I am not the type of girl that just orders a salad every time we go out.
I used to be that girl, but that was when I used to be over concerned about my thighs touching. No more. If I’m hungry, give me a burger. Half burger, half ketchup, that is, with tons o’ fries. Then I’m a happy patron.
But I’m not always big on meat. I mean, have you ever eaten a burger and then felt like you needed a 5 hour nap just to recover? Yeah, that’s me. In my quest to find the perfect veggie burger I’ve tried quite a few but never quite felt like I’d found “the one.” That had to change.
With this recipe I not only aimed to simplify veggie burgers, but also keep them flavorful and with sturdy texture. In my mind, a good veggie burger should be slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and not at all “gummy.”
Friends, I’m happy to report that these little gems not only require just 7 ingredients, but they also hit the nail on the head with both flavor and texture. Serious score.
The base starts with onion and mushroom, sautéed to deepen their color, flavor and texture. Then I added in a light seasoning of salt, pepper and chili powder (or cumin). Then came the mashed beans – I went with kidney to try something different than black beans, which is the legume most veggie burgers rely on.
Last but not least, ground walnuts and cooked quinoa for a “dry” that not only creates a lovely crumbly texture, but also adds heaps of nutritional benefits.
I tested these two ways:
1) Thicker patties baked in the oven
2) Thinner patties sautéed in a skillet
I’m happy to report that both worked! The baking takes longer but yields a better overall texture, I believe. But if you’re in a time crunch, throw them on the stovetop! They’ll do just fine.
Now, the important part. What do they taste like? I’m glad you asked. They’re
& Ridiculously addictive
I had one for sampling purposes, then another…The rest are just waiting to be devoured. These won’t last long around my house or yours.
This recipe yields about 10 thicker baked sliders or 16 thinner “grilled” sliders. So one batch will feed a descent-sized crowd! But if it’s just you and a friend, I’d suggest par-baking them for maybe 15 minutes and then pulling them out to freeze. Then, when you’re ready to eat one, just pop it out of the freezer and bake until warmed through and adequately browned and no longer tender.
All that’s left to do is top as desired. I went with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato. But I’m someone of a hamburger purist, so do as you wish! I’m sure these would be awesome with avocado and salsa for more of a Mexican spin, or with cheese (vegan or not) and some vegan bacon. Dream big and eat several – they are sliders after all. Enjoy!
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced (~3/4 cup)
- 6 button or baby bella mushrooms, diced (~1 1/4 cups)
- Pinch each salt and pepper
- 1 15-ounce can kidney (or black) beans, well rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 Tbsp chili powder (or sub cumin) - yes, Tablespoon
- ~1/2 cup raw walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal (divided)
- optional: For even more flavor, add a shake of vegan Worcestershire or A-1 sauce when adding the chili powder
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add some nonstick spray or add a bit of olive oil. When hot add the onion and slowly sauté, seasoning with a pinch each salt and pepper.
- When the onions are soft – about 5 minutes – turn up the head to medium and add the mushrooms. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms and onions are slightly browned and fragrant – about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add beans and mash. You’re looking for a rough mash, not to turn it into a paste, so you can leave some whole or halved if you want. Taste and add another pinch of salt, or pepper if needed.
- Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the quinoa, chili powder or cumin and stir. Lastly, add the walnuts a little at a time until the mixture is thick and malleable enough to form into patties. Pop in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.
- Once chilled, form into small patties. I love using a peanut butter jar lid lined with plastic wrap to get the perfect, mess-free shape (a tip I learned from Iowa Girl Eats). See photo.
- Arrange on the baking sheet and brush or spray the tops with olive oil and another pinch of black pepper and any leftover crushed walnuts (optional). Bake for a total of 40-45 minutes, flipping around the 20-minute mark. Cook longer to dry them out even more and achieve more crisp, but it’s not necessary. For a quicker option, form into thinner patties (1/4 inch) and brown in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat lightly coated with olive oil. Cook until brown on both sides – 3-4 minutes on each side. However, this version doesn’t get them as well done in the middle.
- Serve on small buns or atop mixed greens with desired toppings.
- If you don’t want to cook the whole batch at once, form into 10 thicker patties, par-bake them at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Then cool and stack between layers of parchment paper and cover. Freeze for up to a few weeks. To cook, bake as instructed until desired texture/color is reached.
- Makes ~10 medium baked patties or ~16 thin sautéed patties
*Nutrition information reflects 1 of 10 patties without toppings