Satisfy your appetite for a great-tasting veggie burger that's easy to make and more healthfully prepared when you use your own wholesome ingredients.

Veggie burgers can be made with chickpeas, black beans, white beans, potatoes, lentils, and pretty much any other vegetable that can be mashed and formed into a patty. And made right, they're delicious—but fragile. Even with binders like breadcrumbs, oats, egg whites, or farina, veggie burger patties tend to be delicate things that don't fare well on the grill. Unless you're using whole portobello mushrooms as the "patties," you're likely to have more success cooking your veggie burgers on the stovetop or under the broiler, then flipping them very carefully when the time comes. Commercial patties tend to be more robust, of course, but we're talking about homemade versions here.

This burger does have quite a lot of steps, but it makes a TON of burgers (recipe says twelve, but I easily got 16 burgers out of it) – so plan your time wisely, set out your ingredients before you start, and try to stay ahead of the mess. Go ahead and prepare a few burgers fresh, and then stick the rest in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner. I will say, I think it could use a touch fewer breadcrumbs, but you want to be able to easily form a patty that’s not too wet or falling apart. Use your best judgment; you can’t go wrong with following the recipe exactly as it’s written.

 

Ingredients

  •  1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  •  1 cup sunflower kernels, toasted
  •  3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •  1 onion, diced (if you have the textural issues that I do, dice it fine)
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  •  2 cups grated carrot (about 4-5 medium carrots)
  •  1 tablespoon cumin
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  •  1 teaspoon oregano
  •  1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped
  •  1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  •  1/2 cup soy sauce
  •  5 eggs, beaten
  •  2 cups rolled oats
  •  3 cups fine breadcrumbs

Directions

 STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread almonds and sunflower kernels in an even layer on the cookie sheet and pop it into the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant (check frequently after five minutes just to make sure they’re not burning). Remove to a bowl and allow to cool a bit. Once cool, put the nuts into a food processor and pulse until nicely chopped. Set aside, and clean out the processor bowl/blade.
 STEP 2
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté about 5-7 minutes, until soft. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
 STEP 3
Peel carrots and add to cleaned food processor bowl. Let the blade do the work of grating the carrots down for you. Once the carrots are grated nicely, add the nut mixture, the onion-garlic mixture, cumin, chili powder, oregano, parsley/cilantro, and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse to blend.
 STEP 4
Add the black beans and pulse again to blend.
 STEP 5
Remove the mixture to a large mixing bowl. You may be thinking – Dana, couldn’t I just keep it all in the food processor? Won’t it get all mixed up in there anyway? Yeah, you’d like to think that, but you’re about to add a lot of volume to the mixture, and it will outgrow the food processor bowl. Just trust me. Big bowl.
 STEP 6
Add the beaten eggs, soy sauce, rolled oats, and bread crumbs, mixing a bit after each addition. It’ll be dense at the end, and you’ll likely need to use your hands to mix. Feel free.
 STEP 7
Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and sprinkle with a light dusting of flour. Make your patties (about 1/2 cup or so of mixture per patty) and line them up on the baking sheet. Once all patties have been made and are more or less equal in size, dust them all with just a little flour, cover the sheet with plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. Once the patties are frozen through, put them in a freezer bag for safe keeping.
 STEP 8
if making the veggie burgers fresh: I tried pan-frying, grilling, and baking these burgers, and I have to say I prefer baking. It’s a slow heat up, without the burning that comes with the frying pan. Grilling works okay, but don’t bother if you’re not already grilling. Bake at 425° until heated through, about 10 minutes. Check often to make sure the burgers aren’t burning. (Not unlike when I watched Unsolved Mysteries, vigilance is good here.)
 STEP 9
if making these burgers frozen:
Again, I like baking here. Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes, until completely thawed and heated through.
 STEP 10
Enjoy on your favorite buns with the toppings you like – cheese, condiments, more veggies, pickles. And if you can catch an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, the world (and this story) will be complete.