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!
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!
*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.