There are veggie burgers and then there’s vegan MEAT. These vegan burgers are most certainly the latter. A perfect blend of TVP and seitan make an irresistably meaty texture with beets for a nice but light pink color and seasoned to perfection. They’re also freezer-friendly, easy to make, and ohhhh so satisfying!
I was watching my parents’ house (and my sister-puppy!) a few weekends ago and therefore, on my own for dinner. T and I genuinely love cooking and eating dinner together, but these types of nights are fun too. It gives us each a chance to really tune into precisely what we’re craving and gift our souls with exactly that!
We always laugh at how different our dinners are when we do this, and this occasion was no different. T went with a giant veggie stir fry with a light vinegar sauce and not a cube of tofu or soy curl in sight. And me? A vegan bacon cheeseburger!
I laugh just typing this because it is oh so #typical of our tastes.
But let’s get back to that vegan burger, shall we? When I knew that’s what I was craving, I initially assumed I’d grab a pack of Beyond Burgers at the store and do something super easy. If you’ve tried those babies, you know how mind-blowingly awesome they taste. Seems like a no-brainer!
Vegan Burger Rebellion
But then, as I often do, I felt a jolt of rebellion. I wanted to make my OWN vegan burgers!
Not that I’m bashing vegan convenience food because…hahaha, that would be silly of me. I love that stuff! And I love how easy these products make being vegan these days. But sometimes, I just really love the empowering money-saving warror woman feeling I get knowing that I’m capable of making a kickass version of these foods in my own kitchen.
All that being said, these burgers? They effing rock.
It took a few tries to get them just right, but I can now say with confidence they are everything I ever wanted in a vegan burger!
They’re meaty and flavorful, no mush, NOT at all bland. Not to mention, easy to make and freezer-friendly! I based the recipe on our TVP meatballs that we looove.
And if you’re clueless on the TVP front, fret not! They’re kinda like little bits of dried tofu and can often be found in the health food section of your grocery store or wherever they keep the Bob’s Red Mill products. They’re rather affordable too! We typically order them online in packs of four like this and store extras in the fridge or freezer. They’re great to have on hand to throw into marinara sauces to make a quick bolognese or vegan chili!
How to Make Vegan Burgers
Since the TVP needs to be re-hydrated, we do that in a mix of spices and flavor-packed ingredients to really get the flavor going. You’ll cook everything up in your wok or a large, deep saute pan and then stir in some vital wheat gluten.
The wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill makes this stuff too!) is used as a binder, but we also like to knead it into the mixture for a minute or two. This activates the gluten and will create an incredible meaty texture. SO COOL! Of course, if you can’t do gluten, you can sub something like chickpea flour which will work but won’t produce the same super meaty result.
From there, you’ll form your patties, bake ’em up on a heavily oiled pan (which kind of faux-fries them), dress, and serve! I have yet to try these burgers in the air fryer, or on a griddle or grill but will report back as we do. They seem to hold up rather well, so I’d imagine they’d be good!
Other Veganized Comfort Classics:
Even though these vegan burgers are fantastic on their own, we have a ton of fun dressing them up with allll the toppings! I always opt for some rice paper bacon, vegan mayo, lettuce, and a slice of gooey melted vegan cheese. T loves sliced onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and a generous helping of ketchup. Have fun with it!
We can’t wait to see all the beautiful vegan burgers you’re going to create with this recipe. Let us know what you think by rating the recipe below and leaving a comment or tag us in your beautiful burger photos in Instagram! If you’re not already following along, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.
Now, go pour yourself a cold one and get into the kitchen. It’s burger time!
Yield: 5 burgers
There are veggie burgers and then there's vegan MEAT. These vegan burgers are most certainly the latter. A perfect blend of TVP and seitan make an irresistably meaty texture with beets for a nice but light pink color and seasoned to perfection. They're also freezer-friendly, easy to make, and ohhhh so satisfying!?
30 minPrep Time:
40 minCook Time:
1 hr, 10 Total Time:
5 based on 1 review(s)
- 1 15.5-oz can sliced beets
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp burger or steak seasoning (We used our Copycat Red Robin Seasoning .)
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/4 cup dry TVP
- 1 1/2 cups beet pure
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten *
- First, make your beet puree by dumping the whole can (water + all) into a blender or food processor. Fill the empty can to the brim with water and pour that in too. Then, blend on high until no chunks of beets remain. Measure out 1 1/2 cups from this mixture and set it aside to use in your burger. You can add the leftover beet puree to sauces, smoothies, and soups for a nutritious boost!
- Next, start your burgers: Heat the olive oil in your wok or a large, deep saute pan on medium heat. Add the minced onions and garlic, and your seasoning (steak seasoning / dried parsley / pepper / cumin). Stir to make sure everything is evenly coated and cook 3-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the TVP, the 1 1/2 cups of beet puree, and soy sauce. Stir, cover, and allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes, stopping once halfway through to stir. When you stir, be sure to scrape the bottom, so no TVP pieces burn.
- Remove from heat, stir in your vital wheat gluten, + allow the mixture to cool down for 5-7 minutes. You don't want to burn your hands! While it cools, preheat your oven to 350F and generously grease a large baking pan with refined coconut oil. When the mixture is cool enough to touch, get in there with your hands and start kneading the mixture for about 2-3 minutes. This will activate the gluten and make the burgers super meaty!
- Finally, let's form our burgers: Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and use clean, dry hands to form your patties. Be sure to pack them tightly and give each burger a little extra squeeze before placing them on the baking sheet. Bake them for 20 minutes, carefully flip each burger, and bake another 20 minutes.
- Now, it's time to have fun with toppings! I love vegan cheese, mayo, lettuce, and our rice paper bacon . Get creative, and ENJOY! Store leftovers in the fridge for a week or the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
*To make these burgers gluten-free, replace the vital wheat gluten with chickpea flour. This will produce a slightly less meaty result but still be delicious! Also, be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.