Recently I made some lentil burgers. When I asked the kids what they thought of them they both agreed they really enjoyed the flavours but Ryan said he preferred the bought ones. When I asked why, he said it is the texture. Apparently you can throw them up in the air and when they fall, they stay the same shape. I wasn’t aware he had been throwing veggie burgers around but nevertheless, I accepted this as a challenge. I do know what he means. It is difficult to make a veggie/bean burger that is as firm and easy to handle as a meat one.
I did some research online and eventually found an amazing article on Food Lab. The man who created these burgers is a genius! I guess a scientific approach is what was needed and if you read the article, he takes you step by step through the process of creating the perfect bean burger.
Given we are gluten free and avoid preservatives, I created my own version of this recipe. I also wanted more mixture. Since they freeze well it is worth making more. So here is my version which turned out amazing. For the first time, the kids wanted as many of these as they could fit in – needless to say I will double the mix next time!
The mixture is the perfect texture. So easy to form into patties.
These delicious burgers have a beautiful consistency and taste. This base recipe can be varied in terms of flavour by using different beans, spices and herbs. There are a few steps involved but it is so worth it. You can make a double batch and freeze leftovers.
- 6 cups cooked beans (eg pinto, black turtle or aduki beans ) - 2 cups dry or 4 x 400g tins
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup GF oats - if you don't need GF you can use regular oats
- 1 large onion - peeled and quartered
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large red capsicum - seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp mexican hot sauce or tomato sauce or relish - I use home made sauces - whatever I have in the fridge
- 180g cubed feta or haloumi cheese - Our preference is for haloumi
- 1 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2-1 tsp Celtic sea salt - If you are using feta use only 1/2 tsp as it is already salty
- Oil for frying
- Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (fan-forced).
- Spread beans out on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 20 minutes. The beans should be dry on the outside and soft inside.
- Pulse cashews in a food processor until they resemble a large crumb. Empty into a large mixing bowl.
- Pulse oats in the food processor until it is a course flour and add to the mixing bowl.
- Pulse onion, garlic and capsicum in a food processor.
- Fry the onion mix in a frying pan with the oil. Cook until soft then add the sauce. Mix well and allow to cook for a further minute.
- Add onion mix to the mixing bowl.
- Once the beans are done, pulse in the food processor with the cheese until it is a course mix.
- Add to the mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Form into burger patties and fry on low heat in oil until browned on both sides. Cooking the burgers slower and longer will ensure a firm texture as the egg binding the mix will cook through.
- Serve in a burger bun with salad or as a pattie with vegetables and salad.