You might think you know a good veggie burger (or you might not, just go along with me here) BUT you don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve tried these.
They have great texture and flavor, and are FREEZABLE!
These are adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. This book is awesome, as it marks all recipes that are vegan, and I find I can tweak most of the non-vegan recipes easily to make them vegan. This is very similar to their recipe, but their recipe was quite a lot of work, so I eased the process a bit here.
First, process the pine nuts (or cashews if you aren’t allergic like me) in the food processor until they resemble a coarse crumb & set aside. Then process the onions, celery, and garlic in the food processor, and then the mushrooms. They should look like the below. You don’t want to process them too much, so your burgers have texture.
Next, cook your potato and lentils. Boil the potato until it is soft, and then the lentils until they are cooked through. Meanwhile, sauté the onion mixture and mushrooms together in a large pan, and cook the bulgur in the microwave then drain.
As things finish cooking (potato, lentils, vegetables, burger), set them out to cool (or place in refrigerator to cool).
Mix the potato, bulgur, pine nuts, and vegan mayo together:
Then, process this mixture in two batches in the food processor until it forms a paste, but small pieces remain:
Mix this with the vegetables and panko:
Now form the patties using a ring mold. You can put them straight in a pan, or freeze them.
To freeze: form patties on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flash freeze for 40 minutes until patties are solid, and then transfer to an airtight freezer container. I like the patties this thickness because they are thin enough that they don’t fall apart when you eat, and the middle warms through easily. When ready to cook, use the same method as below. No need to defrost – you can put these straight from the freezer into the pan.
To cook immediately: heat a non-stick pan (trust me on this, NON-STICK) over med-high heat. Once pan is hot, place the ring mold on the pan and drizzle in avocado oil. I like avocado oil because it’s good, and it can take higher temps and won’t burn. Pack 1/3 cup of patty mixture into the ring mold and remove the mold. Let the burger cook for 4 minutes on one side until crispy, then pick up patty with spatula, drizzle a little more oil under the patty, and flip the patty over. Cook for 4 more minutes on the second side.
Allowing them to crisp both brings out flavor and helps to keep the patties intact.
Then, place on top of toasted burger buns with whatever toppings you desire. I am a huge avocado fan, and the tomato & sprouts added a lovely soft crunch and freshness. Of course there is some vegan chipotle mayo on there too because why not?
All-Time Veggie Burgers
Yields: 12 patties
- 3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 2 celery ribs, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 potato, peeled & quartered
- 3/4 cup bulgur, rinsed
- 1 cup pine nuts (or raw cashews if not allergic)
- 1/3 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- Avocado oil
- Salt & pepper
- Process pine nuts in food processor until finely ground.
- Process onions, celery, and garlic together in food processor until chopped small.
- Process mushrooms in food processor until chopped small.
- Boil potato in small saucepan until it is fork tender. Drain & set aside or in fridge to cool.
- Place lentils, 3 cups water, and 1 tsp salt in small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer about 25 minutes until lentils are soft. Drain lentils and add with potato to cool.
- Meanwhile, sauté onions and mushrooms in a large wide pan until cooked through. If there is remaining liquid, drain it out. Place aside or in fridge to cool (do not mix with potato & lentils).
- Meanwhile, combine 2 cups water, bulgur, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large bow and microwave, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Drain well, pressing out excess water, and add with lentils & potato too cool.
- Once cool, add mayo to potato/lentil/bulgur mixture. Process in two batches in the food processor to make a paste (don’t over-process, there can be bits of lentil).
- Mix the processed potato/lentil/bulgur/mayo mixture with the cooled vegetables and panko until well combined to form patty mixture. Taste and add salt & pepper as desired.
- To cook immediately:
- Heat a non-stick pan over med-high heat.
- Place 3.5″ ring mold in pan, drizzle in oil (about 3/4 tsp).
- Compress 1/3 cup of patty mixture into ring mold, then remove mold.
- Cook for 4 minutes on first side until a crispy brown crust forms.
- Flip patty over, drizzling more oil under the patty while flipping.
- Allow second side to cook for 4 minutes until a crispy brown crust forms.
- Repeat until all patties are cooked.
- To freeze:
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Use 3.5″ ring mold to form patties. Place 1/3 cup patty mixture in mold, compress and even out top with hands. Remove mold. Repeat until cookie sheet is full.
- Place cookie sheet in freezer for 40 minutes until patties are solid.
- Place patties in freezer container (still on parchment).
- Can be stored in freezer up to a month.
- Do not thaw before cooking, just heat up pan and cook as directed above.
You can also easily use a smaller ring mold to form sliders, too!