The art of the veggie patty should not be underestimated. I have tried plenty of recipes, some of which came out dry and tasteless, others that were so elaborate I forgot what I was doing half way through and others where I realised they just weren't going to work out as soon as they hit the pan. For me, there is little more satisfying than a big hunk of burger so finding the perfect recipe and perfecting the art of the patty has been a goal I have long wanted to achieve. Today I can say, "by George, I think I've done it".
A burger patty should meet four criteria:
- Tasty - a burger should taste comforting but not so comforting that it could have come from a dirty roadhouse diner
- Texture - a burger should also be slightly crispy on the edges with a soft, moist centre that still has some bite
- Simple - making a burger patty should be as easy as possible. No more difficult than making a bowl of mashed peas, I say.
- Nutritious - a criteria we may not all agree on but in my books, a burger should be nutritious enough to keep it on your weekly menu rotation and not cause you guilt
With those four criteria in mind, let's see how these burger patties stack up.
- Tasty - I think the name says it all. Who doesn't love peanut butter and Sriracha?
- Texture - these guys get a big tick of approval on that front. The zucchini keeps things nice and moist whilst the oats and flour binds it all together to make a crisp outer shell.
- Simple - the ingredients for these patties are likely to already be in your pantry and they can be made by hand or with the aid of a food processor. Either or, they only take about 10 minutes and the fuss-level is very low.
- Nutritious - with no need for frying, packed full of plant fibre (oats and chickpeas) and even a dose of greens, these burgers are nutrient-dense, with no bad fats and no sugar. Eat them as a burger, have them as a snack or put them on top of salad because these patties are GOOD FOR YOU!
A little bit more on plant fibre...
Plant-fibre is a miracle. Well, not exactly a miracle but it sure is something we could all use a bit more of. Having a diet rich in fibre is associated with longer satiety, smaller meal sizes, lower weight and a more nutrient-dense diet. Don't get me wrong, a good meat burger is not a problem but adding more plant-based recipes into your diet is only associated with good news and this burger recipe can be one of them. If you are a meat eater, having a dedicated plant-based meal is a good one to ensure you are boosting your plant-fibre intake and also getting the nutrients that plants provide including vital minerals, vitamins and antioxidants not found in meat. A good way to get started is to take part in Meatless Monday - a movement dedicated to increasing plant-based eating around the globe.
Back to the burger...
To assemble this patty into a burger, you will need a bun, salad mix and the avocado sauce (recipe below) which has been adapted from Pinch of Yum's recipe. For those wanting to skip the bun, a cabbage bun (as seen on Instagram) is also a delicious alternative if you still want that hand held feel or else, just add your patty to a big pile of salad, top with sauce and enjoy.
These burgers can be made both gluten-free and not, do which ever you please depending on your needs and pantry stock. You will notice the flour amount allows for less to extra flour. This is because you might need extra depending on how juicy your zucchini is. The flour will soak up the extra liquid so your patties don't fall apart in the pan.
As I said earlier, these patties are perfectly simple to make by hand but you can also use a food processor. This mini chopper is my go to appliance and makes food prep a very easy task. I've made them both ways and they both turned out great so do not worry if you don't have a processor on hand.
makes 6 patties
- Put your rinsed chickpeas into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until they are a chunky paste consistency.
- Add the diced onion, shredded zucchini, chopped coriander, oats, peanut butter, Sriracha, balsamic vinegar and garlic powder and combine well. At this point, you want the mix to be holding together but be a bit too wet. If it's not holding together, keeping mashing the mixture together until it does.
- Add the flour, salt and pepper and mix again, checking to ensure everything is still holding together. If your mix is still too wet, add one tablespoon of flour at a time until the patties can be shaped into balls without sticking to your hands or breaking apart.
- Divide the mixture into six portions and shape into balls, pressing them down to form flat patties.
- In a large, shallow pan heat enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot enough, place your patties in to cook for 3-5 minutes on either side or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
- Transfer the patties to some paper towel to cool slightly and then prepare your burgers accordingly.
1 BPA-free can of chickpeas, well rinsed
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 zucchini, shredded and strained*
A handful of coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped
3/4 cup rolled oats, gluten free if needed
2 tbsp salted crunchy peanut butter
1-2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tspn garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 cup flour or gluten-free flour (i.e. chickpea flour or corn flour) + extra if needed
A sprinkle of salt
A pinch of black pepper
A good quality vegetable oil or coconut oil for cooking
To assemble: 6 burger buns, cabbage, carrot, capsicum, coriander, salad leaves, avocado sauce
- *Strain your grated zucchini by placing it in a fine sieve and pressing the liquid out of it until next to no liquid comes out (it's hard to get it 100% liquid free so just do your best)
- You can store these patties in the fridge for up to 5 days after they have been cooked. Just re-heat when you're ready to eat. Otherwise, freeze leftovers for the next time you are craving a burger or need a quick meal.
- A slaw-type filling works best for these burgers to compliment the flavour of the patties. Feel free to use whatever you have in the fridge though.
This avocado sauce covers both your sauce and avocado needs by combining them into one. If you are a vegan, you can omit the greek yoghurt and increase the amount of avocado and water or use cashew cheese if you have it (this is what I used and it was delicious). You can find cashew cheese at most speciality grocery stores.
1. Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl or food processor and combine until smooth and creamy. Adjust by adding more water to reach your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning then you're ready to go!
Store this sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Any more and your avocado will go brown.
1/4 cup greek yoghurt or cashew cheese
1/2 cup coriander
1 small clove of garlic
1/4 cup water
1/2 a lime, juiced
Chilli flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste