Burger 'wannabe' kings: 9 barbecue recipes made from leftovers

Posted by Ella Buchan on 30 May 2016

Credit:  Lukas Gojda

When the sun does peep around the clouds, don’t waste time trekking to the shops for barbecue ingredients. Just take a look in your fridge - we bet you have the ingredients for at least one of these tasty burgers...


Turn leftover sausages into delicious burgers or meatballs by slicing open, pulling out the meat and shaping into patties to fry or grill.

You can do this with any raw sausage meat, adding some spice with salt, pepper and fennel seeds and pep up with a little harissa paste or chilli.

Serve in flatbreads (or whatever bread you have lying around) with leftover baba ganoush (aubergine dip) and salad.

Meatball burger
Cooking Around the World

Leftover grains

It’s easy to cook too much rice, quinoa or other grains, but luckily these all make a fantastic base for burgers.

Throw in chopped fresh herbs, leftover canned or cooked beans and a scoop of rolled oats too.

Try this recipe, using quinoa and chickpeas.

Bean and oat burger
Well Plated

Cooked chicken

Chicken is one of our most wasted foods, with UK families throwing more than 130 tonnes in the bin each year.

Instead, use leftover roast chicken and cooked chicken breasts to make burgers with a twist. Just finely chop or mince, mix in garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, bind with egg or breadcrumbs and grill on the BBQ.

Pork, beef and lamb can also be revived in the same way.

Chicken burger
Kitchen Sanctuary

Sweet potato and black beans

Mash up uneaten sweet potatoes with cooked black beans and quinoa to create a hearty, scrumptious burger.

Chop in any veggies and herbs that need using, too.

Sweet potato and black bean burger
Cherished Bliss


Use up the last bits of cauli plus any end bits of cheese to make mouthwatering patties. Top with avocado and salad, leaving out the bread if you want a low-carb meal.

Cauliflower patio with avocado
Carb Switch


Use up beets, carrots and kale for an impressive burger that tastes as good as it looks.

Veggie beetroot burgers
Handful of Recipes

All the veg

Roast up all that veg and layer up to make a delicious alternative to meaty burgers.

Roasted veggie burger

Macaroni cheese

Use leftover mac ‘n’ cheese to make a ‘stack’ and top with your burger of choice.

Sure to turn heads at your next barbecue/garden gathering.

Mac ‘n’ cheese topped with burger


This ultimate veggie burger uses up anything and everything - cooked sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice, onions, herbs, greens... Use this recipe as a guide and just throw in any leftovers you have.

Sweet potatoe, quinoa, rice veggie burgers
Stefanie Neal/Eat Clean

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