Here at The Chubby Vegetarian, we think veggie burgers are burgers, too. That's right, we said it! Veggie burgers sometimes seem to get a bad rap and, okay, a lot of times, it's for a good reason.
The truth is that there are way too many over-processed, mushy, or otherwise unappealing versions of veggie burgers out there. Our aim here is to change that perception. To do that, we knew we had to simplify our go-to recipe, and in turn, make a burger that shines with flavor, has a great texture, won’t completely fall apart, and will appeal to just about everyone who’s willing to give it a try. This burger is vegan, gluten-free, and has only two main ingredients: mushrooms and rolled oats. It sounds strange, but we’ve been inching our way toward this recipe for more than a decade. In the past, we could make good veggie burgers that were complicated to make or simple burgers that were a stretch for some (Here’s looking at you, sweet potato burger !).
This recipe ticks all the boxes and passes the ultimate test: the Amy test. She may not always stick to eating just veggie burgers, but this one, she actually loves and even requests.
The World’s Best Veggie Burger
1 pound cremini or Baby Bella mushrooms
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
6 soft hamburger buns (like brioche or kaiser)
To garnish, your choice: mustard, mayonnaise (vegan or dairy), ketchup, pickles, sautéed onions, sliced tomato, lettuce, cheese (vegan or dairy), avocado, a fried egg, or whatever else you can dream up to put on your burger
Into the work bowl of your food processor, place the mushrooms and pulse until they’re very finely chopped but not blended. (You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your processor.) Into a large mixing bowl, place the chopped mushrooms and then the salt. Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes. You’ll notice that the water is being pulled from the mushrooms; do not discard that water! To the mixing bowl, add the oats and black pepper.
Using your hands, knead the mushrooms and oats together until well-incorporated. The mix will seem a little dry at first. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove the mixture and knead it once more. This time, it should resemble ground beef — seriously! 🙂
Divide the mixture into 6 equal balls. On a sheet of parchment or wax paper, press each ball into roughly a 4-inch patty. Make sure your patties have smooth, rounded edges because this makes them more structurally sound so they won’t fall apart.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. This sounds like a lot of oil to some, but remember, there’s no fat in the burger, and a burger needs some fat. Pan-fry the burgers three at a time for about 4 minutes per side. Add the remaining oil before cooking the second batch.
(We love to cover them with sautéed onions and melty cheddar before taking them off the heat, but hey, we all know that building the perfect burger is a very personal endeavor. We won’t assume to know exactly how you like it, so you decide the rest. However, we will say a fried egg on top is always an excellent idea.
Serve hot on a toasted bun topped however you’d like.