veggie burger recipe with broad bean and sweet potato

Burger recipes with a difference, from broad bean to chipotle chicken

Posted by for Food and Drink

Bored of beef? Expand your horizons with these anything-but-ordinary burger recipes.

There are many arguments about which country does the best burger. There’s the classic American diner version (Pulp Fiction, we see you), the French bistro version (usually served very pink inside), and the Australian version where it’s practically a crime to eat it without a slice of tinned beetroot. The one thing they have in common? They all include a beef patty. But what to do if you’re not in the mood for a classic quarter pounder? The answer: try a burger made of vegetables, chicken, pork, lamb or fish.

Below, you’ll find five imaginative and easy-on-the-eye burger recipes to make throughout spring and into summer. Vegetarians will love Ollie Hunter’s broad bean and sweet potato burgers, a stylish recipe loaded with herbs, spices and exciting toppings: goat’s cheese, apple glaze and pickled beetroot, anyone?

If you’re into chicken, try the burger by Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones, founders of west London restaurant Wild By Tart and bespoke catering company Tart London. They recommend mincing your own chicken, as it creates a better texture and flavour. Don’t be tempted to skimp on the chipotle in adobo sauce, either: you can find it in big supermarkets or online. We love La Morena Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce (£2.79, Sous Chef), which gets bonus points for its retro packaging. 

For a burger that will transport you to the seaside, go for Christian Stevenson’s smoked haddock burger, which features poached white fish and deep-fried salty samphire sandwiched in a soft poppyseed bun with citrus mayo. His char siu burger, meanwhile, is a twist on Chinese pork buns, with strips of quick-pickled cucumber adding zing to glazed pork belly patties.

Finally, Stevenson’s lamb shawarma burger is a recipe to keep in your back pocket for when the weather warms up and we can finally have friends round for barbecues. A seriously impressive culinary feat, it takes more time than the other recipes and requires a kettle-style outdoor grill with a lid, such as the Weber Bar-B-Kettle Charcoal Grill (£120, Blacks). But the showstopping result (seriously, who wouldn’t be impressed by a lamb shoulder burger served on a ciabatta bun?) is more than worth it. Happy grilling. 

  • Smoked haddock burger

    haddock fish burger recipe
    Best burger recipes: Christian Stevenson's smoked haddock burger

    Makes 2 burgers


    • vegetable oil, for deep-fat frying (at least 2 litres)
    • 2 white poppyseed buns

    For the smoked haddock:

    • 1 litre milk
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 8 peppercorns
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 x 250g thick skinless smoked haddock fillets

    For the samphire:

    • 100g gram flour
    • 130ml water
    • pinch of salt
    • 200g samphire

    For the citrus mayo:

    • zest of 1 lemon
    • zest and juice of 1 lime
    • 2 tbsp mayonnaise


    Make the citrus mayo by mixing all the ingredients together well. Set aside to infuse.

    Put the milk in a saucepan, with the bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and salt, and bring up to a simmer – either over direct heat on the grill or over a medium to low heat on the hob. Add the fish and gently poach for 5 minutes. Remove onto a plate and set aside to rest for a few minutes.

    Pour the oil into a large saucepan (or you can use a deep-fat fryer), set it over a high heat and get that oil hot. Once the temperature reaches 180°C, you are good to fry.

    Whisk up the gram flour and water with a pinch of salt. Add in the samphire, mix again so it is all covered, then sprinkle the coated samphire into the fryer so it doesn’t all stick together. Remove when crispy (about 3 minutes) and drain on paper towels.

    Toast your buns and stuff them with the crispy samphire and poached fish, topped with a big dollop of the citrus mayo. Cracking!

    From The Burger Book: Banging Burgers, Sides And Sauces To Cook Indoors And Out by Christian Stevenson (£12.99, Quadrille), out now

  • Broad bean burgers with goat’s cheese, apple glaze and pickled beetroot

    veggie burger recipe with broad bean and sweet potato
    Best burger recipes: Ollie Hunter's broad bean burgers

    Makes 4 burgers


    For the pickled beetroot (makes more than you need but will keep for at least a month):

    • 100ml red wine vinegar
    • 200ml cider vinegar
    • 100g golden caster sugar
    • 1 star anise
    • 10 coriander seeds
    • 10 cumin seeds
    • 5 fennel seeds
    • 2 raw beetroots

    For the apple glaze:

    • 1 litre apple juice
    • 280ml apple cider vinegar
    • 120g golden caster sugar

    For the burgers:

    • 600g sweet potatoes
    • 240g cooked broad beans (1 x 400g drained can)
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp ground dried chilli flakes
    • 70g broad bean flour

    To serve:

    • 4 slices of goat’s cheese
    • brioche burger buns
    • condiments of your choice


    Start by making the pickled beetroot. Stir together both vinegars, the sugar and all the spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.

    Meanwhile, peel the beetroots, then continue using the peeler to shave them into fine strips. Add the beetroot shavings to the warm pickling solution. Leave to infuse at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour. The pickled beetroot will keep in a sterilized sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

    While this is happening, make the apple glaze. Stir together the apple juice, apple cider vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Reduce over a medium heat for about 30–40 minutes or until there’s one-sixth left – you should have about 150ml.

    To make the burgers, preheat the oven 200°C fan/220°C/gas mark 7.

    Place the sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Leave the potatoes until cool enough to touch and then scoop the flesh out of the skins.

    Place the sweet potato flesh, cooked broad beans, spices, dried chilli flakes, 30g of the flour and some salt to a food processor and blitz until bound together.

    Tip the mixture out into a bowl and shape into 4 burger patties with your hands. Dip each patty in the remaining flour to coat the outside all over. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet and roast the burgers for 25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

    Place a slice of goat’s cheese on top of each burger and cook for a further 3 minutes.

    Assemble the burgers inside your delicious homemade brioche buns, with any condiments you like. I always think a cheeky bit of mayonnaise (especially a herby one) on the bottom bun helps to keep it moist – place the burger on top, then drizzle over some apple glaze and finish with some pickled beetroot and the burger bun lid.

    From Join The Greener Revolution: 30 Easy Ways To Live And Eat Sustainably by Ollie Hunter (£14.99, Pavilion Books), out now 

  • Char siu burger

    chinese pork belly burger recipe
    Best burger recipes: Christian Stevenson's char siu burger

    Makes 4 burgers


    • 1.2kg boneless pork belly, butterflied, rolled and tied
    • 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
    • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
    • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
    • 4 plain white buns

    For the pork glaze:

    • 1 litre water
    • 250ml orange juice
    • 150ml light soy sauce
    • 150ml rice wine
    • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
    • ½ tsp sesame oil
    • 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
    • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 red chilli, sliced

    For the pickled cucumber:

    • 100ml rice vinegar
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
    • ½ cucumber, sliced

    You’ll also need

    A casserole pot with a lid, a frying pan and a steamer


    If you’re cooking outdoors, get your grill rocking.

    Add all the glaze ingredients to a casserole pot and place it either over a medium heat on the hob or over the direct heat on the grill.

    Say a few kind words to your pork belly, then add it to the pot, bring to the boil, put on the lid and leave to simmer slowly for 2 hours until tender.

    While the pork is cooking, pickle your cucumber. This little delight will cut through that rich pork belly. In a small saucepan over a low heat, heat the vinegar and sugar together with the peppercorns, until the sugar has dissolved.

    Let it cool, then pour over the sliced cucumber. Leave for 30 minutes until the cucumber is tangy.

    When the pork is cooked, remove it from the casserole pot, wrap it in cling film (plastic wrap) and cool for 30 minutes.

    Pour the remaining sweet-swelling liquid from the pot into a large frying pan and set over a medium heat on the hob (or over direct heat on the grill) and reduce until it is thick. This will take at least 30 minutes. Once the glaze is thick and shiny, leave to cool.

    Slice the cooled pork into four thick burgers and add to the cooled glaze pan. Put the pan back on a medium heat (or the grill), and spoon the glaze over the pork slices.

    Once they are sticky and have a nice colour on them, get your steamer ready – put it on the heat source (hob or grill) and place a square of baking paper in it.

    Layer up the glazed pork belly, spring onions, chilli slices, sesame seeds and pickled cucumber in the bun. Place on the paper in the steamer and steam for 5 minutes until hot and soft.

    Serve with any extra glaze as a dipping sauce.

    From The Burger Book: Banging Burgers, Sides And Sauces To Cook Indoors And Out by Christian Stevenson (£12.99, Quadrille), out now

  • Chicken burgers with maple-chipotle mayonnaise and pickled cucumber

    chipotle chicken burger recipe
    Best burger recipes: Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones' chicken burgers

    Makes about 10


    • 700g chicken (minced or not; use a mixture of breast and thigh)
    • 10 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 4 tbsp finely grated parmesan
    • 75g peeled and grated fresh ginger
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • large bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves chopped
    • 1½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 limes, zest and juice
    • groundnut oil (or other flavourless oil), for frying

    For the pickled cucumbers:

    • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp caster sugar
    • ½ cucumber
    • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
    • 1 red chilli, sliced

    For the maple-chipotle mayonnaise:

    • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
    • 5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or 1 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp harissa)
    • 1 lime, zest and juice
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • salt and pepper

    To serve:

    • burger buns (we like to toast them a little)
    • 2 little gem lettuces, leaves separated
    • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1cm slices
    • 2 red onions, sliced into thin halfmoons and fried until crisp


    First make the pickled cucumber. Mix the vinegar and the sugar together until it dissolves. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cucumber lengthways, working all the way round but stopping when you get to the seeds.

    Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber strips and toss; set aside. When you are ready to serve, lightly toast the sesame seeds and scatter over the cucumber along with the chilli.

    Make the mayo: put the mayonnaise in a blender with the chipotle peppers, lime zest and juice and maple syrup and season.

    If you are using minced chicken then simply place in a bowl. If not, roughly chop up, removing any gristle and pop into a food possessor.

    Pulse until it is just minced – you do not want to form a paste. Add the rest of the burger ingredients to the minced chicken, season with salt and pepper and combine.

    Using your hands, shape into about 10 burgers and place on a plate, then flatten slightly with your hand (you don’t want them too thick as they must cook fully all the way through, unlike traditional beef burgers).

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken burgers and cook, in batches, for 4 minutes each side – they should be well seared.

    Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper (we would always check one by cutting in half to make sure they are fully cooked – do not serve pink).

    Serve in toasted buns with lettuce, tomatoes, crispy onions, a generous dollop of the smoky mayo and the pickled cucumber on the side.

    From A Love Of Eating: Recipes From Tart London by Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones (£25, Square Peg), out now

  • Lamb shawarma burger

    Lamb shawarma burger recipe
    Best burger recipes: Christian Stevenson's lamb shawarma burger

    Makes 4 burgers


    • ½ boned-out butterflied lamb shoulder, around 1–1.5kg
    • 8 cherry tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • sprig of thyme, leaves picked
    • 4 ciabatta buns or flatbreads
    • 8 baby gem lettuce leaves
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • pickled jalapeños or chillies
    • 100ml natural yogurt
    • sea salt

    For the spice mix:

    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp garlic granules
    • ½ tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • ½ tsp cayenne
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

    You’ll also need

    A kettle-style outdoor grill with lid


    This is a big one, so you need to get started early so you can blow away your friends and family with its deliciousness.

    Trim off any gristle and flatten out the butterflied shoulder with a rolling pin. Using a sharp knife, cut the lamb into 10cm-wide pieces.

    Stir all the ingredients for the spice mix together in a bowl, then rub it all over the lamb. Make sure the meat is evenly covered with the spice mix.

    Good luck with this next bit – you will need a steady hand. Neatly stack the lamb pieces on a chopping board. Holding the pile of lamb secure with the finger and thumb of one hand: use a long and skinny sharp knife to pierce through the middle of all the lamb pieces, vertically from top to bottom.

    Keeping the knife in place, take a long metal spoon and slide the handle down the flat side of the knife, so you can replace the knife with the spoon. Nice work! How does that feel? You are making a proper lamb shawarma. Pick up the end of the spoon and make sure the lamb is secure.

    Place the lamb over direct heat on the grill. Once you get a good char on the meat, turn it, until the whole of the outside is cooked. Then move the lamb to the indirect side of the grill, and put the lid on to make sure the middle is properly cooked through or at least blushing – lamb is best served medium, this could take 30–45 minutes.

    When it’s cooked, the lamb needs to rest for about 10 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to roast your cherry tomatoes. Stick them in a small roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with thyme leaves and salt.

    Put the tin on the grill, return the lid and roast until tender, about 15 minutes. If you’re doing this indoors, make sure you preheat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 first.

    Toast your buns and get ready for the build, as this is going to be epic. When the meat is ready, holding the spoon upright, carve downwards to slice the meat off it.

    Bottom bun first, then 2 lettuce leaves per bun.

    Place a good portion of lamb chunks on the lettuce. Follow that with the red onions and pickled jalapeños. Drizzle some yogurt onto all this goodness, and top with the tomatoes and bun.

    From The Burger Book: Banging Burgers, Sides And Sauces To Cook Indoors And Out by Christian Stevenson (£12.99, Quadrille), out now 

Images: Louise Hagger; © David Loftus

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