Friday, May 7, 2010

Chickpea-chili veggie burgers

Can you believe I’ve never had a veggie burger on this blog? Then again, I’m not much of a burger person to begin with, so maybe it’s not that surprising. All I had to see, though, was the word "chickpea," and I knew this Urban Vegan recipe was for me. If you have any special kind of chili powder on hand, like ancho or chipotle, now’s the time to use it. If for some reason you don’t have chili powder at all, I’m betting this would also be good with paprika in its place. Maybe even garam masala, for an Indian chana-burger?! Ooh, I’ll have to give that a shot sometime...

15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp chopped roasted red pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 slices stale whole grain bread, crumbled
Up to 4 Tbsp vegetable broth or water
Up to 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
6 whole grain buns, split and toasted
Burger toppings, as desired

Place the chickpeas, red pepper, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, and 1 Tbsp olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. (I also threw in a teaspoon of my homemade vegan bouillon just to give it an extra herby kick, but it’s not required.) By the way, if you don’t have roasted red peppers on hand, or if you don’t want to open a jar for just 2 Tbsp, feel free to use raw red pepper.

Process, adding enough veggie broth or water to get the mixture smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the crumbled bread. (If you don’t have stale bread, just toast two fresh slices before crumbling.)

Process until fairly smooth, adding more broth or water if needed. Dough should be sticky but malleable. Transfer to a large bowl and add enough oats so that you can pick up the dough in your hands without it sticking (I actually ended up using just over 3/4 cup). Refrigerate the mixture for one hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and form into six (big!) patties. Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add three patties and cook, turning once, until each side is golden (probably 5-6 minutes total). Transfer cooked burgers to a plate, heat the other 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, and cook the three remaining patties.

Serve on toasted buns (or lettuce leaves) with any accoutrements you wish. Fries would be the natural choice for a side dish, but I made a warm corn-and-pea salad and savory pesto muffins as accompaniments. I ate my burger with black olive tapenade, making it feel kind of Italianesque (some Tuscan white bean dip would do the same trick). Topped with salsa or guacamole, this could become una hamburguesa mexicana. If you try my garam masala suggestion, I’d have it with Indian spice hummus. Or you can go the classic ketchup and mustard route; it’s up to you!

Yield: 6 patties. Per patty (without bun): 192 calories, 6.7g fat (1g sat), 28.6g carbs, 5g fiber, 5.6g protein.

If you like this, you might also like...
Tidy joes (vegan sloppy joes)
Roasted potato wraps w/black bean hummus
Curried tempeh-mango salad

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  1. Hey Amber! I am moving to Kansas City this fall and I am looking for some restaraunts/ grocery stores that offer veganish options. I try like hell to be vegan but it is so hard going out to eat! I went to a Mexican restaraunt last night and ordered black beans and corn tortillas with avocado and pico de gallo. I could tell right off the bat the beans had been cooked in pork fat and everything was covered in cheese. No fair! I hadn't broken my streak in weeks! Sincerely, Piper

  2. It's stupendously hard to find fancy chili powders like ancho and chipotle in Canberra (Australia, really), but I'm thinking smoked paprika could work well?

    And, um, pesto muffins? Pretty please with a cherry on top? :D

  3. Yum! I've made black bean burgers before, but never chickpea ones. I'll have to give these a try! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  4. This look wonderful! I actually wanted to jump up and make them right now! Ha! I think I had told you about the "veggie burgers" I made with chickpeas that didn't have much flavor. Yours look like they would have a lot more flavor! I'll let you know what I think when I get a chance to make them!

  5. love the cookies from the last post and also rick's restaurants in fun! I used to live in chicago (downtown) and had the best time going out to amazing places..what a fun trip for you!

  6. Chickpea burgers are a great idea! I love this recipe, it seems like yours have a lot of flavor and texture to them!

  7. Hehe....that's funny, because I made black bean burgers last night! Just about to post it, really. These look very good, and I'm loving the idea of chana masala burgers.

  8. That sounds great! I think the only dish I ever use Chick Peas in is Chili, time to try something new. Thanks.

  9. Piper—Ooh, you’re moving to KC?! I hope you love it! Despite our status as the BBQ capital of the world, there are plenty of options here for veg eating-out. I don’t even know where to start. Genghis Khan, Eden Alley, Füd, a plethora of Indian and Thai places, GREAT Mexican, so much more. If you see this, please feel free to email me at, and we can chat all about it!

    Hannah—Hmm, sounds like I’ll need to include a good chili powder in our bloggy swap, no? In the meantime, I think smoked paprika would be lovely.
    The pesto muffins didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, honestly, so it’ll take some tweaking before I can share it. But I’ll try to experiment with the recipe some more this summer when the good tomatoes hit the markets :]

    Aimee, Rachel, Lynsey, Linda—Thanks! Please let me know if you try them, and how you like them!

    Averie—I love Chicago! That’s so cool that you used to live downtown there.

    Hillary—I like the look of those black bean burgers, and your homemade ketchup! A chana masala burger does sound like an intriguing proposition, doesn’t it?