Yes, My Friend. Veggie Burgers can be Yummy!
When Jason and I were dating, our first big vacation together was to Hawaii.
We shared a house there with three of our friends. I guess we didn’t realize when we planned this trip, that two of them were vegetarian.
One night, while grilling steaks, our friend, let’s just call him “Steve” (to protect the innocent) brought down to the grill, what my husband described as “loofas”.
The “loofas” were veggie/quinoa burgers, and literally, they looked like those natural, brown sponges you buy to super exfoliate in the shower.
We’re meat eaters. Full on steak-loving omnivores. And, I’ve got to tell you, veggie burgers weren’t high on our list of tasty foods to enjoy for dinner.
So, when we decided to start making some new foods for dinner that were healthier for our bodies, Jason added veggie burgers to the list.
LOUDLY I announced that I refused to buy veggie burgers from the store, and promptly searched the internet for an option that seemed like something I would actually eat and enjoy.
I found it.
We made them.
They were awesome.
I’ve always loved giving credit where credit is due, so if you want to try the original version of this recipe, head over to the website, Inspired Taste.
Unfortunately, I am completely incapable of just leaving a recipe alone. I must tweak, so the recipe on this article, is a bit different, and fits our food preferences.
Best Veggie Burgers- Some Helpful Hints
Homemade veggie burgers do come with some unique cooking challenges.
The biggest challenge is making them stay together while cooking while also not having soggy patties. I hate soggy patties.
Here are some hints to make your first try at homemade veggie burgers successful.
- Give yourself time. This is not a 30 minute, hurry home from work, dinner. It takes time.
- I do make these after work, but you’re looking at over an hour of prep and cook time, combined.
- The first time I made these, it took me longer, simply because I had no clue what I was doing.
- Don’t skip on the drying step. Part of the instructions tell you to dry your beans and veggie mix. This is essential to avoiding the soggy patty.
- While your veggies dry, sit back and relax with a tasty brew and an episode of Jeopardy! that’s what we do…
- My food processor is kinda small, so I’ve altered the recipe taking into account a small bowl on the food processor.
- If your food processor bowl is huge, after pulverizing the spinach, just add all the ingredients to the food processor bowl to mix. (I unfortunately have to mix the old-fashioned way. With a spoon.)
- I’ve not tried vegan and gluten-free substitutes, but I offer a couple of suggestions, that might help. Taking away the egg and panko, takes away the “glue” that holds the veggies together.
- Here’s a couple of options
- Gluten-free: Try Kikkoman Gluten-free panko. Made from rice flour, so easy on the system.
- Vegan: A good substitute for the eggs is Ener-G Egg Replacement. I’ve not used it, but it comes recommended as a good option for vegan diets.
- Grilling fresh veggie burgers isn’t recommended. They stick and fall apart easily. Stick with pan-frying or a griddle for best results.
- Be prepared to be full. These burgers are dense, and won’t leave you feeling underwhelmed or ready for a second burger.
- These are some filling, satisfying veggie patties of goodness. And yes, you can freeze the extra patties.
So… here goes, our version of the best veggie burger.
Awesome Veggie Burgers Recipe
Makes 8- ½ inch thick patties
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
8 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 medium carrot
¾ cup broccoli florets
¾ cup cauliflower florets
¼ medium onion
2 medium garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil (can substitute with avocado or grape seed oil)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, course ground.
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups packed spinach leaves
Handful of your favorite fresh herbs (optional)
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Rolls, lettuce, tomato, cheese and your other favorite toppings
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil, parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Brush all of the dirt from the mushrooms. Cut away and discard any hard stems.
- Roughly chop the mushrooms, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and onion into 1/2 inch chunks. Toss the veggies into the bowl of a food processer. Add garlic, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Close the lid and pulse 10 to 20 times or until the veggies are coarsely ground.
- Spread the veggies onto one of the lined baking sheets. Pat them down into a very thin layer, using a spatula. Your veggies should cover most of the sheet. Roast the veggies for 15 minutes.
- While the veggies are roasting, spread the black beans over the second baking sheet, in a single layer.
- After the veggies have roasted for 15 minutes, pull the out and stir them, pressing them back into the thin layer. Put both baking sheets (veggies and beans) in the oven and roast for another 15 minutes or so. Beans will split and appear dry.
- Let the beans and veggies cool.
- While the beans and veggies cool, place herbs and spinach into the food processer. Pulse until chunks are the size of bread crumbs.
- Add the cooled beans to the food processor and pulse 5 to 10 times. Transfer spinach, herbs and beans to a large mixing bowl.
- To the bean mixture, add the cooled vegetables, panko breadcrumbs, eggs and tomato paste. Stir together until well mixed, with a consistent texture throughout.
- If you aren’t cooking right away, veggie mixture can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, or shaped into patties and frozen for up to 3 months.
- To cook the burgers:
- Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts. Form each ball into a ½ inch patty.
- Heat a skillet over medium-low-heat, add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and place all eight patties in the pan in a single layer.
- Cook until patties are heated through, are firm and browned on both sides. Approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side.
- Be careful flipping the burgers, they can still fall apart.
- To reheat frozen burgers:
- Bake in an oven at 350 degrees F until heated through. 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cook in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through. 5 to 10 minutes per side.
- Microwaving patties is not recommended.
Honestly, these burgers are far better than any veggie burgers we’ve had at restaurants or bought at a store.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can change up the veggies depending on your tastes or what you have in the fridge.
If you give this recipe a shot, let us know what you think. Share your thoughts and your dinner pictures in the comments!
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