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. :)
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!
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?
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. :)
Our Perfect Veggie Burger
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.
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) warm water
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) 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 (15 to 30 mL) 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes so it can thicken.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in the flax egg, grated carrots, parsley (or cilantro), sunflower seeds, tamari, chili powder, oregano, and cumin until thoroughly combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake patties for 15 minutes, gently flip, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until patties are firm and golden.
- Cool the patties on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This helps them firm up a bit.
- 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.
- * 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.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
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:
I love my silpat, but you can also use parchment paper.
After baking for 20 mins. on each side…crispy and golden!
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.
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.
Then I raided the garden…
On the side, kale chips and ketchup.
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!
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!”
Don’t forget, this morning is the last chance to enter the Glo bar Giveaway! (Your comments are amazing by the way)
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 –
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.
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!
Hey Hugh, Awesome news! That’s so sweet you made them for your daughter. Thanks so much for letting me know. :)
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.
haha…love it! You wouldn’t be the first (I’ve heard from others that other restaurants have used this recipe before) ;)
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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!
I made them with navy beans instead of black beans and they turned out great! I also used a chia egg instead of a flax egg with no issues. This is my go-to veggie burger. Thanks so much, Angela!
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.
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!
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?
Hey Todd, So glad to hear that! I usually reheat them in a lightly oiled skillet for several minutes per side.
Are these freezer friendly? They never last when I make them so I’ve not tried but I’m hoping to add these to my postpartum freezer meals stash.
Hi Delia, yes they freeze quite well!
Do you defrost these before reheating or cook from frozen? Hoping to make a batch for my somewhat anti-vegan husband!
Hi Hannah, I usually thaw them first them reheat in an oiled skillet. :)
I made these but had to sub chic peas for the black beans, and I used chia seeds in place of the flax egg. They turned out really good using the pan-frying method (very small amount of oil). The texture is fantastic and I think they are even better after being reheated in the toaster oven. It seems like this recipe is very adaptable, I’m going to play with different seasonings. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing AJ! I love the swaps you tried out.
How do you think these would taste with fresh basil instead of cilantro or parsley? I have a big basil plant I should use!
I’m so excited to try these! I love all your recipes ❤️
Oh that’s such a good question! I have wondered the same thing, but haven’t gotten around to trying them with basil yet. I can’t see why basil wouldn’t be a nice change. If you try anything, I would love to hear how it goes!
Looks good; probably going to add smoked papricka, corriander, and extra chilli powder to the mix. Then season the outside with a normal MCormick steak seasoning. Otherwise, thank you for the recipe! And I really enjoyed your book, that I borrowed from the library! Keep cooking and inventing!
This recipe is slightly different than the book. The book’s recipe has no water with the ground flaxseed, less oat flower, slightly more EVOO. Which recipe do you favor? (Delicious recipe!)
Too dry! No flavor!
I am making these for dinner tonight and want to double check about the Oat Flour. The ingredients say 1/2 cup of oats coarsely ground AND 2 tbsp of oat flour. So do I pulse my first round of oats to make the course ground version and than pulse another 2 tbsp after to make actual oat flour?? Or do I buy the oat flour separately?
Hi! I have a few questions.
The ingredients call for 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1/2 cup coursley ground oats. Then later you mention that you prefer oat flour. Did you get better results doing 1 cup oats processed in to oat flour, no breadcrumbs?
Also, for frying on the skillet, do you bake first then fry? Or just fry (and how long per side?)
Iam so excited to try these! I’ve been craving veggie burgers and was planning to go out and get a mediocre one from my local diner. Then thought…it would be so much better to learn how to make a good one myself! My husband, a meat eater, is skeptical and made some faces when I described tonight’s dinner. But I plan on winning him over with this recipe.
Yep, these were delicious and worth the effort! I fed them to vegans and omnivores and they loved them. :) Do your self a favor and double or triple this recipe!
What is a good substitute for sunflower seeds?
Made these yesterday. Delicious burger!. With some of the leftovers today I made tacos. I crumbled the patties and warmed them in a skillet and made soft shell tacos with salsa, diced avocado and onion, and shredded lettuce. Thank you!
Does anybody know around how much protein there is in these?
7 grams. Under the recipe card the nutrition I found is hidden and you have to tap the + to show that info. Hope that helps someone else reading this thread since I know that was asked a year ago!
I love these and have made them many times. I’d like to make a huge batch but I see that they will last in the freezer for only 1 month. Has anyone kept them longer? What happens after 1 month? I’m going to see what happens.
I’d been holding onto this recipe for a long while, and I finally made them with my sister when she came to visit. We we’re both thinking that we would like them but feeling that our husbands might not. So wrong, everyone loved them! Everything about your description of them is true. We did the cilantro option rather than parsley, and we substituted liquid aminos for tamari. I didn’t have any problem with mushy beans. I thought your guidance on mashing was good.
The recipe doesn’t say how many eggs
is this still the best vegan burger or a newer concoction has superseded this?
Hi there, excited to make these. Can I make ahead of time and leave in the fridge until ready to cook?
Hi there, I am off to the grocery store to buy all the ingredience I’m missing and am so excited to taste the out come. Since I’ve got 3 teenagers it would be such a time saver if I would make a larger batch and freeze some. Have you tried to freeze them? Please write your experience. Do you freeze them before cooking or after? Thawed before cooking or not? Thank you,
I have made this a few times now and love these.
I used chia “eggs” and the cilantro option. First time I cut the recipe in half. Now that I have frozen them, and know how well they turn out I cook the whole recipe. I live in California ‘s central valley and summer recipes need to be cook ahead with minimal heating later. It’s way too hot for any other type of cooking. These are perfect for that.
If you don’t already know this tip for shoes that come untied. Try making your loop in the opposite direction.?
Could you convert this recipe into a Veggie Loaf?, as opoosed to a meat loaf, or would it be mushy in the middle?
Made these burgers for the first time today. They are absolutely delicious. Thank you for all your plant based recipes. Your lemon tahini dressing is always in my fridge.
This is the best veggie burger recipe, and I’ve experimented with several. My whole family loves these. I like to double the batch and freeze the extra. They freeze really well and are so handy to have stocked up.
I would like to make these in advance for camping. If I freeze them, your suggestion was to reheat in a skillet with a little bit of oil. I do not use oil so that would not work, plus I would like to use the BBQ.
Do you think any of the following options would be a viable solution….
1) defrost burger and then BBQ
2) put frozen (previously cooked burger) on the BBQ
3) freeze the uncooked burgers and put frozen burger on the BBQ to cook
I have previously made bean burgers, froze the uncooked burger and then put them on the BBQ – they held up perfectly. However, they are the type that are crispy on the outside and mushy in the center.
Any thoughts how I can bring your burgers camping? Or could I make the uncooked burgers 2 days in advance, store them in the fridge and then cook/BBQ? (I guess the questions would be how long will they keep in the fridge without being cooked) TIA
These burgers were delicious! I made them almost as written (I didn’t have chia/flax seeds in the house so I used 1/4cup vital wheat gluten instead), I then baked them and put them in the freezer.
I took them out of the freezer a few days later and put the frozen patties directly on the BBQ and they came out perfect! (I don’t use oil so using a little oil in frying pan wasn’t going to work for us.)
They stayed together, they were crispy on the outside, and moist (not chewy like some burgers) on the inside. My new goto burger recipe. Thx.
One of my favorite recipes! We don’t eat vegan anymore and I still prefer it over regular beef burgers. I make a double batch since they freeze and thaw so well.
These are my favourite veggie burgers!
Can they be made raw and put in fridge overnight before baking? Thanks!
Hi, Just made your burgers. Very nice! I like that they are crunchy on the outside, not mushy, and they have a great taste. I added 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to give them some zing. Thanks
Do you think cauliflower rice would work instead of the black beans? My husband can’t eat black beans.