Imagine if you will, a vegan veggie burger that is packed with actual vegetables, is NOT MUSHY, has no grains or gluten or nuts or oil, and is still very much edible, nay, even FLAVORFUL. I know, you are probably thinking this is an impossible feat.
A month ago if you had told me that I could keep my kitchen clean-ish for 30 days straight, I would have said THAT was impossible. And yet, I have done just that. And, this veggie burger actually DOES meet all the imaginary specs I just outlined. So, apparently, I can achieve the impossible twice in one month. I’ll just be over here basking in my Superwoman status.
Oh, wait, you want to know how to make said vegan veggie burger? I suppose I can get off my high horse long enough to tell you about it.
Does this look familiar? It’s all of the ingredients that go in my vegan ground beef recipe! Look at all those vegetables! It’s hard to believe that a pile of plants can be transformed into a very tasty replacement for ground beef, but as we’ve already discussed, I make the impossible possible. You’re welcome.
Behold, an enormous sheet pan of vegan ground beef, freshly roasted in the oven and ready to be the star in these veggie burgers.
When I was testing these burgers, I started to run into a problem. The mushy factor. Or as my husband Michael would say, MOOSHEE. The very last thing in the world I wanted these burgers to be was mushy. No one likes that. So, the experimenting began. After many MANY trials, I finally settled a solution – soaked chickpeas.
Wait, WHAT? Beth, that sounds weird.
Hear me out, people.
Ok, so you may already know that the best falafel starts with dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight in water and then drained. The texture of the finished product is simply head and shoulders above falafel made with cooked chickpeas. So, I wondered, would this also be true of veggie burgers? You’ve already figured out that the answer is yes, because you’re super smart people and also because there’s a picture of soaked chickpeas below these words.
Soaking dried chickpeas in water more than doubles their volume, did you know? So economical of us.
Make the Vegan Veggie Burgers
So to make these veggie burgers, we do have to soak some dried chickpeas in water first. I know, I know, you want instant gratification. But I’m going to need you to trust me that this is worth the wait, ok?
So after you’ve rinsed and soaked the chickpeas, you’ll pulse them in a food processor into a fine meal, as shown above.
Then you can use the same food processor to make the vegan ground beef! You don’t even have to clean it out first. I’m looking out for you.
Roast up the vegan ground beef, mix it up with the prepared chickpeas, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper, and then shape the burgers into patties. A quick trip in the oven and they look like this!
And that’s what they look like inside! Check out that texture! Please don’t judge my toppings. I like my burgers mustardy, ok? Also, pretzel buns for the win.
VIDEO: How to Make Vegan Veggie Burgers
Check out the video where I walk you through the process step-by-step! I am experimenting with a new format where I demonstrate with the camera overhead, I’d love to know what you think!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to being Superwoman. Those dishes won’t do themselves.
Vegan Veggie Burgers
- 1/4 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water* (will expand in water to become 1/2 cup)
- 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce ( I like the Stubbs brand for vegan-friendly grocery store option)**
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Vegan Ground Beef
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into large florets
- 8 ounces crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I use the julienne cut, packed dry)
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or walnuts
- Savory Cashew Cream
- Easy Tofu Bacon
- Red onion
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, process the drained soaked chickpeas until they are a fine meal, but not pureed. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and pepitas or walnuts to the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it out after processing the chickpeas). Set aside the mix to a large mixing bowl.
- Switch to the the shredding attachment on the food processor.
- Shred the cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, onions, and garlic. Depending on the size of your food processor you may need to do this in batches.
- Prepare two sheet pans (or one large onby lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
- Add the shredded vegetables and the ground pepitas and sun-dried tomatoes to the sheet pan, and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Roast in the oven at 10-15 minute intervals until the vegetables are cooked and browned and the moisture has evaporated. This typically takes about 30 minutes. At this point you've just made a batch of vegan ground beef!***
- Reduce the oven temperature to 400F.
- Add 3 cups of the vegan ground beef to a large bowl and store the remainder in the fridge or freezer for future meals (see the notes for some ideas!).
- To the vegan ground beef in the bowl, add the chickpeas, salt, barbecue sauce, and pepper. Stir to combine the mixture thoroughly until it can be shaped into patties.
- Using a half-cup measure or a large ice cream scoop, portion out 6 patties and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. There are no rules against using the same baking sheet as you made the vegan ground beef on, just use a new clean sheet of parchment paper so the residual mixture doesn't burn.
- Bake the veggie burgers for 15 minutes, flip, and bake again for 15 minutes until firm. Baste with barbecue sauce at the point of flipping if desired.
- Serve on a bun or lettuce wrap with all your favorite toppings!
Freezing the Veggie BurgersFreeze the burger patties unbaked, or you can freeze the mixture before shaping into patties. I would not recommend freezing the burgers after baking, as they can dry out. If freezing shaped patties, freeze them on the baking sheet first, then place them into a freezer-safe storage bag or container so they don't stick together.
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I love the overhead shots! Looks very polished.????
Great flavor. They didn’t hold together so well though. Maybe I had too much of one thing or not enough of another! Anyway, I’ll give them another go. Also, next time I’ll make double as it’s seems a lot of effort for just 6 little burgers. Thanks for another great recipe Beth!
Any suggestions for someone who does not have a food processor? I have a Ninja blender.
Hi Melinda! I would try pulsing each ingredient separately in the ninja and then add it to a big bowl or baking sheet as you go. That way you can control the size of the pieces and nothing will get over-processed. I haven’t tried it in a Ninja blender but if that’s what I had that would be my approach. I hope that helps! 🙂
Thanks for this delicious recipe! I added a chia egg to hold it all together and the family loved the burgers. It is nice to have a veg burger that is not so bean heavy.
Janice Sommer says
What is a chia egg? It sounds like it would be a good addition to help it hold together!
1 Tbsp chia seed and 2.5 Tbsp water whisked together and let sit a few minutes to thicken.
Not unlike a flax egg, just substitute flax meal for the chia seed.
Absolutely delish! Mine was crispy on the outside but soft on the inside and I can’t figure out why! Will most definitely make again!
Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed them! As for the crispy factor, I suspect that’s the chickpeas. I’m still tweaking this recipe, because I want to get the overall texture spot-on. As soon as I have it figured out, I’ll update here for sure!
Chrystalyn Trimble says
Hi, I’m new to your site and very excited to try this recipe. My sister tried it and loved it. I do have a question though. If I’ve previously made the vegan ground beef could I just pull that from the freezer, thaw it and continue on with this recipe? Or do you find it works best with a fresh batch of vegan ground beef? And my second question is do you prefer the oven baking for the vegan ground beef over pan frying? Just thinking of how hot ovens make the house. ???? Thank you for sharing your recipes with us!
Christina Mariea Gaffney says
maybe adding some liquid smoke will give it the meaty beefy taste or some liquid aminos these are on my list for our month list as i need to purchase a few items my question though is can i use sunflower seeds or must it be pumpkin? tia
Hi Christina! So sorry for the delayed response. I like the idea of adding the liquid smoke! The worcestershire/steak sauce definitely help a lot in that department. I haven’t tried sunflower seeds, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work! I have noticed that on occasion the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds turns things a bit green when baked, but I don’t know if that would happen with these. I might give it a try myself soon! If you can have nuts, you can also use walnuts instead. Hope that helps! 🙂
Sacha Brown says
Thanks Beth, and thanks Bett, between the burger recipe and the chai / flax egg, we enjoyed delicious burgers! I also added lecithin to the mix, just 1 tablespoon, for that egg yolk quality. I’m still chasing the elusive vegan burger, but this comes close!
Sacha Brown says
Beth, thanks again for the terrific recipe!
This won’t suit everyone, but to achieve a burger that more closely represents a meat burger in flavour and texture, to 250g of Beth’s vegan ground beef, and Bett’s flax egg, I added 125g TVP, prepared with vegan beef stock, 3 tbls tapioca flour, 3 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp onion powder, and 2 tsp garlic powder.
I shaped the patties and left them in the fridge uncovered overnight to dry a little, fried them in a very hot pan with olive oil to achieve a nice flame grilled type flavour and a seared skin, and then right before serving I threw 100ml of vegan stock into the frying pan, which added a nice internal moisture, whilst maintaining the outer seared skin. It wasn’t juicy like a beef burger, but otherwise very close, our meat eating friend couldn’t tell the difference ????
Chelle Rivera says
I must say, these are the best veggie burgers and I don’t even like mushrooms. Lol. I love that you included barbecue sauce, really adds a lot of flavor to there burgers. Oh and I was able to find the vegan Stubb’s bbq sauce at my local grocery. Yay! Keep theses delicious recipe coming Beth, you’re awesome!!! Another favorite recipe of yours are the cashew biscuits…so good!!! 🙂
Just wondering if you think the recipe would work for meatballs too? When I first saw your vegan ground meat recipe (DELICIOUS by the way!) I thought “how could this be made into meatballs?” and this looks like it might work…
I added some nutritional yeast and porcini powder, and my burgers came out fantastic! The only issue I had was that they came out a bit soft and crumbly/didn’t hold their shape well. Do you have any tips?