Refried beans, walnuts and tempeh add heft and heartiness; and shiitake mushrooms double down on umami savor. These are vegan.
Ultimate Veggie Burgers
- 1 (15.4-ounce) can vegetarian organic refried black beans, such as Amy’s
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup cooked brown rice, either leftover (previously cooked), or one of the packaged pre-cooked brown rices, such as Uncle Ben’s®
- 3 to 4 tablespoons mild oil, such as sunflower or canola, plus a bit for oiling a baking sheet
- 7 ounces smoked tempeh strips, such as Lightlife® Fakin’ Bacon
- 5 ounce sliced, trimmed shiitake mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the adobo
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Buns (preferably whole-grain and toasted)
- Any of your favorite burger fixings: mayo, ketchup, mustard, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, sliced cheddar or Swiss cheese, avocado
- Place the refried beans in a medium-large bowl and set aside.
- Place the walnuts in the food processor and pulse-chop until coarsely ground (you don’t want them smooth). Add the brown rice, and pulse again several times. Transfer half of the walnut-rice mixture to the bowl with the refried beans. Leave the other half in the processor for now.
- Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the tempeh, browning for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden. Remove the tempeh from the skillet, blot on paper towels to remove excess oil, and let the slices cool slightly.
- Add remaining oil to skillet and add the shiitake mushrooms. Sauté, stirring often, until the mushrooms no longer look raw and have started to grow limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Crumble or slice half the tempeh strips into pieces about 1/4 inch wide. Add remaining tempeh to the processor. When shiitakes are done, transfer them to the processor as well, along with the cornstarch, chipotle and sauce, and parsley. Pulse-chop again, making a slightly chunky purée. Add this to the bowl with the refried beans, and combine all the ingredients, making a thick mixture. Season to taste.
- Form into 8 burgers, each about 3½ inches wide and 1 inch thick. Ideally, refrigerate the burgers for an hour or two before baking.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Either oil a baking sheet or line it with a non-stick silicone sheet. Place the burgers on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven. Using a thin-bladed spatula, carefully turn over each burger. Continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until burgers are firm and a little crusty-looking on the outside. Serve hot, immediately, on buns with the fixings, or serve at room temperature. Leftovers, should there be any, are excellent cold in a next-day sandwich.
- If you wish to grill, rather than bake, these, the refrigerated rest is a must. Plus, you will need to brush each chilled burger on both sides with a little oil or melted butter before grilling.
- Since you have the chipotles open, you can easily purée another one and some sauce. Stir it into a bit of mayo, for, of course, chipotle mayonnaise.