A Better (Veggie) Burger

You may have noticed that I have a thing for veggie burgers.  It’s okay, I can admit it.  I have a thing for veggie burgers.  I like the whole hot sandwich approach to a meal and the customization that comes with years of condiment practice.  I like that burgers can be made in different ways (and in different sizes that appeal to the “cute food” eater in our crew) and that they present this opportunity to jam a bunch of stuff in there that might not otherwise make it into a body.  I know, I’m weird.  I’ve tried a number of different kinds of burgers and patties, and finally, I have created one all my very own that is indeed, burger-y.  As usual, my inspiration was largely driven by what was in my refrigerator, but this doesn’t preclude you from actually PLANNING to make these babies.  I’m sure there’s something to be gained there. ;-)

The flavor secret for these burgers, is mushrooms.  You say: “But wait, we don’t all like mushrooms; I’m not even sure I like mushrooms.”  I say THIS is the way to test that idea.  The mushrooms here are so small that they don’t play the textural havoc that can interfere with some folks’ appreciation.  What they do is add that elusive umami.  They lend a great kind of, well meat-y savory flavor to the burgers.  We enjoyed them immensely.

Nutshroom Burgers (Gluten Free, by the way)

  • 1/2 c onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 c cooked leftover grain (I used quinoa)
  • 1/2 c black beans ( I imagine other soft beans would work)
  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1 c rough cut mushroom
  • 2 T Bragg’s or soy sauce
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary (yes, really)
  • 1 c finely chopped mushroom (I used portobello, but to each his own mushroom)
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c flaxmeal

Browning like good little meatless burgers…

Throw the first 9 ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth-ish and well incorporated.  I chose to add my walnuts late to retain a little texture.  Your call.  Spoon batter into a large bowl and add the remaining three ingredients.  Stir to incorporate.  Fashion into patties of whatever shape and size floats your burger boat.  I happened to reach this point relatively early in my day, so refrigerated the patties at this point for about 45 minutes with no ill effect.  When you are 20 minutes from dinner, heat a small amount of oil (I used olive oil) in a pan.  Cook burgers for a total of 15 minutes or so, flipping as needed to provent burning.  This recipe made dinner for four and two leftover lunches for two enthusiastic grownups. Delish!

For more ideas on what to make with leftover grains, how about quinoa for breakfast, or using leftover grain as a base for healthy lunch boxes. Maybe you want another gluten free burger option, or you’re looking for the cheapest meatless burger ever.  Next time you’re cooking rice or quinoa, make a lot and save yourself some time later in the week.

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93 responses

  1. This sounds wonderful! I am reminded of the raw meatloaf with mushrooms that my 11 year old liked. That was, however, a lot more work than this. Sounds like a winner! You are SO smart… I bet your whole family is smart!

  2. I’m still looking for a delicious meatless burger. I can’t do the peanut butter because my grandson is allergic to tree nuts. Any suggestions? I am giving away two great prizes on my blog: a $50 gift certificate to my favorite jeweler robinsonlane.com and a copy of a new book published by fellow blogger, Kat Robinson. It is called Arkansas Pie: A Slice of the Natural State. I just know you will love either one. http://diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-merry-merry-munchies-3-baked.html Come link up to enter.

  3. Mmm these look delicious!! :) Pinning for later! Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog. Hope you’ve finished all your crayons now! They’re fun to make but quite time consuming if you need lots of the same letters!

  4. I tell ya- -once you;ve had a homemade veggie burger the frozen are near imposible to eat! I haven’t found my perfect recipe though. I will have to try.

    Cheers- oh stopping over from the Cheerios and Lattes Hop :)

    • SO true. I’ve waved a fond farewell to the frozen variety, although they had their place on my dietary road… a rubbery soul-less kind of place. ;-) Thanks for stopping by – and let us know if you give them a try!

  5. ooooh! i have a very go-to veggie burger that also has black beans in it – but i love the addition of the peanut butter here :)

    thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & fresh/real food posts. xo, kristy

  6. This totally hits my taste! I have made burgers out of everything already, but quinoa, so it’s about time to do so :)
    Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza! Hope to see you there again this week with more deliciousness!

    • I imagine you could use another nut – I often switch walnuts out for pecans in baking with no ill effect – do pecans work for you? Honestly I suspect anything would work so long as YOU like the flavor. Walnuts do have some fat, so you also will want to see if the batter is too dry and watch extra carefully while cooking.

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  8. Hello there via Foodie Friday, coming to you from Sydney Australia. I’ve never made my own vegeburgers but could easily start with these. Not sure my kids would like them but my husband is veggie and I bet he would. My sisters and I live on opposite sides of the planet but swap recipes a lot, love your blog.

  9. I must say, this looks good, even though I wouldn’t have thought I’d enjoy all the ingredients. :)
    Thanks for sharing at A Humble Bumble!

  10. Veggie burgers are always a great alternative to meat burgers. Okay, maybe not always. But this one looks very good. My go-to veggie burg also has black beans. I think they give it a fullness that other veggie ingredients don’t. Mushrooms are good too :)

    thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope we’ll see you again this week with more seasonal & real food posts. xo, kristy

    • Bean burgers are great – and aren’t food limitations a pain in the patootie? There was a day I would have slapped a big ole slice of cheese on whatever burger I was making – no more… Thanks for stopping by Anne!

  11. We made these a few weeks ago, froze some of them, and enjoyed them just as much later! For the grain, I used a super-healthy hot cereal I had bought at Big Lots that the guys didn’t like and I was finding inconvenient for breakfast because it took about 10 minutes to cook–so I just cooked the whole rest of the package while I was chopping mushrooms and such. It worked really well.

    Of the many veggie burgers I’ve had, both homemade and storebought, these came closest to having the flavor and texture traits I liked in hamburgers when I used to eat them–without having the disgusting thick grease and cooked-blood undertaste of beef! Delicious!!!!

    • Welcome Margaret! So delighted to have you! Veggie burgers can be tricky in the fall apart department. I’ve only done these in a pan, so I can’t speak to the grill-ability. Maybe if you added an extra little bit of peanut butter they’d stay together for you. Let me know if you give them a try!

  12. Congrats on having the winning entry!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Really looking forward to seeing what you bring to the party this week! It starts Thursday evening!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  13. These burgers look great! And they were one of the post popular submissions this week on Healthy Vegan Friday! Do you think you could put a link to Healthy Vegan Friday in your post? That would be wonderful :)

    Hope to see you back again!

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  19. Looks delish!! Peanut butter is also excellent when adding to my chickpea and kale recipe if you are interested. Thanks for sharing your wealth of expertise in food!

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