How To Prep and Freeze Veggie Burgers: A Tutorial

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One of my goals for August (and onward) is to start making big batches of veggie burgers. I’ve been relying far too much on boxed frozen veggie burgers and the cost really starts to add up. I usually buy Amy’s California burgers and they cost between $6-8 for 4 patties, depending on the grocery store. Plus, homemade veggie burgers are just so much better.

On Sunday, I made a double batch of Our Perfect Veggie Burgers and this week I made a double batch of Spicy BBQ Chickpea Burgers. I’ll be bringing a bunch of them to Eric’s big 3-0 birthday party on Saturday. There should be about 40 people!

I must say, these BBQ chickpea burgers are a new fav. The prep is a bit quicker than the other ones and I enjoy them just as much.

(Edited to add: After defrosting the Chickpea BBQ Burgers this weekend, the burgers did not hold well together.  They seem to have too much moisture after freezing.  I would recommend using the Our Perfect Veggie Burgers recipe, as I have had good results when freezing these.)

Using the Spicy BBQ Chickpea Burger recipe, I doubled all of the ingredients and made 16 patties. I’ve also been making beans from scratch to save more money. I soaked 2 cups of uncooked chickpeas overnight in a huge bowl of water. Once they have soaked, it’s only about 35 minutes or so to cook them on the stovetop (throw in a piece of kombu for easier digestion). You can also make big batches of beans and legumes on the weekend and freeze them for quick weeknight dinners. I’m slowly starting to get into the habit of doing this on a regular basis!

While the chickpeas and brown rice cook, prep the veggies: fresh parsley, red onion, shredded carrot, red pepper, jalapeno, and garlic.

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Place everything into a huge bowl. My biggest bowl still was not quite big enough for this double batch, but I managed ok!

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Stir in the pepita and sunflower seeds, along with the other ingredients like ground flax, seasonings, breadcrumbs, etc.

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Because I made two big pots of chickpeas and brown rice, I decided to throw the rice and chickpeas in the food processor instead of mashing by hand like I did the first time. This saved a lot of time!

Stir it all up – you can even get in there with your hands to mix it up really good! Season it all to taste. Don’t be shy with the salt – this huge bowl of batter needs a good dose to make it all pop. I used 1-1.5 tsp fine grain sea salt.

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Now shape the batter into about 16 patties and place on a very large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Cover with wrap.

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Clear out room in your freezer and place the baking sheet right in. Freeze the patties for about 45-60 mins or so.

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[my freezer needs an intervention…]

Once the raw patties are frozen, place them in a freezer safe bag. If there are any ice crystals on the burgers, scrape them off first. I use Ziplock BPA-free large freezer bags (with the zipper). Don’t forget to wash the bags out and re-use when you are finished with the burgers!

I cut a piece of the parchment to place in between the layers so they don’t stick. Take a straw and suck out the air and seal quickly. Easy!

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This is my first time freezing veggie burgers like this (I used to wrap them individually), but I’ve read this method should keep them fresh for up to 1 month in the freezer. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge before pan-frying.

It took me just under 1.5 hours to prep 16 veggie burgers – a lot less time than I thought and I saved quite a bit of money too.

While we’re on the topic of make-ahead foods, what are your favourite dishes to prep in advance? Let me know in the comments!

~~~

It’s now day 9 of The August Challenge and I’ve been documenting my daily feats on the August challenge page to stay accountable. Time is a flyin’! There are so many great comments on the page with many of you sharing your stories. You know, I had my doubts about this challenge from the get-go (if I could even do it and if you’d be interested), but I’m really happy with how things are going. August is shaping up to be a great month! And don’t worry if you are starting late, jump in at any time. I’m already considering doing this into September because I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would.

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{ 141 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Steger August 9, 2012

I have been searching for a good veggie burger recipe and this one looks delicious. Cant wait to try it.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 9, 2012

Haha so funny you should post this today because my post yesterday detailed my efforts to make veggie burgers with a new-to-me squash and they crumbled like crazy!!! They could have probably used some rice and chickpeas like yours, which look great! My favourite make-ahead foods are soups (in the fall). I store them in my freezer and enjoy them all through the winter!

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Courtney August 9, 2012

I live for make ahead dishes and I’ve done these veggie burgers several times – they’re delicious!! I also love whipping up a couple batches of salads, like the Detox salad or quinoa salads, to have on hand as quick lunches or dinner sides. The flavors get even better after 24-48 hours in the fridge. Yum, yum!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh August 9, 2012

I need to make these. The ones I’m eating now have some stuff I can’t pronounce and I want to get away from that. Have you ever thought of a Food Saver type vacuum sealer for your frozen stuff? I can’t live without mine!

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Megan April 16, 2013

I love this idea! I want to try to do this for a week and bring them to work to save time and $$. Can these be heated up in a microwave at work? I know they might not be as grilled and cripsy, but would it be okay? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 17, 2013

Hi Megan, I haven’t tried reheating in a micro, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. I’d try it at a low heat and not for long

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Jeanne August 3, 2013

Try grilling them first, then freezing or keeping in fridge (depending on how long you are planning on storing them). Then when you micro them at work they may not be crispy, but they’ll still have a bit more ‘cooked flavour’. Or, eat them cold/room temperature.

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Susanne Winnacker August 9, 2012

I’ll have to try this! I hate buying any kind of boxed food, so I’ve never eaten boxed frozen veggie burgers, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to make everything from scratch and these homemade frozen veggie burgers look like a treat! Thanks for this!

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Britt August 9, 2012

I’m a Sunday cooker, so I try to prep everything ahead when I can. This summer has been all about the grill, so I go on a Sunday chopping-spree. I cut up peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, squash. I put them in gallon size baggies, so they are ready to pull out of the fridge and pop on the grill. I also like to make big batches of condiments to freeze. Kethcup, mustard, bbq sauce, salsa, and marinara are in my freezer now.

I will definitely be trying your recipes for burgers! They look delish!

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jenna August 9, 2012

I love your veggie burgers! they are delish! great idea on freezing them.

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Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl August 9, 2012

Pinned. Those veggie burgers look delish, too!
I’ve been wanting to make this veggie burger recipe I have. And this tut will come in handy. thank you.

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Aprille August 9, 2012

I make your veggie burgers ALL the time, they are a favorite at my house. I also am always stocking my freezer with food I’ve made ahead. The best way I’ve found for making ahead the veggie burgers is I cook them all on the stove, then after they cool, I freeze them in foil. When we want one (or 2), we just throw it in the oven (in the foil) and wait until it’s heated through. They are still crispy! Thanks for your awesome recipes, you rock! :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Wow that is a great way of going about it! genius. I will be trying this next time, thanks for sharing.

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Jo-Anne August 16, 2012

Just wondering how long the BBQ sauce will last in the fridge? I am making some today. How was the sauce that you froze? Did it taste okay from the freezer? Love your recipes and am really excited to make my own sauce. I totally do not like the smoke taste of bbq sauce and this one has all the ingredients I like :)

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Steph Borutski August 10, 2012

How long will they keep in the freezer like this ?

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Aasmaa August 16, 2012

This really is an awesome idea!!! Thanks for sharing….

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caleb grayson August 9, 2012

i recommend the small split chick peas used in Indian cooking, chana daal. the soak and cook faster, although i wouldn’t cook them, just soak them. the cooking happens on the grill.
flax is a good binder.
i found myself using the left over pulp from my juicer mixed with spices and uncooked beans and seeds. i’ve also used coarse ground dried beans (lentils, peas, rice, etc.), mixed with veggie pulp that is quite moist and then stuffed into a mason jar. the beans start to expand as they absorb the water, but have nowhere to go. the pressing up against the jar walls creates a great texture. very dense.

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Alex @ Brain, Body, Because August 9, 2012

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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Iryna August 9, 2012

I’m wondering if you could cook these (as well as your Perfect Veggie Burgers) first and THEN freeze them?

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Christa @ Edible Balance August 9, 2012

The burgers look fantastic! Great tips, I too have been buying more frozen than I usually do these days, so this is perfect. I have been making a huge batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week, it works for every meal! This week I cooked a batch of sprouted beans as well, toss them both together with salsa and you’re set!

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kim@hungryhealthygirl August 9, 2012

I really like Amy’s Sonoma veggie burger, but I have to say your perfect veggie burger is my all time fav. They are a bit time consuming, though. I am so excited to try this new and quicker version out. I have never used the straw method for getting excess air out of the bag. Thanks so much for the idea!

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Sasha August 9, 2012

Especially since I’m mostly cooking for one, I put a lot of stuff in the freezer. Most muffins and quick breads I make, I put half in the freezer for when I don’t have time to bake. I make veggie broth, applesauce, and veggie burgers to have on hand in the freezer. I recently made pesto for the first time & froze it in ice cube trays. I also have been trying to cook large batches of beans when I have the time & freeze them in smaller portions.
Also, I have a batch of homemade burritos in the freezer (rice/bean/vegetable) that I made to replace the Amy’s frozen ones that I love, but are way too expensive. With an avocado, or some vegan cheese, one is a super quick complete meal for me.

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Kristy H August 9, 2012

What a great idea. I like to make soups and spicy chilli, dal etc. My husband and I tend to eat boxed frozen patties from the supermarket so I cant wait to try these, last year I got hooked on your veggie spelt patties.

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Sharon August 9, 2012

These look great! I love burgers but I hate buying boxed stuff…those boxed veggie burgers have so much sodium!

II’ve been buying greens and veggies on the weekends and prepping them for a week of fantastic salads. Spinach, romaine, arugula. I’m loving my spiralizer for pretty cuts of zucchini, carrots, red onion etc. I just pick and choose and have a different salad every night…so good!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Speaking of a spiralizer – do you recommend a brand? Im in the market for one! :)

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Sharon August 9, 2012

Angela, I bought the cheap one since I’m just starting out on this raw/vegan adventure. The brand is Joyce Chen and I think I paid 25 dollars at Rainbow Grocery here in SF.
http://www.amazon.com/Joyce-Chen-51-0662-Saladacco-Spiral/dp/B0000DDVYE

There are a lot of different ones out priced from 25 to as much as over 100 dollars. I only cook for myself so the Joyce Chen spiralizer is fine for me!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 10, 2012

Thanks for the link Sharon!

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ellen August 9, 2012

Just like you – I spend way too much on those Amy’s burgers! I love homemade ones but have never tried freezing them. Thanks for the tutorial! I would have never thought to suck the air out of the bags with a straw. Now, can you help me with my chocolate brown kid’s cliff bar habit?? ;-)

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Robyn August 9, 2012

It would be great if you would do some video tutorials! Love your blog and all your great tips:)

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Sonal August 9, 2012

These chickpea burgers look amazing! Thanks for the new freezing method :)

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michelle August 9, 2012

We just had baby #3 a couple of months ago, and I had two double batches of “Our Favorite Veggie Burger” in the freezer for when baby came! I’m down to the last two frozen burgers (they’ve kept wonderfully!)… it’s time to freeze a new batch!
Love ALL your recipes! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Hey Michelle, Congrats on baby #3!!! So glad the burgers helped you through a busy time (well it sounds like every time is a busy time with 3 children…kudos to you!). Hope things are going well.

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Marissa@ohhhsolovely August 9, 2012

these look so delicious! i’m a huge fan of cook once, eat ten times. i only cook for my husband & i now, but anyone who looked in my freezer would think i’m cooking for a huge family. to me, this method just makes sense. makes life easier when i am working too!

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Char August 9, 2012

I made a batch of these a month ago and I Love having the best Veggie Burger I ever had ready at will. I will deffinatly make a double batch next time to freeze!

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Katie August 9, 2012

As a few others have said, your timing is perfect! I just said to my husband this morning that we need to make a big batch of veggie burgers asap since we’ve spent too much on Licks burgers over the bbq season. I love your freezing method, definitely less wasteful than individually wrapping each one (as I normally do).

My favourite foods to freeze ahead are mexican dishes…. mostly sweet potato burritos and chickpea quesadillas. I always wind up making way too much, so it’s great to be able to freeze some and enjoy them later.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Glad you found it helpful Katie :)
For freezing burritos – I assume you freeze the filling on its own in a container or bag?

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Katie August 10, 2012

I assemble the burritos before freezing. I use homemade flour tortillas and fill them with half black bean mixture, and half mashed sweet potato (plus a little cheese), close up the tortilla, and package them individually in aluminum foil so that I can throw them straight into the oven when I’m rushed or too lazy to cook. Once warm I usually throw a little salsa on top. Pretty tasty!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 10, 2012

that is SUCH a great idea…cant believe I havent done this!

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Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes August 9, 2012

How amazing! They look delicious. Great tutorial- I’ll be trying this soon! Family is coming next week and I’d love to have a bunch of these in the freezer. Thanks for sharing!!!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 9, 2012

I’m guilty of relying on frozen veggie burgers too – and I really need to stop! Homemade ones are so much cheaper and tastier.

I like to make and freeze soups and chili ahead of time because they keep so well!

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GlowingBIL August 9, 2012

Have to try one on Saturday :)

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy August 9, 2012

how helpful! and those look like terrific burgers:)

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Britt August 9, 2012

I freeze everything! I am stocking up on peaches right now, while they are at the peak of ripeness. I put three bags way today. I will be super glad in December. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Thats such a great idea…I always forget to freeze fruit!

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Kathy August 9, 2012

This has absolutley nothing to do with veggie burgers, though the burgers look really awesome and I’ll have to try them. I wanted to get your opinoin on something. I noticed Coconut Sugar at the store the other day and purchased some. It says it is used 1:1 like regular sugar, though I tried it and find it isn’t anywhere near as sweet as regular sugar, but still good. I have read a lot of articles lately about the dangers of sugars and i am trying to use less, as well as find acceptable alternatives. I wondered if you have ever used coconut sugar and if you find it an acceptable alternative to sugar? I am trying to find a sugar that has a very low fructose level. I appreciate your comments. Thanks

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Amy August 9, 2012

This look so good! I had a “slap the forehead” moment when I read that you suck the extra air out of the bag with a straw. Never thought of it, how simple!

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Eileen August 9, 2012

Freezing big batches of veggie burgers is one of my favorite quick meal tricks! I’m looking forward to trying out this version. :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks August 9, 2012

I want to reach into that mixing bowl (or your freezer!) and help myself to that rainbow-bright assortment of goodies, mmmm! Those sunflower seeds and bright colors are calling my name!

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Danielle August 9, 2012

I LOVE your veggie burgers! I always freeze a bunch when I make them. My new favorite is making lasagna rolls and freezing them. That way I can take out just enough for me and my husband without having to bake a whole lasagna! Gotta love the ideas from pinterest :)

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Ariel @ WestWithFlight August 9, 2012

Best prep food: salads — I layer them in a container or bag with the heaviest ingredients on the bottom (usually 3 bags for a week), and then just shake it up at the office, add some dressing and I have lunch.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

I love that idea!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance August 9, 2012

Great idea for prepping ahead. I need to do this sort of thing before I return to work full time next week–the school year is about to start and my meal-prep time is going to become much less than it’s been.

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Hunter August 9, 2012

OK, on behalf of hungry vegans everywhere who actually cannot cook worth a damn (that is, me: I can’t seem to concoct anything that tastebuds beside my own find acceptable) I have to thank you heartily for this veggie burger recipe!! It has never failed me yet, and best of all, my very fussy boyfriend eats them with relish (literally and figuratively). I have a batch sitting in the freezer and I feel very smug about it. Normal, blah-tasting burgers are so pricey! So, thank you for all your trial-and-error efforts in this regard.

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Devi @ Playful and hungry August 9, 2012

Ah, these look delicious!
I hardly ever freeze any kind of food… actually, I guess that’s because of my REALLY small freezer place. But I am enjoying the fresh stuff much more anyway, so that’s fine!

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debbysunshine@veganamericanprincess August 9, 2012

Great post!! Incredibly useful!!! Thank you!!!

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Jasmin August 9, 2012

You are a genius! I really need to start making meals in advance like this! So glad for the recipe too…I never seem to be able to bring myself to buy the veggie burgers at the store. They’re so expensive and full of preservatives and who knows what else!

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