Zombie burgers using dead bread

Dec 7, 2015 | 3 comments


Tried the first experiment with reviving dead bread stored as breadcrumbs today.  Had a look in the fridge and found a few bits and pieces that I thought would work, got a bag of breadcrumbs out of the freezer and had a play. I have set out below what I used to give an idea of what worked. It all depends on what you have available.


Small onion, 100g, chopped, 5p
Tsp garlic paste, I used a 500g jar/£2.69 from an Indian shop, 3p
Tsp ginger paste, I used a 500g jar/£2.69 from an Indian shop, 3p
150g carrots, grated, Asda 50p kilo, 7p
Broccoli 20g, Asda 49p a head (340g), 3p
Medium Apple, Asda Smartprice 80p/500g, 16p
Half a pepper, Asda 3 pack, 33p each, 16p
25g Parmesan, Asda 170g/£1.50, 22p
Tsp mustard, Asda Smartprice 25p/200g, 1p
170g breadcrumbs, Asda value loaf, 40p/800g, 8p
Salt and pepper
About 2tblsp oil, £1/litre, 3p

Total cost 87p, made 8 burgers, 2 to a portion, so 11p a burger, 22p a portion

Total nutrition
755 cals, 28g protein, 99g carbs, 37g fat, 10g fibre
per burger, 94 cals, 3g protein, 12g carbs,, 5g fat, 1g fibre
per 2 burger portion, 188 cals, 7g protein, 25g carbs, 9g fat, 2g fibre

Served with 500g parsnips for the two of us, which gave us another 160 cals, 4g protein, 2g fat, 28g carbs.

So for us, the total meal came to 350 cals, which was enough

Sauté the onion in about half a tblsp oil, add garlic and ginger and sizzle for a bit.

Chop all the veg up small and add to the pan. Continue to sauté for a bit until the veg are all almost cooked. They need to still have some bite, we don’t want sogginess.

Chopped veg

Add the seasonings, parmesan and breadcrumbs. Mix it all really well.

I use this handy gadget that I’ve had for decades when I make anything burger shaped.

Burger press

Using the burger press, I shaped the mixture into 8 burgers, which very conveniently made enough for 4 portions. Sheer chance!

Uncooked burgers

When ready to cook, warm half a tblsp oil in a pan and sizzle the burgers until golden, flip over and repeat, adding more oil if necessary.

While that is happening, peel and slice the parsnips. Oil and season them and roast in a medium oven for about 20 minutes until golden. You could drizzle the parsnips before they’re cooked with a little honey or maple syrup if you like.

These were seriously good. Beautifully crisp and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside with al dente veg lending lovely texture.

There is a huge number of variations for Zombie burgers. New Husband decided he wanted a bit of grilled halloumi with his, and that went really well. Similarly, a poached egg or two would be lovely.

Other specific variations (as against pot luck whatever is in the fridge variations) include

Beetroot, feta and horseradish; same type of mixture as above, but leave out the Parmesan and add quite a bit of cheddar; a mixture of veg, with half a tin of sardines or anchovies or anchovy paste; same type of mix as above and add some fine chopped rosemary and sage leaves; spice up the mix with curry powder or paste; mushroom, sage, onion and potato; carrot, raisin and salted peanut.

The breadcrumbs are your base, you just need to add some veg and flavourings.

The parsnip medallions went with the burgers well, sweet potato chips would work, or a swede and carrot mash, or steamed cabbage, or peas, or baked beans. I wouldn’t really recommend a potato product, the meal would be rather unbalanced.






  1. Thrifty Lesley

    Lesley – that sounds a good idea, I’ll have to try that!

  2. lesley marrion-cole

    I have some silicone moulds, intended for cakes or muffins perhaps. If I’m going to make any sort of falafel, burger, or patty I squash the mixture into these, tamping it down hard (I use the tamper off my coffee maker but a spoon would work). That means the mix is squashed into shape and won’t come apart when cooking. I’d also take the patty from the case & microwave it before frying it, then it is more solid and won’t be raw in the middle/fall apart; a specially good technique with falafels. The silicone mould is also good for shaping rice balls.

  3. ShoestringJane

    These look delish! I might give them a go

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you!

I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community.