Sun-Dried Tomato Garbanzo Burgers

When I buy frozen vegan burgers, I tend to think of them as a vehicle for condiments.  It’s a rare day that I even notice the vegan burger has any flavor at all.  There are a few good ones out there, but after you’ve been vegan for awhile, they all start blurring together.  Due to this, I was inspired to get in the kitchen, and make a burger that could compete with a restaurant vegan burger.

This chickpea burger recipe tastes amazing, whether it’s grilled, pan fried or baked.  I even considered eating it without condiments at all, because it was just that good.  Once you put horseradish in a homemade bean burger mix, you’ll never want to leave it out again.  Because…wow, it works so well!  Topped with arugula, vegan mayo, a healthy slice of heirloom tomatoes and some kosher dill pickles, it’s was showstopper.

While the flavor for this recipe came together easily, it took more than a few tries for me to get the burger’s consistency right.  I wanted a burger that would hold together better than the average make-your-own veggie burger.  In the end, this recipe needs to be followed closely to achieve a burger that’s easy to flip, and stays 99% together while being eaten.

I can’t wait for you to try it! 😀

Sun-Dried Tomato Garbanzo Burgers

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

15.5 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup flat leaf parsley

¾ cup cooked wheat berries

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

2-2 ½ tsp prepared horseradish

½ tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp+ flax seed meal

2 Tbsp water

Salt and black pepper

1. In a medium skillet, add onions, garlic and olive oil.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.  Add to a food processor.

2. In the same food processor as the onions, add ~75% of the garbanzo beans (reserve some to add in later), parsley, ½ cup cooked wheat berries, lemon zest, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Pulse until ~85% of it is paste, but still has some recognizable bits of sun-dried tomatoes, wheat berries, parsley etc.  Stop to scrape it off the sides, and mix the top part into where the blades are a few times.  Spoon into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp flax seed meal with the water.  Let it sit and become “gel-like”.

4. Add the remaining garbanzo beans, the rest of the cooked wheat berries, horseradish, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, panko breadcrumbs, salt and black pepper to the burger mix in the mixing bowl.  Use the back of your mixing spoon to smash up the whole garbanzos a bit, and get everything well integrated.  Taste it, and make any adjustments to the flavor, if needed (more salt? more horseradish? more garlic powder?).

4. Pour in the flax seed meal, and mix well.  Form a burger with your hands.  If it still feels too sticky or is falling apart, add another 1 Tbsp of flax seed meal (without adding water), and mix well.  Let the burger mix sit for ~5 minutes, and then, mix it again. If it feels firm enough, start forming the burgers with your hands.  It should make 4 burgers.

5. TO PAN FRY: Add a 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil to a skillet, add burgers over medium-low heat.  When the burgers start sizzling turn down to low.  Flip after ~2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and at your level of preferred crispiness.  

TO BAKE: Preheat oven to 450 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or non-stick aluminum foil.  Drizzle some olive oil over the parchment or foil.  Add the burgers on top of the olive oil, and move them around a bit, so they are well coated.  When the oven is ready, add the burgers, and immediately turn down the heat to 400 F.  Bake for 3-5 minutes.  Flip, and bake for another 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  

TO GRILL:  Line the grill with non-stick aluminum foil.  Brush the burgers with olive oil.  Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are your preferred level of charred.  Remove from grill.  

6. Serve on a burger bun with your favorite toppings.

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