Curried chickpea burgers are infused with flavor and so easy to make. Serve on buns with your favorite accompaniments, or just top a green salad with them.
What gives these curried chickpea burgers their fantastic flavor is one of my favorite new shortcuts — Indian simmer sauce. What I try to accomplish with homemade vegan burger recipes is for the cook to be able to toss everything into the food processor without additional prep (like cooking onions, measuring tons of spices, and such).
Delectable readymade Indian sauces make this process super easy. Just make sure to read labels to make sure the sauce you select is vegan, as some varieties contain dairy.
One of my favorite varieties is Jalfrezi, which is tomato and coconut-based. They come in varying levels of spiciness, so take into that account as well when choosing.
Indian sauces are a relatively new fixture in the international aisle of well-stocked supermarkets and natural foods stores and they’re incredible for giving soups and stews an instant blast of flavor. I wondered if they’d do the same for burgers, and the answer is a resounding yes.
With all the great vegan burgers on the market these days, what’s the advantage of making them at home? For starters, there’s cost.
It’s economical to make your own vegan burgers: Most vegan burgers come in two- or four-packs, and while that’s more economical than going out for a burger dinner, what if you’re feeding a larger crowd? Or you want to do some batch cooking for the freezer? That’s where DIY burgers come in handy.
Serve on buns or English muffins: Let everyone embellish their own with the usual condiments, plus lettuce, tomato and onion. Or make a fast tartar sauce with vegan mayo, mustard, and relish.
Stuff them into a pita: For a larger portion, you can pop two of these into a pita with the same fixings. They’re also good served atop a simple salad, and skip the bread— but I still recommend the tartar sauce, which you’ll find informal instructions for in the Notes section in the recipe box.
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Indian simmer sauce, any dairy-free variety
- 1 cup oatmeal (or quick-cooking oats)
- 1 cup fresh whole grain breadcrumbs (see note) or 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 big handfuls baby spinach or other baby greens, lightly wilted
- 2 scallions, green parts only, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional, for extra richness
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Quick vegan tartar sauce for serving, optional (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with parchment.
- Combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse on and off until evenly and finely chopped. Stop the machine to stir once or twice, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Use a 1/3 measuring cup for smaller burgers, 1/2 cup for larger burgers. Spray the inside of the cup with cooking oil spray or spread a little oil in the cup with paper towel. Grab some of the chickpea mixture in the cup, leveling it off but not packing it in too tightly. Invert the cup onto the parchment with a sharp tap to release the batter. Repeat until all of the chickpea mixture is used up.
- Now, spray the bottom of the cup to flatten each burger to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Wipe the bottom of the cup and respray from time to time.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bottom is golden, then carefully flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Watch carefully so that you don’t overbake.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes or so before serving in any of the ways suggested in the headnote.
If you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand, make them in a food processor with two average size pieces of bread (it’s a great way to use up ends!). Pulse on and off to make fine crumbs. The reason this recipe calls for twice the amount of breadcrumbs as chickpea flour is because the latter is much denser.
To make a quick tartar sauce, simply combine some vegan mayo in a small bowl with a lesser amount of yellow mustard and a spoonful or two of sweet pickle relish. Stir together and enjoy!
If you enjoyed these burgers, you might also like:
Laura Theodore’s “Hungry Guy” Vegan Black Bean Burgers