Looking for an easy & healthy dinner idea? How about a little vegan chickpea burgers recipe number with a dollop of tahini and a splash of sriracha for a baked, gluten-free burger the whole family will love.
This post contains helpful tips and tricks to ensure success on your first attempt. Below, you'll find a handy table of contents with links. But if you're in a rush, please use the link at the top to jump to the recipe card at the end!
Table of Contents
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Given the ready-made vegan burgers so readily available, you might ask: why bother with a homemade veggie burger? Here's your answer: quality control. You can make your own delicious burgers in minutes and eliminate any questions about added oil, unpronounceable preservatives, and budget justification.
So why this burger recipe? Yep, there are a lot of veggie burger recipes. This one stands out for the simplicity of accessible ingredients, quick assembly, and flavor. It's rather unpretentious, with multiple options to fit what you have on hand.
🍔 Ingredients & notes
Chickpeas: Chickpeas or garbanzo beans have the perfect texture for veggie burgers. Use a 15 ounce can or 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas if you are cooking dry chickpeas from scratch. Be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas first.
Corn: This recipe uses either canned or frozen corn. If you use frozen (I did), thaw it. Place 1 cup of frozen corn in a mesh strainer and run it under hot water for a minute. Then leave it to drain while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Press it a little with the back of a spoon to release any excess water before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
Carrots: Grating the carrots makes them easier to blend with the burgers. If you are an ace chopper, finely chop them.
Cilantro: Use the leaves and tender stems of cilantro. It’s easier for blending if you rough chop them. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro (coriander), use parsley or a mixture of fresh herbs.
Tahini: Thick, nutty sesame seed paste helps bind the burgers and create a smoother blend. You can use sunflower seed butter or your favorite smooth peanut butter as a replacement if you need to.
Chickpea flour: Unlike wheat flour, chickpea flour is made from, wait for it, chickpeas. It's also known as gram flour or besan. Chickpea flour is a burger binder of note because it is sticky and gluten-free.
Sriracha: The sweet, garlicky, and spicy hot flavor of sriracha is an easy way to flavor veggie burgers. You can use any chili sauce you like including sambal Oelek. If you want to stick to fresh, chop up a jalapeno or other hot pepper. Another option is adding ¼-1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Cumin: Ground cumin accentuates the other flavors with its own earthy taste. If you use cumin seeds, pound them to break them up before blending.
Salt: Salt is optional because many folks watch their sodium consumption. Some burger ingredients, such as tahini, can contain added salt. You can also use a teaspoon of low sodium soy sauce for more umami flavor.
Combine the chickpea flour, cumin, and salt in a small bowl before mixing it with the other ingredients. This ensures the distribution of the spices.
Be sure that the chickpeas and corn are drained. You don't want to add extra moisture. When you pulse all the ingredients, keep in mind that texture is your friend. You want the ingredients to break down enough that you can form burgers that don't crumble but still have character.
After pulsing, add the chickpea flour, continue processing until you can't see the flour anymore. This means it's mixed in.
How to test and adjust veggie burger mixtures
Test the burger mixture by forming a ball. It should hold together and not immediately turn into mush. If it doesn't stick together, it may be too dry. Please, don't add extra moisture. Pulse the mixture for another 30 seconds. There is a lot of water in the corn and carrots. Breaking them down further is probably all you need.
If there is too much moisture, the ball will melt. Try mixing in another tablespoon of chickpea flour.
Another trick for making burgers firmer is to chill patties in the refrigerator for an hour. You can also make them a day ahead and have them ready to cook. Store the patty mixture in the fridge if you don't have room for individual patties. Make the patties right before baking them. Chilled burger patties may take an extra 5 minutes to bake.
⏲️ Burger cooking tips
Don't make them too thick if you want your burgers to be fully cooked, especially in the middle. This is the same principle you use for beef or other meat-based burgers. Thinner patties will cook quicker, with a firmer center. Thicker burgers take longer to cook, and unless you reduce the heat until right at the end of cooking, they can burn on the outside and be raw on the inside.
Be sure to preheat the oven before you add the burgers. Place the baking tray in the center of the oven. This helps the burgers to cook evenly.
The best method for determining if the burgers are ready to flip is to gently test them. If they don't loosen easily, don't force them. Lining your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat will help keep the burgers from sticking.
If the burgers start to crisp on the outside but remain soft in the middle, you may want to cover them for a few minutes with a piece of foil and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
A good substitute for chickpea flour for burgers is rolled oats or quick oats. Break them down by adding them to the food processor first and pulse them until they turn into a coarse powder. You can also use a different gluten-free flour. Alternatively, use wheat or all-purpose flour if you are not gluten sensitive.
You can cook chickpea burgers in the air fryer at 375 degrees F. for 10 minutes on the first side. If they are brown and firm in the middle, flip them and cook them for another 5 minutes. If you cook chickpea burgers on the grill, keep the heat low enough that they cook in the middle. Grilling can make it more challenging to keep the burgers from falling, so you may want to add an additional tablespoon of chickpea flour. Grill vegan chickpea patties over medium heat. You might consider a light spray of olive oil or brushing a bit of oil on the grill to help keep the burgers from sticking to the grill.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can still enjoy delicious chickpea burgers. Add the chickpeas to a large bowl and use a potato masher to crush them. Add the corn, tahini, and sriracha and continue blending. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop the onion and cilantro.
Serve chickpea veggie burgers with your favorite toppings. You can't go wrong with whole wheat burger buns (or gluten-free buns), lettuce, red onion, and a slice of tomato. The flavor of chickpea burgers compliments a lot of different condiments, such as vegan mayo, sriracha mayo, garlic aioli, bbq sauce, or pineapple chutney.
Turn your flavorful veggie burger into a main ingredient for a burger bowl or lettuce wraps with greens and classic lemon tahini dressing.
Store baked leftover burgers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can bake 1-2 burgers, place the remaining patties in an airtight container and bake them 1-2 days later.
This recipe is also a great meal prep because you can keep the patty mixture in the fridge, make a few burgers, and take it easy the next time.
Reheat chickpea burgers in a preheated oven. Either wrap them in foil or place them on a baking tray and then cover them with an oven-proof bowl or plate (something that won’t smash them). Uncover them after 10 minutes and let them crisp for 1-2 minutes. This will prevent them from getting too brown before they are warm on the inside.