When you start slapping burgers onto the grill on Monday for family and friends, chances are you will have to add at least one vegetarian burger to satisfy someone’s request.
Along with the variety of meat and poultry burgers currently on the market, vegetarian and vegan burgers have been increasingly popular in recent years. Vegnews.com reported that sales of plant-based meat substitutes were up more than 50 percent last year, and that includes veggie burgers.
Veggie burgers have become increasingly easy to find at supermarkets, and that might be your choice to serve your Memorial Day picnic guests. There are some fine products on the market that are as satisfying as meat or poultry.
Or you might decide you want to make your own, which may be easier than you think.
Veggie burgers all start with a base that could be beans (soybeans, black beans or tofu), mushrooms, grains (brown rice) or seeds. Black beans are among the most popular. Once you have your base, you can add vegetables and seasonings as you prefer, such as in this recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com. Whatever kind you make, your guests should be happy that you made the effort to create something especially for them.
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup finely chopped bell pepper (half of a pepper)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (half of a large onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup bread crumbs or oat flour
½ cup feta cheese
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
pinch salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Gently blot out some of the moisture. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt, and pepper). Stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans.
Form into patties – about 1/3 cup of mixture in each.
To bake: Place patties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes total.
To grill: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Heat temperature is personal preference as all grills differ. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350 degrees.
Serve with your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.