In [not so] important daily news. It’s fast food day. Things we’re not doing today [or ever] is stopping by a fast food chain for a burger. If that’s not your vibe either, you can treat yourself to a healthier version of the fast-food favourite – A Burger with Fries. It’s not the fastest option [good things come to those who wait ;)] but it’s worth the effort it takes.


The patties are very basic, with few ingredients. I baked them, but you can grill or braai them too.

If you’re into the DIY route, make your own rolls (which I did – it’s quicker and easier than you think!) or buy. If you’re on the gluten free / bread free train, skip one altogether and serve on a bed of greens instead.


The BBQ sauce is not sweet at all, you can adjust it by adding more honey or if you want more of a tang another tablespoon of vinegar. You can make the sauce ahead of time.


The fries are not so much fries as they are baked hot chips. The trick to getting them nice and crispy is to evenly coat with oil, spreading  them out on a tray so they don’t overlap and then turning the tray halfway through the cooking time.


If you’re making this in one go to serve right away, I’d suggest starting with the BBQ sauce, then hot chips and then burgers.


Enjoy your [not so] fast food meal


Healthy Burgers with Homemade BBQ Sauce and Baked Hot Chips

This recipe takes time and there are many elements but the resulting Homemade Burgers are very much worth it. Made from scratch these are the healthy version of a fast-food favorite.
Course: Condiments, Mains, Sides
Dietary: Dairy Free, Nut Free
Servings: 6 servings


For the Burger Patties

  • 500g Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg

For the BBQ Sauce

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove minced
  • 1 green chilli deseeded and chopped
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey

Baked Hot Chips

  • 6-7 Large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For Toppings

  • sliced cucumber, tomatoes, onions and lettuce optional, you can choose what you like
  • 6 hamburger buns


For the Burger Patties

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush oil onto a baking tray or line it with baking paper.
  • Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until they’re all combined well.
  • Divide the mixture into 6 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten the ball to make a patty shape. Press the back of a spoon into the middle of the patty to make a little indent. This helps the patties keep a flat shape when they cook (patties puff up and shrink a bit when cooked).
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the patties are fully cooked through and nicely browned.

For the BBQ Sauce

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions until they’re soft and translucent. About 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and chili and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and let cook, uncovered on low for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and is thick. Stir the mixture occasionally and when the tomatoes soften, break them up into pieces with a spoon.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cooled, blend it into a smooth mixture. The sauce will last for 3-4 days in a jar in the fridge.

For the Baked Hot Chips

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin even chips (I cut them in half lengthways, then slice each half and then slice the pieces again on the wider side)
  • Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add the spices and oil. Mix to coat the potatoes evenly.
  • Place them on the tray, trying as much as possible to not overlap the chips so they cook evenly.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through the cook time. Bake until the chips are golden brown and fully cooked. If you want them extra crispy, put the oven on broil for the last 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

To Assemble

  • To assemble the burgers, spread BBQ sauce on the rolls, top with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and your patty. Serve with hot chips.


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