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« Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta | Main | Kitchen Scale Review, and Two New Projects for Me »

Vegan Bean Burgers--We’ve Bean Enjoying You

So--this was my first attempt at making vegan burgers.  We really enjoy the vegan burgers that we get at the grocery store, but I’ve “bean” thinking of making some.  (Totally cheap pun, I know.)


My inspiration came from Eating Well…Living Thin.  Check it out--her photos are gorgeous!  The photos of her bean burgers completely drew me in.  I wanted them.  STAT.

Using that recipe as a base and method, I set to work.   I decided to totally change up the seasonings and use the flavors from these Argentine Style Burgers I’d made a while back.   We loved those!  The flavors all came together beautifully and the bean burgers were packed with flavor.  The only issue we had was getting them to feel “set” inside the center.

We originally added 2 TB quinoa flour and let it sit in the fridge, but after 20 minutes or so, the mixture was still pretty soft.  We decided to add 2 TB of vital wheat gluten--and this seemed to do the trick--they mixture set up nicely.  When it came time to cook them, though, we still couldn’t get them to completely set up on the inside.  The outsides got nice and crispy, but stayed a bit soft in the centers.   Also?  The original recipe from Eating Well…Living Thin uses one egg white.  Since we were aiming for vegan here, we used 1 tsp of tahini stirred into 1/4 cup of almond milk.  Maybe I’ll try another vegan egg substitute next time.

Maybe partially cooking them on the stovetop, then tossing them in the oven to finish would help?  I’m not entirely sure, but we will try this next time.  Also, I found this recipe at jugalbandi that uses oats in the recipe--this may do the trick, so we’ll also see if that helps.

Even though they were a little softer in the center than we’d have liked, they were absolutely delicious!  I can’t wait to make these again--and I’ll try the things I mentioned above, then report back here.  Don’t let the slightly soft centers stop you from trying these if you’re looking for a good vegan burger.  The flavors in these are wonderful together.


Topping off the burgers is this amazing Chimichurri from Zen Chef.   We love this recipe and make it often.  It’s great on so many things, so don’t feel limited to the rib eye steaks in that post.  Though, we made those, too, way back, and they’re outstanding!  Since then, we’ve used the chimichurri on so many things, from chicken to pork chops to burgers, and on smashed potatoes and sandwiches, etc.  It’s insanely easy to make, but it’s packed with flavor.  This time, my husband had a genius idea.  While we were making the sauce, he thought it would a great idea to add an avocado to it.  He was right!  It made the sauce nice and creamy--it was a perfect addition!

The  homemade buns are simply the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Master Recipe, shaped into smallish buns and baked. 


Vegan Bean Burgers
(makes about 4-5 patties)

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 small jalapeno, diced
2 TB flour (I used quinoa flour)
2 TB Vital Wheat Gluten, or more flour
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp adobo seasoning (I use Goya Adobo Light All
Purpose Seasoning)
1 tsp tahini, stirred into 1/4 cup almond milk (use the milk you like)
3 TB fresh cilantro, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Mash the beans (we pulsed them in the food processor), then add the pecans, set aside.
Heat a bit of oil in a small sauté pan.  Sauté the onion, garlic and jalapeno until soft, about 3 minutes or so.  This is so you don’t have harsh tasting crunchy raw bits in your burgers.
Add this mixture to the beans and pecans.
Add remaining ingredients, mix well, then chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
After the chill time, form into patties.  I found it easier with wet hands, and we got 5 patties total.
Heat some oil in a pan on medium high, and cook the patties for 3-4  minutes on one side, then 3-5 on the second side.
If you notice them getting too dark after you flip them, turn the heat down.

Top with your favorites--here we've used fresh spinach, sliced tomato and the avocado-chimichurri sauce.


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Reader Comments (24)

Try falafel instead of the kidney beans. I make veggie burgers out of it and they are usually a hit. I think you'll like how it turns out :)

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Andrea, that's a great idea--thank you!

January 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterElle

This sounds delicious & easy. Wonder if a "stronger" flour, such as buckwheat and/or oatmeal, might improve the texture problem. Worth trying, though!

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRJ Flamingo

Thank you, Renee! I think that would definitely make a difference.

January 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterElle

Your photography is terrific! These look delish.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet It Is

That looks awesome! Great idea with the sauce.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Local Cook

If you didn't tell me this was a veggie burger, I'd think it was real meat and take a bite. As for the flavour, only one way to find out but...I'm open to trying.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Thank you, Jessica and Wendy!

Thanks, Peter!

January 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterElle

Ok, those look awesome. I've actually been wanting to make veggie burgers in the hope I can ween myself of the meat with every meal thing.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Mmm, I love a good veggie burger.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertoontz

This is my kind of burger!

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Saving this recipe for the next time I'm surrounded by vegetarians. I'm sure they'll love it. But don't think I wont augment my own with a few strips of bacon.

And I might just add some breadcrumbs to the mixture and see if that helps with the setting/texture problem.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaleb

This looks (and sounds) delicious! I've been looking for a good veggie burger to try and I can't wait to give this a go :) THANKS!

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Look sooooo good. I am starving here. Didn't hit the grocery store. Having bacon and eggs for dinner... lol

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I LOVE Eating Well. Your burger looks SO tasty.

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Hutchins

These look amazing! I'm with you, though, I like my veggie burgers to be chewy and not too soft. What I'm going to try: replace the regular flour with additional gluten flour to total 1/4 cup, and omit the milk (but still use the tahini). Also, mushroom soy sauce instead of salt makes them brown nicely. Yours are beautifully brown, but I have trouble with that!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Oh, I love bean burgers. I got addicted to them in the UK during the Mad Cow scare. I love to make them from black beans too

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkat

OH my the Chimichurri sauce sounds so good and the color is outstanding! As always your photos are wonderful!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I love veggie burgers ad chimichurri. All that burger needs is some avocado and I'm all over it. Great pics!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Wind Attack

YUMMY~ Can't wait to try these!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSKM

What a mouthwatering picture, Elle! These look fantastic!

Ohh, you're making chimichurri again! :) Tell your husband he's a genius to add avocado to it. I'll be trying that next time!
That's a fabulous looking vegan burger.

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzenchef

Yum - those look and sound fantastic! I can't wait to try them with a little country ketchup on top :)

These look soo good! We make a homemade black bean burger, but I think yours look a lot better. Our recipes look sort of similar - I might try merging the two together. Thanks!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarly

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