hot or really hot. lol

  4. I think its the addition of avocado that makes anything ” California” since us crazy Californians ( myself included) add it to anything and everything!! I am a big fan of adding globs of guacamole to burgers – I eat turkey burgers though, my husband would love these!

  5. I definitely prefer a slice of avocado to a bunch of ketchup. This burger looks amazing!

  6. Confession time: I’m admitting that I am in the sophisticated crowd of equal parts ketchup to burger. I also grill all year, at least I don’t have to deal with snow. It rarely snows here.
    I love the avocados on the burger and I need to remember to slice one up next time I’m grilling burgers. Great recipe for summer and the 4th!

  7. Any burger with avocados is my favorite kind of burger! Yes, please!

  8. Who cares what the west coast envisions; this burger looks delicious. Mmm, all of that creamy avocado. I’m in love!

  9. I don’t mind where this burger comes from – I definitely want it!

  10. What a very cool front page and variety! LOVE how techy you are. That’s amazing… and for the burger omg! that looks sensational have a safe and happy 4th!

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