The ultimate makeover: Burgers

The ultimate makeover: Burgers

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(23 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
Turn a barbecue favourite into a superhealthy treat without compromising on taste

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze raw burgers only
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal405
  • fat15.4g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre5g
  • protein32g
  • salt1.44g


    For the burgers

    • 400g lean beef mince (10% fat), preferably organic



      The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

    • 5 spring onions, finely chopped
      Spring onions

      Spring onion

      sp-ring un-yun

      Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

    • 140g finely grated carrot



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon



      A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…

    • 1 medium egg, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 4 wholemeal bread rolls, split in half
    • 1½ tsp rapeseed oil, for brushing
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 25g watercress



      With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

    For the roasted pepper salsa

    • 2 large red peppers halved lengthways and deseeded
    • 100g cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
    • 2 tsp lime juice
    • 2 tsp snipped chives
    • ¼ very small red onion, thinly sliced
    • pinch crushed chillies



      Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…


    1. Tip the mince into a bowl with the spring onions, grated carrot, garlic, mustard, tarragon and egg. Mix well using a fork. Season with pepper and a pinch of salt, then divide the mixture into 4. Flatten each piece with your hands into a 10cm round (A), about 2cm thick – a similar width to the buns. Chill for about 30 mins. Or can be made a day ahead: stack the burgers between pieces of greaseproof paper to stop them sticking, wrap in cling film then chill until ready to cook.

    2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6. Lay the peppers, cut sides down, on a non-stick baking sheet. Roast for 35 mins until the skins are charred, laying the tomatoes next to them, cut-side up, for the final 3 mins just to soften slightly. Remove and immediately transfer the peppers to a small bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for 5-10 mins until cool enough to handle. Peel off the pepper skins (B), chop the peppers and tip them back into the bowl to join any juices there. Chop the tomatoes and stir into the peppers with the lime juice, chives, onion and chillies. Taste and add a grind of pepper if needed. Set aside. Can be made 1-2 days ahead and chilled.

    3. Heat a griddle pan, or cook the burgers on the barbecue. Lay the cut sides of the buns on the griddle and cook until marked with the griddle bars. Brush each burger on one side with some of the rapeseed oil. Place on the hot griddle, oiled side down. Cook – don’t move them or they may stick – for 5 mins for medium, brush the unoiled side with the rest of the oil (C), then turn and cook for another 5 mins. (For well done, add an extra 1-2 mins to each side.)

    4. Remove and let the burgers rest for 2-3 mins. Drizzle a little of the pepper juices over the bottom of each bun to moisten, lay on some watercress sprigs, top with a burger, then a spoonful of the salsa (D), spooning over some more of the juices. Sandwich together with the tops of the buns.

    You may also like

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    New male cook
    29th May, 2020
    I'm failing to see how these are healthier than most other burger recipes apart from maybe a nod towards it by specifying the use of wholemeal bread rolls.
    26th Jun, 2018
    Sadly the tarragon was overpowering and left the burgers with an unpleasant taste. The relish was lovely. I think on reflection if I were to make another ‘healthy’ burger, I’d look to one of the many vegetable/bean based burger recipes on here instead and leave the beef for the naughty ones!
    25th Sep, 2017
    These have become a weekly staple in our house, so easy but satisfying! I use a little more mustard, garlic and carrot with lower fat beef. I also normally never have spring onions so usually just normal brown onions. So good!
    5th Jun, 2014
    The burgers weren't that different to any others, but LOVED the red pepper salsa and so did everyone else! Will make again for the adults for a family BBQ and the burgers as I always make my own and it's as good a recipe as any others I've used before. Kids won't appreciate them or the work involved if under 12!
    RosieVimes's picture
    25th Feb, 2014
    Made these yesterday and they were wonderful! All very straight forward, what could be easier than bunging everything into a bowl and then mixing them together? Next time I would certainly make the burgers further in advance as I think that they need that little bit longer to chill in order to hold together properly. I'd also recommend making the salsa in advance as well, just to minimise the time spent in the kitchen when it actually comes to cooking the burgers. In the salsa itself, I substituted some chopped celery instead of the onion, which really gave it that added freshness. I cooked the burgers for about four and a half minutes each side which was perfect. The burgers were moist, juicy and full of flavour. Served along side the Baked Skinny Fries, the recipe of which you can also find on this website. Definitely give both a try!
    6th Aug, 2013
    I was missing half of the ingredients for these burgers but still gave them a go anyway and they tasted great...I made them with mince, 1/4 of a white onion, English mustard, garlic infused olive oil, grated carrot and an egg.
    11th Jul, 2013
    Delish burgers and tasty tangy salsa! Had never used tarragon before and couldn't find fresh in my local so used dried instead, it really added something special to the flavour. Would definitely recommend not skipping the tarragon in this recipe. Yuummmmm :-)
    2nd Jul, 2013
    I made the burgers and served with sweet potato wedges and kiwi and avocado green salad, burgers crumbled somewhat but were nevertheless delicious, big hit with husband and 2 teenage boys!
    28th May, 2013
    Very popular with my children and husband. A firm favourite now.
    29th Jan, 2013
    Very tasty indeed. I added paprika 1 tsp as well. Will make again


    Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
    Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?