The idea of creating a good veggie burger came from racking my brain over what to do with all the zucchinis that keep popping up. Seriously, we are zuked out!
The beauty of making vegan burgers is that there’s somewhat of a formula: protein base, texture, binding, herbs & spices.
For my protein base, I wanted to use black beans (because I love them so!), quinoa (it’s gluten free!), and something we grow so much of, I have to start hiding it in every dish (zucchini!).
Pulsing ingredients in the food processor, especially when using cooked beans, creates a “meaty” texture. Adding lemon juice in the process makes the meatless meat look legit!
Black beans are a binder, but I also threw in flax seeds to really make everything stick.
As for herbs and spices, I cut off the tops of our elephant dill, including the tiny yellow flowers going to seed, pulled out an Australian brown onion along with its beautiful long green leaves, snatched some Italian garlic cloves from storage, and added a splash of R’s special spicy habanero honey mustard. Teaspoons of salt, pepper, and paprika helped pull all of the flavors together.
- 1 medium sized yellow onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh green onions or chives
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 ½ cup grated fresh zucchini
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup flax seeds (whole or crushed)
- 12 oz cooked black beans*
- 2 Tbsp spicy Dijon mustard**
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (no stems)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- juice from half of a medium sized lemon
*If you’re making homemade black beans, make sure to do it at least a day in advance. Otherwise, using a can of organic black beans is fine.
**To make this a Vegan recipe, replace the Dijon mustard with yellow mustard. If desired, add a finely chopped chile pepper for spice.
You can fry up the burgers or bake them.
If baking, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare the quinoa according to the directions. Set it aside to cool to at least room temperature before using.
In a frying pan, sauté the onion, green onions, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are soft. Add the zucchini to the onions and garlic, and sauté until cooked thoroughly. Set the sautéed onion and zucchini mixture aside to cool to at least room temperature. I used a sieve over a bowl to help it cool faster and to also let any liquid from the zucchini drain.
Using a food processor, pour in the flax seeds and let it run for a couple of minutes if they’re not crushed. However, it’s okay if they’re not broken down. Throw in the quinoa, black beans, mustard, basil, dill, salt, pepper, and paprika. Pulse until everything is mixed thoroughly, but not smooth. There should be some texture like large grains of wet sand. Add the lemon juice a little at a time while pulsing to help dampen the mixture a tiny bit and give it that juicy look.
Add the ingredients from the food processor and the sautéed onions and zucchini to a mixing bowl and mix all of the contents thoroughly with your hands.
Scoop up the mixture with your hands and mold into patties. I used my little handy dandy DIY ½ inch burger shaper and made 9 small burgers. You’ll most likely end up with between 6-9 burgers total.
Instructions for cooking options:
- Pan-fry in olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side.
- Oven bake at 375°F on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 25 minutes, flipping the burgers over halfway through.
Serve your veggie burgers with anything under the sun! I love mine plain topped with heirloom tomato and homemade pickle slices or slathered in my basil pesto hummus (mouth watering!).
For more information on perfecting the art of veggie burgers, and my inspiration for this recipe, visit: https://food52.com/blog/4192-veggie-burgers-for-now-and-later.
It’s worth the effort! Good luck 🙂