A tasty burger minus the guilt! These Spicy Veggie Burgers are made with U.S. chickpeas and other veggies, then drizzled with a sauce that has an Asian twist.
I think burgers are one of the best inventions on the planet. Think about it: You get your protein, plus your veggies, and your carbs in one handy package you can eat on the go. It helps that they’re delicious. No wonder people line up for burgers!
Thanks to their popularity, people have invented so many ways to make a burger patty beyond just beef. For instance, this veggie burger recipe I’m about to share with you. It’s a genius way to make burgers healthier without sacrificing deliciousness. The patty itself is reminiscent of a big flattened piece of falafel, a Middle Eastern dish made using chickpeas, preferably U.S. chickpeas. And if you never thought to use U.S. chickpeas to make burger patties before, well you’re in for a real treat.
U.S. Chickpeas & U.S. Pulses
U.S. chickpeas, commonly known as garbanzos locally, is a legume that is often used in Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are high in protein and high in fiber, which are wonderful things for the body. They are also a good source of potassium, as well as other micronutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. You can read more information about their health benefits here.
U.S. chickpeas belong to the umbrella term “pulses“, alongside dry beans, dry peas, lentils, and the like. Basically, pulses are the edible seeds of crops that yield between 1 to 12 grains or seeds. They are part of the legume family, but the term is limited to crops harvested already in the form of dry grains. In contrast, other crops are harvested while still green. Pulses have been filling tummies for over 11,000 years, and in recent years, modern and sustainable agricultural practices have ensured that they will continue to feed people for a long time in the future.
In the U.S., there is a campaign called U.S. Pulses that aims to increase awareness about the benefits of consuming pulses. Specifically, they bring to attention the level of quality that U.S.A.-made pulses have. They have programs that support farmers and encourage them to use best practices to grow their crops. U.S. Pulses also organize events that share information about the role of pulses in feeding the world. They act as a glue to bring together key actors that contribute to the betterment of the pulse-producing industry.
Most people will be surprised to hear that U.S. Pulses have made their way to local shores, as many of the local brands already carry a “made in the U.S.A.” seal on their packaging.
Going back to the U.S. chickpeas, there are actually two kinds, but we usually encounter these yellow orbs called kabuli chickpeas. This is also what the U.S. mainly produces in the chickpea department. These U.S. chickpeas are beige in color, and have a buttery mouthfeel and nutty flavor.
Because the mildness of U.S. chickpeas play well with other stronger flavors, they are often the secret ingredient to many delicious dishes in Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisine. You can mash or blend them into a paste to make hummus, or mix them with other things to make a salad. And of course, as I have been saying since the start of this post, the versatile U.S. chickpeas also makes for a great veggie burger.
This recipe is actually very simple. You can get it done in maybe 20 to 30 minutes from start to finish. It starts off with a 450-gram can of U.S. chickpeas. (225 grams when drained.) You drain and rinse the U.S. chickpeas, and some of them will shed a translucent skin. You can discard those to make a smoother U.S. chickpea mash, but they are also totally edible.
After washing the U.S. chickpeas, mash them with a fork until they turn into a chunky chickpea paste.
Now just add in the rest of the patty ingredients, plus the oats. The spices you can adjust to your taste. The only spice that might not be to everyone’s liking is cumin, but other than that, I don’t really suggest messing with the recipe. It’s well-seasoned as it is.
Mix everything up nice and properly; preferably with your hands so you can really get in there and kind of squish everything together as you go. Soon you’ll have a very nice and sticky mixture you can easily form into patties. The patties will be neither too dry, too wet, nor will it be overly sticky. In short, the patties will be perfect. Make into 6 patties.
To cook the patties, all you need is to heat up a nonstick pan with a bit of oil and pan fry the patties until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
The U.S. chickpea mixture turns into this beautifully colored cooked veggie burger patty. It will smell amazing as well. Now use the same nonstick pan to toast your burger buns.
Meanwhile, you’ll want to prepare your Asian-style peanut sauce. I love this stuff. Although I don’t recommend that you drench the burgers with sauce, it doesn’t hurt to double the recipe in case other people want more. The mixture of spicy, sweet, and salty really makes this peanut sauce addictive. I even drizzled this over leftover shredded lettuce.
The final preparation involves mixing together some roughly chopped cilantro and some shredded lettuce to make a slaw of sorts. You can mix lettuce with shredded carrots as long as they total about 2 cups of vegetables. For me, a burger isn’t complete without lettuce.
Assembling the burgers
The assembly part is the least fun, because this is the part where you start getting hungry and impatient for the Veggie Burgers. Hold on, you’re so close to finishing! Thankfully it’s so easy and quick, you’ll be devouring your burgers in no time!
Take your toasted burger buns and place the patties on the bottom piece.
Add a handful of shredded lettuce, followed by a tablespoon of the peanut sauce drizzled on top. Finally, sprinkle some chopped nuts for good measure. The chopped nuts are a good addition so please don’t skip them!
And voila! You’ve got yourself one mean, green, Spicy Veggie Burger with an equally spicy Asian-style peanut sauce. Shockingly easy, but oh so delicious.
Spicy Veggie Burgers
For the U.S. Chickpea Veggie Burger Patties
- 1 450-gram can U.S. chickpeas (about 225 grams drained weight)
- 1 medium white onion, finely diced
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons natural or creamy peanut butter
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cumin, depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup quick oats
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the slaw
- 2 cups thinly sliced lettuce, or 1 cup lettuce and 1 cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
For the peanut sauce
- ¼ cup natural or creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, depending on your taste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons water
- Toasted burger buns
- Coarsely chopped peanuts
Make the patties
- Drain and rinse the U.S. chickpeas, then place in a bowl and mash them with a fork until mostly smooth. (You might get some translucent skin coming off the U.S. chickpeas. Discard them if you want, but they are edible.) Add the other patty ingredients to the bowl. Use your hands to mix very well, then form into 6 patties.
Prep the veggies and the sauce
- Toss together the lettuce, shredded carrot, and cilantro in a bowl. Set aside until ready to assemble.
- To make the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Whisk together until well blended and smooth.
Cook & assemble
- Heat some oil in a nonstick pan, the panfry the patties for 3 to 5 minutes a side. Allow to rest a minute, then assemble the burger. Place the patty on top of the bottom half of the toasted burger bun. Top with the lettuce mixture, then a good spoonful of the peanut sauce. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.