Tips & Tricks

Why (And How) You Should Make Your Own Veggie Burger

You can make a terrific veggie burger patty out of beans, nuts, grains, mushrooms, soy—and almost any vegetable you want. Here’s how.

If you’ve ever cooked or been served a an inedible pre-made frozen vegetable disc, you may not hear the words ‘veggie burger’ and think ‘yum!’ But homemade veggie burgers are of a different caliber—with lots of variety—and make for not only an easy weeknight dinner, but also a way to get more veggies into your diet. You can make a terrific veggie burger patty out of beans, nuts, grains, mushrooms, soy—and almost any vegetable you want. Here’s how.

Start With Ingredients You Love
To make a veggie burger you actually want to eat, get creative with your base. “Think outside the box with quinoa and spring veggies or white beans and sun-dried tomatoes,” says Plated Head Chef Elana Karp.

Bind Wisely
The most important pillar of a veggie burger patty? Texture. No matter what ingredients you start with, you have to help them stick together. “You can really use any vegetables in a patty—you’ll just need something sticky to help bind them, like egg,” Karp says. “To make sure the finished texture isn’t crumbly, the mixture should feel wetter than you expect before cooking.”

Make Sure To Season
You can add flavor to your burger in two different steps: by sautéeing aromatics like onion and garlic (or even tougher-textured vegetables like sweet potatoes) or adding spices and fresh herbs to the patty mixture. Cumin is always a smart choice for black bean burgers as is thyme for mushroom patties. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.

Skip The Grill
Veggie burgers might act like meat burgers in many ways—you can melt cheese on top or stick them in a bun—but you’ll usually have to draw the line at throwing homemade veggie patties on the grill at risk of them falling apart. Veggie patties hold together and develop the best crunchy sear when you cook them in a hot skillet coated with plenty of oil to prevent sticking.

The best part of making your own veggie burger? You can use the best seasonal vegetables that are fresh at the moment you cook them. That’s the thinking behind our recipe for Spring Veggie Burgers with Carrot Chips and Lemon Aioli.

If you try the recipe, upload your images to Instagram with the hashtag #platedpics and let us know what you thought of it!

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