The Dish: Summer burger tips from Whole Foods (recipes, video) |

The Dish: Summer burger tips from Whole Foods (recipes, video)

Daniel Sheaffer of Whole Foods puts together patties for the Cowboy Burger.
Heather Jarvis / |

The brand Whole Foods was already well known to Summit County residents before the company opened the store in Frisco in April 2014. An environmentally conscious and healthy community, Whole Foods works to emulate those concepts in both its food and practices.

For those looking to get their grill on this summer, the grocery store has a few suggestions on how to make a great burger. Daniel Sheaffer, associate store team leader in Frisco, started his career with the company in 2006 working in the meat department at the Whole Foods on Pearl Street.

For those who want to go simple, he suggests starting off with the Superior Burger.

“It’s pretty awesome just because it doesn’t have any seasonings, any sort of flavors associated with it other than its premium contents,” he said. “We use pieces of boneless chuck short ribs, pieces of brisket, and we also use rib eye and New York strip. We grind it in-house, and that’s what makes it a Superior Burger.”

The Superior Burger is a vehicle to custom make any style.

There are several other flavors that rotate throughout the season: The two most popular at Whole Foods being the Cowboy Burger and Smoked Salt & Balinese Pepper Beef Burger. For a twist, Whole Foods also offers a lamb and buffalo burgers, as well as locally-sourced beef burgers from Crystal River Meats in Carbondale.

“We also have premium grinds … we grind in-house, and we can make burgers to anybody’s specifications with anyone of the hundreds of seasonings we have. Whatever they like, we can make for them,” Sheaffer said.

Whole Foods will also cut and season anything for free on the spot.

On the lighter side, it also offers seafood burgers, mixed in-house.

“That’s using the same high-quality fish that we sell out of the case, so it’s either responsibly farm-raised or wild-caught,” said Stephanie Kato, marketing and community relations for Whole Foods.

Salmon burgers are a popular summer option.

Whole Foods has offered recipes for summer burgers, including the Cowboy Burger and Local Burger, two of Sheaffer’s favorites.

“I like the spiciness, the smokiness,” he said of the Cowboy. “The spice is going to come from the diced jalapenos, the smoke comes from just a little bit of Andouille seasoning, so it’s a really nice Creole smoke, so wood smoky. … The way that I describe it to our customers is it pretty much has everything you can imagine, just in one burger.”

It’s a very simple, easy to do recipe, and the quantities can be altered for preference, he said.


Serves 6-12 depending on size of patties

3 lbs. Country Natural Ground Beef

½ lb. shredded cheddar cheese

3 jalapenos diced

½ lb. bacon bits

Directions: Half and de-seed jalapenos before dicing them. In large mixing bowl, knead the ingredients together to form a consistent mix. Form mixture into patties ¼ lb. to ½ lb. Grill and enjoy!


Serves 6-12 depending on size of patties

3 lbs. Crystal River Natural Ground Beef

½ lb. Haystack Vaquero Green Chili Cheese

2 Local HoneyAcre Farms Hot House Tomatoes

½ cups Grumpy’s BBQ Sauce.

In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef and barbecue sauce and knead together. Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices and grill or pan fry until golden. Grill burgers until done and top with tomatoes and cheese. Enjoy!


Serves 6

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

1 egg

½ yellow onion, chopped

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon garlic powder or granules

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive or canola oil

6 whole wheat hamburger buns

6 green leaf lettuce leaves

2 tomatoes, sliced

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Put beans in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Add egg, yellow onion, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to buns, top with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and serve.

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