If you were to show up at my house right now, open my freezer, and take a peek inside you’d see lots of bread (we can never get through a loaf before it starts to go bad—so we always keep our bread in the freezer); a few bags of frozen berries, beans, and veggies; and lots and lots of veggie burgers.
Veggie burgers are a “pantry staple” in our house. When the cupboards are bare and I have no idea what to make for supper, I can always fall back on the veggie burgers in the freezer.
Veggie burgers are one of those things that you really should be making at home if you haven’t been—they’re cheaper (WAY cheaper), tastier, and healthier than the store-bought alternatives. Plus, they don’t take much time at all—they definitely aren’t complicated to make. And, like I talk about above, they freeze beautifully. Meaning you can make up a giant batch every other month or so, and eat on them for weeks and weeks.
We rotate through three different simple veggie burgers in our house—a spicy black bean burger that is awesome topped with some guacamole, a hearty lentil-walnut burger that tastes shockingly meaty, and sweet potato chickpea burger that is my absolutely favorite. Today, I am partnering up with the awesome people at North American Pulses to bring you all three recipes plus my favorite tips and tricks to help you rock veggie burgers.
Don’t think you know what pulses are? You totally do! Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. All those yummy, plant-based sources of protein? Pulses! They are so tasty, so versatile, incredibly healthy, and so affordable to cook with. If you’re looking to eat healthy but don’t think you can afford it—pulses are your best friend! The average cost of beef per serving is $1.49, whereas you can serve dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, or beans for about 10 cents per serving. TEN CENTS! If you really want to save cash, make sure you’re cooking from dry (and freezing for easy cooking).
Pulses are also one of the most environmentally friendly food crops grown on our planet—they have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any food crop, they require little to no irrigation, and can grow in almost any environment. If you want to do your part to help reduce the carbon footprint of the food you eat (and enjoy the health benefits of pulses while you’re at it), head over and take the Pulse Pledge to eat one serving of pulses per week for 10 weeks (or more!). A great way to get started working on your pledge? VEGGIE BURGS, YO.
All three of the recipes below are vegetarian with a vegan-option. I’ve also listed the tweaks you need to make to make them gluten-free if that’s your bag. Because I’ve eaten these burgers like a bajillion times, I’ve also listed out my recommended toppings and sauces for each one—but you do you if you want to go a different direction. Let’s chow down!
These burgers win the award for the most frequently eaten in our house. They are incredibly tasty and so easy to make—we almost always have the ingredients to make up a batch of these. I posted the first version of this recipe way back in 2010 and have been making and tweaking them ever since.
Favorite toppings: avocado or guacamole, crunchy lettuce, sprouts, tomato slices.
And here’s where you can find the other two:
If you end up pulling one of these burgers from the freezer, I recommend defrosting these all before warming them either on the grill, in a skillet, or in the microwave. My favorite way to reheat them is in with a little bit of avocado oil in a cast iron skillet. The outside gets all crispy and crunchy, and the inside is tender and juicy—just like a good burger should be! Enjoy.