Plant-based burgers are popping up all over—even in mainstream fast-food restaurants. It’s great to have choices when you’re on the road, but I prefer the homemade goodness of a burger like this one that’s high in protein and low in fat. Featuring black beans, walnuts, oats, and pickled beets, these burgers have a great flavor and firm texture that holds up well when cooked. The wheat gluten will make firmer burgers, but it’s okay to leave it out if you’re gluten intolerant.

Bean and Beet Burgers [Vegan]

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  • 1 1/2 cups (258 g) cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce [425 g]) can, rinsed, drained, and blotted dry
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (78 g) old-fashioned rolled oats, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup (93 g) cooked quinoa or brown rice, drained, if needed, and blotted dry
  • 1/3 cup (70 ml) chopped pickled beets, drained and blotted dry
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) minced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) vital wheat gluten, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) ground golden flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dried bread crumbs (optional)
  • 6 sprouted whole-grain burger rolls
  • Burger condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, vegan mayonnaise, to serve


  1. In a food processor, combine the beans, walnuts, oats, quinoa, beets, and onion, and process until well combined. Add the wheat gluten, flaxseeds, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Process to mix well. Transfer the mixture to a work surface and divide the mixture into six balls (more or less, depending on how large you like your burgers). If the mixture is too soft to hold its shape, add a little more vital wheat gluten, oats, or bread crumbs. Use your hands to firmly shape each ball into a thin burger, pressing the mixture well to hold the burger together. Set the burgers aside on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. (The burgers can also be frozen at this point for later use.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
  3. Arrange the burgers on the baking sheet. Spray the burgers with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the burgers and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving on burger rolls with your favorite condiments.


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