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Healthy Recipes for Veggie Burgers

Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.

A veggie burger with sprouts, pickles, and tomatoes.

A veggie burger with sprouts, pickles, and tomatoes.

Photo Credit: Flickr SweetOnVeg

Eating a vegetarian diet doesn't have to be boring. There are many great recipes out there for those of us who choose to be vegetarian. Even those of us who do not follow a vegetarian diet can benefit from these recipes, however. Statistics show that people who eat a vegetarian or no-meat diet at least 2 days per week are less prone to heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, and other maladies.

I found these recipes back on About.com and have revamped them to suit my own tastes, in most cases. These were some of the top veggie burger recipes chosen by the general population. Some of them are featured at restaurants around the country.

11 Veggie Burger Recipes

  1. Portobello Mushroom and Avocado Burgers
  2. Seasoned Black Bean Burgers
  3. Plain Black Bean Burgers
  4. Cornmeal and Bean Burgers
  5. Potato, Corn, Carrot, and Bean Burgers
  6. Mushroom Vegetable Burgers
  7. Mushroom and Oat Burgers
  8. Purely Vegetable Burgers With Tofu
  9. Vegetable and Tofu Burgers
  10. Carrot and Lentil Burgers
  11. Spicy Vegetable Protein Burgers

Use these vegetarian recipes for burgers whether you are on a strictly vegetarian diet or if you just want to 'beef up' your non-vegetarian menus. These are delicious alternatives to meat burgers, fish burgers, or chicken burgers and are easy to make as well.

In addition, see tips for making mini-burgers (otherwise known as sliders) below—and also find out how to make slider buns from regular buns.

A portobello mushroom and avocado burger.

A portobello mushroom and avocado burger.

Photo Credit: Flickr SweetOnVeg

1. Portobello Mushroom and Avocado Burgers

This recipe makes four regular-sized burgers.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium portobello mushrooms with stems removed
  • 1 medium sweet onion - cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt - divided - or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper - divided - or to taste
  • 1 avocado sliced - divided
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 roasted red peppers in a jar
  • 4 burger buns, slightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Brush mushrooms and onion slices with oil - sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper or to taste.
  2. In a large skillet (or grill pan) over medium heat, add mushrooms and cook until tender (about 8-10 minutes). Turn once. Place mushrooms cavity side up on a plate and cover to keep warm.
  3. Add onions to skillet or grill pan and cook until golden - about 8 more minutes - turn every once in a while.
  4. Combine 1/2 of the avocado, yogurt, garlic and remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mash and mix until smooth.
  5. Spoon onions and roasted peppers into the mushroom cavity x 4 mushrooms - divide equally.
  6. Spread avocado mixture on bottom of each bun - top each with stuffed mushrooms.
  7. Top with remaining sliced avocado. Cover with top bun.
Black beans can be used to make delicious burgers.

Black beans can be used to make delicious burgers.

Photo Credit:  Flickr Risager

2. Seasoned Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained (or equivalent homemade, cooked)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced (or substitute red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or hot sauce)
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper if desired
  • 1/4 cup egg replacement (or 1 egg)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil or vegetable spray
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Instructions

  1. Mash the beans in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  2. Roll gently into mounded patties. Thumbprint center.
  3. Pan fry in olive oil or cooking spray - or fire up the grill and barbecue your black bean burgers using medium heat on grill rack sprayed with cooking spray.

Note: Substitute plain bread crumbs if desired for panko bread crumbs.

Use other kinds of beans for the black beans to taste and try shallots instead of pepper or onion.

3. Plain Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce black beans, drained - or homemade beans
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 slices of bread, crumbled or spun in food processor to make crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic )
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (or herbs to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Cook onions until soft - 3-5 minutes.
  2. Mash beans and combine rest of ingredients, adding cooked onions to mix. Add flour a few tablespoons at a time to combine until mixture is thick.
  3. Form into patties gently mounded, imprint center with thumb. Make patties about 1/2-inch thick if desired and fry in pan with olive oil 3-4 minutes per side or use cooking spray- or fire up the grill and grill on rack sprayed with cooking spray.
You can use cornmeal in a vegetarian burger patty (and you don't have to grind it yourself!).

You can use cornmeal in a vegetarian burger patty (and you don't have to grind it yourself!).

Photo Credit: Flickr BionicTeaching

4. Cornmeal and Bean Burgers

This recipe makes 6 burgers.

Ingredients

  • 2-15 ounce cans of black beans rinsed, drained (or equivalent homemade beans)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (regular or coarse)
  • 1/2 cup homemade or prepared salsa (or pico de gallo)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (or minced garlic)
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • 6 hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. Process beans in a food processor or blender until starting to get smooth.
  2. Add flour, cornmeal, salsa, cumin and garlic, etc. Process until smooth.
  3. Make 6 balls and place on a large plate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before cooking.
  4. Heat BBQ or a ridged grill pan over medium heat. Coat grill or pan lightly with olive oil or cooking spray.
  5. Form each ball into a 4-inch slightly mounded patty about 1/2-inch thick and press with thumb to imprint center.
  6. Place the patties on the grill or in the pan and cook until browned and heated through - about 4-5 minutes per side.
A pile of red potatoes.

A pile of red potatoes.

Photo Credit:  Flickr La Grande Farmers Market

5. Potato, Corn, Carrot, and Bean Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of canned or homemade cooked beans - black, pinto, etc.
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 3 potatoes grated (or substitute sweet potato)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/8 cup or less egg substitute or part of an egg if needed to bind together (or substitute a bit of Greek yogurt)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mash beans and add remaining ingredients except for cooking spray - mix until well combined.
  2. Gently mound into patties. Thumbprint center with thumb.
  3. Cook each patty in a skillet with olive oil or coking spray - about 3 minutes per side. Or transfer to grill sprayed with cooking spray and cook over medium heat.

Note: Experiment with different beans in this recipe or substitute other vegetables that you can grate.

Also add a dash of spice or hot sauce if desired.

A wide variety of vegetables can go into veggie burgers. Mushrooms are a popular option.

A wide variety of vegetables can go into veggie burgers. Mushrooms are a popular option.

Photo Credit: Flickr Brianglaze

Delicious mushrooms.

Delicious mushrooms.

Photo Credit: Flickr Randomduck

6. Mushroom Vegetable Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (substitute cooking spray)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms of any kind or combination
  • 1-15 ounce can pinto beans (other beans or homemade cooked beans)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (substitute cilantro)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or vegetable spray for cooking

Instructions

  1. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft. Add green onions, cumin and mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.
  2. Mash beans with a fork or potato masher or process in food processor or blender to mash.
  3. Add mushrooms to beans, add parsley, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Shape the mixture gently into rounded patties. Thumbprint the center. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (or use cooking spray) in skillet and cook each patty until burgers are done - about 3-5 minutes per side. Or fire up the grill and place on rack sprayed with cooking spray and grill about 3-4 minutes per side.

7. Mushroom and Oat Burgers

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds mushrooms - combination of multiple kinds or 1 kind
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan or other Italian cheese
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of egg substitute or 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley - or 1 teaspoon dried (substitute cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh (substitute basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large sauce or use cooking spray. Sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes. Most of the liquid should be burned off and the mushrooms should be sauteed.
  2. Combine mushroom mixture with oats, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, and herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Let sit for 15 minutes to develop flavor. Then gently shape into slightly rounded patties and thumbprint the center.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet or use cooking spray. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown - or fire up the grill and cook on rack sprayed with cooking spray for the same amount of time.
A rainbow-colored array of vegetables to choose from.

A rainbow-colored array of vegetables to choose from.

Photo Credit: Flickr McKaySavage

8. Purely Vegetable Burgers With Tofu

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels - fresh, canned or frozen
  • 7 mushrooms, diced (any kind)
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 small potato, grated (substitute sweet potato or yam)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup silken (soft) tofu
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Using food processor or blender, process tofu until creamy and smooth - set aside.
  2. In skillet, sauté mushrooms, green onions, corn, and pepper in cooking spray or 1 tablespoon of olive oil about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin - cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the carrot, potato, tofu, salt and pepper.
  4. Add bread crumbs until mixture is holding together. Add more or less depending on texture.
  5. Shape into slightly rounded patties, imprint thumb in center and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before cooking.
  6. Heat remaining olive oil or cooking spray in skillet or use on BBQ grill. Cook each patty until they are browned and cooked through - about 3-5 minutes on each side.

Notes

  • Substitute regular bread crumbs for panko bread crumbs if desired.
  • Also substitute plain Greek yogurt for the tofu if desired.
  • Also substitute appropriate vegetables for any of the above.
Greens, tomatoes, carrots, and other veggies.

Greens, tomatoes, carrots, and other veggies.

Photo Credit: Flickr Dlisbona

9. Vegetable and Tofu Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 container firm or extra firm tofu - mashed
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Pepper if desired
  • Olive oil or cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Gently form into slightly rounded patties. Thumbprint center.
  3. Cook patties in skillet with olive oil or cooking spray - or fire up the grill and cook on rack sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes total or until brown and crisp.
Red lentils.

Red lentils.

Photo Credit: Flickr RobQld

10. Carrot and Lentil Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked lentils (yellow, green or red) mashed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (substitute cilantro)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil or vegetable spray

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion and carrot in the water until tender - 10 minutes.
  2. Drain off excess water.
  3. Combine the onion and carrot with the remaining ingredients except oil.
  4. Gently form into patties and thumbprint center.
  5. Fry in a lightly oiled or vegetable sprayed skillet until browned on both sides and heated through - 10 minutes - or grill on BBQ on rack sprayed with cooking spray for the same amount of time, flipping once.
A veggie burger.

A veggie burger.

Photo Credit: Flickr Dano

11. Spicy Vegetable Protein Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1-1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 egg, beaten )
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached or whole wheat flour (or combination of both)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Combine the vegetable protein and the vegetable broth in large bowl. Let the TVP rehydrate at least 15 minutes. All liquid should be absorbed. Drain any excess liquid.
  2. Combine the TVP with the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. If needed, add less or add more flour to get a sticky consistency like meat.
  3. Gently form the mixture into patties and thumbprint center.
  4. Cook in olive oil or cooking spray on the stove until lightly browned on both sides - or grill on rack sprayed with cooking spray.

More Notes and Tips

  • Substitutions: Whichever of these great recipes you choose to make vegetable burgers, you will be pleased. Don't be afraid to revamp them to your own tastes—add more spice or try different substitutions to get the veggie burger you like best!
  • Condiments: Don't forget the sides and condiments! Part of the fun of eating a burger is all the trimmings that go along with it—but combine add-ons that will add to the veggie burger rather than detract from it flavor-wise.
  • Shaping the Burgers: When making the burgers, handle much the same as you would meat burgers—gently form into a bit of a rounded-type patty. Overworking meat or vegetable burgers is what makes them come out odd-shaped and tough. Make a mounded sort of patty, slightly rounded on top, and let it sit before grilling or cooking. Instead of flattening them out, just place one thumbprint right in the center. This helps them flatten out evenly while cooking and retain a nice rounded shape while cooking.
  • Buns: Also substitute different kinds of buns for more flavor—or try using ciabatta rolls.
Try out different kinds of buns.

Try out different kinds of buns.

Photo Credit: Flickr BillFromesm

How to Make Mini-Burgers (or Sliders)

Roll the patties into walnut-sized or slightly larger-sized patties. Follow the gentle handling directions above and thumbprint these mini-burgers also! They will flatten out and be perfectly shaped mini-burgers.

Mini-Buns

Need buns for your mini-burgers/sliders? Use regular hamburger buns and use a 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to cut through the regular-sized bun to make smaller, perfectly shaped buns.

Don't throw away the leftover bun—simply save, toast, or let it dry out and whir in the blender or food processor for bread crumbs.

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