Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

March 11, 2014


Last night, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been wanting to try for months: homemade veggie burgers. Though there are so many great store-bought options out there these days, I’ve always felt determined to find a perfect homemade recipe that I can make myself, and even make in bulk and freeze for later.

For me, the perfect veggie burger is grain, bean and/or nut based, and, of course, holds together well. This is the first recipe I’ve tried in my search for the perfect veggie burger, so stay tuned for more in the future.

THE VERDICT: This one was delicious, but sort of smooshed out of our burger buns when we were eating it, so that’s a bit of a problem for me. While I plan to keep searching for a better recipe, I won’t be tossing this out the window by any means. Really solid contender, for sure!

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers
Recipe via Love and Lemons // Serves 4

1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons each of cumin & coriander
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire (or soy sauce or tamari)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 tablespoon grated beet (optional for color, so I skipped it)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 cup black beans, cooked & drained (you will use 1/2 cup at a time)
1 “flax egg” (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)
3/4 cup COOKED red quinoa (you’ll use 1/2 cup, then 1/4 cup separately)
Salt & pepper

Toasted buns
Lettuce, red onion, tomato, shredded cabbage, and/or jalapeños
Ketchup, Vegenaise and/or chipotle mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 375°F with a metal baking sheet inside.

In a small bowl, stir flax & water together and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add the shallot, garlic, a few good pinches of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the dried spices, stir, and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add the worcestershire, balsamic, tomato paste, grated beet, walnuts and THE FIRST 1/2 CUP black beans. Stir and cook for another few minutes and turn heat off.

Let cool slightly, then add the contents from the pan to the food processor. Add the flax egg and blend until everything is cohesive. It does not need to be perfectly smooth).

Transfer mix to a bowl and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of black beans (smash them a little as you stir), and 1/2 CUP of the quinoa. (You can taste & adjust seasonings at this point if you want to because there is no egg). Stir until this is all very cohesive then divide into 4 segments and roll into balls.

Place the 4 balls on a plate and sprinkle them with the remaining 1/4 cup quinoa. Gently roll them so the quinoa coats the outside of the balls, then press each in the palm of your hand to form patties. Place on parchment paper (on a plate) and chill for 20 minutes.

Transfer the parchment w/ your patties onto the pre-heated baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes until the outside is not mushy.

Let cool and serve with fixings of your choice.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe via Whole Foods

4 medium sweet potatoes
4 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Peel potatoes and cut into matchsticks about 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch wide. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add oil, salt and pepper and toss until coated.

Spread potatoes on 2 large baking sheets in a single layer and bake 15 minutes. Rotate baking sheets and gently turn over potatoes. Continue baking about 20 minutes or until crisp. Watch potatoes and turn frequently to prevent burning or sticking to the pan. Serve immediately.

NOTE: We ended up cooking the burgers and potatoes together in the same oven at 400°F and just cooked the fries a bit longer while we were putting together our burgers.

What have you been cooking lately? (Also, if you have a recipe for the perfect homemade veggie burger, please share!!)

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  • Reply Hattie March 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Oh my goodness does this sound wonderful! I can hardly wait to try these recipes. Thank you for posting such great dinner ideas!

  • Reply Cayla March 12, 2014 at 6:39 am

    By no means the perfect veggie burger recipe (it has the problem of not holding together super well), but I’ve made this several times with whatever beans I’ve had on hand at the time, and they’re super tasty in addition to being fairly simple. I’ve been out of wheat germ, too, and have substituted with both flaxseed meal and breadcrumbs; I didn’t notice a difference. I think the next time I make these, I might throw in an egg to see if it binds things together better.

  • Reply Krista Dial March 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

    These sound amazing, Natalie! We love making sweet potato fries, but have never made our own black bean burgers. Definitely giving these a whirl. Thanks for all the inspiring things you share! :)

  • Reply Catherine March 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I find that homemade veggie burgers do well as super thick sliders or something that resembles a meatball sub – they tend to work better in balls than traditional patties.

    It also helps a lot to put them in the freezer for a few hours before cooking. They stick together a little better. A teaspoon of tapioca flour or corn starch will also help bind them, as will cutting down on the quantity of oil used cooking the veggies. I also completely puree the beans first so they’re like chunky hummus.

    This recipe looks great, I can’t wait to try it!

    This recipe looks great though

  • Reply Gina March 13, 2014 at 6:27 am

    this sounds so delicious. I totally understand the smooshing out the sides of the bun… I finally found a good frozen veggie burger that doesn’t do this but I would love to try making my own and this one sounds like the perfect way to kick it off.
    thanks for sharing!
    XO, Gina

  • Reply AshleyL March 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Do you have a store brand you like. I like sunshine burger patties they have very minimal ingredients and are delicious. They’re a little high I calories but super yummy!

    • Reply Natalie Lynn Borton March 25, 2014 at 7:46 am

      I’ve tried several and definitely found tasty ones, though for some reason I feel determined to make my own, haha.

  • Reply Katie McC April 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Yum! I must try these. The only kind of veggie burger I’ve ever had were frozen ones from the grocery store. I ate them a lot in college because they were easy and I thought at the time they were healthy, but they ended up being filled with yuck ingredients. So making my own would deff solve that problem!

  • Reply Cayla April 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Minimalist baker (one of my favorite recipe blogs–every recipe I’ve ever tried has met or exceeded expectations) just released a veggie burger recipe, and I thought you’d like to know! Though I haven’t tried it yet, I love her recipes enough that I’m willing to endorse it wholeheartedly. It’s got to be good.
    And 7 ingredients!

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