Burgers are THE definition of comfort food. In fact, there is nothing more satisfying than biting into a big juicy burger filled with crunchy add-ins. However, a fast food chain or store-bought burger can have up to 800 calories. That is a lot for just one burger! Plus, let’s not forget the trans fats and preservatives as well as huge amounts of sodium it usually contains. There are a lot of reasons to avoid them but that does not mean we have to give up on burgers all together. Today we are making our own homemade healthy version that is not just good for you but is also finger licking good!
Substituting meat can be a tricky quest as it contains more flavor than pulses or grains. If you have ever made beef patties before, you’ll know that a little bit of salt and a pinch of pepper is often all the seasoning you need to make a flavorful burger. When swapping out the meat for chickpeas, it’s important to use a lot of spices to make up for the blander flavor of the chickpeas. (Learn more about building flavors here!) For this recipe we are using salt, black pepper and chili, but feel free to use whatever spices you prefer. A pinch of cayenne pepper or curry powder would also be great options.
To give our burgers even more flavor we are using fresh herbs for our patties. We currently have an abundance of mint and chives in our garden so that is what I used. Feel free to use other herbs such as parsley or whatever you have on hand. I do, however, recommend using fresh herbs for the best taste.
Chickpeas are a great plant based source of protein which is why they keep you full for a long time. They also contain high amounts of manganese and folate which aid in new cell growth and protect against diseases. While the recipe calls for a can of cooked chickpeas, you can certainly use dried chickpeas and boil them yourself. (It is best to soak them overnight to cut down on cooking time.) You should end up with 265g (9.3oz) of cooked chickpeas.
The incredibly creamy homemade cashew sauce really jazzes up the burger. It has a super rich flavor without any dairy. It is important to use a high power blender to ensure that your sauce becomes super creamy and lump free. If you do not own a high-power blender, you can soak the cashews overnight to make the blending process easier.
Chickpea Burgers with Cashew Sauce
- 140 g cashews* 1 cup
- 100 ml plant based milk** 1/2 cup
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g can of chickpeas 14oz
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- a handful of fresh mint
- a handful of fresh chives
- oil for frying
- 4 burger buns
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 large tomato
- a handful of arugula
- optional 4 slices of vegan cheddar
For the cashew sauce, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more spices as desired. Set aside.
To make the patties, chop the onion into small pieces and mince the garlic.
Finely chop the mint and chives.
In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high, and once hot, add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes or until soft and translucent.
Remove from the pan and add to the blender along with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive, chickpeas, flour, salt, black pepper, chili powder and minced herbs.
Blend until well combined but still slightly chunky.
With wet hands, form into 4 equal sized patties.
Add oil to a large saute pan and fry the patties until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
While the patties are frying, toast the burger buns in the oven until crispy. Assemble the burgers by layering the patties as well as the add-ins into the burger bun and drizzling with the cashew sauce.
*You can use natural or roasted cashews, just make sure they are unsalted.
**Such as almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk or oat milk.
Because the patties are a bit fragile, they are not suited for grilling.
Store any leftover patties in the fridge for up to 4 days. Do not freeze the patties.
Let’s get started!
Step 1 – Cashew Sauce
To make the cashew sauce, combine all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and no chunks remain. Taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper as desired.
Step 2 – Onions and Garlic
For the patties, start off by chopping the onion into small pieces and mincing the garlic.
Step 3 – Herbs
Prep the herbs by mincing the mint and chives.
Step 4 – Sautéing
Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin oil in a saucepan on medium-high and saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until translucent.
Step 5 – Blending Ingredients
Remove from the pan and add to your blender (or food processor) as well as the remaining ingredients for the patties. Blend until smooth but still slightly chunky. (You don’t want to blend the mixture too long, until it resembles puree, otherwise the patties will be too soft and fall apart.)
Step 6 – Shaping Patties
Shape into 4 equal size patties. To prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands, wet them with a little bit of water.
Step 7 – Frying Patties
In a large saute pan, fry the patties for 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. To prevent the patties from falling apart when flipping, fry the patties for 30 minutes on the bottom side before attempting to flip.
Step 8 – Assemble Burgers
In the meantime, toast the burger buns in the oven until crispy. Then all that’s left to do is assemble the burgers with your patties and add-ins of choice and drizzle with a generous amount of cashew sauce.
Add-ins and Sides
When it comes to add-ins the options are truly endless. You can completely tailor this burger to your liking. Here are some suggestions for tasty add-ins.
- Caramelized or fried onions
- Iceberg lettuce
- Jalapeno peppers
- Ketchup and vegan mayo
- Vegan bacon
- Popcorn Cauliflower
You can enjoy these burgers by themselves (they are rather filling!) or serve some fries, potato wedges or onion rings alongside them.