Last year I made veggie burgers for the first time, and while I enjoyed the flavors of the chickpeas, lentils, and curry, I found that they were a bit dry and just didn’t have the burger consistency I was looking for.
Fast forward to this year, when I stumble upon a recipe that claims to be the “best-ever” veggie burgers and I’m instantly intrigued as soon as I hear the ingredients list: Roasted beets, beans, brown rice, caramelized onions (!!), and oats. I’ve come to love beets over the past year or so, and caramelized onions are one of my favorite foods of all time. So I decided to put these veggie burgers to the test and I was not disappointed!
To be honest, I’ve only tried a few other veggie burgers to compare these to, but I still think this recipe is a winner. The roasted beets keep the burgers moist and sweet, the onions bring a nice savory flavor, and then there’s mustard and even diced prunes (don’t let them scare you!) for tanginess. The burgers use ground oats rather than bread crumbs, and just one egg to keep them together. I used a combination of chickpeas and cannellini beans rather than black beans because I prefer the flavor, but any type of bean will work. The original recipe also says it makes only 6 burgers, but I was able to make about 9 or 10 good-sized burgers.
These burgers do take a bit of prep work, and the “meat” needs to be chilled, but I think if you cook the beets and brown rice ahead of time, you’ll be able to whip these burgers up in no time. I really enjoyed these veggie burgers and I’m excited to share them with all my veggie and meat-eating friends alike out there!
- 1 lb. fresh beets (about 3 large ones)
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or cannellini beans)
- 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
- 2 – 3 scallions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 1 – 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder, or cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper for extra heat
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg, whisked
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare your beets by washing them and removing skin with a vegetable peeler. Chop them into large chunks and toss them with about 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Place in a small baking dish and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until they are nice and caramelized and can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to let cool.
- While your beets are roasting, cook your brown rice according to box directions and also begin caramelizing your onions. Heat diced onions over medium heat with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt, stirring every few minutes, until they are golden-brown. Add minced garlic in the last 2 – 3 minutes and remove from heat.
- Pulse your oats in a food processor until they resemble a fine powder and set aside.
- Combine beans, prunes, scallions, olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, but not to the point of being puréed. (If you have a small food processor, you may have to do this in batches.) Remove from food processor and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Once your beets are cooled, grind them up in your food processor until shredded. Place in mixing bowl with beans, and then add in your caramelized onions, rice, spices, ground oats, and egg. Stir until well combined, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- After the burgers are chilled, form into patties about 3 inches wide. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, and cook the burgers for 3 – 5 minutes on each side. I found that covering them for half of the cook time helped to get the inside of the burgers cooked faster and more thoroughly.*
- Once burgers are finished cooking, serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, or atop a salad and enjoy! I loved them topped off with Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing, spinach, and arugula.
*For an extra crispy crust, sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs on the burgers before cooking!