By now we’ve probably all had the classic California veggie burger at least once. Packed with veggies and grains and that perfectly balanced blend of spices. Now you can make your own copycat Dr. Praeger’s or Amy’s California garden burger at home! It’s a simple recipe with basic ingredients. It’s light and filling, so it won’t leave you feeling bogged down. This high protein veggie bean burger is easy to make and will be your new summer go-to meatless option!
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The veggie burger recipe I’m sharing today is inspired by a similar burger I’ve had so many times throughout my life, and I’m pretty sure you probably have too. I always seemed to get my favorite veggie burger in the most random places like hospital cafeterias, my college orientation BBQ, and the diner on the corner in our neighborhood.
To this day I do not know what brand that veggie burger is, but it was always the best experience. I’ve never been able to find out the name, but I’ve always remembered irresistible flavor, and it was my favorite back in the vegetarian days of my early 20s.
Anyway, I knew it had corn and peas and edamame and shredded carrots and red peppers. And when i did some research I learned that this style of veggie burger is referred to by several brands, like Amy’s Vegetarian and Dr Praegers, as a “California” Veggie burger. All this time, and I had no idea. Now it was time to make my own signature California veggie burgers in my own kitchen.
Today I’m sharing this wonderful classic plant-based veggie burger recipe with you. This is everything I love in a veggie burger. It’s chock full of veggies, NOT trying to be a burger (we have our TVP Burgers for that), but flavorful AF with a flavor that keeps you coming back for more.
What makes these the best veggie burgers?
- Great flavor – No bland veggie burgers here! Just an amazingly enjoyable food experience with simple vegan foods.
- Packed with vegetables – Great way to trick yourself into getting so many vegetables in your daily diet.
- Perfect for meal prep – You can make a bunch ahead of time and freeze them for later. Veggie burgers make GREAT freezer meals.
- Versatile – There are lots of substitution options to have it your way.
California Veggie Burger Ingredients
What is in a California veggie burger? Popular burger brands like Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods and Amy’s Organic California Burger are usually made with a mix of organic vegetables, spices, and grains like oats or oat bran. Both brands are certified vegan free of animal products.
Amy’s ingredients are listed on their website as organic mushrooms, organic bulgur wheat, organic onions, organic celery, organic carrots, organic oats, organic walnuts, organic wheat gluten, organic potatoes, sea salt, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic garlic. Amy’s brand contains tree nuts, but Praeger’s does not.
In our homemade California veggie burger, we’re using:
- Flax egg (ground flaxseed + water): This will be our burger binder!
- Frozen peas
- Shredded carrots
- Red pepper
- Jalapeno – For a touch of spicy!
- Frozen edamame
- Red onion
- Fresh garlic
- Frozen corn
- SPICES: Cumin, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper
- Lime juice – To brighten things up!
- Brown rice – Cooked
- Corn meal
How to Customize Your Veggie Burgers (Substitution Options)
Any time you make changes to a veggie burger recipe, you want to make sure you pay attention to the overall texture of the final mixture. If it’s too dry, add a little liquid until it comes together. If it’s too wet, add some more of the dry ingredients (like cornmeal) until it’s coming together and staying together.
For the flax egg: Feel free to sub chia seeds for the ground flax. You could probably also try an egg replacer like Neat Egg or Bob’s Red Mill.
For the edamame: You can sub other beans for the edamame like fava beans or baby lima beans, sometimes called Green Baby Limas.
For the spices: I’d keep the total amount of spices you use similar to the amount suggested in the ingredients list, but feel free to swap out one seasoning for another. Have fun with your favorite flavors here!
For the brown rice: I have not tried this with other types of rice, cooked barley, or cooked white or jasmine rice, but I think it could potentially work.
For the veggies: You can use this recipe as a framework for using up veggies and making your own veggie burgers based on what you have in the fridge. Any time you’re replacing one veggie with another, I would make sure they’re somewhat similar in texture/water content. Like, cauliflower for broccoli or green pepper for red pepper. But other than that, have fun with some uncommon combinations and just pay attention to that final texture of the mix. See the note at the top of this section.
How to Make Basic Veggie Burgers
This recipe definitely takes some knife skills and prep time (or a good food processor to help you along!), but it results in a nice large batch of freezer-friendly burgers making it perfect for meal prep. Cook once, and have veggie burgers for weeks! These cooking instructions will take you each step of the way.
Step 1: Prep
This step is important, because there are lots of veggies to chop here!
Step 2: Saute
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add the pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and seasonings and stir to coat. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are soft and fragrant.
Add the edamame, peas, broccoli, carrots, and corn. Stir to combine and cook on medium heat (uncovered) for 4-5 minutes. Mix in the rice, lime juice, and lime zest. Cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.
Step 3: Make the burger mix.
Step 4: Form the burgers.
Using clean, dry hands, form 8-10 (1/2-cup) patties and set them on a plate or baking sheet until you’re ready to cook them. I like to squeeze the mixture into a ball (squeezing tightly is important to compact the mixture!) before gently flattening it out and cleaning up the edges.
Step 5: Cook the burgers.
We recommend pan-frying these veggie burgers for best results, but we’ve included baking and air frying instructions as well!
To pan-fry the burgers: Pan-fry with 1/2 Tbsp refined coconut oil on medium high heat. Cook burger for 5 minutes on each side.
To bake the veggie burgers: Bake at 400F for 20 minutes on parchment or an oiled baking sheet, stopping to flip them halfway through.
To air fry the California burgers: Lightly spray your air fryer with oil (or use a piece of air fryer parchment) and air fry the burgers in batches as needed at 400F for 12 minutes, stopping to flip once halfway through.
How do I keep my veggie burgers from falling apart?
When forming the burgers, squeeze them really tightly in your hands. Form it into a ball and then squeeze the ball tightly. Flatten this into a patty, and then go around the sides and make sure there are no cracks and squish the mixture together where there are cracks.
Sometimes if your burgers are falling apart, it means your mixture is too dry and you may want to add a teaspoon of warm water at a time until the mixture comes together more easily. Be careful not to add too much liquid though or you’ll get a wet and mushy burger!
Can you cook veggie burgers on the grill?
These aren’t the ideal veggie burgers to cook on a grill because they’re a lot of veggies that could potentially fall off between the grates. A thin, lockable grilling basket with a handle you can flip, often used for veggies, works great for veggie burgers! Check out this one from Shizzo.
How to Serve Vegetarian Burgers
Let your burgers cool slightly on a wire cooling rack or paper towel. Serve on burger buns with your favorite toppings. Ours are vegan ranch, guacamole or avocado slices, lettuce, and tomato!
What toppings go on a veggie burger?
The perfect veggie burger is completely unique to you, but here are some of our favorite toppings.
- Classic lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, pickles combo works
- Our vegan burger sauce is a great option
- Avocado or guac and raw or sauteed red peppers
- Spicy Avocado Ranch Sauce!
Veggie Burger Sides:
- Any store-bought fries or chips for an easy route
- Healthy Cast Iron Potato Wedges
- Side salad with vegan caesar dressing or Italian vinaigrette
- Vegan Broccoli Ranch Twice Baked Potato
- Pan-seared spicy green beans
- Corn on the cob
How to Store Leftover Plant-Based Burgers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can also freeze for up to 10 weeks. We like to freeze them on an ungreased baking pan first and then move them to our Stasher 1/2 gallon silicone bags.
To reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave at 75% power wrapped in a paper towel for about 60 seconds. You can also reheat in a lightly oiled skillet on medium-low heat covered, stopping to flip it every few minutes until it’s hot throughout.
Can you freeze the mixture if you don’t use all of it? Yes, but I would just go through and make them or at least form them and freeze them on the baking sheet before putting them in freezer safe bags. That way you also you don’t have to defrost one giant block and can defrost one burger serving at a time. You could also freeze the burger mixture in ½ cup Souper Cubes and defrost small portions.
More Vegan Burger Recipes
If you make these California veggie burgers recipe, we want to hear all about your experience!
Let us know by rating the recipe and leaving a comment below. We LOVE when you do that, and it helps others like yourselves find our vegan recipes!
Cheers, friend. Enjoy!
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 Tbsp water)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced red pepper
- 1/3 cup diced red onions
- 2 Tbsp minced jalapeno
- 3-5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen edamame
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3/4 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/3 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 Tbsp lime zest
- 1 cup cornmeal
- Prep: If you haven’t already, cook the rice, chop all your veggies, and mix the ingredients for the flax egg in a small bowl. Set this aside until ready to use.
- Saute: Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan on medium high heat. Add the pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and seasonings and stir to coat. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are soft and fragrant.
- Finish veggies: Add the edamame, peas, broccoli, carrots, and corn. Stir to combine and cook on medium heat (uncovered) for 4-5 minutes. Mix in the rice, lime juice, and lime zest. Cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.
- Make the burger mix: Add the contents of your saute pan to a large food processor and pulse 3-6 times just to break everything up a little bit. You do NOT want to puree it. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender. Transfer this mix to a large mixing bowl and add the cornmeal and flax egg. Mix until totally combined and let it cool down a bit before forming the burgers.
- Form the burgers: Using clean, dry hands, form 8-10 (1/2-cup) patties and set them on a plate or baking sheet until you're ready to cook them. I like to squeeze the mixture into a ball (squeezing tightly is important to compact the mixture!) before gently flattening it out and cleaning up the edges.
- To pan-fry the burgers: Pan-fry with 1/2 Tbsp refined coconut oil on medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Make sure you heat the oil in the pan before adding the burgers. (See notes for alternate cooking instructions.)
- To serve: Let your burgers cool slightly on a wire cooling rack or paper towel. Serve on burger buns with your favorite toppings. Ours are vegan ranch, guacamole or avocado slices, lettuce, and tomato!
- To store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can also freeze for up to 10 weeks. We like to freeze them on a baking sheet first and then move them to silicone freezer bags. (See notes for reheating instructions.)
Alternate Cooking Instructions
- To bake the burgers: Bake at 400F for 20 minutes on parchment or an oiled baking sheet (for extra crispness), stopping to flip them once halfway through.
- To air fry the burgers: Lightly spray your air fryer with oil (or use a piece of air fryer parchment) and air fry the burgers in batches as needed at 400F for 12 minutes, stopping to flip once halfway through.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave at 75% power wrapped in a paper towel for about 60 seconds. You can also reheat in a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat covered, stopping to flip it every few minutes until it’s warmed through.
Serving Size:1 burger
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 556mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.