There are as many reasons to love veggie burgers as there are ways to make them. Compared to beef they’re lower in saturated fat and can also have fewer calories. Plus they’re packed with protein, fiber, and other vital nutrients thanks to the beans, legumes, and mushrooms that they’re typically made with.
Best of all, you only need to know the basics–which we’ll show you in the recipes below–and you’ll have a base from which to create an endless variety of the healthiest veggie burger recipes you can imagine. The best recipes for veggie burgers are as simple as mashing things like black beans or chickpeas, mixing in sauteed veggies, and adding herbs and spices then forming patties. Or you can cook a naturally patty-shaped portobello mushroom and top it with the fixings of your choice.
Veggie Burger Tips
Knowing how to make a veggie burger that’s juicy and filling can take a little practice. Following these easy tips will help you master the art of mashing, forming patties and cooking or grilling veggie burgers to perfection.
How to Hold it Together
To prevent your burgers from falling apart, add an egg to the mix like you would with a beef burger. Or, if a fully vegetarian or vegan burger is your goal, you can get the same effect with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Mashed avocado is another popular binder that has the added benefit of healthy fats.
Avoid Too Much Moisture
Veggies naturally contain a lot of water, so squeeze or dab some moisture with paper towels before adding to your patty mix. Of course, wet ingredients like soy or Worchestershire sauce add moisture, too, so be careful how much you use. Experiment to strike a balance between wet and dry ingredients.
Form Firm Patties
By adding wet and dry ingredients a little at a time, you can create a consistency to form patties that stay together. Either use a mold to get consistent sizes or form the old-fashioned way with your hands.
Choose Your Cooking Method
Veggie burgers can be grilled, cooked in a pan, baked in the oven or some combination of the three. If you’re worried about your patties sticking to the grill or falling through the grates, bake them until they’re firm enough for you to throw them over the flames for a final, flavorful sear. No matter which method you choose, the end result should have a deliciously crisp, golden outside, and the inside should have only a little give when you gently press the patty.