Full disclosure: This recipe is purely a combination of things I had in my fridge and pantry. My parents were making burgers last weekend and of course I wanted to explore a vegetarian option. I ventured into the kitchen while Eric was playing cards with some of our friends. Being the sweetheart he is, Eric has taken the role of my recipe scribe now. I proceed to shout ingredients from the kitchen to wherever he is in the house and he keeps track of everything I’m using and the proper measurements so I can focus on the food without having to stop and write it all down.
It started out simple:
Eric, write down one can of chickpeas and one can of cannelini beans.
Ok, now a green bell pepper. Sauteed with 1/4 cup onion and 2 cloves of garlic.
5 sage leaves. Cumin. chile flakes. Seasoned breadcrumbs.
Now we’re getting interesting! I have to admit that some of the inspiration for this burger came from this recipe, which I had made dozens of times before. But I wanted a good burger sauce, and I wanted something fairly simple to throw together. So I raided the fridge and viola! My original veggie burger is born.
I love using white beans for the burger because I have grown tired of black bean burgers. The combination of chickpeas and cannelini beans is somewhat unexpected, and it happens to go very well with the spicy calabrian chile mayo sauce. The Gouda cheese was originally not what I wanted on the burger, but it was all we had. However, I was pleasantly surprised! This burger has some unique ingredients, and they really do work well together. Now, this is not a patty that is super firm and imitates the texture of real meat. It’s a fairly soft patty, but I crisp it up in olive oil to get a nice crust on it. With all the toppings and the amazing burger sauce, it really makes a great summer vegetarian meal. I love veggie burgers because they feel like you’re eating junk food, but they are really so healthy and they are loaded with great fiber and nutrients!
While everyone else that night was eating regular hamburgers for dinner, they were all commenting that my veggie burgers smelled amazing– and they were. Everyone tried some and was pleased with the crispy, aromatic patties. On a perfectly toasted brioche bun with a spicy mayo, they just can’t be beat!
Veggie Burgers with Gouda Cheese & Calabrian Chile Mayo
Makes 6 patties
For the veggie burgers–
1 (15 oz) can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
5 leaves fresh sage, chopped
1 Tablespoon flour
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2/3 cup oatmeal
Brioche buns, slices of Gouda cheese, shredded lettuce, thin slices of onion, & garden tomatoes, for serving
For the Calabrian chile mayo–
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Calabrian chiles (packed in oil)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon grated onion
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
1 Tablespoon sweet relish
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- In a medium skillet, saute the bell pepper, onion, and garlic with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the veggies are softened and fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the drained beans in a large bowl. Using a masher or large fork, break down the beans until they are mostly smooth. Some texture is okay, but you don’t want huge pieces of bean throughout the mixture. Add in the cooked veggie mixture, cumin, sage, and chile flakes. Season with additional salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add in the flour, oatmeal, bread crumbs, and egg. Stir to combine.
- Using your hands, form 6 patties from the bean mixture. Set on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
- To make the spicy mayo, combine the mayonnaise, calabrian chiles, garlic, onion, ketchup, relish, and celery salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Fry the patties in batches in a medium skillet with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Fry for 3-5 minutes per side, until a golden brown crust forms on both sides. Place thin slices of Gouda cheese over each patty while they are still hot.
- Place the calabrian chile mayo on both sides of each brioche bun. Lay thin slices of onion on the bottom bun, and top with the veggie patty. Top each patty with fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce.