I’ve experimented with MANY veggie burgers over the years…I’ve been a vegetarian for about 4 years, so I’m always on the quest to find a good one. While I enjoy Bocca and Morningstar burgers, they are just too expensive and over-processed to eat on a regular basis (and many contain eggs/dairy). I never had a problem letting go of meat when I went veg, but I would still get intense cravings for a cheeseburger every once in awhile.
I used to make black bean burgers with mashed potatoes, and while they were tasty, they would crumble and fall apart when I went to fry them, not to mention how they kept crumbling off of the hamburger bun. They also didn’t remind me at all of a burger. I’ve tried other recipes, but many recommend using an egg to bind ingredients, but that kinda defeats the whole idea of making a veggie burger in my opinion.
I ended up using the Black Bean Burger recipe from the Veganomicon cookbook, and it is by far my favorite! If you want to try out vegan food, Isa Chandra knows her stuff. She makes being vegan relatable, and she provides recipes for all of the comfort foods you enjoy. A lot of them taste better and have no saturated fats like animal based products do.
|Rice Vegan Cheese melted well on the burgers and tastes great! Not 100% like cheese, but a nice alternative.|
Most of the other ingredients are fairly typical of most recipes I’ve seen (black beans, onions, cumin, bread crumbs, chili powder, etc…) but the secret to why these burgers hold together is Vital Wheat Gluten. VWG is what vegans use to make mock meat otherwise known as seitan. It gets the stringy, chewy texture of meat when you prepare it as seitan by kneading it, and boiling it in vegetable broth. In this recipe, it makes an excellent binder along with bread crumbs. It holds together perfectly and makes the burger more chewy, which is the sensation I missed when I used to eat cheeseburgers.
As far as toppings go, the sky is the limit. You could grill up pineapple and make a tropical salsa chutney to put on top. Jalapenos are great when you want to add a spicy kick. You can even finely chop them and put them right in the burger mix. You can use creamy guacamole as a topping, my personal fave. I highly recommend checking out ALDI’s premade guacamole, its tasty and you get a lot for the price. Also, don’t forget the typical burger favorites: pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and red onion.
Some basic tips for successful burger making:
- Don’t over mash your beans. Just use a fork and its okay if there are few whole beans left. You want your burgers to have texture.
- Finely dice any vegetables or herbs that you put in your burgers. If they aren’t chopped fine enough, your burgers won’t hold together.
- Don’t put too many bread crumbs in…it will taste mushy and kinda blah if you put too many in.
- Make sure to season your burgers well! You can even make asian, mexican, italian burgers depending on what you put into your mix.
- Don’t cook on high heat…keep the heat on medium. Allow each side to cook 5 minutes and press down on the burgers with a spatula.
- If you want to cut down on calories, put your olive oil in a spray bottle. Spray your patty, and when you flip spray the other side. This will reduce the amount of oil that the burger soaks up.
|This is what the mixture looks like when its all kneaded up, before you make it into patties.|
|See how nicely they hold together? Make sure to cook them on medium heat for 5 minutes on each side!|
|Don’t forget to make fries to go with it!|
|This was epic on so many levels and its 100% vegan. Yay! Make sure to check ingredients on your buns to make sure they don’t contain any eggs or dairy. I used the grocery store brand of 100% whole wheat buns and they worked great.|