Finally! After multiple recipes, I found it. The. Perfect. Black. Bean/Veggie. Burger. Previous attempts were promising, but by the end I was left with veggie/bean mush, not a burger. Veggie burgers, when bought or made right, are a great substitute for beef burger, go for Meatless Thursdays. And take it one step further, a home-made veggie/bean burger is a great substitute for frozen veggie burger. Homemade will yield a fresher, more flavorful and preservative-free burger. Believe it or not, many frozen veggie burgers are NOT very veggie-filled, and are full of soy-based fillers and other funky ingredients.But that’s for a whole other post.
If there’s any shot your kid will eat a veggie burger, it’s if they make it themselves. There are quite a few steps that kids will enjoy participating in, especially when we get to the mashing and burger forming parts. Hand hygiene is key.
Little Bites Criteria For a Good Veggie Bean Burger:
1. Easy to make
2. Holds together well – during and after cooking
3. Nutritious (ie loaded with fiber, fresh herbs, veggies, scant on the refined flour, bread crumbs)
4. Good looking
5. Delicious (and spicy)
I came to this winning recipe after combining a few recipes. The bulk of the adaptation came from a blog called EzraPoundCake.com, who adapted her recipe from Guy Fieri of Food Network. I substituted chickpeas and white beans for black beans, removed the olives and a few spices/herbs and added pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch) and fresh basil.
Little Bites’ Original Black Bean Veggie Burger
Adapted from numerous recipes, main inspiration EzraPoundCake.com who adapted recipe from Guy Fieri/Food Network
Makes 6-8 medium sized burgers
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons diced red onion
- 2 tablespoon diced red bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon diced jalepeno (optional but highly recommended)
- 3 large garlic cloves, diced
- 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal)
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs – I used Panko
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6-8 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces black beans, drained (canned or soaked overnight then boiled for 1 hr)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup pepitas, unsalted (toasted pumpkin seeds) — sunflower seeds would be good substitute too.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and all raw vegetables except the beans. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool.
- In medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (oats, bread crumbs, spices, herbs). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently combine the beans. Add the sauteed vegetables, and mix thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients, along with the egg.
- Using your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients. Form into 6-8 patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Serve warm. I added a dollop of hummus (of course), greens and tomato. Feel free to add any dressing, I’m thinking pesto would taste amazing.