The 10 Best Homemade Veggie Burger Recipes

 by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN

It's a veggie burger so it's healthy, right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, some packaged veggie burgers contain less-than-healthy, overly-processed ingredients. All of which you can avoid if you make your own.


It's a veggie burger so it's healthy, right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, some packaged veggie burgers contain less-than-healthy, overly-processed ingredients. All of which you can avoid if you make your own. Each of our tasty veggie burger recipes are made with clean, whole food ingredients and will boost your intake of plant-based foods. For best (and firmest) results, baking is the way to go for several of these veggie patties. Prefer grilling? Pick any of the three grilled burger recipes. For the rest, just cook the burger patties per directions in advance, chill, then spritz with natural cooking spray and grill until hot.

1. Buffalo Cauliflower Burgers

These vegetarian burgers take inspiration from Buffalo chicken wings, but there's no chicken in this recipe. Cauliflower is king here. Use purple cauliflower if you can find it. The purple color is an indicator of health-protective anthocyanins. Of course, all cauliflower is good for you. Providing the flavor essence of "wild" Buffalo wings is a notable amount of metabolism-boosting hot pepper sauce. The burgers can be served on whole-grain buns with blue cheese dressing and mesclun. Or go bunless if you prefer to curb carbs. CALORIES: 294.

Related: Full Recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower Burgers

2. Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers With Eggs

There's no need for a burger patty to be served in a bun, especially if there are already grains in the patty. When going bunless, make the add-ons memorable. You'll top each of these versatile black bean-based burger patties with kimchi, a fried egg and scallions. The kimchi is a spicy-sour preparation of fermented Korean vegetables, most often cabbage. It has probiotics ("friendly" bacteria) that may help improve digestion and boost nutrient absorption. Can't find kimchi at the store? Simply splash your Asian-inspired burger with hot sauce instead. CALORIES: 356.

Related: Full Recipe: Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers With Eggs

3. Grilled Vegan Pesto “Burgers”

One of the tastiest burgers is made from something that's not formed into a burger patty at all! A grilled portobello mushroom cap acts as the smoky and savory burger. The mushroom itself is a source of vitamin D -- so it's good for your bones and cheese-free. The mushroom is paired with grilled red bell pepper, velvety Hass avocado, crisp red onion, fresh alfalfa sprouts and a light garlicky vegan pesto, then served on a grilled sesame-seed bun. CALORIES: 291.

Related: Full Recipe: Grilled Vegan Pesto "Burgers"

4. Falafel Chickpea Burgers

If you like falafel, you'll love this new take. The falafel mixture is formed into burger patties and baked, rather than formed into balls and fried. You'll still get just-right richness and crispness, thanks to the extra-virgin olive oil and the high oven temperature. Either way, the chickpeas provide health-protective benefits from flavonoids and phenolic acids -- and so much more. Serve these falafel patties in whole-grain English muffins with tahini and lemon-dressed purple cabbage. Dress it up with additional accessories like bread-and-butter pickle chips, tomatoes and your favorite hot sauce. CALORIES: 397.

Related: Full Recipe: Falafel Chickpea Burgers

5. Sweet Potato Sliders With Guacamole

Burgers come in many shapes and sizes. Here, they're slider-sized so you can enjoy three of them, not just one! They're based on a mixture of organic tofu and sauteed sweet potatoes, red onion and garlic. Hummus and whole-grain breadcrumbs help the mixture form into patties. Cilantro adds distinct fresh flavor. And for more enticement, these vegan sliders are baked until brown and topped with guacamole. Drizzle them with hot sauce or spicy salsa verde for an extra punch in the palate -- and a kick to your metabolism! Finally, enjoy in crisp lettuce leaves rather than bread rolls to keep carbs in check. CALORIES: 417.

Related: Full Recipe: Sweet Potato Sliders With Guacamole

6. All-American Vegan Cheeseburgers

Have a hankering for a traditional American-style cheeseburger, but want to go meatless? Make this! The patty is vegan, so top it with vegan cheddar-style cheese to keep it totally plant-centered. But you can top this burger with natural sharp cheddar cheese for nonvegans. The patty uses lentils as a base for a hearty texture. By the way, lentils are loaded with fiber and folate -- so your heart will thank you for eating these "pulse" patties. Time-saving tip: Make the burger mixture in advance, cover and chill, then form patties and broil when needed. CALORIES: 425.

Related: Full Recipe: All-American Vegan Cheeseburgers

7. Grilled Portobello Cheeseburgers

A healthful cheeseburger? Sure! Simply use a grilled large portobello mushroom cap in place of beef and top with natural cheese like Muenster. You'll have all of the cheesiness, but without the excess calories and "bad" fats. Plus, you'll get a punch of ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant naturally found in mushrooms that may help protect the body's cells. You'll also be glamming these up with toppings for a bevy of bonus nutrients and added enjoyment, including creamy avocado, sharp onion and peppery arugula. CALORIES: 297.

Related: Full Recipe: Grilled Portobello Cheeseburgers

8. California White Bean Burger Salad

Can't decide between a veggie burger and a salad? Have both with this all-in-one meal. The burger is based on white beans and baby bella mushrooms along with garlic and cilantro for flavor. You'll serve it on a bed of greens lightly dressed with white balsamic vinegar. Then you'll top the burger with caramelized sweet onions. (Yum!) For extra lusciousness, top with both guacamole and the caramelized onions. Then simply enjoy a little of everything in each bite. It's a refreshing take on a vegetarian burger. It's packed with plenty of heart-health benefits too. CALORIES: 408.

Related: Full Recipe: California White Bean Burger Salad

9. Grilled Vegetable “Burgers”

If you're a fan of grilled vegetables, this one is for you. It's loosely inspired by a regular burger, but made with 100 percent veggies! The "bun" is grilled eggplant. The "burger" is grilled tomato. The "lettuce" is balsamic vinegar-dressed baby arugula. And the condiment of choice is vegan mayonnaise. Though abstract in nature, it looks like a rare burger when you cut into it. Yes, you'll definitely need a knife and fork to enjoy it. Serve with a white bean salad or other protein-rich side to round out the meal. It's a real pleaser -- even for meat eaters! CALORIES: 136.

Related: Full Recipe: Grilled Vegetable "Burgers"

10. Bunless Red Beet Burgers With Arugula and Goat Cheese

A classic culinary duo is beets and goat cheese. Those are transformed here into a clever burger. The patty is made with kidney beans, precooked brown rice, hemp seeds, grated raw beets, sauteed cremini mushrooms and red onion, plus seasonings, along with eggs for binding. Plus, it's filling due to the double whammy of protein and fiber, even without a bun. The ideal way to serve this is actually in a more carb-friendly manner -- with a salad on top. A light sprinkling of goat cheese elevates it even more. CALORIES: 337.

Related: Full Recipe: Bunless Red Beet Burgers With Arugula and Goat Cheese

What Do YOU Think?

Do you prefer veggie, turkey or beef burgers? Do you have a favorite pre-made veggie burger you buy at the grocery store or at a restaurant? Which ones? What are your favorite toppings for vegetarian burgers? Leave a comment below, and let us know.

Related: 16 Foods Dietitians Won't Touch


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