Midweek meal: Make a difference with Annie Bell’s healthier planet burger recipe

Your burger needn't cost the Earth. Image: PA Photo/Andrew Burton.
Your burger needn’t cost the Earth. Image: PA Photo/Andrew Burton.

Annie Bell’s Healthier Planet burger recipe is a crowd-pleasing dish that happens to be kind to the environment.

“These burgers go down the half-beef, half-lentil route, and they are every bit as satisfying as a pure beef burger,” says Annie Bell, author of Healthier Planet, Healthier You.

“Extras of fried onions, grated cheese, sliced lettuce, or salsa and guacamole for a ‘fiesta’, are also good. Personally I like to eat these sandwiched between crisp lettuce leaves rather than a bun, but over to you.”

Healthier planet burgers

(Serves 4)

Annie Bell’s healthier planet burger. Image: PA Photo/Andrew Burton.


For the burgers:

  • 300g lean minced beef
  • 300g cooked green lentils
  • 2 heaped tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

To serve:

  • ½ red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 cocktail gherkins, sliced
  • 4 wholemeal burger buns, halved
  • English mustard
  • Tomato ketchup
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced

For the mustard mayo:

  • 40g mayonnaise
  • 40g soured cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


  1. Place the beef, lentils, shallots and some seasoning in a food processor and whizz to a sticky mixture, so some of the lentils remain whole. Shape the mixture into eight burgers using a 9cm plain round cutter. If you want you can make them in advance, then cover and chill them.
  2. Heat two teaspoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the burgers, in batches, for two minutes on each side until an even gold, replenishing the oil as necessary. They burn more easily than a pure meat burger, so keep an eye on them.
  3. Combine the sliced onion and gherkins.
  4. If serving the burgers with buns, toast the cut side of the buns under a grill, preheated to high. Place a burger on each bun half, smear some mustard over and then plenty of tomato ketchup, or the Mustard mayo (below). Next lay over a slice of tomato and season, then scatter over some sliced onion and gherkin.
  5. For the mustard mayo:
  6. Blend all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and chill until required. This will keep well for several days.

For more midweek meal ideas, check out our archive.

Healthier Planet, Healthier You by Annie Bell is published by One Boat, priced £18.99. Photography by Andrew Burton. Available now.

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Lifestyle – The Courier