Homemade Garden Burger

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

We had a big party this weekend and lots of people brought meat to throw on the grill. As a vegetarian, I also love to grill – we had zucchini, asparagus, sweet potato and other great veggies. Sometimes though, you just want a burger.

Now, garden burgers are fine – in fact – we had a few on the BBQ for the party. Yet, every time I buy them, there is all this wasted packaging. Plus, sometimes I just want something a little tastier spicier!

So for this party, I tried my own burger recipe. It is based off of several others floating around on the net (including this meat related one).

I had low expectations, but these turned out rather good for a first try! Too bad I didn’t take any photos…

From flickr - thanks revrev!


  • Tofu – 1 block of firm , frozen then thawed
  • Garbanzo Beans – 1 can
  • Black Beans – 1 can
  • Onion – 1 white
  • Oats – instant, a “handful”
  • Rice Krispies – a few handfuls
  • Herbs and spices – see below

Basic Recipe:

I winged it this time, so this is not going to give exact amounts. This is more for my own reference… Feel free to modify and experiment…

All of the ingredients are processed one at a time then added to a large bowl and mixed:

Put the tofu in the freezer a few days prior – freezing/thawing the tofu gives it a porous, chewy texture. It is also great in stews this way! Just remember to start thawing it a few hours before the BBQ!

Dice a white onion and sweat it in a pan until the pieces start to become translucent. I also added some chopped chives and parsley to the pan. Once cooked, throw into the food processor with the herbs and spices. I used fresh basil, cilantro, soy sauce and a bunch of “Pappy’s spice rub”. Pulse for a few seconds to chop into small pieces (about 1mm – not to mush!). Place in bowl.

Drain the beans and process – about 10 pulses. Again, we want small pieces, not mush. Place in bowl.

Do the same with the thawed and drained tofu. Place in bowl.

Throw in a handful of oats.

Add the Rice Krispies while mixing it all together. A few handfuls seemed about right. They will soak up some of the extra liquid and help bind everything.

Let the mixture sit (covered) for a  few moments  before grilling.


The burgers hold together rather well, but you need to keep them small, say about 2 inches in diameter and 3/4 of an inch high. Pressing them might help make garden burger size patties, but I didn’t not try.

On the grill, I let them cook on each side for a few minutes, then gave them a quick spray of oil few more minutes. It gave a really pleasing crunchy on the outside texture.

You might notice that unlike meat burgers,  there is very little fat in these things. I consider that a bonus. However, one person suggested adding banana to the mix. The added fat/sweetness intrigued me…

2 Responses to “Homemade Garden Burger”

  1. gabrielm Says:

    Update August 10th: We had some friends over, and I decided to whip up another batch. Of course, I just used what I had in the kitchen: 1/2 an onion, dehydrated frozen-tofu (boiled in water to rehydrate), 1 can kidney beans (meant to grab black. oh well), oats, rice rice krispies, herbs and spices.

    These things turned out great – showing just how adaptable the recipe is.

    This time I pressed the burgers on a plate to make regular size patties. They will fall apart, so you have to be gentle – but once on a bun, they are a joy to eat.

  2. nagmay Says:

    Here is another recipe I just found: http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2011/04/homemade-bean-burgers.html

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