For burger lovers who want to cut back on meat, vegetarian burgers can be a tasty and healthful way to recreate the burger experience. In this week’s Recipes for Health, Martha Rose Shulman offers five ways to create vegetarian burgers at home. She writes:
I wanted to work on veggie burgers because I have never had a commercial one that I liked. They all taste overprocessed to me, with no fresh flavors. I’ve had much better luck making burgers from Lukas Volger’s excellent cookbook “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.” I especially like his bean and vegetable combos.
Puréed beans make a great binder for grain and vegetable burgers, and an egg added to the mixture will help to hold it together. (If you want to keep them vegan you can, though you have to be careful when you flip the burgers over because they tend to fall apart.) I found that all of these burgers somehow tasted better a day after they were assembled ― the flavors had gelled, the burgers held together better, and a burger that seemed a bit dry to me right after cooking did not seem so dry the next day when reheated. I can’t tell you why.
Like Mr. Volger, I found the best way to cook these vegetarian burgers was to brown them on one side in an ovenproof frying pan, then turn them and stick the pan in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes. Turning can be tricky, but if the burgers do crumble, just patch them back together with your spatula, apply a little pressure and put the pan into the oven.
Here are five new recipes for homemade veggie burgers.
Beet, Rice and Goat Cheese Burgers:Make these ahead for quick meals through the week and reheat in a medium oven or a frying pan.
Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burgers: Indian spices liven up these burgers. The turmeric offers bonus antioxidant health benefits, but even without it, they’re in abundance in this recipe, with all the carrots and ginger.
Quinoa and Greens Burger: Rainbow quinoa is a great choice for this recipe — because it’s pretty, and because the red, black and golden quinoa grains all have slightly different textures.
Quinoa and Vegetable Burgers With Asian Flavors: This vibrant burger is made with both cooked and uncooked vegetables.
Mushroom and Grain Cheeseburgers: Barley is a traditional hearty partner for mushrooms, but brown rice is just as tasty in this burger.
Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times