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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

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. 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!

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

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

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

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Pass me a plate, I LOVE burgers and this looks delicious and it’s perfect with avocado!

  12. You know truthfully, I don’t care what you call it – it looks FABULOUS and it has avocado and I’m completely sold. Fantastic!

  13. Your burger looks absolutely mouthwatering! Avocado definitely makes this a CA burger :).

  14. Sounds like an awesome burger, whether is it legit Cali or not ๐Ÿ™‚ So proud of you to hear you sometimes bbq in the snow. I like it too.

  15. That burger needs to meet my face, asap! I love anything that involves avocado…especially a burger! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. This looks like an awesome recipe. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  17. Liz, I had no idea such a thing as California burger existed but I have fallen in love with what you have prepared. I find the melted seasoned butter idea excellent. I always add spices directly to the meat… Next time I will also put some avocado in my burger too.

  18. It has avocado, so it’s definitely a California burger! My parents grilled in the winter too! You just can’t replace the flavor of charcoal.

  19. This qualifies as a bona fide California burger to this native! Thanks for sharing.

  20. I can’t believe it is time again. What to grill, what to grill? This recipe is at the top of my list!

  21. Yum! That’s all I’m gonna say, just yum:@)

  22. Burgers are such an essential of life. I am very pleased with my gluten-free bread rolls which make a mean burger. Avocado is essential but I use chili sauce and hummus instead of tomato sauce for a change.

  23. These burgers look delicious Lizzy!!

  24. What a juicy looking burger! We are year round grillers too when the hubby feels like braving the cold and snow:) Definitely love the addition of avocado on these:)

  25. Your California burger sounds great. I don’t think I’ve ever put an avocado on a burger but why not – it sounds delicious! Now I may have to just slather some guacamole on top, you’ve inspired me.

  26. I love the avocado on these burgers… Love that extra creamy texture they give. I think these totally are Californian with all ther beautiful colors and veggies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I didn’t know you grew up in Iowa. I haven’t been there. Was it where they filmed ‘The Bridges of Madison County’? Burgers are just great in the summer and they’re a meal that’s enjoyed by the entire family xx

  28. i don;t want no Texas burger- give me a CA burger this year! WOW!

  29. Yum!! i love the idea of avocado on a burger, sounds delicious… I would call it a Californian Burger too because its like the Californian Sushi Rolls ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Dear Lizzy, Sounds like this burger would be delicious in any state! Blessings, Catherine

  31. I love this. Perfect burgers for a perfect holiday weekend.

    I’m such a grill girl. I push hubs out of the way so I can grill. I’m eyeing up a new charcoal grill. Um, hubs doesn’t know yet, so let’s just keep that between us.

  32. One look at that burger and I’m ready to wave the flag.

  33. I’m not even a big meat eater but your hamburger looks mighty good, Liz…Got to love our menfolk with the ketchup – my hubby has a similar habit.

  34. I love this! The add of avocado brought the whole burger to another level….HEALTHY ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. we almost always grill out as well! We’ll have to try these soon!

  36. This burger sounds awesome and so delicious.

  37. That looks so juicy and delicious! I love avocado, tomatoes and mayo in my burger. YUM!!!

  38. Whatever you decide to call this burger, it looks wonderful. I’m ready for one right now! You did a great job with the photography too Liz. We just did a burger shoot for California Avocado. Just before we did it, I ready that burgers are one of the most difficult things to photograph! That made me a bit nervous ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Amazing looking burger! Love the avocado. We only cook burgers on the grill. Your husband has inspired me to make sure we do more winter grilling.

  40. Butter in burgers? Genius!

  41. Um, you had me completely with the butter in the recipe, babe. Xx

  42. As long as it’s perfectly-cooked …… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your burger sure looks fantastic ! Sans avocado , I’ll happily munch it ๐Ÿ˜€

  43. That butter and soy sauce mix sounds delicious. I will make these for the 4th.

  44. Mmm it’s hard to pass up a good burger! We aren’t very complicated with our burgers either. The most work I’ve done is put a sunny side up egg on top. And since you have a working grill, I’ll be right over ๐Ÿ˜‰

  45. Looks yummy! I love avocado on burgers.

  46. Sliced avocado is a MUST on all of my burgers! This looks perfect!

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