You don’t have to be a vegetarian to drool over our veggie burger recipe made with gorgeous beets, creamy feta, and smoky spices. One juicy bite of these savory veggie patties, and we promise you won’t say “Where’s the beef?”
These are not the kind of meatless burgers that are designed to fool meat-eaters and taste just like meat. The best veggie burger recipe should satisfy the cravings of both those who are passionate about plants and those who are passionate about burgers — and these do just that. These veggie patties are meatless, but they’re definitely not beetless — just look at that color — which means that they’re full of flavor and put vegetables at the center of your plate. Plus, we made them even more irresistible with the addition of rich and tangy feta cheese. So if your only image of a veggie burger is a mysterious, over-processed patty that’s gummy and gray, these healthy and hearty patties will definitely change your mind.
A lot of veggie burger recipes take all afternoon to make and call for an extensive ingredients list. But we kept our ingredients list approachable — you’re not going to have to make a pilgrimage to the local health food store to get any of this stuff. And though making the patties does take a bit over an hour start to finish, almost half of that is just sitting time. The egg and rolled oats are great binders, so these won’t fall apart like some beet burger recipes — but even so, don’t skip the resting step because it makes the ingredients hold together better so these will be easy to work with. You could even make these whole burgers ahead of time and let them sit overnight in the fridge — and once you see how tasty these are, you might want to double the batch and freeze a bunch of burgers to eat throughout the week.
Some recipes ask you to roast the beets before you make the patties, but that sounds like making two meals to us. (Plus studies have shown that longer cooking times diminish the nutrients in beets — and since nutrient-rich beets are busting with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and folate, we want to keep all that good stuff in there.) These wholesome beet patties are seared in a cast-iron skillet to get a nice char, while the tender (not mushy) interior has a substantial bite that’s never crumbly or dry.
The flavor is earthy, sweet, fresh, and a little bit smoky, so these beet burgers taste amazing enough on their own that you could serve them as-is with a side salad. Or dress them up the way you would any quarter-pounder: with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, more cheese, ketchup and mustard, and sesame seed buns. For a lower-carb meal, lose the buns and wrap them in sturdy cabbage leaves. The fixings are optional, but we can all probably agree that fries are not.
Beet and Feta Burgers
Makes 6 burgers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
- 3 medium red beets (about 1 pound)
- 1 medium onion
- 1⅓ cups crumbled feta cheese (about 7 ounces)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, or other herbs
- salt, to taste
- optional: 6 hamburger buns, pickles, lettuce, tomato, condiments, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise
- Peel the beets and and grate them on a box grater, or use a food processor with the grating blades attached. Set aside.
- Peel the onion and grate it on a box grater or food processor. Once grated, squeeze some of the extra liquid from the onion, and set aside.
- Grate the garlic using a box grater, food processor, or garlic press and set aside.
- Place the grated vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the grated vegetables (except the optional ingredients), and mix everything well.
- Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes, so the oats can soak up the liquid and the mixture comes together. (Don’t skip this step because it makes sure that the patties will hold together while cooking.)
- Try shaping a patty with your hands. If the mixture is too loose, add a little more oats.
- Divide the burger mixture into 6 even portions and and shape between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns, if using.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few teaspoons of olive oil to the pan. Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding, for 3-5 minutes on each side. (There should be a nice crust on each side). If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat them back into place with the spatula.
- If they have already browned to your liking before they are finished cooking through, transfer the patties to a 350°F / 175°C oven to finish cooking through.
- Serve on a bun and with your favorite toppings.
Eating clean? Detoxing from red meat? Try our portabella veggie burger recipe.
Recipe adapted from Food52.