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Healthy alternative to the classic meat patty

Healthy alternative to the classic meat patty

15 January 2014

Lentil and mince burger patties taste as good as bought meat patties, yet they are cheaper and healthier, so why not try this recipe at a family barbecue this summer?

That’s according to Health Promotion Advisor Nigel Fitzpatrick who with help from the Heart Foundation has become a recent convert to lentil and mince patties.

The taste was tested at the Lifelong Learning Extravaganza on 5 September, by firing up the barbie outside Te Manawa Museum, and inviting people to try the lentil and mince patties.  The patties were served in brown bread with tomato sauce, and the lentils were an obvious part of the patty. 

The response was very positive, with people coming back for more and some even taking away the recipe to try at home.  The recipe comes from the Heart Foundation who also supplied the ingredients. 


• 250g lean beef mince
• 400g canned lentils, drained and rinsed  (or you can cook your own lentils)
• 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
• 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 medium peeled carrot, grated
• pinch ground pepper


1. Combine all ingredients 
2. Knead mixture until it is well combined and sticking together
3. Divide meat mixture into 130g portions
4. Roll each portion into a ball then flatten 
5. Heat the grill in your oven
6. Place the burger patties on a baking tray and grill until well browned on each side
7. Serve with your choice of accompaniments 

Don’t forget to barbie a few vegies as well: capsicum, tomatoes, mushrooms, aubergines, sweetcorn, courgettes, onions and garlic can be brushed with oil and grilled until tender.  Or, you can cube and grill vegetables on skewers to make vegetable kebabs.

Finally; to help my colleagues in Public Health who investigate food-poisoning incidents (and to save yourself some embarrassment) remember to:

•          Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before starting
•          Don’t place or prepare raw meat next to cooked or partially cooked meat or food that is ready to eat
•          Use clean plates and BBQ gear
•          Make sure the meat is well cooked to prevent food poisoning 
•          Keep meat, poultry and other perishable foods cold (2-4°C) until they are ready to be cooked

Using pre-cooked poultry and sausages is recommended. For more details, check out


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