Meatless Monday: Veggie Burgers


Main Courses, Meatless, Sandwich / Monday, September 13th, 2010

I love veggie burgers.

I used to buy a box of them once a week and eat one every day for lunch. Something light and easy that always hit the spot. Then I found out that my favorite brand contained hexane. A neurotoxin.

So, it was time to find a recipe for a good homemade veggie burger. Specifically, I wanted something with big flavor that would form real patties. And I wanted it to be made with things I would normally have on-hand.

No beets. No bulgur. No quinoa.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Oh, do not be fooled!

The world’s supply of veggie burger recipes are all very different. Some are as bland as mud patties. Others are so crumbly that they just fall apart. And then there are the mushy ones. People in Hell eat the mushy ones.

After some trial and error – and a lot of profanity – I finally found this recipe. A veggie burger that’s delicious, moist but firm, and made with things you probably have in your kitchen right now.

You start by swirling a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and sautéing a mix of red onion, black olives, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and maybe some artichoke. While the vegetables cool, you grab a bowl and combine the burger’s dry ingredients – rolled oats, bread crumbs and all of the seasonings. Then grab a bigger bowl, and combine about half a cup each of black beans, chickpeas and white beans. Add the vegetables to the beans, then the dry ingredients, then an egg to help bind everything together, and mix it with your hands, making sure to smash most of the beans, especially those chickpeas.

You can form the patties by hand, or use four small ramekins (one for each patty). To use the ramekins, drape a piece of plastic wrap inside each one, pack the burger mixture inside the ramekins (on top of the plastic wrap), and use the ends of the plastic wrap to cover the burger mixture. The plastic wrap will help the patties pop right out of the ramekins, and you can use it to create a barrier between your fingers and the patties if you need to press the burgers to make them flatter before sliding them into the pan.

I’ve been using a wide spatula for flipping the burgers, and so far, there have been no casualties. Just be gentle and courageous, and everything will be fine.

If you follow the recipe, you’ll wind up with four big burgers weighing more than a quarter-pound each. So, feel free to divide the mixture into eight patties.

I ate one of these veggie burgers for lunch today with lettuce, tomato and cheese on a fresh hamburger roll, and I’m already thinking about tomorrow’s burger. If you’re ready to “hold the hexane,” too, this recipe is worth a shot.

Veggie Burgers

Adapted from Guy Fieri (“Guy’s Big Bite,” Food Network)

Makes 4 big burgers or 8 smaller ones

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons diced red bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon diced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons diced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon diced artichoke (optional)
    Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (6 ounces) rolled oats (or old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 4 ounces black beans, drained
  • 4 ounces chickpeas, drained
  • 4 ounces white beans, drained
  • 1 egg
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a a saute pan over medium heat. Add all of the raw vegetables except the beans. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently combine the beans. Add the sauteed vegetables, and mix thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients, along with the egg.
  4. Using your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients. Form into 4 patties for large burgers or 8 patties for smaller ones. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side. (If you’re making 8 patties, you’ll need to cook them in two batches.)

Nutritional Information (Per Serving for a Big Burger) – calories: 367, fat: 19.5g, carbs: 41g, fiber: 6.6g, protein: 9.7g, PP+ = 10

26 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Veggie Burgers

  1. I've been looking for a good veggie patty recipe… my mom and sisters are vegetarians, and it would be nice to have something on hand for them, plus the fact I just like veggie burgers… this one looks great! I LOVE the fact it has easy, on-hand ingredients… thank you, thank you.

  2. oh, i had the same reaction when i heard about hexane in commercial veggie burgers! i used to love them for lunch. so glad to see this recipe. i'll check it out for sure.

  3. I agree, Veggie burgers are TOUGH!!! I gave up on them after trying a bazillion times, maybe I'll give this one a shot.

  4. I have always been pretty disappointed with veggie burgers I make…I found one from Cooking Light that was pretty good but this one looks like a winner! Definitely going to give it a try!

  5. These are great veggie burgers. It is tough finding great tasting premade burgers as well as finding a flavorful recipe. I have been making a version of Guy's veggie burgers for quite some time.
    I find it best to mash up all the beans and chick peas so that it hold together better plus I try to make sure the vegetables are chopped finely. I also use some brown rice to help also bind the mixture besides the oats. Another couple of tricks, after forming the patties,coat them patties w/panko bread crumbs then put into the refrigerator for an hour or two to firm up . I use this method making my crab cakes; it helps to form a great crust as well as holding the patty together. I made several batches for my wedding last year and since we had many vegetarians, they didn't hold together quite as I'd like them to and became a 'veggie hash' which still was very good. I do also add mushrooms, carrots and corn, depends what I have in the pantry.

  6. These look great! I've also been on the hunt for a good veggie burger recipe. I tried yet another one, and it was like eating smashed black beans on a bun–YUCK. Can't wait to try this one–I'm sure it will be better than the one I had last week!

  7. I've been wanting to make veggie burgers for a while now, but I haven't seen a recipe that was doable without a special shopping trip. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I might even be able to get my husband t eat this veggie burger! Sounds like a good "the budget is really tight this week, and I'm really sick of hot dogs and mac and cheese" option, too.

  9. These sound great! I've been on the search for a great homemade veggie burger but all I seem to come across are ones that are too salty or don't offer much texture. So I'll be happy to try this one out!! I have most of the ingredients on hand!

    Any idea if these freeze well? If so, freeze before they are cooked or after? I'd be the only one eating them and freezing would be a great help!

  10. These look great! I'm always on the look out for a new veggie burger recipe, and I TOTALLY agree with you about the mushy one – those are not worth eating.

  11. These sound simple and delicious. My boyfriend LOVES to grill out, especially ribs. His solution for our vegetarian friends is to go buy a box of veggie burgers. I try to nicely explain to him that not every vegetarian wants to eat all the crazy weird ingredients in the store-bought veggie burgers! Perhaps I'll make a big batch of these and freeze them for next time we grill!

  12. I did not know that about commercial veggie burgers. I knew there was a reason I've never liked them! At least I'm going to credit unconscious genius for my previous bias. I've always called them Medicine Burgers, cause they smelled like cough syrup cooking when my mother made them. Yuck. I forwarded the above link to her.

    Although I'm a carnivore, I do love some (homemade) veggie burgers. They range from good to bad, and I've made some of both. I'll try these though. I like that they have a lot of different ingredients. I might add some cheese to them for more flavor and to help them hold together more. Cheese acts as a binder, right? I'm going to believe that anyway.

  13. I've been waiting for the perfect veggie burger recipe, and it sounds like this is it! I'm not a fan of boxed veggie burgers, especially the ones with hexane and other stuff in them. I've always thought that it's impossible to make a good veggie burger without a food processor and a bunch of ingredients that I never have in my cupboards. You've proved me wrong! I'll be making these very soon.

  14. I'm looking forward to trying out these burgers! I'm a vegetarian and have meat-eating company coming into town in a few weeks. These sound great and may be a great way to satisfy all of us. Thanks for sharing and also for pointing out what you found in the frozen patties you liked. I don't buy the pre-made type often, but I will be looking extra close at the ingredients the next time I do.

  15. This may very well be a silly question, but I was having trouble finding any white beans at my grocery store. What beans did you use for the white beans in this recipe?

  16. I made these and they turned out really good. Next batch, I will do some customization. I did use two eggs, added some of the liquid from the artichoke hearts & substituted cilantro for parsley as this is what I had.

  17. This does look like an awesome recipe, but what can be substituted in place of the egg for a vegan friendly veggie burger?

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