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Ultimate Veggie Burgers

    Ultimate Veggie Burgers

    If you miss the taste of hamburgers but don’t eat meat, you can always cook a vegetarian burger. This one comes through. It has a solid, meaty texture that absorbs the char and smoke of the grill but can also be cooked on the stovetop. Mushiness, caused by an abundance of moisture, is the bane of every vegetarian burger.

    To address this, water-rich items like mushrooms, tofu, beans, and beets are roasted to dry them somewhat and increase their taste. We know the list of ingredients seems vast, but a quality veggie burger requires various components. And they all contribute something unique to the dish, whether taste or texture. Remember to toast the buns, then add any toppings you prefer.


    • 4ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
    • Olive oil
    • ½pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
    • ¾teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
    • Black pepper, as needed
    • 1(15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
    • 1medium beet, peeled and coarsely grated (¾ cup)
    • ¾cup tamari almonds or cashews
    • ⅓cup panko bread crumbs
    • 2ounces Cotija cheese or queso blanco, crumbled or grated (about ½ cup)
    • 2large eggs
    • 2tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 2scallions, sliced
    • 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • ¾teaspoon dulce pimentón or sweet smoked paprika
    • 4ounces tempeh, crumbled
    • ½cup cooked brown rice


    1. Prepare a 425-degree oven. Reduce the moisture content of the tofu by patting it dry with a paper towel before slicing it into 1/4-inch thick slabs. Oil both sides of the tofu and spread it on half of a rimmed baking sheet. Mushrooms should be spread out on the opposite side of the baking sheet; stir with the remaining two tablespoons of oil and some salt and pepper.
    2. Spread the beans and grated beet in a single layer on a second-rimmed baking sheet and toss with one tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper.
    3. Bring in two baking sheets. For approximately 15 minutes, or until the beans are beginning to split and the beets are soft and golden, roast the bean-beet combination while tossing it periodically. About 25 minutes should be enough time to burn the mushrooms and tofu until they are brown and most liquid has disappeared. Wait until everything has cooled off.
    4. Put the nuts in the machine and blitz them until they’re in a coarse powder. Combine the cooled bean-beet mixture with the mushrooms, tofu, panko, cheese, eggs, mayonnaise, scallion, garlic, pimentón, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. You should only give it a few pulses to mix everything together. The tempeh and rice should be pulsed in but not overprocessed. Not a homogenous blend, but rather distinct pieces. Scoop the mixture into a bowl and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days (you can freeze the burger mix).
    5. To prepare the burgers, divide the mixture into six equal parts, then shape each piece into a patty about one inch thick. Put them back in the fridge until just before you’re ready to cook them. Initiating the grilling process from a chilly state yields superior results.
    6. Get the barbecue going. Burgers must be cooked on each side for 4–6 minutes over low heat to get a charred exterior and a solid bite. Move them to the edges of the grill to continue cooking over indirect heat if they start to burn before they firm up. These also work well when cooked over a low flame in a grill pan or a skillet.

    Make Ahead

    You may keep patties frozen for up to a month. Frozen patties should be thawed in the fridge overnight before being cooked.

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