Burgers can be turned from junk food into nutritional powerhouse with a few small substitutes. Red beans are packed with plant protein and iron, making them my favourite plant-based substitute for red meat. I add some beetroot directly into the patty itself in a twist on the Aussie classic.


  • For the burger patties

  • 2 cups tinned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 2 medium beetroot, peeled and grated

  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced

  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • ½ tsp ground cumin

  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tb olive oil

  • juice of ½ medium lemon

  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • To serve

  • 2 wholegrain or gluten-free buns, lightly toasted

  • 4-6 cos lettuce leaves

  • 4 slices tomato

  • ½ avocado, mashed

  • 2 tb crumbled feta

  • 2 tb hummus

  • 1 tsp harissa paste


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  • 2.

    In a food processor or blender, process the beans and olive oil until they form a thick paste. It’s ok if there are some chunks or whole beans — in fact, it’s better because it adds texture!

  • 3.

    In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cumin, and paprika. Combine well.

  • 4.

    Add the bean mixture, plus the lemon juice, beetroot, onion, garlic, and parsley. Use clean hands to mix it all together. Season with salt and pepper, and give one last mix.

  • 5.

    Form six evenly sized patties in your hand, and lay on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

  • 6.

    Cook for twenty minutes, then turn them over and cook for another twenty until cooked.

  • 7.

    If you like them crunchy and brown (I do!) you may want to finish them off under a high grill for 1-2 minutes. Keep an eye on the so you don’t burn all your hard work.

  • 8.

    Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Refrigerate four of the patties to be used in wraps later on.

  • 9.

    To serve the burgers, spread one half of the bun with avocado, and the other with hummus, feta, and then harissa. Arrange the patty, lettuce, and tomato, and enjoy!

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