The last time I made a version of these smoky beet veggie burgers, I used all beets–no beans or sweet potatoes–and the color of the burgers was very red. My husband and I joked that I was making baby demons in the oven, and we kept up with the “baby demon” jokes throughout the evening. (Our humor can quickly turn awry, but the giggles keep us sane!)
Although our current hometown has a lot to offer, there is a peculiar dearth of excellent veggies burgers–unless you visit the freezer section of the health food store. So I’ve taken it upon myself to make my own veggie burgers from scratch, hence my foray into brightly colored beet burgers. After adapting a few recipes to arrive at this one, I’ve learned that there isn’t an exact formula for making a veggie burger, but you do want to find a nice balance of something starchy and mashable, like beans or sweet potatoes, and crunchy, flavorful veggies, like celery and onion. You can go crazy with the seasonings, and the nice part about making vegan burgers is that you can taste the “meat” as you go.
Veggie burgers make lovely comfort food, whether served on a bed of greens or on a classic bun. You can make a big batch of raw burgers, freeze some, and enjoy them when you’re in a pinch and need a quick meal.
Now go–be your own burger artiste!
Vegan Burger Recipes: Smoky Beet Veggie Burgers
- 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 small beet, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoke paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste ground pepper
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
1. There are two ways to cook the finished pattie, you can fry them up in a pan or bake them in the oven. Frying them is a bit faster, but baking them yields more solid patties. Your choice! If you’re going to bake them, preheat the oven to 350F. If you’re going to fry them, skip this step.
2. Roughly chop the beet and sweet potato. Steam chopped potato and beet until they are soft. Set aside.
3. Place steamed veggies, chickpeas, spices, Dijon mustard, oats, tamari, lemon juice, and liquid smoke into a food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse until mostly combined. It’s okay if things are left a little chunky–it makes for good texture! Remove mixture and place in a large bowl.
4. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and celery in coconut oil. Stir the veggies for about five minutes, then remove from the heat.
5. Mix sautéed veggies with the first mixture, and add sun-dried tomatoes. Combine well. Form the mixture into patties.
6. If you’d like to fry your patties, warm a bit of coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté each side for 5-7 minutes or until crisped on the edges. Serve and enjoy!
7. If you’re baking the burgers, place patties on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turn each patty over, then bake for another 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell