My ultimate veggie burgers are made with chickpeas, butternut squash, leeks, mushrooms, and tahini, coated with polenta (cornmeal), and gently fried until they are crispy on the outside but soft in the middle.
I was inspired to come up with these veggie burgers because so often when I make new recipes, some of my friends point out that they would love to try them out but can’t, due to gluten or soy issues. This makes me sad. My good friend, Gaelen, is unlucky enough to have both. This makes me really sad.
I thought it was high time, therefore, to come up with something that all of my friends can enjoy, whether they are vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, or have problems with gluten and soy.
And for me personally, I wanted something really filling and nutritious that I could have on fasting days. At only 160 calories per burger, these are perfect. Veggie burgers on a fasting day? Yes please!
Serve these veggie burgers in a bun or tortilla, with green salad, a little dressing of your choice, and maybe some tomato slices. Or forget the bun, and wrap in an iceberg lettuce leaf for a healthier, and low-calorie alternative.
Making veggie burgers
These ultimate veggie burgers are so easy to make: simply cut your squash in half, remove the seeds, place onto a baking tray, skin side down, fill the dip where the seeds were with water, and bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes, until the flesh is soft. While it’s cooking, gently sauté the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms, until they have caramelised, and come away cleanly from the skillet.
Roughly mash the chickpeas, and mix in the aquafaba, tahini, paprika, Vegeta, and parsley. Once the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms have caramelised, taste, and season with freshly ground salt and pepper, then mix into the chickpea mixture, along with the mashed flesh from the squash.
You should now have a firm but not dry, burger mix. Heat a little oil in a skillet, make patties, coat in polenta, and fry each side for 3-4 minutes, until they have a crispy golden crust.
These also work really well without the crispy coating.
By the way, this is what happened when I left amato mio alone with the veggie burgers while I was photographing a second batch as they were cooking…
Ultimate veggie burgers
- vegan (of course!)
- high in protein and fibre
- full of goodness (Vitamin A – 82%, Vitamin C – 19%, Calcium – 7%, Iron – 15% RDV)
- 5:2 Fast Diet-friendly
- really delicious
Make them now. Go on, you know you want to.
Ultimate Veggie Burgers
- 300 g 10½ oz) butternut squash cut in half and de-seeded
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 250 g 9oz leeks, washed and roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic smashed
- 450 g 16 oz mushrooms, finely sliced
- 300 g 10½ oz cooked chickpeas
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp Vegeta
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper – to taste
- Polenta grits, enough to coat the burgers
- Oil for frying
- Heat your oven to 220°C (425°F).
- Place the squash onto a baking sheet, skin-side down, fill the well (the hole where the seeds used to be) with water, and roast for 20 minutes or so, until soft.
- While the squash is cooking, gently sauté the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms in the olive oil, until they have begun to caramelise, and come cleanly away from the skillet.
- Roughly mash the chickpeas until you have a coarse paste.
- Add the ground flax seed, tahini, paprika, Vegeta, and parsley to the chickpeas, and mix in.
- Once the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms are done, add to the chickpea mixture.
- Pour away any remaining water left in the squash, remove the skin (cook’s treat – the roast skin is yummy!), and mash the flesh. Add to the chickpea mixture.
- Mix everything together well. You should now have a firm but not dry, burger mix.
- Taste, and season with freshly ground salt and pepper.
- Over a medium-high flame, heat a little oil in a heavy-based skillet, scoop up enough of the mixture to make into a ball a bit larger than a golf ball, flatten slightly, press each side into the polenta, and then place in the pan.
- Don't be tempted to move the burger around - you need to give it time to develop a crisp, golden crust.
- After 3-4 minutes, check to see if the bottom is done, if it is, carefully flip the burger over, and cook the other side.
- Serve in a bun, tortilla, or pita with green salad, a little dressing of your choice, and maybe some tomato slices. Or forget the bun, and simply wrap the burger in an iceberg lettuce leaf for a healthier, and low-calorie alternative.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml