Build the Perfect Burger

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Beetroot Black Beans Burger with red onion, capsicum and cheese on a focaccia roll from Bellbird Bakery

There’s nothing quite like biting into a homemade burger. Not only is it a great way to save money, but it also allows you to let your imagination run wild with infinite ingredients and flavour combinations.

We are excited to share a recipe from one of our suppliers and customers, Untamed Earth. Penny, Ollie, Isaac and their team grow over forty different kinds of fruit, vegetables, and herbs on 60 acres of organic market gardens just south of Ōtautahi/Christchurch. They sell their produce at farmers’ markets and from their farm shop in Beckenham where they also stock our bread. We use their veggies in our sandwiches; local and organic is best!

Read on for the recipe and some staff-favourite burger combinations to inspire you!

Beetroot Black Bean Burgers

Untamed Earth has kindly provided us with a unique vegetarian burger recipe. Here’s Penny’s background story:

“I first made this recipe when I was cooking for 70 people on an anti-uranium mining camp in Western Australia. I was one of the last meals on our month-long journey, and all that was left in the kitchen truck was a very large can of black beans, a few eggs, a huge can of jalapeño peppers, and a box of very soft beetroot and cabbages. I served these patties with flatbread, jalapeno sauce and coleslaw. I reckon it was one of the best meals I’ve ever cooked.”


  • 1 large beetroot, coarsely grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Oil for frying
  • Flour for dusting


  1. In a large pan, fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic, spices and grated beetroot and cook for another five minutes or so.
  2. While the beetroot mix is cooking, mix the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Tip the beetroot mix into the bowl and mix well. (I used my hand.) The mixture should be sticky, but not wet.
  4. Form the mixture into patties, using your hands and a bit of flour to keep them from sticking.
  5. Let the patties sit for 10 minutes or so, and then fry in a pan for around 5 to 10 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Be gentle as they will be quite fragile.
  6. Enjoy with your favourite buns and toppings.

The Best Buns for Your Burger

To elevate your burger from good to great, you need a good bun. At Bellbird we reckon the bread is at least as important as the filling! Whether you prefer a classic bun or something more gourmet, we’ve got you covered:

  • Focaccia Burger Bun: Soft and incredibly versatile, this bun will suit any burger. Our go-to for vegan options.
  • Focaccia Roll: A bit bigger and flatter than the Focaccia Burger Bun, this one is great if you have lots of fillings and are feeling very hungry.
  • Brioche Bun: for something a bit more decadent, that bun adds a touch of Je-ne-sais-quoi to your burger experience.

Embrace the Seasons: Fresh and Affordable

One of the best ways to make your homemade burgers stand out is by using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Not only does this ensure that your burgers are packed with flavour, but it also helps you keep costs down. How about shopping at Untamed Earth’s farm shop for some fresh, seasonal and organic veggies?

Using seasonal ingredients means that your burgers can change and evolve throughout the year. A winter burger might feature hearty root vegetables and warming spices, while a summer burger can be bursting with fresh greens and vibrant flavours.

Staff Favourites

Many Bellbird team members love to experiment in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favourites to inspire you:

Nicolas – Double Beef

  • Patty: Beef mince x2
  • Toppings: Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato sauce and mayonnaise
  • Bun: Brioche bun

Jacques – Spicy Chicken

  • Patty: Crumbed chicken breast
  • Toppings: Provolone, avocado, jalapeños and spicy lime mayo
  • Bun: Focaccia bun

Dani – Gourmet Lamb

  • Patty: Lamb mince
  • Toppings: Red cabbage, tomato, avocado, yoghurt and cumin salad, Parmesan crisp and chipotle aioli
  • Bun: Brioche bun

Courtenay – Epic Vegan

  • Patty: Twice-frozen tofu (that is a trick to give the tofu a chicken-like texture), marinated if you wish/have time
  • Toppings: Hummus, BBQ sauce, pickles and mesclun
  • Bun: Focaccia bun

Mel – Summer Veggie Party

  • Patty: Falafel
  • Toppings: Grilled zucchini or sliced cucumber, fresh tomato, mint, garlic yoghurt sauce, hummus, pickled red onion
  • Bun: Brioche bun

Timea – Meat Lover

  • Patty: Beef mince
  • Toppings: Bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, caramelised onions and lashings of homemade Big Mac sauce because there’s “nothing worse than a dry burger.”
  • Bun: Focaccia bun

We hope this inspires you to get into the kitchen and start creating your own delicious burgers. Don’t forget to tag us (@bellbirdbakery) in your creations on social media and let us know your favourite bun-filling combinations!

Happy cooking!

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