A homemade gluten free veggie burger is very easy to make. The key to a great vegetarian patty is making them ahead of time. This allows the legumes or beans, flours and spices to settle together for 1-2 hours in order to enhance the flavor before it meets the fire.
How’s the weather where you live? Ours has been delightfully warm. When it is warm out and the day light is longer all I can think about is firing up the grill! Cooking on a fire outside offers those who prefer a more casual entertaining an opportunity to eliminate the pressure of hosting formal courses. Grilling is a meal that can be waited for… and these veggie burgers are worth waiting for! Billows of smoke, listening to the birds chirp, watching the kids catch butterflies, admiring the beauty of the white blossoming flowers on the fence vines are part of the grilling atmosphere.
The joy of cooking outside are endless! You don’t have to slave away and overheat in the kitchen. And let me mention, the clean-up is quite simple!
I am not one to gravitate toward red meat but sometimes I just crave a BIG. JUICY. GRILLED. BURGER. It is the grilled flavor that is the best and gives food so much richness. I don’t eat red meat so usually I have good self-control at a BBQ or picnic. Wish I could say the same for when I was pregnant. Meat is all I wanted and the smell of a big pepperoni and sausage pizza could not be more tantalizing. As soon as my babies popped out craving disappeared.
I would say I’m a “half vegetarian. I only eat fish, turkey and chicken.”
Some would say there is no such thing as half vegetarian.
I do love the hearty beef texture and flavor when you sink your teeth into a giant juicy burger. But not enough to put it into my body. Maybe because I know it is red meat that is a contributor to high cholesterol, my father’s heart attack at age 43, and well frankly – eating a cow.
Now comes the AWW! MOMENT for all you vegetarians. The birth of this glorious lentil based veggie burger! A black bean burger is one of my favorite kinds of vegetarian burgers. So I think next on the list is to make it with smashed black beans and carrots. But I had a package of green lentils sitting in refrigerator that needed to be eaten. Normally I would use them over a salad or to make lentil soup. I wanted a bit more of a kitchen challenge – hence the birth of these veggie patties. This burger (my version) has a hearty wholesome sink-your-teeth into texture and flavor without any meat thanks to those lentils. My mom was totally grossed out by this concept when I told her about my newest kitchen creation. I am going to make it for her on our next visit to Virginia just so she is no longer missing out on this glorious vegetarian burger.
The ingredients of this veggie burger that hold it together?
The ingredients are simple. A bag of precooked lentils will do just fine. I got mine from Trader Joe’s. A zucchini, onion, garlic, rice flour, whipped egg, nutritional yeast flakes, cumin and beef spice. The Beef Spice I used is from Spicely Organics and just love it in vegetarian meals to give food that “beefy” flavor.
Simply grate one medium zucchini and sauté it on the stove top with diced onion and garlic. This gets most of the moisture out of the zucchini. Slowly add the cooked lentil. Transfer to large bowl and let it cool for a bit. Then add the spices, flour, whipped egg and nutritional yeast and mix well. Here’s the key to the best vegetarian burger recipe: let it set in the refrigerator so all the flavors absorb together for 1-2 hours prior to grilling.
When you start grilling your burgers make sure to spray the grill with cooking spray first after it heats up. Then avoid turning your veggie burgers too often on the barbecue, otherwise they will fall apart. The greatness about a well-made veggie burger is the ability to customize the toppings. Fresh rolls are the best and I promise eventually I will share this roll recipe you see in the pictures. I made them just for my veggie burgers with white Spelt flour and they turned out amazing! Its so easy with only 6 ingredients! And making your own homemade rolls allows you to customize the size to perfectly fit each veggie burger. If you want to make your own easy Paleo rolls, Danielle Walker, the talented blogger and book author of Against All Grain has a simple grain free roll recipe blended in the blender and ready to bake within minutes!
When serving burgers it is always special to offer a wide selection of cheeses such as brie, cheddar, mozzarella, goat cheese and fresh avocados, sprouts, lettuce and tomatoes. Then comes the sauce. This sauce is what makes this veggie burger recipe so amazing! It is made with only 4 simple ingredients and gives these vegetarian burgers just the perfect kick it needs! Other sauces that can be used are aioli (sounds fancy but its really just a garlicy mayonnaise), pesto and vegan cashew cheese.
This veggie burger can totally be added to your list of favorite lentil recipes! And don’t forget the wine if that’s your style. Wines that pair well with these grilled vegetarian lentil burgers are Shiraz, Petite Shiraz and a Merlot.
These healthy and easy veggie burgers can even be made the night before and quickly grilled the next night. A delicious make-ahead feast!
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 onion, diced small
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 17.6 oz precooked package of lentils (or about 2 cups)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon Beef and Burger rub seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1¾ cup almond meal
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- ¼ cup rice flour
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ cup oats (gluten free)
- 1 egg, whisked
- Special Sauce:
- ¾ cup of ketchup
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise or Veganaise
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- dash of cayenne pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions for a few minutes until they are translucent (about 2-3 minutes) and add a dash of salt. Add the zucchini, garlic powder and lentils and cook, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes until moistened and most of the water is evaporated.
- Remove from heat and put in a large bowl. Add beef seasoning, salt, cumin, almond meal, nutritional yeast flakes, rice four, coconut sugar, oats and egg. Combine well. Use your hand if needed to really blend all the ingredients together. Mash the ingredients as you mix. Cover and set in the refrigerator 1-2 hours before grilling.
- Meanwhile whisk together all the ingredients for the special sauce and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Form the burger mixture into 4-6 patties. Use your palms to shape them but do not compress them.
- Heat the grill on medium-high. Spray with cooking spray. Place the patties on the grill gently and cook 3 minutes. Flip and reduce the heat to medium. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Optional to coat buns with butter and heat on low each side for about a minute before serving. Or toast them in a warm oven. Spread the buns with special sauce, fixings of your choice and veggie burger.