Our own Chris Morocco set an almost impossible task for himself: to create a from-scratch veggie burger recipe with patties that could go straight from the mixing bowl to the grill without falling apart. To make things even more challenging, Chris was aiming for vegan burger patties that would come together with a prep time of 20 minutes or less (about the same time it takes to make a beef burger) and with relatively few ingredients—bonus points if they were also gluten-free. A tall order. “There was a good chance this would be the mission that I simply never came back from,” he admits.
Chris opted for an updated black bean burger patty, bulking it out with shredded tofu and quinoa, and adding garlic and chili powder for seasoning. The real key to success, however, was the mayonnaise (a vegan one is also great) and a surprise ingredient: almond butter. Combined, the two give the plant-based patties crucial richness. Meanwhile, flaxseed and cornstarch bind the burger mixture together. You can shape these homemade veggie burgers in advance, wrap the patties tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to three days or stash them in the freezer for three months (cook straight from frozen). If you don’t have a grill, a cast-iron pan set over medium-high heat on a stovetop will work fine and still deliver some crispy bites.
Chris likes to serve the cooked burgers in store-bought buns stacked with the works, including chipotle yogurt—simply mix adobo sauce from canned chiles and Greek yogurt. Or, blend vegan mayo with sriracha and ketchup as an alternative. Best veggie burger ever? We’ll let you be the judge.