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.Print
Hearty, meaty veggie burgers that are actually made with vegetables! The base of these plant-based burgers is a vegan ground beef recipe that can also be used for other dinners – vegan meal prep and meal planning all in one recipe!
- 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
- 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 one) by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone 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!
*I like to soak a whole pound of chickpeas at one time and then just use 1/2 cup of the soaked chickpeas for these burgers and refrigerate or freeze the rest. Then I’m all set to make falafel whenever I have a hankering for it! If you just can’t be bothered to soak the chickpeas ahead of time, you can roast 1/2 cup of canned chickpeas that have been drained for 15 minutes at 425F. The final product will not have exactly the same texture and may be dry, so I really recommend planning ahead to soak the chickpeas. It makes a big difference in texture that’s worth the time.
**I often use steak sauce instead of barbecue sauce (it’s usually vegan!), or a combination of the two.
***Use the remaining vegan ground beef for tacos, crunchwraps, meatloaf cups, vegetable bolognese, vegan cheeseburger soup, or for any dish where you’d typically use ground beef! The possibilities are endless…
****If you want to use the whole batch of the vegan ground beef to make 12 burgers, just double the chickpeas, salt, barbecue sauce, and pepper and portion and bake the same way.
Freezing the Veggie Burgers
Freeze 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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