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Meatless Burgers

Vegetarian Recipe

Meatless burgers tend to be more fragile than their beef counterparts. Special care is needed to keep them from falling apart.

Meatless burgers tend to be more fragile than their beef counterparts. Special care is needed to keep them from falling apart. Chill any meatless burger for several hours on a plate spread with plastic wrap before cooking. The easiest cooking methods are broiling and sauteing. If you want to grill a meatless burger, use a vegetable grate -- a perforated metal plate that fits on top of the regular grate of your grill. Preheat it to very hot. Generously spray it with spray oil. Gently slide the burger on top of it. The holes in the metal plate will allow the smoke flavor to come through. Gently use a spatula for turning. Be patient: your first few burgers may stick.

Another easy way to grill veggie burgers is to use a Non-Stick Grill/Flip Basket# - a flat, hinged wire basket available at grill shops. Spray the basket with oil and load in the burgers. The beauty of this system is that you turn the whole basket, not the burgers.

The vegetable burgers call for cooked rice and mashed potatoes. It's fine to use leftovers and this will make the preparation a lot faster. To speed up the preparation, grate the vegetables in your food processor. (Use the grating disk.)

As with beef burgers, it's the garnishes that make the patty. Serve the following burgers on toasted or grilled buns with lettuce, tomato, sliced onion, ketchup, and mustard.

Four Seasons Vegetable Burgers

Burger 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely grated carrots
1 cup coarsely grated turnips
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely grated beets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup instant rolled oats, soaked in 1/2 cup water for 5 minutes, then drained
1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, tarragon, or basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spray oil for sauteing or grilling

Recipe Directions

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the grated vegetables, garlic, and cumin and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let brown. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Wring the water out of the oats. Stir the oats into the vegetable mixture with the remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wet your hands and form the mixture into 8 thick burgers. Arrange the burgers on a plate spread with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.

Grill the vegetable burgers as described above, spraying the vegetable grate with oil. Alternatively, arrange the burgers on an oiled non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray the tops with oil, and broil. To saute, add a teaspoon or two of oil to a non-stick skillet. Cook the burgers over medium heat until crusty. Whichever method you use, you'll need about 4 to 6 minutes per side cooking time. Turn the burgers with a spatula as gently as you can. Serve the burgers on buns with onion, tomato, lettuce, and your favorite condiments.

Nutrition Information

Recipe makes 8 meatless burgers
Serving size: 1 burger
Calories: 90; Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Sodium: 200mg; Total Carbohydrates: 58g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Protein: 17g

Calories from fat: 12 percent
Calories from saturated fat: 1 percent

Variation: Chickpea Burgers

chickpeas 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small sweet red bell peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped (with juices)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 cups cooked chick peas
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
Spray oil or olive oil for cooking the burgers

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with 6 cups cold salted water. Boil the potatoes until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and set aside. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and cumin and cook over medium heat until lightly browned and dry, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, parsley, chick peas, and potatoes and simmer for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Coarsely puree the chick pea mixture in a food processor, adding the bread crumbs as a thickener. (Run the machine in short bursts and don't over process.) Wet your hands and form the mixture into 8 patties. Arrange the patties on a plate spread with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours. Cook the burgers following the instructions above. Serve the burgers on buns with onion, tomato, lettuce, and your favorite condiments. Recipe makes 8 meatless burgers.

Serving size: 1 burger
Calories: 330; Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Sodium: 200mg; Total Carbohydrates: 58g; Dietary Fiber: 11g; Protein: 17g
Calories from fat: 12 percent; Calories from saturated fat: 1 percent

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Vegetarian Fact

Vegetable Quick side dish: Bring bulgur, millet or buckwheat to a boil in two times the amount of water. Cover and cook about 20 minutes over very low heat.








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