Burgers are one of people’s favorite foods. Who doesn’t love a juicy burger with all the toppings? Cutting back on meat doesn’t mean that burgers are off the menu. On the contrary, vegan burgers are delicious. When it comes to veggie patties, the choices are endless, but sometimes they can be a challenge. No one wants a burger that’s dry, bland, or tastes like it’s just made from nuts and seeds. Taking the meat out of the burger doesn’t have to mean taking the flavor out. I love making vegan burgers – some with beans, others with vegetables you may not expect – and each one is amazing. They each have their own personalities with their own ingredients, their own toppings, and their own condiments. With a few pieces of advice, you can make your own incredible vegan burgers and believe me, no one will miss the meat. Here are some tips on making your veggie patties full of flavor:
Lots of veggie burger recipes include chopped carrots, celery, bell pepper, onions, and garlic. After all, it’s a veggie patty; you have to have some veggies in it. But if you just add those veggies raw, you’ll miss out on most of their aromatic potential. Sauté the veggies in a bit of oil first (or water) until they are softened and golden. Then, add them to the burger mix. Not only will you get all the delicious flavor of those sautéed veggies, but you’ll also be sure they are fully cooked when you bite into your burgers.
Whatever the ingredients are in your veggie patties, make sure you add a good amount of seasoning – maybe more than you think. After all, the mix probably makes four to six burgers, so don’t be shy about adding a tablespoon of each spice you are using. Use your favorite spices and herbs to flavor up your patties. Think about the flavor profile you are going for with your burger. Are you making an Asian Black Bean Burger? Use ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder. Are you making a mushroom patty? Mushrooms love thyme. Is it an Italian-themed patty? Add oregano, basil and garlic. Don’t be shy about the spices. You can taste the mix before you cook it (one of the many benefits of veggie patties) to make sure the spices are to your liking.
You can make a veggie patty out of almost anything so think outside the box when coming up with your recipes. Mushroom burgers are incredible, as are black bean burgers but have you ever tried an eggplant burger? They are amazing! You can make patties out of beets, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, or lentils. And of course, you can make seitan, tofu, tempeh, or textured vegetable protein (TVP) burgers. The possibilities are endless.
The dry ingredients in a burger aren’t the only ones that count. Liquid ingredients are added for moisture but that doesn’t mean they can’t also add flavor. Tamari or soy sauce is a common ingredient but for a change in flavor, try vegan Worcestershire sauce or some balsamic vinegar. They can add complex notes that will make people wonder what magic you worked.
We are long past the day when the only condiments for a burger were ketchup, mustard, and relish. If you go through all the effort to make a flavorful veggie patty, don’t skimp out on the condiments. It’s easy to whip up an herb aioli or mix some ketchup and vegan mayo together with some balsamic vinegar to make a super-tasty topping.
With these tips, you will never think of veggie burgers as boring or tasteless again. The possibilities are infinite and you can create vegan burgers that are juicy, flavorful and mouthwatering. Try these amazing vegan veggie burger recipes:
Quinoa and mushroom lovers must try this Quinoa Veggie Burger. Use this recipe as a base and jazz it up with whatever herbs, spices, veggies or toppings you like.
This Eggplant Crunchburger is a vegan take on a famous celebrity chef’s burger. Topped with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a homemade horseradish mustard mayo spread, this burger is big, it’s messy, and it’s incredibly delicious.
These filling Quinoa and White Bean Burgers are packed with protein and fiber as well as other beneficial nutrients. They’re also packed with flavor; the recipe calls for thyme, garlic, shallots, lemon, red bell pepper, paprika, and chipotle chili pepper.
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Lead image source: Mushroom, Beet, and Blackbean Burger