Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Best Barbecue Veggie Burgers

We love a good veggie burger, especially my favorite the (almost) Northstar Burger. But since we've been eating a fair share of beans, soy and tofu, I thought it might be good to throw a new rendition of veggie burger into the mix.

This veggie burger is soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free and bean-free but full of great vegetables, whole oats and yes, some barbecue sauce. I've been working on this recipe for months now and I made it again this weekend. Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner.

There are a couple of tricks to making a mean veggie burger:

First, be patient while the vegetables saute. You want all, and I mean all the liquid evaporated, or you will end up with mushy burgers. A quick stir in the pan while the vegetables cook will reveal to you if there is any residual liquid hiding in the bottom of the pan.

Second, par-cooking the burgers in the oven helps firm them up before sauteing or grilling. It is worth the extra step if you can do it.

Last but not least, consider doubling this recipe, par-cooking the burgers and freezing half. Having ready-to-saute or heat homemade burgers in the freezer are a great healthy convenience food.

The Best Barbecue Veggie Burgers

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 carrots
1 large zucchini
8 oz mushroom container
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (we like Trader Joe's)
1 1/2 cups oats (quick or whole are fine, but don't use Steel Cut)
1/2 teaspoon additional salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions begin to become translucent.

While the onion and garlic cooks, shred or finely dice the carrots, zucchini and mushrooms, preferably with a food processor if you have access to one. Add the salt and shredded vegetables to the pan. Stir occasionally.

The liquid in the vegetables will begin to be released.

Wait about 10 minutes as you cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally. Once you notice all the liquid has evaporated, remove from the skillet into a large bowl.

Add the barbecue sauce, oats, salt and pepper to the bowl, and stir very well. Let sit 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Form into 6 burgers and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

The veggie burgers are now ready to freeze, saute in a skillet or grill. If you saute or grill, they need a mere 3-4 minutes per side to brown.

Makes 6 burgers.

Life is sweet,


Anonymous said...

So yummy! Next time, I will double it so it lasts longer! Thanks!

Vickie said...

I want to make these a day ahead for an event, will they be OK in the fridge overnight or will they absorb too much of the moisture in the oats and become dry? Also, have you ever ground the oats to make them more like bread crumbs - they look whole in the pic and was wondering if that would make a difference in texture. Thanks for your help.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Vickie, I would cover them, but I think they would work just great overnight! I've made a batch in the AM for later that night, and if you cover them in saran wrap, they should be good to go.

Also, I use regular whole oats and they don't give it a weird texture, in fact, I think it helps hold the burgers together. Does that answer your question?

SPC :)