veggie burger

Burger Season is Here!

One of the ultimate pleasures of summer is enjoying burgers fresh off the grill. Sandwiched between a hearty bun with a couple of slices of fresh tomato, a crisp lettuce leaf, and maybe a wedge of avocado or smear or caramelized onions, the burger is as American as it gets.

Veggie burgers a great way to eat healthier without compromising flavor. As a plant-based chef, I’ve often found the veggie burger recipes can be disappointing. I’ve had burgers crumble apart after the first bite, and I’ve tried patties that tasted like nothing more than bland rice and mushy beans.

I’m here to address your veggie burger struggles as well as Moringa-inspired Green Slider recipe to get you started.

Garden Veggie Burger with Pickled Onions and Roasted Ramp

First Problem: Why Does My Veggie Burger Fall Apart?

Two issues create a veggie burger that falls through the cracks:

  1. It’s not pureed enough
    • To combat this, puree your beans, veggie, and “flavor” mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. If you want a little bit of texture, add no more than 1/4 cup of “bits” like peas, corn, or chopped olives to your pureed mixture.
    • The mixture should be dry enough to hold together even before baking or grilling
  2. It’s too wet
    • Avoid using raw vegetables. They simply have too much moisture.
      Cook ALL of the moisture out of your raw veggies. If you start with 4 cups of raw vegetables, you’ll end up with only about 1 1/2 cups of cooked veggies.
    • Use a Binder: A binder, like brown rice flour, will help absorb moisture and bind the mixture together. You can always add more of this binder to get dryer burgers that will hold together better.  I prefer Brown Rice Flour because it has neutral flavor and absorbs moisture well. Plus, it’s really affordable.
    • Chill out! Let the burgers rest for at least 15 minutes in your fridge before cooking them. Not only will this help the flavors meld together, it will also help prevent crumbling burgers

Second Problem: Why Doesn’t My Veggie Burger Have Any Flavor?

This is simple: ADD MORE FLAVOR!

Use a heavier hand when seasoning your veggie burger mixture with dried spices, herbs, or other flavoring ingredients like chili paste, soy sauce, ginger, and mustard. Because you’re not relying on the fat in traditional meat burgers, you’ll need more healthy, fat-free spices to compensate.

4 Tips for Creating More Flavorful Veggie Burgers:

  1. Cook dried spices with your veggies will help bring out more flavor.
  2. Use tons of fresh herbs for something like a “garden” burger
  3. An extra “kick” can come from spice (like chili paste or cayenne), acid (like lime or lemon juice), or umami (like mushroom powder, miso, or soy sauce)
  4. Let the burgers “sit” for at least 10 minutes before cooking.  This is a trick even with beef burgers. When the burgers are allowed to rest for a few minutes, the flavors come together more. With veggie burgers, you can even refrigerate them 2-3 days ahead of time…or freeze them for up to 6 months.  Chill them while they rest so that they hold together better. Cold burgers will sear faster on a hot grill, preventing them from falling apart.

How Can I Create the “Ultimate” Burgers?

This is where the buns, toppings, and garnishes come in. When you give as much attention to the toppings, you are sure to impress your friends.

Some healthy plant-based bread options include: Ezekial Food for Life Sesame buns, pretzel buns, sprouted rolls, or whole wheat English muffins

Healthy, Flavorful Ideas for Delicious Toppings:

Caramelized onions or mushrooms
Pickled Red Onions or Homemade Dill Pickles
Flavored mustard or ketchup
Guacamole, Grilled Pineapple, Roasted Bell Peppers, and Kohlrabi Slaw

Ready to Get Your Burger Started?

Click here for our Moringa-Inspired Supergreen Quinoa Slider Recipe!

moringa iced tea


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