Ultimate Veggie Burgers Revisited

by Robin on November 6, 2008

in Recipes,Vegan Planet

Back in 2002 when I developed the recipe for Ultimate Veggie Burgers in Vegan Planet, my goal was to make a firm-textured patty that looked more like a burger than a veggie. What I came up with was a combination of cooked lentils, ground walnuts, and (most importantly, for the texture) wheat gluten flour. Judging by the volume of positive e-mails I’ve received about it over the years, I’d say the recipe was a success.

What I like most about the basic recipe is that it can be modified in a number of ways. Sometimes I leave out the ground flaxseed mixture and they turn out fine. Sometimes I add garlic. Other times I saute the onion (rather than leaving it raw). When I don’t have cooked lentils on hand, I just mash up whatever beans are handy, although the resulting burgers are lighter in color, but still delicious. I’ve even left out the walnuts, opting instead for a little more each of the lentils and wheat gluten.

The recipe is very flexible and fun to experiment with. You can also trade in burger rolls for brown gravy and serve them as cutlets. If you’ve somehow missed out on this old standard from Vegan Planet, you might want to given it a try. And if you come up with your own variation, I’d love to hear about it.

Ultimate Veggie Burgers
Serve on burger rolls with all the trimmings or top with brown gravy. (Adapted from Vegan Planet.)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup walnut pieces

3/4 cup cooked brown lentils, well drained
1/4 cup grated onion
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (or more, if needed))
1/2 teaspoon browning sauce (such as Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying

1. In a blender combine the flax seeds and soy sauce, blending until viscous. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts to coarsely chop. Add the lentils, onion, vital wheat gluten, browning sauce, flax mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until well combined, but with some texture remaining.
3. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, adding a little more wheat gluten flour if the mixture is too wet. Place the burgers on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until browned on both sides, turning once, about 4 minutes per side.

Serves 4

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bex November 6, 2008 at 5:33 am

I havent tried that recipe yet but I have found that gluten is the secret ingredient for firming up your veggie burgers.

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2 Vegetation November 6, 2008 at 7:07 am

Ooo! I haven’t made these either (and I can’t believe I haven’t because I LOVE burgers and burger patties!)

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3 Gina November 6, 2008 at 6:59 pm

This would look so great and simple if I knew what browning sauce was!I also wanted to add that I tried your chocolate seitan pie recipe from the VegNews website yesterday, and it was delicious!! I blogged about it on my site, I think I used the word yum about 5 times!

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4 Robin November 6, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Gina: Browning sauce is available in most supermarkets, usually near the prepared gravies. Two popular brands are Gravy Master and Kitchen Bouquet. They come in small bottles and are vegan. The browning sauce just adds a rich brown color to foods (usually used in gravies). Since the recipe only calls for 1/2 teaspoon of the browning sauce, you can leave it out without affecting the flavor or texture of the burger (the color will just be a smidge lighter, that’s all). Hope you enjoy them.Glad you liked that chocolate seitan pie and thanks for blogging about it. YUM is the word for that, isn’t it?

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5 joanna November 9, 2008 at 8:01 pm

i’ve seen very few burger recipe that actually look like a real burger, but you’ve nailed it. i wouldn’t even be able to tell by just looking at it that it’s not meat. nicely done!

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6 Glauce Lucas November 16, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Love burgers! Hope you can visit my blog someday ;)

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7 vegcutie November 18, 2008 at 4:46 am

i love this recipe because veggie burgers get so old and plain and this is a bit differenti may try them myself!

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8 patrick j. March 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm

i do this with leftover lentil soup, potatoes and carrots and spinach and all- drain and pulse a few times to get a blended, chunky texture. it’s great, already flavored well, and i bump up the seasonings where necessary. then do it just like you do. the wheat gluten gives it a chew that others don’t have.

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9 Robin March 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Patrick: Great idea about the lentil soup — thanks for sharing!

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10 Maggie July 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Thank you for sharing this great recipe, Robin. I make a double-batch of these very frequently. I often substitute hickory liquid smoke for the Kitchen Bouquet, as I like the “grilled” flavor it adds. I cook the patties, let them cool, layer wax paper in between them, and freeze them. They keep well this way, and warm up easily in a toaster oven. This has liberated me from having to stock my freezer with expensive commercial veggie burgers for quick lunches. Thanks!
-Maggie

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