I grew up in a vegetarian household and burgers meant mince vegetable patties. I loved eating them but the flavour profile was all about the crunchy exterior and spices, which made them taste like a fried snack. After I discovered real burgers, I pretty much stopped ordering vegetarian burgers. I don’t think I would hate a McVeggie or the good old McAloo Tikki, it’s just that there are much better options easily available at good burger chains, independent burger restaurants and farmer’s markets.
Sometime last year I stumbled upon a few veggie burger recipes that got me interested. I tried making a bean burger and that wasn’t bad at all so I started trying out different veggie burger recipes every Sunday. After a few trials and errors I landed onto my new favourite veggie burger recipe. It’s based on a recipe from Chef John at FoodWishes but I’ve tweaked the process and ingredients to my liking. These burgers are healthy, tasty and everyone at home really enjoys them so give it a try.
Makes 4 burgers
- 400g mushrooms
- 1 large onion
- 50g mature cheddar cheese
- 3 heaped tbsp rolled oats
- 4 heaped tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (or 1 tsp garlic granules)
- 1 tsp italian seasoning (or just oregano)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Burger buns
Get everything ready
- Dice the mushrooms into 1-2 cm pieces
- Roughly dice the onion into small pieces
- Grate the cheese (dicing works too)
- Mince the garlic
- Heat one tbsp of oil in a pan (large enough to fit all the mushrooms)
- Add onions, garlic, a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes or until they are soft and brown
- Add mushrooms and cook on medium flame. In a few minutes they will start releasing water.
- Keep cooking till all the water has dried up. This takes a long time (15+ min) but it’s totally worth the wait. The burgers don’t taste nearly as good if the mushrooms remain watery.
- Add salt, black pepper and italian seasoning to the cooked mushrooms. Don’t forget to taste and adjust if needed.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a mixing bowl and let them cool for a couple of minutes.
Prepare the mixture
- Add cheese, eggs and oats to the mushrooms and mix well.
- Add breadcrumbs one tablespoon at a time and mix. You are looking for a mixture that’s neither too dry, nor too wet. You should be able to roll it into balls without them falling apart.
- I usually put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes at this time but you can skip this step if you can’t wait.
Make the patties
- Brush a pan with oil and bring it to medium heat.
- Meanwhile divide the mixture into four portions.
- Take each portion and roll it into a ball. Make sure it’s fairly tight and then slightly flatten it on your palm.
- Put it on the heated pan, press it gently and let it cook for at least 5 minutes on each side. It should be nicely browned and should not stick to the bottom before you turn it over.
- Once you cook them all, cool them down for a couple of minutes and you are ready to serve!
- Toast the insides of burger buns on a pan (you can use a little butter but it’s not essential). I prefer using brioche buns but any buns or soft rolls would do. One thing to note is that these are softer than regular meat patties so crusty rolls may not be a great option.
- Serve with lettuce, mayonnaise and a dash of ketchup!
Each burger (patty only) contains about 200 calories, 8 grams of protein, 14g carbs and 13g fat. They are light, healthy and very tasty!