Veggie Burgers – Who Knew?


Who knew is right! Anyone who knows us is well aware that vegetarian dishes aren’t really our forte. I must admit I do love grilled/smoked meat but I wanted to try something challenging this past weekend so I found a great recipe for purely vegetarian burgers.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s so simple its not funny. Its also a great dish to serve at your next backyard get-together for your friends and family that are more inclined to vegetarianism.

To serve 8 people, here’s what you’ll need insofar as ingredients go:

For your patties:

  • 1 cup of cooked and chilled brown rice
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite bbq sauce – I used my KC sauce
  • 1/2 cup of diced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of quick cook oats
  • 4 tbsp of minced roasted beetroot – cool before you mince 
  • 4 tbsp of finely chopped soltanas
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of grated yellow onion
  • 2 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of smoked paprika (an awesome addition!)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For your glaze:

  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses

The trick to making this super easy recipe is getting ready ahead of time. The term is called “mise en place” – click here for more info.

Once you’ve got all your ingredients ready, here’s what you’ll do. Using a medium sized bowl, simply mix everything for the patties in the order written above. Make sure you really squish the “mince” well to incorporate everything. It should look and feel like beef mince when you’re done. Once finished, pop the mixture into the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow it to set.

In the meantime, go make your glaze. Simply mix all three ingredients together and set it aside and leave it at room temperature.

When you’re ready to make your patties, measure out a ball of “v-meat” that’s about 100-125 g. I made my patties 200 g each and they were HUGE! Best to dial it back a smidge and make more patties. They don’t shrink at all (like meat does) so no need to make them too big. Line your patties up on a cooking sheet lined with grease proof paper.

At this point, put the patties back in the fridge or if you’re ready, get them on the grill!

You should set up your grill for direct heat and aim for an internal grill temperature of 350F (177C). If you have grill grates, use them! They are amazing to use for this recipe and frankly for any recipe that calls for char marks. I through in a few plum wood chips for an added smokiness. Go easy on the smoke though!

Place your patties on the grill and close the dome. After 1.5 minutes gently turn the patties 45 degrees to get a nice diamond shaped char going. At the three minute mark, flip the burgers and repeat. Once you’ve flipped them, brush on the glaze that you made earlier.

After 6-8 minutes your burgers are pretty much done. They’ll be nicely heated through and the glaze will be nice and hot. Make sure you baste both sides of the patties.

If you’re serving with buns, cut them leaving a bit of a hinge. Spread some room temperature butter or olive oil on them and put them on the hot grill for no more than 30 seconds to get a great set of char marks.

We served these burgers up with some lettuce, tomato and all the condiments we’d normally use on beef burgers.

So the result? AMAZING! I never thought in a million years that I’d actually say that! Our 6 year old daughter couldn’t believe these weren’t beef burgers! The soltanas, beetroot and rice really give it a similar texture to beef mince.

As an additional test I took a patty to work the next morning and shared it with some of my vegetarian colleagues. They helped validate the success of these burgers with rave reviews! Thanks Aparna, Vishal and Max!

Check out the process from start to finish with these photos:

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10 (“for a vegetable!“)




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