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The Perfect Veggie Burgers

In one sense, I feel weird calling these the “perfect” veggie burgers (how presumptuous do I have to be to call my own burgers perfect?!) But on the other hand, it’s really not much of an exaggeration here. The texture holds together as well as a hamburger (no more mushy burgers!) and the flavors are so meaty and satisfying and well-rounded, while still being bright and fresh. Top with some mashed avocado and this is one veggie burger that might just make your meat-eating friends jealous at the summer BBQ.

If you look at the ingredient list, there’s a lot going on here โ€” oats, bread, veggies, beans, spices, and even seeds โ€” but there’s a method behind this madness. The flaxseed is brilliant at holding these veggie burgers together while the breadcrumbs and oat flour give it body, the mushrooms and pinto beans add a rich meaty taste, the tomato paste and paprika throw in just a hint of smokey BBQ, and the veggies add lots of bright, fresh flavors. Oh man… I might just eat these every day for the rest of the summer.

VeggieBurger

Makes: 7-8 veggie burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms (white or crimini)
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup pinto beans

VeggieBurgerWide

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F.

Step One

Add the flaxseed to a bowl along with 1/4 cup of water and let this sit for 5-10 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients. The flax is super important for creating a gel that will hold the burgers together, and adds lots of healthy omega-3’s and fiber to boot.

Step Two

In a food processor, add the slices of bread (toasted, if you like) and oats. Pulse until you have a fine mixture of breadcrumbs and oat flour. Add this to a large mixing bowl.

Step Three

Chop the onion and carrot into small chunks and add them to the food processor along with all the other ingredients except the pinto beans (garlic, parsley, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, tomato paste, soy sauce, smoked paprika, and oregano). Pulse this repeatedly until everything is broken down, but before it turns into a smoothie :). Finally, add the pinto beans and just pulse 1-2 times to blend them in.

Add this mixture into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and oat flour. Also throw in that flaxseed which should have turned into a gel. Use a large spoon (or your hands) to mix well. It should be slightly wet, but not too soggy.

Step Four

Whether making these ahead or preparing right before eating, they must be baked. Baking gives them the perfect consistency to where they can be reheated in the oven, stovetop, microwave, BBQ – you name it. To do this, form the mixture into rounds, about 5″ wide and 2/3″ inch thick on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Then, bake at 350ยบ F for about 20 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes (your times may vary). After cooling, the burgers should be so firm that you can hold one corner and they won’t fall apart. Amazing.

Serve these immediately with your favorite burger toppings, or pop them in the freezer (in a sealed bag) for long-term storage.

VeggieBurgerStack

VeggieBurgerOpen

65 Comments

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      • These are in the oven now! I actually cooked up red beans yesterday to make these but then I found pinto beans in the store so i decided to buy a can and give it a try with the pinto.
        I think I’ll freeze the red beans and find something else to do with them. Maybe even try them in the veggie burgers next time.
        Anyway, it did take some time to put these together, but if we enjoy them then I would make a big batch and freeze so we have for a while. They look good! my batch made 9 burgers.
        I’ll report back later ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ I was wondering if I could use panko breadcrumbs instead of bread . If so roughly how much ?
    Thanks!

    • I made a GF version….I started with 1.5 cups of GF oats and 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice that I had leftover. When I formed the burgers at the end I added another 1/4-1/2 cup GF quick oats because they were a little too sticky. They turned out great. I’m pretty sure they would work with all oats (that’s probably what I would try next time since I don’t always have cooked rice on hand).
      Oh, and they totally stayed together after baking – I could do the “hold the corner” trick with no falling apart ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hey Beth, good question. Well, it would *not* be the buns in the picture :p (I just used those to make the pictures prettier). I almost always eat veggie burgers on sprouted whole wheat bread (i.e. Ezekiel brand). I guess it’s not as fancy as a fluffy white bun, but they taste great and are much healthier.

  2. Just made these and I can truly say they are incredible! The texture, the taste, everything. I have been looking for a good burger and found a great one. Good job.

  3. Forgot to mention in last post that the instructions did not include when to add the flaxseed mixture. Just wanted to let you know in case someone posts their burgers did not hold together.

  4. This is such an AMAZING recipe! I subbed cashews and lentils for the sunflower seeds and pinto beans since it was what I had on hand and it turned out purrrfect. As I was munching it down I had a vision: how about dreaming up some sort of savory granola made out of crumbled up veggie patties and using it to top some sort of cream of veggie soup? Might be more of a fall dish unless the soup it topped was some sort of cold gazpacho. Keep ’em coming kind Sir!

    • Awesome!! Your substitutions sound great, Kami – it’s great to hear that they work well with slightly different ingredients.

      Veggie burger crumbles over soup?! What a cool idea. As I was making these, I also though they could be an amazing addition to pasta sauce… like a vegan “meat” sauce ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      • BRILLIANT! Like vegan meatballs…YUM! I will be trying that tonight with my leftovers. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your chef coat sleeves ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. O.M.Geee. You have done it again! You’re right! These are the perfect veggie burgers! I made these for 4th of July dinner. Big success! Hubs is a new vegan and he LOVED them!! Thanks, again!!!

    • Hi Mya, that’s a tough question. In a blender, you’ll most likely end up with veggie burger smoothies ๐Ÿ™‚ and I would definitely recommend investing in a food processor if possible.

  6. These look awesome Andrew!! Gorgeous and delicious! I agree too, I love using oat flour in my veggie burgers as well. I love your addition of soy sauce, I bet that gives them amazing flavor

  7. I made these the other day and they are the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. They really are perfect! The only sub I did was using panko instead of bread; otherwise, spot on!

  8. I had given up on homemade squishy or storebought cardboardy veggie burgers, I thought forever. I don’t know what made me try these as one last effort, but I am glad I did! They were pretty darn perfect! My husband who is a meat eater thought they were good too. I did try them today with spaghetti sauce after seeing your post, since I was making it anyway and that was good too. I am happy with plain spaghetti, but this would be good for company. The only thing I changed in the burgers was to add ketchup instead of the tomato paste because I was out of it. But I will use the paste from now on for sure since there is probably a slight difference in taste. I’d like to keep the paprika in it and experiment with other seasonings too instead of the oregano, like seasoned salt or the Montreal steak seasoning, otherwise keeping the recipe as-is. Thanks a lot for this!!

    • Hey Tina, that’s so cool!! I’ really glad you gave these a shot… I feel your struggles (I’ve made too many terrible veggie burgers before coming up with this recipe). I love the idea of experimenting with other seasonings – play around with it and see what you come up with! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Made these! Delicious! I just tried one plain and I am so impressed how well they hold together. I can’t wait to try them with a burger bun and all the toppings!

  10. I loved this! Thank you for such a great recipe. I am excited to try out the spaghetti sauce… if I can get them to last that long. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi Andrew, I came across your blog last week & I am in LOVE!! I made the veggie burgers for dinner last night. Well, they were a huge success! Thank you for putting together this blog with all these great recipes!! Although I’m a Pescatarian at the moment (sorry folks, lol!) I’m slowly moving towards a more vegan diet. I enjoy cooking & baking and I’m always looking for new inspiration. So thank you for all of the recipes & ideas! ๐Ÿ™‚ oh & p.s. The banana ice cream was awesome! My 3 year old couldn’t get enough!!

  12. Hey Andrew.
    I made these last night and they were a hit with my omni friends. When I made the patties, though, they were really sticky and were still pretty moist inside after cooking. Are they supposed to be that way? If not, should I try cooking them longer. There really isn’t any liquid to remove except for the soy sauce. I drained the pinto beans. Any suggestions?

    • I’m glad your friends liked them, Vicki! ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, I would cook them as long as possible before they start burning. I mean, the texture of these burgers was so solid that I could pick them up by the corner and they wouldn’t fall apart. If they weren’t quite that solid for you, maybe make a note and add a little more oats next time to absorb the excess liquid. I hope that helps!

  13. Thank you Andrew! Finally the perfect, non-mushy burger! I made them and they are excellent. Ate some on buns, crumbled some on salad. I’ve been searching for this recipe forever. Might try to add a little bit of greens so my vegan teenager gets some in her diet!

  14. I have found several good veggie burger recipes, and these were every bit as good as my other favorites. These have the best texture of them all. The other thing that makes these unique is the little boost of flavor you get from the tomato paste. It isn’t blatantly tomato-ey or acidic, but it definitely adds interest. To me, it’s like it provided the introductory flavor of salty and subtle sweetness that paved the way for the savory flavor of the burger. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Thanks, Miss B! I’m really happy you picked up on that. And your description of the tomato paste sounds so enticing… maybe I should really have you write my recipe intros! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Just made these, and they were great. Had to make a couple substitutions, since I didn’t have enough of some ingredients, but overall really pleased. And I usually HATE veggie burgers! Also, your chocolate peanut butter oatmeal is the BOMB. Makes me look forward to breakfast.

    Thanks for doing what you do, Andrew!

    • Oh, I’m so glad to hear that they turned out well for you, Dee! Thanks so much for letting me know.

      Haha, my Chocolate peanut butter oatmeal addiction is still going strong – I make it at least 5 days a week ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Andrew, I just found this recipe after checking out the 12 min peanut noodles, to be done. I just wanted to say that they’re in the oven now and smell great. I also dony like mushrooms so substituted green pepper, and we are also GF so I toasted up three slices of udi bread. the consistency, being a vegan/vet for 20 of my 50+ yrs, and I remember the consistency of meatloaf, meatballs, etc, using hamburger, and this was the closest I have ever found. I have great hopes for ‘meat’ balls with your recipe.

    • Oh, that’s great to hear Bonnie! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reporting back, I’m so happy you enjoyed them!!

      Yes, I’ve been plotting a different meatball recipe that’s similar to this one but maybe a bit different. Stay tuned ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • They were terrific. Cooling them is definitely the key to having them hold together. I got nine very good sized burgers from the recipe.

  17. Hi Andrew!

    Is there any other vege that you think would do the trick besides a mushroom in this recipe? I know what you are thinking…a vegetarian that doesnt like mushrooms..how can this be? But alas, I hate them and have been looking for a way to make my own vege burgers without them. Any advice you can give would be great! Thanks!

    • Hi Rabekah! Eggplant is usually my go-to mushroom substitute. Doesn’t have the same flavor (but I guess that’s a good thing, right?) and it has a similar consistency. I can’t say for sure it would work here, but that’s the first thing I’d try.

  18. These sound really good as I like the firmness you describe. I have two questions. Are the sunflower seeds the roasted variety or raw? And, you say to make the burgers 5″ across which seems really huge; they don’t shrink do they?

  19. They came out great! I made 1/3 cup sized patties so got 11. I used homemade Jack’s Secret Sauce and dill pickles. Yum. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Andrew, these are terrific, but because I can of pinto beans is about 1 and 1/2 cups and I always double the quantities to freeze some and save time, I put in 1/2 cup of cooked red beets. The patties really look like raw meat now! I am recommending your site to everyone I know. Excellent recipes.

  21. Yes they are! Made these again last night. This recipe NEVER disappoints!! Thank you, Andrew, for all your hard work that you so generously share!

  22. I just am new to your website and mad these today for lunch – Wow they were really good. I has a little hesitant – but quite surprised at how delicious they were.
    Thank you – I look forward to trying may more of your recipes.

  23. Hooray!!! A delicious, easy recipe that surpasses all I’ve tried before. I made 6 large burgers (approximately 1/2 cup of mixture in each). Congratulations on another winning recipe, Andrew…I only wish I had tried it sooner!

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