Kitchn Love Letters

This Is the Only Veggie Burger Recipe You’ll Ever Need

published Aug 5, 2023
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Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn

When I am developing a recipe, I spend a whole lot of time obsessing over it. The true test of a successful recipe, however (at least in my book), isn’t just one that I’ve tested again and again to get exactly right — it’s one I keep making for my family and friends years after it’s published. This veggie burger recipe is one such example. 

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I am reminded of its perfection every summer, when I dust off the recipe (I unfortunately don’t have all my own recipes memorized) and make a batch for the umpteenth time. I know I am biased, but I created these patties as a way to solve my personal frustrations with every other veggie burger recipe I’d followed with dry, fall-apart results. 

Why I Love These Veggie Burgers

I was a vegetarian for years and worked my way through countless veggie burger recipes over that time. Every single one of them could never hold up on the grill next to the beef burgers without bits falling through the grates when flipped. They also tended to contain a laundry list of ingredients. 

This recipe only contains seven ingredients — most of which you might already have in your pantry, like canned black beans, rolled oats, and walnuts. What makes them truly brilliant, though, is the binder. After diving deep into veggie burger research, I discovered the secret in my work copy of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Author Mark Bittman suggests using miso paste rather than the usual egg. Not only does this make these patties naturally vegan, but it also provides the deeply umami-rich flavor that most veggie burgers are missing. 

How to Make These Veggie Burgers 

These patties come together in minutes in the food processor. You’ll start by blitzing oats, walnuts, and scallions together until a coarse meal forms. Next you’ll add black beans, grated carrot, white miso paste, and chili powder and process until the mixture just comes together but is still a bit chunky. Form six patties, then head out to the grill.

If You’re Making These Veggie Burgers, a Few Tips 

  • Toast the walnuts: It’s one extra step, but it’s another one to lend a deeply savory flavor to these patties.
  • Shred the carrot in your food processor first: If you’d rather not take out a box grater, use the shredding attachment on your food processor to grate the carrot. Transfer it to a small bowl and switch back to the blade attachment before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Double the batch and freeze them: While you’ll have to make a double batch in two rounds because it won’t all fit in the food processor, it’s worth the effort. These patties freeze like a dream for at least a few months. I freeze them on a parchment paper-lined baked sheet then transfer them to an airtight container once frozen solid. Thaw in the fridge overnight, if you remember, but I’ve also forgotten and instead let them thaw slightly at room temperature while I am heating the grill — just add a few minutes on to their cooking time.

    Get the recipe: The Ultimate Veggie Burger for Grilling