If you’re a fan of burgers, you probably know they contain large amounts of fats and calories, making it hard to fit them into a healthy diet. Veggie burgers are an easy and delicious alternative, as they have about three times less total fat than beef burgers. The best part of this recipe? You can grill this veggie burger, so you’ll get that same char-grilled taste that makes a hamburger so irresistible!
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup raw walnuts (or substitute breadcrumbs)
1/2 tablespoon grape seed or avocado oil, plus more for cooking
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon each: chili powder, cumin powder and smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon each: sea salt and black pepper, plus more for coating burgers
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or substitute organic brown sugar or muscovado sugar)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, well rinsed, drained and patted dry
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (if gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs)
3-4 tablespoons vegan barbeque sauce
If your brown rice isn’t cooked yet, start by following this method for the best results. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
Heat skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add raw walnuts and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant and golden brown. Let cool and move onto the next step.
In the meantime, heat the same skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 tablespoon oil and onion. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is fragrant, soft and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once walnuts are cooled, add to blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and coconut sugar. Blend until a fine meal is achieved. Set aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add drained, dried black beans and mash well using a fork, leaving only a few whole beans.
Next, add cooked rice, spice-walnut mixture, sautéed onion, panko breadcrumbs and barbeque sauce. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes or until a moldable dough forms. If dry, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of barbeque sauce. If too wet, add more panko breadcrumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
For larger burgers, divide into 5 patties (1/2 cup in size), or form 10 smaller burgers (1/4 cup in size). To help form the patties, line the 1/2 or 1/4 measuring cup with plastic wrap and pack with burger mixture. Press down to pack firmly, then lift out by the edges of the plastic wrap and slightly flatten with hands to form a 3/4-inch thick patty. Set on a baking sheet or plate for grilling.
If grilling, heat the grill at this time and brush the grill surface with oil to ease cooking. Otherwise, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat.
Once skillet is hot, add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet, then add your burgers. Add only as many patties as will comfortably fit in the pan. Otherwise, add burgers to the grill and close lid.
Cook for 3-4 minutes or until well browned on the underside, then flip gently. Although the veggie patties are not as firm as meat patties, they will definitely hold their shape. Reduce heat if patties are cooking or browning too quickly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.
Remove patties from heat to let cool slightly. Prepare any other toppings or side dishes at this time.
Serve patties as is, or place them on toasted buns with desired toppings. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Grilling season is just around the corner, and this recipe will help you enjoy it with a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers. For additional suggestions and nutrition information, see the full recipe from Minimalist Baker.