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Blue Plate Diner Classic Vegan-Friendly Veggie Burger

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Rose Mary's mother and all of her aunts are great Southern cooks. She likes to think she's not so bad herself.

A vegan-friendly veggie burger: My finished product of the Blue Plate Diner classic.

A vegan-friendly veggie burger: My finished product of the Blue Plate Diner classic.

Taking a Guess at a Recipe From TV

Around 2010, I saw American Idol Ruben Studdard reveal that he was a vegan on a talk show. I became curious and started researching vegan recipes. I was especially interested in vegan recipes for Soul Food and classic comfort food. I stumbled across a video of a vegan-friendly veggie burger on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, with Guy Fieri. Guy visited the Blue Plate Diner in Salt Lake City, Utah, and highlighted their veggie burger, which is a huge seller.

The good news is that they take us step by step through the ingredients and the process of making this famous vegan-friendly veggie burger. The bad news is that, like many food shows, they do not provide a recipe in terms of ingredients with amounts. So, I rolled up my sleeves and set to work developing a successful recipe.

Lessons Learned From My First Attempt

I drafted my first recipe in 2010, made the burgers, and took lots of photos. My biggest misstep was making my patties way too thick. When you bit into them, they were really soft, and it was obvious that they were bean burgers. They fell apart easily while cooking, and they fell apart even more when eating them. They tasted pretty good, but I knew I could do much better.

I overhauled the recipe, adjusting almost all the ingredients according to my lessons learned. I pretty much doubled the spices, celery, and onion. I increased the flour and panko. Then I published. Pretty risky, I know, but a few people got back to me and said the burgers were really good. I finally got around to making the burgers again and was very satisfied with the revised recipe. I made only a few additional tweaks.

Ingredients for veggie burgers.

Ingredients for veggie burgers.

Ingredients

Yield: 12 patties

  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup Japanese panko
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s garlic with parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Cook quick oats in 1 1/2 cups of water for about 5 minutes. Cook ahead of time and set aside to cool.
  2. Pulse garbanzo beans in the food processor to break up. Pour into large mixing bowl.
  3. Pulse black beans in the food processor. They are softer and will be mushy compared to the garbanzos. Pour into the mixing bowl.
  4. Add oats, flour, panko, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add celery and onion. Mix well.
  6. Form thin patties the diameter of your bun. (Patties won’t shrink with cooking.)
  7. Heat oil in skillet, and fry patties on medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes each side.

Photo Tutorial

Pulsed black beans, garbanzo beans, and cooked oatmeal with spices mixed in.

Pulsed black beans, garbanzo beans, and cooked oatmeal with spices mixed in.

Panko and flour added.

Panko and flour added.

Black beans, garbanzo beans, oatmeal, spices, flour and panko mixed together.

Black beans, garbanzo beans, oatmeal, spices, flour and panko mixed together.

Add chopped celery and onions.

Add chopped celery and onions.

Mix everything together well.

Mix everything together well.

Watch Guy and the Blue Plate Diner Make Veggie Burgers

Additional Tips and Comments

  • I cooked my oats the day before. I used quick oats, which are to be cooked 5 minutes, but cooked them about 20 minutes, like I would cook 5-minute grits. Next time I think I’ll just cook the oats 5 minutes, as I think this could be a different texture experience for the final burger.
  • After my oats cooled, I added all my spices, and mixed them into the oats, and refrigerated overnight. I figured this would be like putting the spaghetti sauce in the fridge overnight and intensify the flavors.
  • I used dried beans. I soaked, then cooked the chickpeas ahead of time. I drained enough to measure 1 cup after draining, and put the rest in the freezer. I had cooked, drained black beans in the freezer, and measured out 1 cup.
  • You can use rinsed and drained canned beans and peas. A can will yield a little over 1 cup of drained beans. If the yield is 1¼ cups, I’d probably go ahead and use all of them.
My first trial, I made my patties way too thick. They broke apart easily during cooking and when trying to eat them. They were also mushy inside.

My first trial, I made my patties way too thick. They broke apart easily during cooking and when trying to eat them. They were also mushy inside.

Make thin patties, and fry them crispy.

Make thin patties, and fry them crispy.

  • These non-meat burgers don’t shrink! After my first time preparing the burgers, I learned that I needed to make the patties the size of my buns.
  • It’s also important to make your patties as thin as possible. I wore disposable gloves and had a bit of trouble with the patties sticking to my gloved fingers. This turned out to be a safeguard from making the patties too thin.
  • My patties from my first draft recipe broke apart easily while cooking. My recipe revisions took care of the problem.
  • I fried the patties until a little crispy. I fried about 5 minutes on each side.
  • I got 12 patties from this recipe and froze some. I froze most of them and have already eaten frozen and thawed burgers. They were just as good as the fresh ones.
  • I tasted the patty by itself, and I could taste the panko. Funny, because Guy Fieri said in the video that the panko would help bind the patties, but not impart taste. I might try a different panko. Really though, I think I just won’t try to eat the patty like a hamburger steak. When assembled on a bun with typical hamburger toppings, these patties made a very tasty burger. I surprised myself and ate two!
My results with the revised burger recipe. The recipe made 12 thin patties.

My results with the revised burger recipe. The recipe made 12 thin patties.

Veggie burger with tomatoes and onions.

Veggie burger with tomatoes and onions.

Transition to a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Transition to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle the healthy way. Check out Vegetarian Health Institute and Trevor Justice's step-by-step program.

© 2010 rmcrayne

Comments

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on August 24, 2018:

Hezapeck, do you mean you've used my recipe? Just curious if you made additional modifications to improve the burgers. I'm about to try another batch.

Hezapeck on May 14, 2018:

We've enjoyed this recipe for the past few years as part of our menu rotation. I can actually count on the kids to happily eat the burgers, which isn't always the case with my cooking. ;) Thanks for the delicious recipe.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 14, 2017:

Looking forward to trying this!

modgirlok from Oklahoma on February 09, 2012:

Thanks for the great hub and easy step-by-step tutorial. I look forward to trying these soon.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on December 27, 2011:

Marlo, I would probably substitute Progresso bread crumbs, or maybe use some dry oats.

MarloByDesign from United States on October 27, 2011:

Great recipe - I am going to bookmark this and try it this weekend. Is there anything else I can substitute for ½ c Japanese Panko? Thanks!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 13, 2011:

chechetka I'm so glad you tried the recipe. Thanks for letting me know!

chechetka from London, UK on February 09, 2011:

Yeah, I did:) My boyfriend is a big burger lover! Homemade beef burger was his favorite meal before going vegan... So we are always on a look out for new recipes. This one went down pretty well, we especially liked the taste of celery in it:)

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on January 24, 2011:

Thanks chechetka for visiting. I see you checked out one of my other veggie burger hubs too.

chechetka from London, UK on January 15, 2011:

Thanks for this hub! My partner is vegan, so I will try this one out for him:)

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on July 29, 2010:

fucsia, Please let me know how it comes out!

fucsia on July 26, 2010:

I found you because I was looking for some ideas to stuff my vegetarians sandwiches to exits trek!

I will try your recipe! thank you!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 26, 2010:

Thanks for your support prasetio!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on June 25, 2010:

I like your recipes, It looks healthy Burger. I'll try to make it soon. Thank you very much for share about this. Thumbs Up, my friend,

Prasetio

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 24, 2010:

Thanks anglnwu!

anglnwu on June 23, 2010:

Very nice layout with great pictures. Good luck on your nomination.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

Thanks for your ongoing support ethel and pdh.

prettydarkhorse from US on June 23, 2010:

Thumbs up Rm and congrats, I love healthy recipes and this one is definitely a healthy one! Maita

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 23, 2010:

Sounds a tasty alternative to meat burgers whether you are vegan or not. I like the useful tips you have learned and shared.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

Thanks akirchner. My brother takes the pictures. It makes it so much faster and easier than having to stop, or having to shoot with one hand and demo with the other!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

Thanks habee. I'm anxious to try this one again, with the spices, onions, and celery bumped way up!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

Thanks money for your ongoing support.

Thanks pink.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

Thanks steph! Your comment was the first I knew about my nomination.

I really like the thin bread/buns too. We buy them in quantities of 3 (or 4?) from Costco. I wanted to include the exact name and brand of these, but already threw out the outer bag with the name.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on June 23, 2010:

Nice job and love that you did your own photos! Congrats on the nom.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

vrajavala, Ruben lost 40 lbs at Duke, then another 60 lbs, which put him back at the weight he was on Idol- he gained 100 lbs after Idol! He favors Morning Star products, but there are lots of dubious ingredients in those.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 23, 2010:

Thanks charanjeet and viking! My brother took the pictures while I was preparing the burgers. This makes it so much quicker and easier.

Thanks for your ongoing support Paradise!

Holle Abee from Georgia on June 23, 2010:

Great job, RM! I like veggie burgers!

pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on June 23, 2010:

..woh interesting recipe and healthy... yummy!^.^ Congratulations ma'am!^.^

Money Glitch from Texas on June 22, 2010:

Awesome RM, Congrats, on being selected as a "Best Hub" nominee this week. Great job, good luck!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on June 22, 2010:

Looks really delicious - I also love using those thin buns that you've pictured with the veggie burger. Congrats on your nomination and good luck!

vrajavala from Port St. Lucie on June 22, 2010:

wow, I could not believe that Reuben lost 80 pounds after he started being a vegetarian. good for him.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on June 22, 2010:

Another winner from RM!! Thanks!

L M Reid from Ireland on June 22, 2010:

Wow Rmcrayne that veggie burger sure does look deliciuos. I LOVE my meat I must admit but reading your very easy instructions here has wetted my appetite to give this veggie and vegan no less burger a try. Thanks

charanjeet kaur from Delhi on June 21, 2010:

Rmcrayne, fell in love with your easy to follow directions. The pictures and the step by step makes it so easy. I will surely try this one. This healhty variation of the veggie burger is so full of nutrition.