Our Perfect Veggie Burger

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 13, 2011

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For the past several months, I’ve been on a quest to make a veggie burger that had everything on our wish list. I’ve probably made over 100 veggie burgers and they all came up short, either by just a tiny bit or by a landslide.

I’m always asked what I do with failed recipes and my answer is usually the same- I eat them! An imperfect veggie burger crumbled over a salad is quite tasty. Same goes for a doughy muffin crumbled over a bowl of Vegan Overnight Oats. Unless something I make is really gross, I eat it.

However, I am picky about three things:

1) The recipes that I post on the blog

2) Homemade Veggie burgers

3) Tying my running shoes before a run (I always stop once to re-tie them, lol)

Now you know. :)

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Eric and I put together a ‘must-have’ list of requirements during our mission. Veggie burgers are serious business around here and we have quite a checklist. ;)

Our veggie burger must haves:

  • Can’t be mushy in the middle (the problem I have the most)
  • Crispy outer shell
  • Lots of flavour from fresh herbs & spices
  • No tofu (not a fan)
  • Crunchy, chewy texture is a must
  • No cracking or falling apart (another common problem)
  • Must cook well 3 ways: frying pan, oven, and BBQ
  • Could make a grown man shed a tear of joy (ok, that was my requirement, heh)

 

If one of those elements is missing, the recipe is as dead to me as the burgers flippin’ on the McDonald’s grill!

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After writing about my most recent Lemon Rosemary burger fail (that drove me to make PB Crunch Blizzards), I received an email from a lovely reader named Jenny who must have known that I was one failed veggie burger short of being buckled into a straitjacket.

Jenny writes, “After reading your post today, which has me day-dreaming about cookie dough blizzards by the way, I wanted to share with you the best veggie burger recipe our family has come across (even my meat-lovin’ husband requests them from time to time!). The recipe is from the Whitewater ski area in Nelson, BC and hasn’t failed us yet. It isn’t vegan but I’m sure you can work your magic to make it so.”

Isn’t Jenny great?

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After reading Jenny’s email, I flew into the kitchen so fast my processor spun. I figured there was a 0.0002% chance they would work, so I was quite hopeful.

As luck would have it, magic did happen in my kitchen that fateful evening as Eric patiently awaited the outcome, fearing he’d be served yet another bowl of cereal.

He wasn’t. :)

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5 from 34 reviews
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Our Perfect Veggie Burger

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Crunchy, chewy, with a crispy outer shell, these delicious veggie burgers have all the right elements we love in a veggie burger. Light on the beans, these burgers aren’t mushy in the middle, but have a nice mixture of veggies, bread crumbs, chopped oats, sunflower seeds, and spices to round them out. This recipe is inspired by Whitewater Cooks.

Yield
8 burgers
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1(14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion or yellow onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tamari, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, processed into a coarse meal*
  • 1/2 cup spelt bread crumbs (or bread crumbs of choice)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oat flour (or flour of choice), as needed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes so it can thicken.
  3. Into a large mixing bowl, add the drained black beans. With a potato masher, mash the beans until 2/3 of the mixture is a bean "paste" while leaving about 1/3 of the beans mostly intact.
  4. In a medium skillet, add the oil and increase the heat to medium. Stir in the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion softens. Transfer the onion mixture into the bowl with the mashed beans.
  5. Stir in the flax egg, grated carrots, parsley (or cilantro), sunflower seeds, tamari, chili powder, oregano, and cumin until thoroughly combined.
  6. Now, stir in the coarsely chopped oats, bread crumbs, and oat flour until the mixture comes together. It should be easy to shape the dough into patties. Stir in the salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Shape the dough into 8 patties (roughly 1/3 cup of dough per patty). Pack the dough together tightly as this will help it stick together. Place onto the baking sheet.
  8. Bake patties for 15 minutes, gently flip, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until patties are firm and golden.
  9. Cool the patties on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This helps them firm up a bit.
  10. Serve in a bun or lettuce wrap with your desired toppings. Leftover burgers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, or you can freeze cooled patties for up to 1 month. Simply wrap each patty in tinfoil and then place all of the wrapped burgers into a zip freezer bag.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 8 burgers | Calories 180 calories | Total Fat 8 grams
Saturated Fat 1 grams | Sodium 250 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 21 grams
Fiber 6 grams | Sugar 2 grams | Protein 7 grams

Nutrition info is based on 8 servings.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

  • * To coarsely chop the oats, add 1/2 cup rolled oats into a food processor. Process the oats until a coarse meal forms (the chopped pieces will be a mixture of powder and chopped oats just smaller than rice). Be sure not to process too long or the oats will turn into flour.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats, gluten-free Tamari, and gluten-free breadcrumbs.

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This veggie burger ‘dough’ is so good to eat straight from the bowl! Another thing I learned during my mission: if the ‘dough’ doesn’t wow you, the burgers won’t either. Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings to taste.

For my first trial, I didn’t process the oats into a flour and they didn’t hold together very well when frying. For my second trial, I used oat flour instead of whole oats and they held together very well!

Before baking in the oven:

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I love my silpat, but you can also use parchment paper.

After baking for 20 mins. on each side…crispy and golden!

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Our preferred method of cooking is on the skillet, fried in a bit of oil. The burgers get this crispy shell similar to a hash brown! We already have plans to fry the ‘dough’ in a skillet for breakfast.

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We also tried them on the BBQ, which also worked well. Pre-cook them in the oven for about 15 minutes first to firm them up a bit.

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Then I raided the garden…

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On the side, kale chips and ketchup.

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On the burgers, we had homemade BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes. The second night, we had guacamole and pico de gallo on top- incredible!

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I hope you love ‘em too!

I think this comment from Dawn says it all:

“Throw out any of your other veggie burger recipes! Seriously. This. Is. The. One! No weird ingredients. I’m no gourmet foodie, I’m just plain jane and have regular things in my pantry and fridge and I had all of these ingredients. I added about 1 Tbsp chopped jalapeno (from a jar of sliced jalapenos). Love the sunflower seeds!! Do not over chop the black beans. I recommend mixing by hand in a bowl. I used my kitchen aid and they were too mush-i-fied. Even with my mess ups, these were very, very good. I immediately ate one from pan fried. The others I baked and will freeze. Then I will give them a try on the barbecue. Truly. I am going to remove other recipes from my Pinterest, and toss the others from my recipe box.
Thank you for making the Perfect Veggie Burger recipe!”

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

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mary anne pritschet March 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm

I just made your amazing veggie burger! I am such a happy camper ! It was delicious and of course healthy ! Is this recipe in a cookbook for purchase?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 12, 2018 at 10:52 am

Hey Mary Anne, Oh that’s great news! Yes this recipe (or a very similar version) is in my first cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

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Wendy March 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Thank you for this fab recipe – finally a veggie burger with the right texture and very tasty and nutritious! I made it tonight for my family and even my fussy 10 and 12 year old boys happily munched their way through two mini ones each in a soda bread bun served with salad and home made paprika potato wedges. I used 2 eggs instead of the flax meal, missed out the seeds (told you they were fussy) but substituted them with nutritional yeast flakes. I didn’t have tamari so I used light soy sauce instead and I substituted paprika for the chilli so they weren’t too hot for the boys. My husband and I had our topped with some sliced fried garlic mushrooms and a chilled glass of prosecco on the side (well it’s 22 years ago today that we met!) and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner! Will definitely try out more of your recipes, thanks again :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2018 at 7:12 am

Hey Wendy, Oh I’m so happy that you all loved it, and that it worked with the swaps! Thanks so much for sharing :) I’d love to hear what other recipes you try next.

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Darlene Record April 20, 2018 at 11:12 am

I was raised eating veggie burgers that consisted of canned vegeburger, chopped onions and eggs. But now, I make mushroom oat burgers, that are delicious, without gluten. Nutburgers like the one in Fair Oaks, CA called the Sunflower drive in is really delicious; they use sunflower seeds and falafel seasoning. Walnuts or pecans are a must, to give a meaty texture. I use oats, cooked and raw, depending on the recipe, and always use eggs for a binder and flavor. Eggs can be omitted in you cook the oatmeal into mush to bind your burger together.

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John April 24, 2018 at 12:38 am
Recipe Rating:

This is top-notch… I’ve tried veggie burgers at home a bunch of times and this is by far the best. Every bit as good as anything store bought IE Garden Burger brand or Bocca. This could be on any restaurants “vegetarian” selection. Really nice job coming up with this.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 24, 2018 at 6:28 am

Hey John, Wow thank you so much…your kind words about this recipe made my day. So glad you love it as much as we do!

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amanda r lepiane April 30, 2018 at 7:39 pm

Hi! These sounds amazing! I’m alergic to sunflower seeds. ANY substitution ideas?
Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

Hey Amanda, I would try chopped roasted pepita seeds. :)

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Laurie May 16, 2018 at 10:23 pm

Try adding cooked kamut. It gives a nice chewy texture. I’m going to try this! Thanks!

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Mrs E May 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Did not have time to read all comments…when freezing can these be reheated in microwave? Making for mom who is getting too tired to heat pan/oven etc. Thanks

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Courtney June 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm
Recipe Rating:

These veggie burgers are so delicious and filling. I love all of Angela’s recipes, but this is one of my favorites, because the ingredients are so accessible and easy to work with. These burgers are definitely going to become one of my staples.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Wow, thank you Courtney! I really appreciate your kind words :)

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doris m glommen June 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

In my life of cooking (60+yrs) the best thing since sliced bread is Reynolds NON STICK aluminum foil. My suggesttion is this….don’t ever let yourself run out!! Absolutely nothing nothing nothing nothing sticks to it. Used it for kabobs….what a miracle. Don’t have to fight with rolling the kabobs around or anything. When I think of these veggie burgers being done on the grill…..this is the thing to use!! I give the foil a few slices to let the charcoal flavor come thru. You absolutely won’t believe how wonderful it is. Honestly….you won’t believe it. As for the recipe noted above……ITS NEXT ON MY LIST OF FIXING MY NUTRITIONAL LIFE. I have every intention of doubling the recipe and freezing them raw. I am single, so I want to be able to pull a few out at a time.

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robert lembo June 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is the first comment I have posted but feel compelled to say how awesome the black bean veggie burger recipe is…lots of ingredients but what flavor! Only drawback is that i’m being asked to continually make them. lol
Thanks again
p.s do you have any other veggie burger recipes that incorporate different beans?

Bob

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2018 at 10:03 am

Hey Robert, I’m so glad these were such a hit! I can relate to being requested to make them often ;)
You can definitely try changing up the beans and flavours in this recipe. I do have a couple recipes but they are very old so I would want to re-test/tweak them before recommending.

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mary June 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm

hi – Any hints for reheating the veggie burgers ?- I’m making them in advance for a crowd and will freeze them after baking. I can have them at room temp before warming up but need your help w an oven temp and timing. thanks a bunch, Mary

Haven’t tried the recipe yet but it comes w my sister’s recommendation –

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) August 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Hey Mary, I’m sorry for missing your comment! It’s probably too late. Did you try anything? I was going to suggest reheating in a skillet with oil and frying the patties for 3-4 minutes per side.

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Hugh June 21, 2018 at 7:18 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’m a certified meat-eater but I make these for my 11 y/o daughter who is a lifelong committed vegetarian. These are easily the best veggie burgers I’ve ever tasted. Delicious! Bravo and thanks, you great work!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2018 at 6:26 am

Hey Hugh, Awesome news! That’s so sweet you made them for your daughter. Thanks so much for letting me know. :)

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Kishore August 4, 2018 at 11:52 am
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Made these for a potluck, everybody loved them. A friend said I should start a vegan food truck with that recipe :P (jk… I won’t steal your recipe or open a food truck)! Thanks for saving this vegan from a potluck embarrassment:D.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 5, 2018 at 5:46 pm

haha…love it! You wouldn’t be the first (I’ve heard from others that other restaurants have used this recipe before) ;)

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Seweryn August 7, 2018 at 5:04 am

Dear Angela, thank you for your offerings and passion for great vegetarian food! I am working on reducing brain inflammation, which means I am not eating any type of grain and also no corn. I would love to try your veggie burger, do you have any idea what I might use as a substitute for the oats, breadcrumbs and flour? Thank you for considering my question.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2018 at 8:04 am

Hey there, Oh this is a tough one for sure! I can relate to your ingredient struggles as I am currently on an elimination diet and find myself wondering the same thing about many recipes. Ae you able to have almond flour or almond meal? That may work, but you will likely need a binder. I wonder if you can have arrowroot starch? A small amount of that combined with almond meal or flour may work, but it would likely take a lot of testing.

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Sally August 16, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Hello, I tried your veggie burger at an event and it was so delicious that i emailed them and asked them for the recipe. I wrapped it in lettuce and then added some coleslaw on top. It was amazing. I was going to split it with my friend because it was so big, but it was so good I ended up getting another one!!!
Thanks for taking the time and energy to make this amazing veggie burger…
Sally

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 20, 2018 at 5:56 am

Hey Sally, I’m so glad to hear that you had it so much you emailed for the recipe. :) That’s the ultimate compliment. I hope you enjoy them again soon. Thanks for sharing!

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Minda September 16, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Hi Angela! This veggie burger looks absolutely scrumptious, but I do have one question. This is probably some type of blasphemy, but do you think the black beans could be swapped for navy beans? I had food poisoning once from something with black beans in it, and since them, I just can’t eat them anymore, ugh.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 18, 2018 at 10:20 am

Hi Minda, I do think navy beans should be okay but I don’t think I’ve tried it before. Would love to hear how it goes if you do!

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dina October 22, 2018 at 12:52 pm
Recipe Rating:

this is the BEST veggie burger recipe, and the description is absolutely perfect. just had a leftover one with kimchi for lunch, my husband packed one for work(really easy on the go lunch), and my son crumbled(they crumble PERFECTLY) one over a bowl of brown rice, and added a little jarred marinara. The possibilities are endless. You could swap the beans with other varieties, I’d bet, or add different veggies(some chopped red pepper, some kale)–I’d even try making some kind of loaf. SO good.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Aw, thank you so much for the kind words, Dina. I’m so happy you and your fam love the veggie burgers…they’re a big hit over here too. And I love your son’s idea of crumbling the patty over rice. Now you’ve got me curious about a loaf, too…please let us know if you try it out!

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Todd Molland December 8, 2018 at 1:12 pm

This is my favorite recipe. I always double it and freeze a bunch. I can’t say mine are not mushy when I reheat them in the microwave or oven. Often times they squish out of the bun. I still like them though.

Any suggestions on how to reheat them so they are not mushy in the middle and don’t break a part?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Hey Todd, So glad to hear that! I usually reheat them in a lightly oiled skillet for several minutes per side.

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