Ultimate Veggie Burger

Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe

I've been making these veggie burgers for years. It's a great base recipe, and you can tweak the patties with different seasonings and toppings, based on what you have on hand. I posted them on 101 Cookbooks first in 2007, after including them in Super Natural Cooking. Here's the trick - no bun. When you put a bean or lentil patty on a bun, you run the risk of building a burger that is too dry and bready. The ratio is all out of whack, with not enough ooey-gooeyness to balance the bread and mashed beans. It wasn't until I sat down to write this recipe for the book that I had the revelation I needed: Turn the patty into the bun and stuff that with all sorts of good stuff. Problem solved. One other thing I've learned after making these for years, is that they're easily adaptable for any friends who avoid gluten. In place of the breadcrumbs called for in the recipe, replace with puffed quinoa cereal.

Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe

In the years since I wrote the recipe originally, I've had a few revelations related to streamlining (the already simple) recipe. I'm updating the recipe below with those tweaks down below.

Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe
Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe

Filling ideas for your next round of veggie burgers:

  • Avocado Slices
  • Cipollini onions - sweet and just the right size
  • Sliced Roma tomatoes
  • A sprinkling of smoked paprika
  • Grilled vegetables
  • salted yogurt

Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe

These make great do-ahead meals, and you can store shaped, ready-to-cook patties in the refrigerator for a week's worth of work lunches. Sprouted garbanzos are becoming more readily available, but if you can't find them, canned or cooked garbanzos (chickpeas) will work great. Sprouting boosts their already fantastic nutritional value even more. For any friends who avoid gluten, in place of the breadcrumbs called for in the recipe, replace with puffed quinoa cereal. And if you're grilling, you can cook these on a small griddle.

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) OR canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 onion, quartered
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts), optional
1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)

If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until just tender, about 10 minutes. Most of you will be using canned beans, so jump right in. Pulse the onions a few times in a food processor. Add the garbanzos, eggs, and salt. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties, or six larger patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.

Makes 6-12 burgers.

Prep time: 7 min - Cook time: 20 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Genius! Heidi, these look incredible. I can't wait to get my hands on the new book. I've made so many things out of Cook 1.0. Congratulations on the new book! Also saw your article in F&W this month. Right after my dear, ridiculous local restauranteurs from Frasca. Much preferred your article!


I just received your cookbook in the mail yesterday, and it was the HIGHLIGHT of my day. I made your wheatberry salad last night, and tonight I'm planning on making the spring vegetable minestrone. I absolutely love it, it is so beautiful... thanks for making healthy foods look so glamorous!


I did see your book today--it came in the mail from Amazon. I'm really looking forward to making something from it.


I've waited a long time for this, and can't WAIT to cook something from it! Woo-hoo!


I just got your cookbook in the mail yesterday from Amazon, linked from your site- I tried Jessica's Biscuit and it wasn't there, and didn't have time to call or check Cody's in Berkeley. I had been eagerly waiting for it since last week and was not disappointed. This burger recipe was the first that I honed in on for making asap. Love the book and can't wait to try this recipe and others!


If I could find a veggie burger here, like this one - I would be eating one every day - twice a day! Looks delcious. Congrats on your new book!


Heidi this burger looks divine.so fresh u cant resist it.I checked with my bookstore in HK but they still havent got your book.He's trying to get it for me as i'm not big on buying stuff online.Cant wait to get it though.Just love the photography on your blog.


Congratulations Heidi - that must have been a real buzz! I'm eagerly waiting for the book to appear in the UK - I think its due out at the end of the month here.


This recipe looks great. I've never seen sprouted garbanzos in the stores, but I've had sucess at sprouting other beans, so I will have to try and sprout some for this recipe.

I haven't seen the book in stores yet, but then I live in a fairly small town. I'll probably just end up ordering it on Amazon.


Congratulations Heidi -- after all the hard work I know you put into it, it's got to be gratifying to see your brainchild on real store shelves. I know I'll be looking out for it at my local bookstores!


Congratulations on the book release Heidi!! Thats Wonderful!! I am going to find out about its availability here at our local Borders Bookshop. That burger looks like a spring garden, so pretty :)


Congratulations, it must be such a thrill to walk into a store and see your own book- kind of like looking at your new baby through the nursery window! Your veggie burger even made my meat-loving husband lick his chops!

Deborah Dowd

That's so funny, because I bought your book at Nest last week... I was so excited to see it... and even picked up some Moroccan glasses while I was at it! I love that store. The book is gorgeous - well done!

Jennifer Jeffrey

Oh! Congrats to you about your book. I know your blog has been keeping me drooling, er, reading for some time. I'm sure the book will do the same!


about how many days does it take garbanzos to sprout?

How long to soak the beans?

One more: any dry garbanzos will sprout?


First time here and oh my- that looks delicious. I love the photo and what a great idea to turn the patty into the bun. I can't wait to try this, as well as look for your book.


Heidi, I know how fun it is to see something you've worked SO hard on out in public for everyone to see...my poor husband still has to listen to my "go me!" cheers when I see one of my ad campaigns published! Congrats, and I can't wait to get my hands on your book.


This is really similar to falafel patties. Just bigger and burger shaped. The combimnation of garbonzo's and cilantro - fried together is a winner. :-)

Little wave

warm greetings from london!
i adore your recipes and will be buying your book for all my friend's birthdays!

one question.. i am on a gluten free diet currently. hopefully not forever, but what could i use instead of the cup of wole grain breadcrumbs? gluten free flour?

thank you!


I sure hope you didn't miss my comments on your lovely book...v



That is pretty amazing, I saw your book too in a shop near me. I am not a vegetarian but some of my family members are and this veggie burger might be a great idea on July 4th. Thanks!


Heidi-- I was just on vacation in Colorado and saw your cookbook on sale at a shop in Boulder. Congrats!


Hooray hooray hooray! It's beautiful and I can't wait to own it. Congratulations.

RookieMom Heather

Oh, that must be such a great feeling and something you take with you, no matter what. Congratulations on the book - looking forward to reading it, and more importantly, cooking from it!


sounds delicious - i just saw sprouted chickpeas yesterday - and funnily enough i just ate a yummy sandwich on whole grain w/ tandoori quorn i made (do you use quorn heidi?) w/ roma, avo and melted jack, mayo and cholula... mmm!

can't wait to get your book heidi! and congrats!


oh boy - and just when I thought I would get through a month without adding to my collection - the recipe looks luscious Heidi and will be on the dinner table for my garbanzo loving husband this weekend!

also a thought - Trader Joe's were selling frozen green garbanzo beans which look as though they might be an interesting cross between sprouted and canned - I have a pack in the freezer which I will use and let you guys know what they were like.


I got my copy of your new cookbook today here in France, Heidi, and I am absolutely in love with it. I think it would do very well in French as well. It has got me really inspired.

Lucy Vanel

I spotted your book in two different places in Portland (OR): Powell's Books and In Good Taste, a cooking school and cooking/food shop.

At Powell's for Cooks & Gardeners (one of their specialty branches, on SE Hawthorne), it's one of their new, highlighted books in the front of the store, with a small staff review.



Congratulations, Heidi! The book is beautiful.

This reminds me of a "rice burger" that is served in a popular fast food chain in Japan. The bun is made out of pressed together rice, with some sort of glaze if I remember correctly. Yummy. I must try this one as well. Thanks.


congrats on the book! I'm so looking forward to checking it out! best wishes to you!


Congratulations! You're book is lovely. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. I received the book via mail from Amazon last week and have tried several recipes. I love the crunchy white beans and the espresso banana muffins. Can't wait to try more!


I think we all would have been proud to be embarassed for you!

Congratulations! You have created a definitive book for our generation. What an honor it is to know you and

now I'm gushing. : /

Can't wait to have one of my own!

shuna fish lydon

Congratulations! I couldn't imagine the excitement that you're feeling.

Once I venture from my school's campus and into a book store I will definitely search for you book to add my collection!


I made these veggie burgers for dinner tonight--huge hit. Served them with a big platter of avocado, roasted veggies, sprouts so folks could create their own masterpieces. Great recipe and clear instructions. Thanks!


Just ordered my copy yesterday! I can't wait to get my hands on it...

Congratulations, Heidi! You must be on top of the world.


Love your site and can't wait to find your book in NJ.
Here is another review of your book by Kim O'Donnel. She writes a blog and hosts a chat for the Washington Post.


Congratulations on seeing your book out in the real world!!! How exciting!!!

I really like your veggie burger, what a great concept, and the picture looks incredible.

All the best,

Monika Korngut

Your veggie burger was awesome!!


Congrats on the book release!


I must make these some time soon. . . . First I'll have to figure out a way to con my boyfriend into eating them. . . . . . .


Veggie burgers are a staple in our house, so I'll be looking forward to trying these soon!

Congrats on your cookbook and thanks for sharing your inspired recipes and photos (love-love-love them!!!) with all of us. They are truly works of art.

Sarah Mac

I LOVE nest. I had forgotten I hadn't been there in a while. Thanks for reminding me of it and congratulations once again. You don't need me to tell you how great your book is, I am sure you must already know it.

thank you thank you




I marched out at lunchtime and purchased your book. I am so excited, it is gorgeous and I can hardly wait to delve in to cook from it. The photos alone made for a nice lunch time companion. After first finding Cook 1.0 in the library, shortly after that buying my own and then using it to death, I am grateful you have continued the cookbook odyssey!


Hi there! I'll be buying it at Powells Books here in sunny (!) Portland, Oregon, where it is in stores in 4 locations and on Powells.com! I can't wait!


Saw it today at my fave Vancouver bookstore, Duthie's Books. It's lovely,and I'll be making the lentil soup with squash and tomatoes to try and combat our chilly spring rains.


Bought this at the Powell's books for cooks store in Portland Oregon, I got the last copy from the "featured" section. I sell specialty foods to restaurants (like several colors of quinoa for example) and it's nice to see these foods treated as everyday nutritional goodness instead of "specialty." Thank you!

Jen O.

i will check out your book!


i ran into borders yesterday (long beach, ca) and as i was browsing the food section i saw your cookbook and i had to buy it. it is great and i can't wait to start cooking out of it. i love the design, size and layout. very easy to follow instructions and a good size to lug around. congratulations!


I just picked up the cookbook last night. It's beautiful. The recipes look great, but it offers so much more than that. Thanks for such a beautiful book!


You all are the best! Thanks again for being so supportive. Let me know which recipes you end up trying.

McAuliflower - re: sprouting garbanzos, quite honestly, I usually just buy mine pre-sprouted. I'm trying to remember where I read a fantastic primer on sprouting...I could have been in Renee Loux Underkoffler's Living Cuisine (not positive though).

Amber, I suspect you could substitute any crumbled gluten-free crackers and give that a shot.

Kari, I actually don't eat Quorn. In fact, I stay clear of the "fake meat" products these days - a lot of them are hyper-processed, and use questionable ingredients.

Tim, yeah - give this recipe a try with black beans. You shouldn't have a problem.

I made a pretty cool pasta salad this afternoon I'm looking forward to sharing tomorrow. Thanks again to all of you all your support, encouragement, and feedback! -h


yummy! I love sprouts!


Hey Heidi, I made your Big tasty Quinoa bowl the other week and have been raving to everyone about it - I love quinoa but am still learning best ways to cook it, so this recipe was perfect.
I'm a vegan, but would love to try these burgers - do you think egg substitute would do or should I try something else?



first time i come here~
so many beautiful foods in this blog~
i like cooking and baking very much~
hope to get more interesting here

YOYO's food

HI Heidi,
I wanted to tell you that I love your blog and got the chance to see your book for the first time this weekend at a book show in Portland, OR. It's one of the more beautiful cookbooks that I've seen in a few years. Your photos are incredible--they enhance an already gorgeous book! I can't wait to buy my copy and start cooking from it! OH, and thanks for making the cookies, they were delicious!!!

austin Walters

I picked up your book on Friday and haven't put it down all weekend. Thank you for creating an honest book on natural cooking.



This recipe looks v.good, but sprouted garbanzos aren't common fare even in Manhattan. I went ahead and started sprouting my own and am on the second day. Here is a pic:


I have never sprouted garbanzos before. Does anyone know how long should the root or sprout be before I harvest? I am guessing another two days max, say and inch to an inch and a half root, but I am not sure.




Dear Heidi, The excitement of seeing your book in the local store has also percolated to us. Would love to get our hands on the book. Will have to see if it is available locally. I can really understand the excitement. Exactly how we felt when our book " Cooking at Home with Pedatha ' was released. The veggie burger sounds good, just one question though. Can this recipe be tried without the eggs?


excellent, excellent, i've been thinking of becoming a vegan but never really did it because i thought there aren't any goodies to eat. well, you've proved that idea wrong! congratulations, you've just made me vegan. THANKS SO MUCH, I'M SURE I'LL BE LIVING BETTER!

Jaime Palma

Just bought supernatural cooking at Borders in Brighton, Mi. Have leafed through it and it looks great!


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