Recipe: How to Make A Veggie Burger
Every week I make a different veggie burger for one of my personal chef clients. From beet to bean to mushroom burgers, I have tried it all. Occasionally, I hit a wall when trying to think of new creative idea, but here’s the thing: the possibilities for homemade veggie burgers are really endless. You can get creative with using any combination of veggies, beans/nuts, grains and seasonings. You don’t have to be confined to the generic frozen varieties, in fact a homemade version is going to be way healthier and more delicious. Veggie patties should be healthy and nutritionally balanced, as opposed some of the packaged brands that are ultra processed and essentially just soy and sodium. Most patties freeze perfectly, so you can always have a quick meal on hand. Follow this basic formula and then use your creative rights!
Pretty much any bean will work great. I usually use one can of either black beans, white beans or chickpeas, or 1 3/4 cups of cooked lentils. Reserve bean liquid in case your patty turns out too dry.
Here’s where you get to play. Mix and match any combo of cooked/raw veggies for a total quantity of 2 cups. I like: shredded raw beets, chopped spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, sauteed zucchini and peppers, and cooked mushrooms. I also always include some sauteed onion and garlic. Remember to cut veggies into really small pieces so they don’t interfere with the cohesiveness of the patty.
You will need 1 cup of cooked grains to help soak of some of the moisture of the beans and to help bind the patty together. They will also provide more substance to the burger. You can use cooked quinoa, millet, brown rice etc.
Again, this is your opportunity for creativity. Fresh parsley, basil and green onions work great, as do dried cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and oregano.
You often have to play with the amount of binders, depending on your other ingredients. I typically use about 1/2 cup of ground up oats or bread crumbs and/or 1-2 flax eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax dissolved in 3 Tbsp water)
If you like a little texture in your burger you can add up to 1/2 cup of any nuts/seeds, such as sunflower or chopped walnuts. Nut butters and tahini make great flavor additions.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook until the onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add any additional vegetables and cook until soft, 5-10 minutes.
- Place all remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse 5-10 times to combine.
- Press the mixture between your fingers. If you can form a patty with it, you’re good to go. If it’s too crumbly, add the reserved bean liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it sticks together. If the mixture is too wet, add more of the dry base ingredient, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the right consistency. Test the mixture and add salt and seasonings to taste. Stir in your veggies.
- Form the mixture into 8 patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate the patties uncovered for 30 minutes. Resting will help the patties stay together.
- When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook 3-4 patties at a time until brown on one side, then flip and brown the other side. It should take about 3-4 minutes per side. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan before cooking each batch of burgers.
- Serve immediately or cool and then wrap each burger in foil, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze for later.