Before going vegan, I wouldn't be caught dead eating beets. However, it's important to not knock it until you try it. I had been craving a flavorful burger ever since I tried the Lentil Walnut Cheese Burger at AVO in Nashville, TN. So the search began for a hearty veggie burger with the perfect color, texture, and taste.
8 Patties - **Freezing instructions below**
Vegan | Gluten Free
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 large red onion, finely diced (3/4 cup)
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms (shiitake, baby bella or white button)
Salt & Pepper
Avocado, Olive or Grapeseed oil
1 15-ounce can spicy black beans, well rinsed and drained
1 cup finely grated raw beet
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup raw walnuts, ground into a loose meal
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add some nonstick spray or a bit of oil. Once hot add the onion and sauté, seasoning with a pinch each salt and pepper.
When the onions are soft – about 5 minutes – turn up the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms and onions are slightly browned and fragrant – about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add black beans to skillet and mash it all together. You’re looking for a rough mash, so you can leave a bit of texture if you want.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the quinoa, beets, spices and stir. For even more flavor, add a shake of vegan BBQ, worcestershire or A-1 sauce (optional).
Lastly, add the walnut meal a little at a time until the mixture is able enough to form into patties. Set in the fridge to chill while your oven preheats to 375 degrees F (skip the oven if cooking on the stovetop or grill - see below).
Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil. Form mixture into roughly 8-9 patties. Feel free to use any special patty forming method or just take handfuls and mash them into loose patties. The thicker you make them, the longer they’ll take to cook through, but the “juicier” and heartier they’ll be! Thinner patties will cook faster through to the core.
Arrange burgers on a baking sheet and brush or spray the tops with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees F for a total of 30-45 minutes, gently flipping at the halfway mark. Cook longer to dry them out even more and achieve more crisp, but it’s not necessary.
Serve on a pretzel bun or atop mixed vegetables with desired toppings.
Hangry... Why wait? :: If you're like me, you don't have 25-30 minutes to wait for food to cook. So for a quicker cook time, form into slightly thinner patties and brown in a skillet over medium heat lightly coated with the oil of your choice (there's too many to list). Cook until brown on both sides - approx. 3-4 minutes on each side. NOTE: This method will not cook the burgers to well done in the middle, but who cares when you're starving.
Freezing Instructions :: If you don't want to cook all the burgers, form them into (8-10) thinner patties, par-bake them at 375 for 20 minutes. Then cool and stack between layers of parchment paper and cover. Freeze for up to a few weeks; they're delicious, so you'll eat them within days anyway. To cook, place the frozen patties on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 25-35 minutes until desired texture/color is reached. (feel free to cook the frozen patties using the *hangry cook time* instructions as well)
Sources: Minimalistic Baker