Build a better burger with a full-of-flavour relish, sauce or savoury jam.
2 Feb 2021 - 9:15 PM  UPDATED 3 Feb 2021 - 1:28 PM

--- See Sarah Graham making cool drinks and much more in Sarah Graham's Food Safari, weekdays at 4pm and then via SBS On Demand ---

Perk up your patty with ten of our favourite burger toppings. 


This caramelised capsicum and onion relish will perk up any burger - like the haloumi burger pictured. 

Haloumi burgers with peperonata

Onion and fennel relish

This easy onion, apple and fennel relish will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Serve it up with the Turkey and sage burgers pictured, or ring the changes and pair it with chicken or pork. 

Turkey and sage burgers with onion and fennel relish

Sticky red onions

Simmered over low heat for about 20 minutes, the onions become deliciously caramelised and sticky.  There's a little rosemary, lemon juice and brown sugar in there to take these up a notch.

See Sarah Graham making these in Sarah Graham's Food Safari - the episode is streaming now at SBS On Demand. 

Pea puree

If you're looking for a burger that demands attention, try Rachel Khoo's Swedish Wallenbergare burger, which is served with a vibrant pea puree. "Think of this burger as a jumbo Swedish meatball, crumbed and fried, then layered on a bun with smashed buttery peas and lingonberry jam. The ultimate dinner sandwich," she says. 

Wallenbergare burger

Quince chutney

Turning fruit into chutney is a great way to make the most of seasonal bounty, says Paul West of this chutney, with is a great match with pork burgers, pork sausages or bacon. 

Quince chutney

Pickled fennel

The pickled fennel is just one of several layers of flavour in the Peter Kuruvita's grilled miso eggplant and haloumi burgers with bok choy. Packed into sterilised jars, the pickled fennel will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge so you can make it ahead and have handy for this or other burger creations. 

Bacon, beer and rosemary jam

"Imagine you’re making a sandwich or a burger and you open the fridge only to find that you’ve run out of bacon. It’s a difficult and distressing thought to dwell on, so stay with me here just a moment longer. Imagine then, discovering that past-you had cooked up a batch of this jam: an in-case-of-emergency-break-glass* jar of bacon-laced jammy goodness to get you through the hard times," says Jack Campbell of this burger and sandwich star. 

Quick pickled onion

Great for a burger, or a cheese or charcuterie board, these take just 10 minutes to make, although they can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for about a week. 

Big Zac secret sauce (it's vegan)

The Big Zac secret sauce, as the name suggests, is part of a recipe for a 'Big Zac" - "An iconic flavour combination, which I have veganised and bears absolutely no resemblance to a burger with a similar name," says recipe creator Zacchary Bird. The sauce is based on vegan mayonnaise - you can buy one or use Bird's recipe. 

Bloody Mary relish

"It’s a great relish, which, like its namesake, is a real pick-me-up, with a tasty zing and moreish piquancy all of its own," says Guy Tullberg. (The vodka is optional.) 

Looking for more ideas? Check out our burger, condiment or chutney recipe collections. 


More terrific toppings
Kangaroo burgers with apple and fennel slaw

Kangaroo is a delicious, lean alternative to the classic beef patty, particularly when enhanced with herbs and spice mix, as we've done here. The light, tangy crispness of the apple and fennel slaw pairs perfectly with the juicy burger, creating a stunning summer combo for backyard parties or easy home dinners.

Mushroom burgers with smoky aubergine sauce

“Even the most fanatical meat lovers will love this veggie burger because it has all the classic trimmings of a regular burger, including the chips. The mushrooms replace the buns so it’s also gluten-free but it’s so delicious you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. Plus, the aubergine (eggplant) sauce adds that smoky barbecue touch.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne

Bacon and egg roll with HP-style sauce

Think of this as the all-day burger. It's just at home as breakfast, brunch - or recovery food - as it is as a super-easy dinner. 

Bacon butties with homemade horseradish mayo

Homemade bacon butties filled with good smoky bacon and laced with horseradish and watercress just taste good. If you like more of a kick, you can add more horseradish. This recipe makes a generous amount of the mayo, but it’s hard to make less as it’s difficult to whisk 1 egg yolk. Store mayo in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Chicken burgers with bacon and barbecue sauce