Would you make bean burgers 10 (ten) times to get the recipe just right?
But they would! Meet Alex and Sonja of A Couple Cooks.
Well, actually, the one in the blue plaid who looks like he might have something stuck in his throat is not Alex. That’s Bjork. And the one in the other blue is me. So, really this is just a cute picture of Sonja. And their delicious paella.
Annnnd, those 3 pictures? Yeah, they took those, too.
They do it all and I just try to be friends with them.
Here’s an inside look at how the perfect bean burger recipe was born!
Which bean burgers were most memorable between attempt #1 and attempt #10?
Sonja: The most memorable of our attempts for me was actually our first two tries from last season, which turned out like mashed potatoes on a bun! I had no idea that veggie burgers could be so hard to perfect.
Some of my favorites from the ten attempts this round were when we added too much pre-made grill seasonings (too salty to eat!), and too much egg (horribly hard to work with!).
Why no eggs?
Alex: For a while (like attempts 1-8) we thought that the egg was key to a final product that held together. Unfortunately, the eggs made the mixture pretty runny so you could not place them straight on the grill. Giving up on using egg as a binder was the key to final success!
What’s your favorite way to top them?
Alex: Bun, Burger, Ketchup, Tomato, Spicy Mustard, Lettuce, Bun.
Sonja: Since we’ve been so focused on perfecting the burger, I feel like I still have some work to do on toppings! Toppings are key with bean burgers, since they provide a bit more moisture to the dry texture. While I love the ketchup/mayo/onion/cheese combo, I’m hoping to try out some spiced Greek yogurt with cucumbers and red onions. Look for a potential recipe to come!
- 1/3 cup red onion (about 1/2 onion)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
- Preheat a grill to medium heat.
- Peel the 5 garlic cloves. In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/2 red onion and garlic and process until finely chopped. (If no food processor, chop finely with a knife.)
- Add 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon hot chili powder, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a good amount of fresh ground pepper. Pulse 10 to 15 times until the mixture is coarsely chopped. (If no food processor, coarsely chop the almonds, sunflower seeds, and cilantro, and combine with the other ingredients.)
- Drain and rinse the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher. Stir in the ingredients from the steps above, and add 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Mix together with your hands; taste and add more salt if desired.
- Form the mixture into four patties. Place on a grill and grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the grill. Or, bake them in a 450°F oven for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
- Top with toppings of your choice, and enjoy!
Soo…I’ll just throw this out there….
Not only are the bean burgers are amazing, but the bean mixture itself is good enough to eat plain. Or spread on a wrap. Or with salty chips. Don’t judge.
I know we all have different feelings on this, but how do you feel about veggie burgers?