There are some thing that the Veg community tries to keep secret. Well, I’m about to let the cat out of the bag: most vegan burgers suck.
I know, because I’ve tried about 10,000 of them. While most are OK and can pass for a decent patty filled with vegetables and beans, none are convincing anyone to give up their favorite hamburger.
At least not in my experience. It’s funny, before giving it up, I was never a big meat person. Chicken was whatever, I never liked pork, and fish was delicious but rare. Beef though, yum, I used to love steaks and burgers.
I went back and forth between being vegetarian and not for a few years before I finally gave it up for good… it was always the burgers that pulled me back. And so my quest was born- a delicious, meaty vegan burger that rivals any un-kind one.
While this isn’t going to fool anyone into thinking it’s beef, it’s pretty damn good. Hearty, full of savory, umami flavors thanks to the addition of roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Yes, this will take a bit longer to make than your usual black bean patties but they are worth it. Just make a bunch and freeze.
You’ll then be ready for cookouts all summer long.
Meaty Vegan Burgers
Adapted from Serious Eats
1 lb. button mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 small japanese eggplant, chopped into 2″ pieces.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 cup toasted cashews
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms and eggplant with 1/4 cup oil, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and pinch salt and pepper. Wrap the mushrooms and eggplant in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and eggplant softened. Remove from oven and let cool.
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 3 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the Arborio rice and stir until lightly toasted. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and stir until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add liquid, 1/2 cup at a time until risotto is al-dente. You may not need all the liquid. Let cool and place into a large bowl.
In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup white beans, flour, baking powder, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and eggplant. Process until a paste forms. Add mixture to bowl with risotto.
Add the remaining white beans to the food processor along with the cashews and mushrooms. Pulse into a mixture forms, finely chopped but still course in texture. Add to the risotto mix.
Lastly, add the cooled onion and celery mixture to the food processor and pulse 10 times. Add to the risotto bowl and mix together until completely mixed.
Since you’ve done so much work- you can refrigerate the mixture for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months in a sealed air-tight bag.
Season to taste.
Add breadcrumbs and mix in with your hands. Once you add the breadcrumbs, start to form the patties. You don’t want the breadcrumbs to become soggy.
Bring a skillet or grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray and add the patties. Flip burgers after 4-5 minutes, until bottom is lightly-browned. Cook another 4-5 minutes. Serve!
For an awesome treat, top with caramelized onions.
Veggie burgers are one of my favorite things to eat. I love them as much as I love trying new burger recipes and different frozen products. Sometimes though, I get tired of the same old toppings and need to switch it up. I recently saw this burger in a recent Food Network magazine and decided to put my vegetarian spin on it.
I loved this version and wanted to share it with you. BL said it tasted like a sushi-burger, which I think is a good thing.
1/3 cup Veganaise
1 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
4 veggie burgers
Mix together the Veganaise, 1 tsp. Sriracha, and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Set aside.
Rub the scallions with sesame oil and place onto a preheated grill. Grill each side 3-4 minutes until soft.
Add the veggie burgers to the grill. Grill one side, the flip. Lightly spread with hoisin sauce.
To assemble: spread the sriracha mayo on one side of the bun, layer with cucumber and jalapeno slices. Top with the burger patty and grilled scallions. Spread another layer of sriracha mayo on the top bun and place onto of the burger.
Dig in! What’s your favorite topping for veggie burgers?
This burger is all about summer!
I love bean burgers but BL often finds them too mushy. The key to this one is baking it first and then lightly frying for an outside crunch. I topped the burgers with fresh mango slices, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion and a yogurt-basil sauce. Make extra of the sauce- it was perfect on sandwiches throughout the week!
Black Bean & Mango Burgers
1 cup cooked brown rice
Creamy Basil Spread:1/3 cup soy yogurt
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. cumin
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tbsp. oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
7-8 large basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
Fresh mango slices
Thinly sliced red onion
In a sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil with a small pinch of salt. Add the minced onion, cumin, garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. In a food processor or with a fork, mash the beans until a paste forms with some beans left whole. Add the beans, rice, and chopped pepper to the pot and cook an addition 5 minutes until thickened.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the bean mixture from heat and let cool slightly. Add a tbsp. or two of flour if the mixture is having a hard time staying together. Measure out a scant 1/2 cup of mixture and form into a patty. Continue to make the patties until the mix is gone. Bake for 15-20 minutes and remove from oven. Heat a skillet pan to medium-high, either coat with cooking spray or add 1 tsp. oil to the pan. Lightly dust each patty with flour and add to the pan, cooking 2-3 minutes per side until crispy.
To make basil spread: Combine yogurt, juice, and salt/pepper. Whisk with a fork until combined. Add in basil and lightly mix together.
To serve: Place patty on 1 side of bun. Add basil yogurt, fresh mango slices and thinly sliced red onion.
I’ve never had a Walnut Burger before but thanks to Cheri, my boyfriends mom, I am on a mission to make and eat one!
The only time it’s hard being veggie is a cookout. Yes, I could always grill vegetables but let’s get real folks, sometimes your not in the mood for a roasted pepper or portabella sandwich. I occasionally will down a fake burger, but I’m not the biggest fan of burgers made out of soy protein isolate. I gave up meat because I wanted a healthier lifestyle for myself and the environment and consuming lots of fake meat analogs is hypocritical to me. I promise one of these days I will actually write about nutrition (like why soy protein isolate isn’t great and you’re probably eating it in more ways than you know) and exercise but I just can’t help to want to cook all the time! As I tell my family… I majored in nutrition for a reason! I am always talkin’ food
So, thank you again Cheri for this recipe and picture. It looks delicious! It’s vegetarian but if you wanted to make it vegan, I suggest swapping out the eggs for EnerG or 3 tbsp. flax seeds mixed with water and use an alternate milk source.