Vegan veggie burger
These veggie burgers are hearty and satisfying, and feature an irresistible combination of flavors. They start with a base of quinoa, black beans and oats. Then we amp up the volume with sweet potatoes, fresh herbs, and some carefully chosen seasonings. They’re a little sweet and a little spicy, in the best of ways. And they are made with easy-to-find, healthy ingredients:
- 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (2 medium or 3 small)
- ½ cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander
- 1 cup water
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans)
- ½ cup chopped red onion (about ½ small red onion)
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce* or 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups quick-cooking oats
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing (or avocado oil)
- 8 whole wheat hamburger buns (optional)
- Your favorite burger fixings: Avocado or guacamole, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, vegan cheese, sprouts, ketchup, hot sauce, mustard, etc. etc. etc.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Roast the sweet potatoes: Slice the sweet potatoes down the center lengthwise. Place the sweet potatoes, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until they yield to a gentle squeeze, 30 to 40 minutes or longer. Set aside for now. (If you’ll be baking the burgers, reserve the parchment-lined pan and leave the oven on.)
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until all of the water is absorbed, 11 to 14 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 10 minutes.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin (it should pull off easily) and roughly chop the insides. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cooled sweet potatoes and quinoa, black beans, onion, cilantro, garlic, adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Use a potato masher, pastry cutter, large spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer to mix really well. It’s ok if the black beans get smashed in the process.
- Sprinkle the oats over the mixture and mix well with a large spoon until the mixture holds together when you shape a portion into a patty. If you won’t be making the burgers immediately, cover the mixture and refrigerate for later.
- When you’re ready to cook, shape the burgers: Use a measuring cup to measure out ½ cup of the mixture. Gently shape it into a patty about 3 ½ to 4 inches in diameter. Use your hands to gently flatten the burgers and smooth out any jagged edges. Repeat the process for each patty; you should end up with 8.
- If you’re baking the burgers (see recipe notes for alternate options), brush both sids of each patty generously with olive oil and place them on the lined baking sheet, leaving a few inches of space around each one. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the patties are deeply golden on the outside, about 35 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Serve burgers as desired. Leftover burgers keep well, refrigerated, for 4 days. Or, freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months (thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute or in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until warmed all the way through).