• Amy Carte

Secrets to making incredible vegan and gluten-free veggie/ bean burgers.

At the events I cater, I am often asked how I make my black bean or veggie burgers. Guests will confide in me how they struggled to get the flavors or consistency right even when following recipes or that they couldn’t get their patty to stick or stay together for grilling.

Since it’s summer time and everyone is firing up their grills, I figured it was an appropriate time to share my tips for a perfect, from scratch bean or veggie burger.

1) Pick a cuisine or style of burger and follow it all the way to the end with your choice of toppings, sauce, bun, and even sides.

2) I always use 2 -15.5 oz regular cans of beans bc I use the cans as measuring tools for the rest of the ingredients. I prefer to mash or purée one can of beans (I use my Ninja)

and leave the others whole for a variety of textures. If the beans have a thick liquid at the top I always include that in the mix because it helps to bind the burgers. If it’s watery and thin - I discard it. If I add canned corn to black bean burgers I always discard all of the thin, watery liquid from the can.

2) I cannot stress how important it is to use Aromatic veggies such as garlic, onions, sweet and/or spicy peppers, mushrooms, ginger, celery, carrots, and to sauté them in a cast iron pan like this one:

with olive oil before adding them to your beans and binders. I typically add any warm spices ( cumin, chili powder or turmeric) I plan on adding to my sauté pan of veggies to toast them and build up flavor. Then I like to deglaze the pan by adding a dash of one flavorful acid ( such as a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or vinegar or wine.

3) The addition of Umami- The warm deep rich, earthy flavor that is found in many beef and meat dishes can easily be replaced with Mushrooms, mushroom powders,

vegan bouillon cubes,

soy sauce, buffalo chipotle sauce or nutritional yeast, and coconut aminos

4) Binders/fillers: I always add 1 cup of dry oats to my bean/veggie mixture and let It sit for 25-35 minutes before pressing into patties.

Vegetarian: Eggs, shredded cheese, bread crumbs, flour

Vegan/ Gluten-Free:- Dry Oats, crushed corn tortilla chips, glute-free bread crumbs, rice, corn starch

5) Consistency Matters: One of the biggest complaints I hear about other veggie burgers is that they are too mushy and don’t have that outer crust that a real burger would have.

This is solved by 1) The addition of finely chopped water chestnuts, pepitas, or nuts into the mix itself or

2) Creating a “breading” with bread crumbs and flour or using crushed up corn chips, cereal mixed with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper that you press all around the burger to give it that exterior crust we all crave.

Here is my recipe for Taki Crusted Black Bean Burgers. If you don’t love Takis - you can just use regular tortilla chips.

I love eating and serving these topped with pickled red onions, chipotle mayo, and fresh avocado slices.

2- 15.5 oz cans of low sodium black beans

1 can of Southwest corn 1 jalapeño de-seeded and finely chopped

2 sweet mini bell peppers de-seeded and finely chopped

1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed

1/2 small red onion finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

pinch of cayenne powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 lime

1-1/2 cups dried oats

1 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

Save 1/4- 1/2 cup for breading at end

1/2 cup Takis crushed for breading

1 tablespoon bufalo chipotle sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp cracked pepper, Dash of kosher salt

Heat a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Add onions, all peppers and sauté on med- high until starting to caramelize, then add garlic and all seasonings.

Saute on med-low for an additional minute then squeeze lime into pan and stir ingredients with a metal spatula quickly while scraping the pan to get any flavorful blackened veggies off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.

Add one can of finely mashed or puréed beans to a large mixing bowl.

Then add one can of whole black beans to the bowl.

Then add cooked veggie mixture. Add the oats, crushed tortilla chips, bufalo sauce.

Drain all of the liquid from the Southwest Corn and add to mix. Add chopped cilantro. Mix well and cover. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Crush up remaining tortilla chips. If you like Takis crush some up and add to the crushed tortilla chips. Add some freshly cracked pepper and a dash of kosher salt. Mix well and spread out onto a plate.

Remove bean mix from fridge. Form into patties

then coat the Pattie’s by pressing the crushed chips into the sides.

Heat more olive oil in a cast iron pan. Sear each side of patty on high for 2- 3 minutes then lower heat to low/med and cover with a pot lid for an additional minute to warm inside.

Chipotle Lime Mayo

1/2 cup mayo of your choice - I love Duke’s Mayo

1 tbsp of the adobe liquid (not the peppers)

Juice from 1 lime

Mix all ingredients together


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