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3 Vegan Burger Recipes: Soya Mince (TVP), Tempeh and Tofu

I've been making my own vegan burgers for about six years now. These are the recipes I come back to time and time again.

One of my vegan tempeh and carrot burgers in a nice wholemeal bun.

One of my vegan tempeh and carrot burgers in a nice wholemeal bun.

My "Go-To" Vegan Burger Recipe

I've been making my own vegan burgers for about six years now, and in that time I have tried many combinations. This recipe is the one I come back to time and time again. It's a protein-packed burger recipe that can easily be modified to suit individual tastes.

There are three main variations: one using tempeh, one using tofu and one using TVP or soya mince. All three use the same basic set of ingredients.

First, I'll show you the recipe I use for the TVP burgers and explain later how to modify that recipe for the tempeh and tofu variations.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

Makes 6 medium or 4 large burgers


  • 200 milliliters TVP/soya mince, plus boiling water
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 cup unsalted cashew nuts
  • 4 to 5 mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed powder, plus warm water
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain flour, for rolling

Recipe 1: Mushroom, Cashew and Soya Mince Veggie Burgers

  1. Empty the cashew nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds into a food processor and grind them into a rough powder. It's up to you how fine you want to process them, depending on what sort of texture you prefer in the burger.
  2. Add the ground almonds, salt and mushrooms, then whizz again.
  3. In a measuring jug, place dried TVP mince or soya mince up to the 200 milliliter level, add a stock cube and cover with boiling water. You want just enough water to hydrate the mince without it being too soggy. Start by adding a small amount of water and mix it in. You'll soon know if you've added too much water because it won't get absorbed.
  4. In a separate jug or cup place 1 tablespoon of flax seed power and add a tiny amount of warm water, just enough to make it into a paste. This is the magic ingredient which will bind the other ingredients together and allow you to make lovely burgers which hold together nicely.
  5. Add the mince, flax seed paste and peanut butter to the food processor and whizz again until evenly mixed.
  6. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge for 10 minutes or more. This step may not be entirely necessary but I find it helps to firm up the mixture, making it easier to roll, and it also gives me time to clear the decks and wash up before rolling out.
  7. Onto a clean and dry work surface place half a tablespoon of plain flour—this is to rub your hands into so the burger mix doesn't stick to your hands when rolling out.
  8. Divide the burger mixture into 6 portions. Roll each portion of burger mix in your flour-coated hands until they resemble ball shapes, then press them down slightly to form into burger shapes.
  9. Fry in a small amount of oil on a medium heat for about 20 minutes. How long you cook them for is entirely up to you. I usually get them started at quite a high temperature and then leave them on a low heat with the lid on for about 5 to 7 minutes each side, but it's purely personal preference. Alternatively, if you already have the oven on to cook roast potatoes, chips or wedges, you can pop the burgers in for 20 to 30 minutes at about 180°C to 200°C. Simply line a baking tray with foil and brush a bit of vegetable oil onto the foil to prevent the burgers from sticking. Turn the burgers over halfway through cooking.
  10. Serve hot with chips or wedges, or in a bun with salad. I usually make 6 burgers at a time and we have one hot meal and then two other meals later in the week with a cold burger, cold potatoes and salad.
Six happy mushroom burgers sizzling in the pan.

Six happy mushroom burgers sizzling in the pan.

Six tempeh and carrot burgers waiting to be cooked.

Six tempeh and carrot burgers waiting to be cooked.

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Recipe 2: Carrot and Tempeh Veggie Burgers

Ingredient Changes

Replace soya mince and mushrooms with the following:

  • 1/2 block of tempeh
  • 1 large carrot

If you prefer to make a vegan burger without mushrooms or TVP/soya mince, simply leave out the mince and mushrooms and replace them with half a block of tempeh and one large carrot.

Tempeh will already be more moist than soya mince or TVP, so there is no need to add any water to it. To add the stock cube, you can either just crumble it into the dry mixture in the food processor and add a bit of water to the final mixture if it seems a bit dry, or put the stock cube in the same jug as the flax seed powder and add slightly more water to mix them into a paste.

Recipe 3: Tofu Burger Option

Ingredient Changes

Replace tempeh with tofu.

To make tofu burgers instead, follow the method for the tempeh burgers but don't add any extra water. Make sure you drain the tofu well as it will be much wetter than either the tempeh or mince. If the tofu makes the mixture too wet, you can add a small amount of plain flour or maize meal to stiffen it up.

The finished burger, served with potatoes and salad.

The finished burger, served with potatoes and salad.

Can These Burgers Be Frozen?

Personally, I wouldn't freeze them if any of the ingredients had previously been frozen, but otherwise it's fine to freeze them uncooked and simply take them out and cook them as needed. I've done this with the tofu and mushroom burgers, and they not only freeze well but cook well from frozen, and they also keep their shape nicely when cooked.

Alternatives to Soya

All three of these veggie burger recipes rely on soya in one form another, but are there any other alternatives? Well, yes. In addition to these soya-based burgers, I have also developed a bean burger recipe and a vegan burger made from butternut squash and polenta—that one is a bit more time-consuming, but it's worth it if you have the time to spare. I call them 'burties' because they are halfway between a burger and a patty. I will be linking to those recipes soon.

In the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts on these veggie burgers, so please do leave a comment once you have made them.

Vegan Burger Poll

© 2018 Rob Butler

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