Veggie burger perfection
Mediterranean veggie burgers are packed with the flavors of chickpeas, sweet potatoes, red peppers, garlic, parsley, red onions and kalamata olives. Perfect these burgers by binding them with ground oats. All these flavors together combine to make the ultimate veggie burger that seriously, deserves your full attention.
How to make perfect veggie burgers
One of the important factors to consider when approaching the perfect veggie burger is the moisture content of the ingredients. Too much moisture could result in a burger fall apart crisis or adding too much binder. This is one reason why I strongly urge you to bake the sweet potato for this recipe. If you steam or boil, you will end up in a burger battle you won’t enjoy.
How to avoid veggie burger fall apart
Of the essential ingredients for your veggie burgers, the binder is second to consider after your veggies. What you choose from bread crumbs to flour to tofu or seitan have dramatic effects on the texture and taste of your burger. Seitan and tofu for example create a ‘springy’ or more spongy texture. I used ground oats using my spice grinder for Mediterranean veggie burgers.
Good AND gluten-free
Adding ground oats is a great gluten free option. You don’t need to add much (1/4 cup) which means you won’t have an overpowered texture or taste. I’ve used blended oats for cutlets which creates a smoother texture, but for my veggie burgers, I wanted to leave some of the chickpeas and sweet potato chunky.
How to form veggie burgers
If your goal is to avoid the veggie burger fall apart, then take a few moments to form the patties. I like to start by making equal burger balls. This ensures patty equality, but it also gives you a minute to check the consistency. If the balls don’t hold up, you have too much moisture. If they are too stiff, be wary when you bake them. You could end up with hockey puck burgers.
Bake, not fry – why?
The first reason I always bake burgers is because my kitchen is an oil free zone. The second, more important is that frying will require extra handling which increases that fall apart risk we’ve been discussing. It can be tricky to get your burgers evenly cooked – middle and all – without being charred on the outside. I always use parchment paper to line my baking tray. Use your cook’s judgement if you have a good non-stick tray.
Perfect burgers deserve perfect garnishes
Great burger garnishes don't make up for burger imperfections. However, great garnishes elevate burgers and make them special. Mediterranean veggie burgers are terrific with quick pickled onions and a simple bean spread (1 can butter beans/2 cloves garlic/3 Tbsp. lemon juice/2 tsp red chili flakes – all blended smooth).
When you pay attention to your burger ingredients, how they interact and how you cook them, you can avoid fall apart. Let's take that notion a few steps further and consider how circumstances interact and the final result. Fall apart or perfection? Even if we can’t control the ingredients flying around us, we do have a choice about how we mix them up, what we add to the bowl and how we bake them. Peace.Print
Mediterranean veggie burgers are packed chickpeas, sweet potatoes, red peppers, garlic, parsley, red onions, kalamata olives and baked to perfection.
- 1 large sweet potato, baked whole (approximately 1 cup once cooked)
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, diced (this is ½ fresh red bell pepper if you are roasting it)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp red onion, finely minced
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry rolled oats, ground into meal
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 4250F (2200C).
- Scrub the sweet potato and place it on a baking try with parchment paper or foil. If you are roasting the red pepper, that can be added as well.
- Bake the sweet potato until it is easily pierced with a fork (about 20 minutes). The red pepper will take about 15 minutes for the skin to brown, so you may need to remove that earlier than the potato.
- While the potato and pepper bake, place the chickpeas in a bowl and roughly mash them. I like to leave a few whole just for the texture. This is a good time to prep the olives, onion, garlic and parsley and to mix up the spices.
- When the pepper and sweet potato are done, allow them to cool. Then chop the pepper. Peel the sweet potato and dice it into pieces.
- If you have turned off the oven at this point, pre-heat it at 400°F (205°C).
- In the bowl with the chickpeas, add the olives, red pepper, garlic, onion, parsley, onion power, cumin, cayenne (if using), black pepper and salt. Mix well.
- Add the sweet potato to the bowl and mash it into the veggie mixture. Don’t worry if you have a few potato pieces. That just adds to the texture.
- Add about ½ of the ground oats to the mixture and mix well. Check to see if the burger will hold together. If not, add a bit more of the ground oats until you can form a veggie burger ball that hold together when gently squeezed with your hand.
- Form burger patties and place them on a non-stick baking tray. (the number of patties will depend on how big and thick you make them).
- Bake for 20 minutes, flip and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until both sides are golden. (You may have to adjust your oven temperature and baking time depending on your oven).
- Serve burgers with your favorite garnishes and buns. We used quick pickled onions and white bean spread by blending 1 can butter beans/2 cloves garlic/3 Tbsp. lemon juice/2 tsp red chili flakes.
- Most of the prep time for this recipe will occur while the sweet potato bakes.
- Bake the sweet a day ahead and just store it in the fridge. This is handy if you bake sweet potatoes for dinner the night before.
- To reheat burgers in the oven, be sure to wrap them in foil. Otherwise they will get too brown and hard before they are hot. This is a good use for your microwave.
- Try using turning your veggie burgers into veggie balls and serving them up with bechamel or another of your favorite sauces.
- Category: Burgers & Wraps
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Mediterranean veggie burgers