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 — oats, bread, veggies, beans, spices, and even seeds — 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.
Makes: 7-8 veggie burgers
- 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
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
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.
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.
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.
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 350º 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.