There’s been a lot of buzz lately about new varieties of vegan burger patties hitting the shelves at grocery stores around the country. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying your hand at making veggie burgers at home! When it comes to veggie patties, the choices are endless, but sometimes they can be a challenge to get just right. No one wants a burger that’s dry, bland or tastes like it’s just made from nuts and seeds! We’ve compiled a list of the best tips and tricks you can try since the official start of summer is right around the corner!
Sauté the Veggies Before Adding Them
Lots of veggie burger recipes include chopped carrots, celery, bell pepper, onions, and garlic. After all, it’s a veggie patty; you have to have some veggies in it. But if you just add those veggies raw, you’ll miss out on most of their aromatic potential. Sauté the veggies in a bit of oil first (or water) until they are softened and golden. Then, add them to the burger mix. Not only will you get all the delicious flavor of those sautéed veggies, but you’ll also be sure they are fully cooked when you bite into your burgers.
Use plenty of seasoning
Whatever the ingredients are in your veggie patties, make sure you add a good amount of seasoning – maybe more than you think. After all, the mix probably makes four to six burgers, so don’t be shy about adding a tablespoon of each spice you are using. Use your favorite spices and herbs to flavor up your patties. Are you making an Asian Black Bean Burger? Use ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder. Are you making a mushroom patty? Mushrooms love thyme. Is it an Italian-themed patty? Add oregano, basil and garlic. You can taste the mix before you cook it to make sure the spices are to your liking.
Use flavorful liquids too
The dry ingredients in a burger aren’t the only ones that count. Liquid ingredients are added for moisture but that doesn’t mean they can’t also add flavor. Tamari or soy sauce is a common ingredient but for a change in flavor, try vegan Worcestershire sauce or some balsamic vinegar. They can add complex notes that will make people wonder what magic you worked.
Make sure everything’s mashed well
Make sure all the ingredients are mashed well and chopped finely. Use a potato masher, a fork or your hands. While it’s nice to see and taste the individual ingredients in the burger, pieces that are too big will fall out and keep the burger from holding together. If you use a food processor, process until everything is just combined but don’t turn it into a soup. The mixture should feel firm and hold together. It shouldn’t be too wet or sticky. When you form the patties, the mixture should not stick to your hands too much. If it does, you need more dry ingredients such as flour or bread crumbs. If the mixture is too dry, it will crumble when you try to make patties. Add more moist ingredients.
Use complimentary condiments
We are long past the day when the only condiments for a burger were ketchup, mustard, and relish. If you go through all the effort to make a flavorful veggie patty, don’t skimp out on the condiments. It’s easy to whip up an herb aioli or mix some ketchup and vegan mayo together with some balsamic vinegar to make a super-tasty topping.
For more some great vegan dishes to whip up for summer BBQ’s, check out our two cookbooks in our online store!