Award-Winning Veggie Burger Recipes

Award-Winning Veggie Burgers from Vegetarian Voice (NAVS magazine) Vol. 19, no. 1

I have never tried any of these burger recipes, but they were judged as being the best in a contest. See for yourself and see if they'll help you become a little bit more of a vegetarian. Personally, I like Light Life's American Grill Tempeh Burgers the best.

After these recipes is another set from another contest.

See Also

North American Vegetarian Society Website
Vegetarian Voice Online

Judges Choice: Tofu Burger yield: 6 burgers


  • 1 lb tofu
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon powder
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (or more) sesame seeds
  • 1 small scrubbed potato
  • 1/4 tsp. (or more) garlic powder
  • onion powder to taste, or one small onion
  • Grind the tofu, potato and onion (if using) in a food processor. Don't let it get too fine. Mix in remaining ingredients, shape into burgers and bake at around 350 degrees on a very lightly oiled cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes, turning once. They can also be fried.

    Marilyn Burgers yield: about 6 burgers


  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine
  • 1 carrot, diced fine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Add everything to the almonds. Make patties and fry in a little oil or broil. Handle carefully as not to break.

    BBQ Burgers yield: 3 burgers


  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetarian "bacon" bits
  • 1/2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash garlic powder
  • flour
  • Process walnuts in food processor and pour into a bowl. Process rice and pour in with walnuts. Saute onion in oil until tender and add to walnuts and rice along with the rest of ingredients except flour. Add enough flour to make patties. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Fry in a little oil for several minutes, turning occasionally. Serve on a bun with barbecue sauce and pickles.

    TVP Burgers yield: 3 burgers


  • 1 Vegex cube (or vegetable bouillon)
  • 1 tsp. Spike
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Gravy Master
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup dry TVP
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • Add Vegex, Spike, onion powder and Gravy Master to boiling water. Pour over TVP and let soak for 10 minutes. Saute onion in oil. Add to soaked TVP. Add chili powder, garlic, pepper, oregano and soy sauce. Add flour and stir until mixed well. Mold and flatten into three patties. Fry in a small amount of oil until nicely browned on each side. Serve on whole wheat roll or pita pocket with your favorite toppings.

    (Note: These made a scant three burgers. For two or more people, you might want to make more than one batch.)

    Refried Bean Burgers yeild: 10 - 12 burgers


  • 2 cups Fantastic Foods instant refried beans, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1/2 cup stock or water, if needed
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup toasted seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 cup raw grated carrots
  • 2 cups rolled oats or bread crumbs
  • Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. Freeze, then take out and fry or bake. Mustard can be added for a different taste.

    (Note: We did not add stock, because the mixture formed perfect patties without it. Although unspecified, we used short grain brown rice and sunflower seeds. We also made these a second time, eliminating the sunflower seeds and using an oil-free refried bean ix from Great Taste Adventures. This low-fat version was just as tasty.)

    Soy-Brazil Nut Burgers yield: about 20 burgers


  • 2 cups dry soybeans, cooked in 4 cups water in crock pot set on low for 12 hours (I'm sure you could just COOK them the usual old way!)
  • 5 medium carrots, raw, peeled
  • 1 cup Brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil
  • about 3 cups wheat germ
  • Puree cooked soybeans and raw carrots in blender. Grind Brazil nuts and mix all three together with tamari. Add parsley and basil. Mix in wheat germ for dough consistency. Form into patties and bake in oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

    (Note: Although unspecified, we chopped the carrots and blended them in several batches with the soybeans and cooking water. We used about 3 1/2 cups of wheat germ.)

    Spicy Mexican Bean Burger yield: 8 - 10 burgers

  • 16 ounce can of red kidney beans, drained and mashed
  • 1/2 cup small onion, coarsley chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, coarsley chopped
  • 1 carrot, steamed and mashed
  • 1/8 cup picante sauce or salsa (spicy or mild to your taste)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
  • dash of chili powder
  • Mix all ingredients together. Add more flour to create a firmer mixture, or more salsa if mixture is too stiff. Form into balls and smash into patties. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, until firm, brown and done. Serve on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato and salsa. Accompany with tortilla chips and a large glass of iced tea. These can be grilled or pressed in those new-fangled sandwich presses... a lot quicker and tastier than baking. [Author's note: "When I studied in England for a semester, I fell in love with Wimpy's Spicey Mexican Bean Burgers. Upon returning to the states, I struggled to recreate this burger. This is what I've come up with."]

    (Note: We cut back black pepper to 1/2 tsp. Although unspecified, we used whole wheat flour. We made these a second time, adding 1/2 tsp. of salt. Many of us preferred them this way.)

    Popeye Burger yield: 12 - 15 burgers

  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 1 cup french-style cut frozen green beans
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried chopped onions
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (seasoned, if desired)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/tsp. seasoned salt (ie, Vege-Sal)
  • 1 tsp. vegetable broth powder (ie, Gayelorde Hausers)
  • Thaw spinach in microwave. Microwave potato until completely cooked and then finely chop. Finely chop onion and pepper and soften in microwave. Mix all ingredietns together thoroughly in large mixing bowl. Form into thin patties (the thinner the better) and fry in a lightly oiled iron or "no-stick" pan. Serve on kaiser roll with sauteed onions, dill pickle slices, ketchup, Nayonaise and Vegan Yeast "Cheese" spread (not tested in contest).

    (Note: they go on how they softened foods using oven pans instead of using a microwave on a second try. Second Note: Since entering the contest, Keith Zimmer has reworked his recipe. He now eliminates the green peppers and green beans, reduces the rolled oats to 1/2 cup, adds 1/2 cup corn meal, and replaces the Vege Sal and vegetable broth with tamari, dijon mustard, tarragon, basil and parsley.) This recieved "High Honors for Low-Fat".

    Vegan Yeast "Cheese" (compliments of Abbot George Burke, so they say)


  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. non-dairy margarine
  • 1/4 tsp. prepared mustard
  • Mix dry ingredients in saucepan. Whisk in water. Cook over medium heat while whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles. Cook 30 seconds more. Remove from heat. Whip in margarine and mustard. Let cool slightly.

    Award-Winning Veggie Burgers from the Guide to Healthy Eating (July-Aug 1992)

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's sponsored magazine, the GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING (July-Aug, 1992), had a burger contest! With over 600 responses, the following is the grand prize winner plus some runner-ups. The really nice thing about veggie burgers is that they are so wonderfully varied with literally hundreds of versions: some being elaborate culinary works and others being as simply as a single slice of eggplant grilled just right. They can be made with Cajun, Italian, Indian, or Southern tastes. The following burgers were judge according to how well it: a) tastes b) holds up on the grill c) fairly easy to prepare using familiar ingredients

    The following is taken directly from this very fine publication, the GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING, which has now been discontinued and is soon to be replaced by a quarterly that will "bring together comprehensive and up-to-date articles that will help you to sort through the growing web of information on nutrition, health, and medicine".

    I don't normally post published recipes, but I have been told that the GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING is quite generous in allowing repostings of its very fine articles (you have already seen some posted by Wheeler). In the hopes of encouraging some readers to subscribe and support this valuable sourcespring of vegetarian information, I am here posting the following recipes for burgers. Their address is:

         Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
         5100 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Suite 404
         Washington, DC 20016

    Do support this non-profit organization by subscribing to their new quarterly. Now, with respect to the recipes below, you don't have to grill them but simply use your oven to bake them.


    Beet this Burger

    Our $500.00 grand prize went to the Vegetarian Society, Inc. of Los Angeles, California. Their "Beet This Burger" recipe was developed by lifetime society member Olinda Cho-Forsythe. Olinda is a native of Guatemala and a full-blooded Mayan. She developed her burger recipe in the kitchens of the Gran Fraternidad Universal, a fraternal organization dedicated to world peace and to promoting the vegetarian diet through its centers and restaurants throughout Latin America. The burger has the unusual addition of 1 tbs of grated beets -- just enough to give it a pleasant color.

  • 1 Tbs finely grated raw beet
  • 1/2 cup cooked oats (quick or regular rolled oats)
  • 1 cup uncooked oats (quick or regular rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup almonds, coarsely ground
  • 2 Tbs sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs Vegix seasoning or instant vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • Mix all ingredients together well. Form into patties and gill until cooked through. Serve on whole wheat rolls with tomato slices and your favorite condiments.

    Basic Bean Burgers

    Victoria Schiloni, who owns and operates a vegetarian catering service in Philadelphia, offered her Basic Bean Burger along with a peanut-y variation

  • 1 cup TVP granules (this is a textured vegetable protein. It is a soy protein product that is available in most health food stores)
  • 1 scant cup boiling water
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 16-oz can pinto, kidney, or other beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweetener
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • whole wheat flour for dusting
  • Pour boiling water over TVP and tomato paste in a bowl. Stir and let rest for 10 minutes. In food processor, combine TVP mixture and remaining ingredients except for flour. Pulse until mixture is almost a puree. Dust hands with flour and shape mixture into 6 burgers. Dust them lightly in flour. Layer the burgers with sheets of waxed paper and refrigerate for at least one hour. Cook on a gill covered with foil for about 10 minutes on each side.

    Peanut Burgers With Satay Sauce

    Follow the direction for Basic Bean Burgers above with the following changes. Omit the oregano and add 1/2 teaspoon ginger. During the last pulse of the food processor add 1/4 cup chopped peanuts. Leave them crunchy. Form into patties as described above and serve with Satay Sauce.

    Satay Sauce

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small chili pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup natural chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sesame tahini
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • In a heavy saucepan saute the onion, garlic, and chili pepper in the sesame oil and corn oil. When translucent, add the peanut butter and stir until melted. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve over grilled peanut burgers.

    Bangkok Bean Burgers With Peanut Cilantro Sauce

    Carol Ann Islam of Corvallis, Oregon, sent this recipe for a burger with a touch of Thailand.

  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, well drained
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely grated
  • 1 tsp plus 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tsp tarmari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 3/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • vegetable oil
  • flour for dusting thin slices peeled cucumber
  • Squeeze tofu in paper towels to discard excess water. Mash tofu in a large bowl. Add rest of ingredients except for oil, flour, and cucumbers. Mix well. Lightly brush both sides of patties with vegetable oil and dust with flour. Brush gill rack with oil. Cook over medium-hot coals about 4 minutes on each side. Serve on toasted buns and top with Peanut Cilantro Sauce and cucumber slices.

    peanut Cilantro Sauce:

  • 3 Tbs natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • In a small bowl, blend peanut butter and lemon juice. Mix in cilantro to combine.

    Best Veggie Burger

    Rhea Gendizer of Lexington, Mass., makes a veggie burger that adds the tang of a Granny Smith apple to the wonderful crunch of fresh vegetables.

  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat
  • 1/4 lb green beans
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled
  • 1/2 cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs onion, minced
  • 1 Tbs sesame tahini or peanut butter
  • 3/2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • server grinds black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Cook green beans in boiling water until tender-crisp. Drain and chop finely. Cook cracked wheat in 1 cup boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover. grate the zucchini, carrot, and apple. Place shreds in a dish towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Combine with chopped beans. In a food processor blend chickpeas, onions, garlic, tahini, curry powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, and canola oil until smooth. Add to shredded mixture. Drain cracked wheat into strainer, pressing with back of spoon to extract excess liquid. Add to bowl with vegetables. Add bread crumbs. Refrigerate for one hour. With wet hands, shape into 4 burgers. Cook 3 minutes on each side on grill lightly brushed with oil.

    Garden Burger

    Enjoy the exquisite taste of fresh summer vegetables with this burger from Claire McIntosh of Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise into six 3/4 inch slices.
  • 1 large Bermuda onion, peeled and sliced into 6 disks
  • 1 large zucchini squash, sliced lengthwise into 6 strips
  • 1 large yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise into 6 stripes
  • six 1/2 inch slices of beefsteak tomato
  • Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs crushed basil
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 Tbs rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 6 oz V-8 Juice
  • 1/3 cup herb-flavored wine vinegar (such as tarragon vinegar)
  • 6 whole wheat pitas or 6 sliced Italian rolls
  • Celery salt
  • Marinate the vegetables in the marinade for at least 2 hours. Grill vegetables on both sides over medium-hot coals until they are tender and slightly charred. Lightly grill the bread. Layer the vegetables in the bread. Sprinkle with celery salt.