These thick chickpea falafel burgers are "beefy" enough to please even the most hardcore carnivore. AND they have waaaay more flavor than your average quarter pounder.
Whip up a batch of these veggie burgers for your summer cookout, or for a simple weeknight dinner with whatever you have on hand. These chickpea burgers are inspired by my mushroom risotto (so creamy...) and this arugula & mushroom pizza.
Chickpea falafel burger patties
- chili peppers for spice
- red onion for flavor
- mushrooms because they're awesome
- garlic because why not?
- tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos for meaty flavor
- chickpeas or white beans for protein, starch, and texture
- cilantro and/or parsley depending on what's available. sometimes I use half and half...this recipe is PERFECT for using up these leftover herbs.
- breadcrumbs for binding
- ground coriander
- salt & pepper for seasoning
- grapeseed oil for sauteeing
- burger buns - make sure they're vegan!
- hummus, ketchup, cilantro lime sauce, vegan pesto, harissa, or whatever sauce you're feeling
- arugula (or whatever green you prefer)
- pickled red onions
First, prep the chickpeas. For dried chickpeas, I use the "quick soak method" which takes 3-4 hours instead of 12+. For a shortcut, simmer canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed) in water for 15-20 minutes, then drain and remove skins for the best beans.
You can also use 2 cans of drained and rinsed white beans and nix the chickpeas altogether instead for less work, but sometimes it gets a little mushy...
Dice the red onion and finely dice the red pepper. To dice red pepper, remove stem, then cut in half lengthwise (1). The remove the seeds (2 top) with your knife or fingers. Be careful not to touch your eyes or face...
Slice seeded pepper into matchsticks (3), then dice (4).
Place pepper and onion into a large flat bottomed pan on medium heat with a drizzle of grapeseed oil. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until soft.
Add diced mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms release juices - 4-5 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent garlic burning. Let liquid evaporate as much as possible, then add soy sauce.
Add beans, roughly chopped fresh herbs, and spices. Stir to combine then cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and carefully transfer to food processor (don't forget to add the blade first).
Blend on low for 10-15 seconds. It's ok to have some small chunks.
Carefully remove from food processor (mind the blade), and place into a bowl. Add breadcrumbs and mix by hand. Then shape into 3 inch patties.
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes on each side.
Finally, assemble burger. Start with toasted bun, then sauce, burger, onion/tomato, and greens. Enjoy!
Substutitions & Variations
There are tons of substitutions and variations for these falafel burgers. They are naturally vegan, dairy free, egg free, sugar free and nut free!
- Beans - any white bean will work. Chickpeas need a little more TLC, but they're worth it.
- Fresh herbs - cilantro or parsley works best...use a combination or not!
- Spices - add some cayenne pepper for more heat, or go easy on the spices if you have little ones
- Breadcrumbs - to make these burgers gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs or almond meal
- Mexican - use 1 can of black beans and one can of chickpeas, and top with guacamole instead of hummus. Bonus points for some butternut squash nacho cheese sauce...
These chickpea burgers are also great broken up into pieces in a salad or bowl or in a sandwich or wrap. They are PACKED with protein.
To grill these chickpea burgers, refrigerate patties for at least 30 minutes. Place burgers onto a greased grill rack and cook covered for 3-4 minutes on each side, until warmed through.
You can also place your favorite cast iron skillet on the grill, as long as it's well oiled. Remove burgers from pan when ready, and remove pan from grill once it has completely cooled.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes.
Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Reheat in 350 F oven for 15 minutes on each side.
This recipe was developed with stainless steel pots and pans, which conduct heat more efficiently than other cookware (ceramic, nonstick etc.). To use other cookware, increase heat by a half to a whole notch (e.g. medium to medium high).
A food processor makes this recipe much easier, but there are some alternatives!
- Blender - pulse on low, stirring frequently when blender is off.
- Mash with potato masher or fork - this is a workout and will result in chunkier burgers. Make sure everything fully cools before forming into patties...
Frequently asked questions
It depends on how much time you have. There are two options for chickpeas: canned and dried.
Canned chickpeas are undoubtedly more convenient, but will need a little extra TLC for softness. Simmer in a saucepan with water and a tsp of baking soda for 30-45 mins then drain. If you have some extra time and patience, gently remove milky skins.
If you have time, I suggest the dried route using the quick soak method outlined here. Note the times listed are really just suggestions – use your judgement. When you test your chickpeas, it shouldn’t be hard or grainy at all. Just a soft, smooth little chickpea explosion.
The key to binding a good veggie burger is to absorb some of the moisture, but not too much. Breadcrumbs work well. For this recipe, start with 1 cup and see how they feel. Add more as needed. They should hold their shape, but not be too dry. Remember - they'll dry some in the oven!
They're too wet! This recipe uses mushrooms, which are basically little flavor sponges. As they cool, they release their juices. So we need to add something to absorb all the good stuff - enter breadcrumbs.
Take your time with the mushrooms - that's where all the flavor is. Let them shrink to half their original size, and don't skimp on the soy sauce!
Need some sides for your cookout? We've got you covered.
What better way to kick off summer than with a cookout? Whip up a batch of these at your next grill-centric gathering and watch them fly off the table.
- 1 splash olive oil
- 2 chili peppers (finely chopped (only use 1 if you don’t like spicy food))
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 small package mushrooms (about 200g, chopped into chickpea-ish size pieces (they will shrink))
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 cans chickpeas or other white beans
- ½ cup chopped cilantro or parsley (chop stems finely. I like to use ½ cilantro and ½ parsley)
- 1 ¾ cups breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika (I use sweet Spanish)
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp black pepper
- pinch salt
- burger buns
- arugula (or whatever green you prefer)
- harissa (or vegan pesto, whatever you have sitting around)
- pickled red onions
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, prep veggies, spices and beans. If using canned chickpeas, simmer for 15-20 minutes in water, then drain. If you have the time and the patience, gently remove milky skins.
- Heat large pan over medium heat (I used my sauté pan) and add oil. When oil is hot, add finely chopped chili peppers and red onion. Cook for 1-2 mins until soft.
- Add minced garlic and finely chopped mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms start to release their juices, and shrink (usually 5-ish mins)
- Add tamari, and stir until mixture absorbs most of the liquid.
- Toss in the spices – cumin, paprika, coriander, black pepper, and pinch of salt. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Add chickpeas and chopped cilantro.
- Remove from heat and place mixture into food processor. Gently pulse until combined. It's ok if there are still some small chunks. Let cool for 10-15 mins. DO NOT SKIP - the liquids released need time to soak into the starchy chickpea bits, and you may burn your hands (I’m definitely guilty, and I promise it’s worth the wait!)
- Pour mixture into bowl and mix breadcrumbs in by hand. Then form into 3 inch patties and place onto a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 mins on each side at 350.
- In the meantime, warm the buns. Wrap in foil and put in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 mins. Alternatively, use a toaster.
- When burger and bun are finished, spread some hummus on both slabs and add a little harissa (more if you like spice!). Place the burger on one slice, and top with arugula, and a few pickled red onions. BAM chickpea burger.
The easiest pickled red onions: thinly slice the other ½ of your red onion and add to a jar with a lid. Cover with rice vinegar. Best to prep these before, but ok if they only have 15-30 mins to soak in the vinegary goodness. These are good for about 2 months in the fridge and get better with time!
Keywords: chickpea burger, vegan chickpea burger, chickpea mushroom burger, mushroom burger. falafel burger, chickpea falafel burger