The Best Veggie Burger Binder You’re (Probably) Not Using

updated Jun 3, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

You don’t need more than salt and pepper when forming ground beef burger patties, but when it comes to making veggie burgers, you’ll need an ingredient that serves as a binder. The binder holds the patties together and keeps them from falling apart as they cook, and can also add extra flavor to your burger.

Common veggie burger binders include eggs, flax egg, wheat germ, breadcrumbs, oats, miso paste, or even water. But I recently discovered a burger binder (that also doubles as a prime topping!) that’s the best choice of them all.

Mashed Avocado Makes the Best Veggie Burger Binder

As it turns out, avocado is so much more than just a topping for your burgers. When I saw it used as a binder in our new black bean burger recipe (one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever made, by the way), my first thought was Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Not only does creamy mashed avocado add the moisture the patties need, but it also adds a dose of healthy fat that makes the burgers more satiating. Avocado is also a great choice for vegan burgers, when using an egg as a binder isn’t an option, as well as gluten-free burgers. And because of its mild flavor, you won’t actually taste the avocado, you’ll simply be taking advantage of its great binding abilities. I highly recommend using the other half of the avocado to spread onto your burger buns.

How to Use Avocado as a Burger Binder

Even if it’s not called for in the recipe, you can swap in avocado as your burger binder. Plan to omit other moisture-rich binders, such as egg, flax egg, sauce, miso paste, or yogurt, and replace with an equal amount of avocado (typically about half a large avocado).

Since you’ll mash the avocado before mixing it with the rest of the burger ingredients, you’ll want to start with a soft, ripe avocado (save the firm avocados for pickling or fries). As a rule of thumb, the mixture for veggie burger patties shouldn’t feel too dry or too wet. It should be cohesive so that when shaped, it easily sticks together.

Use Mashed Avocado as a Binder in These Burgers