I haven’t been posting as frequently as I’d like over the last two weeks. First it was the new job, and then this week I was bedridden with a nasty stomach virus. Between the two, I haven’t had any time for recipe development or even the energy to cook or desire to take photos when I’m hungry (seriously, it’s tough enough on a good day). Fortunately, I had this little gem saved up for just such a time. Perfect for fall, these burgers are sure to be a hit with veggie lovers and meat eaters alike. The thing is, these don’t try to taste like meat. They are what they are, and the result is pretty fantastic.
I consider myself something of a veggie burger connoisseur, and I can say with all honesty that these are in the top 5 veggie burgers I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. The idea for them came to me so suddenly – no research required – and they were perfect on the very first try! That doesn’t happen very often, and my wallet and I are both grateful when it does. I’m pretty damn proud of these things, if you can’t tell. They hold together really well without eggs or bread crumbs (and thus have zero processed ingredients) and are so so flavourful! The rosemary really shines here – it’s like autumn in a bun!
And let’s talk about the beet aioli. When Conor and I were in Florence we ate at this vegan gluten free burger place, and the owner had come up with a beet mayo and a carrot mayo to go with the patties. Both were out of this world and I just knew I needed to try it out for myself. I didn’t think carrot would stand out enough against the squash, both in colour and flavour, but beet? Beet would do just fine. You can have these burgers without the sauce, of course, but I highly recommend you take the extra 15 minutes to make it. It complements the burger perfectly, and the natural sweetness of the beets wins over processed, sugar-laden ketchup any day of the week. Your buns want this.
The other great thing about these veggie burgers, like most, is that they are 100% freezer friendly. If you separate each patty with some parchment paper they won’t stick together, and then you can put them together in a ziplock bag and easily pull one out whenever you need it.
Vegan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Burgers with Beet Mayonnaise (makes 8 patties)
~ Gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free ~
For the burgers
- 2.5 cups roasted butternut squash
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup roughly ground gluten free oats
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp ground flax with 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- parchment paper or aluminum foil
For the beet aioli
- 1 small beet
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp soy milk
- 1.5-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the burgers
- In a small bowl, mix together the flax meal and warm water. Set aside to gel.
- In a separate bowl, add the chickpeas and butternut squash. Using a potato masher, mash up the squash and chickpeas. You don’t want a perfect puree; chunks of both squash and chickpeas are fine and add good texture, just make sure to at least slightly mash each piece.
- Add the quinoa, onion, rosemary, lemon zest, and flax eggs and mix well.
- Mix in the oats, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
- Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper. Lay down a 3.5 inch cookie cutter and spoon the burger mixture into the mold, using the back of the spoon or your fingers to press it down. Gently lift up the mold and repeat.
- Preheat your barbecue, frying pan, or George Foreman grill and very lightly rub the patties with coconut oil. Grill on both sides until well done; exact time will depend on what appliance you’re using.
Suggested toppings: Beet aioli, red onion, kale or other leafy green, sprouts, and avocado.
For the aioli
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
- In the meantime, peel and quarter your beet. If the sections are still quite large cut them again.
- Once the water has boiled, add the chopped beet, reduce to a simmer, and cook until soft – about 10 minutes.
- Drain the pot and let the beets cool.
- In a blender, add the cooked beet with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Refrigerate until cold before serving, and store for up to two weeks.
- I recommend making the sauce a day ahead so it’s nice and cold when you’re ready to use it. It doesn’t taste as good warm, and letting it sit allows the flavours to blend a little.
- If the sauce seems too runny, add a teaspoon of cornstarch. If it seems to thick, add a touch more soy milk. You can replace the soy milk with almond (or dairy), but almond milk will make it a bit runnier.