best ever veggie burgers

I have forever been trying to create the perfect bean-based burger. While I am no longer an ‘official’ vegetarian, most of the time I actually prefer meatless meals. My problem with the veggie burgers I have tested and tasted is that most are so grain heavy and eating it between two slices of bread just seems like overkill. My experiments in the kitchen have turned out sloppy, messy patties time and again. I had moderate success using an egg to bind the mixture, but for a pure and clean vegan burger, I hadn’t had much luck: until now!
Below is my recipe for what I declare to be the ‘best ever’ veggie burger. The tamari and tomato paste lend a rich, satisfying umami flavor that can be lacking from a vegetarian and vegan diets. The ground hemp seeds help the mixture to bind in addition to providing an extra protein punch. Feel free to use this recipe as a base and experiment with any bean, veggie, or flavor combination you may like. I love adding in finely chopped broccoli or seasoning with smoked paprika and/or sesame seeds.
I will be demonstrating this recipe, along with a few others, at the Vegan 101 class at Whole Foods.

Best Ever Veggie Burgers


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans black beans, mashed with hands
3 tablespoons ground hemp seeds
2 tablespoons spelt flour (or any flour you prefer)
1 medium carrot, grated
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Place mashed black beans in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over a medium flame. Add olive oil, and the saute onion and garlic until fragrant. Next, add in tamari. Once at a gentle simmer, add tomato paste, and gently mix until a paste is formed. Remove from heat.

Add the onion mixture to the black beans; gently mix. Then mix in hemp, spelt flour, carrot, and parsley. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as desired. Cover with parchment paper and let chill for at least 30 minutes.

Use 1/4 measuring cup to form consistent patties. Once patties are form, refrigerate for another 30 minutes so that they are fully bind and the flavors meld together.

Then, add a small amount of olive oil to a cast-iron or non-stick skillet, and sear patties 3-4 minutes on each side. Let cool slightly before serving.

I will be serving these burgers stuffed inside a whole wheat pita with a dairy-free avocado ‘crema.’


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