But I’d totally miss hamburgers if I went vegan…
I’ve talked about growing up in Texas. Meat in general and hamburgers especially were a staple of what I ate growing up. Honestly, nothing beats a great burger.
I’ve also talked about how cheap I am. There are some truly legendarily great fake meat burgers as well as great veggie burgers on the market but they are expensive.
This recipe serves as a really good starting off point for burgers or basically anything you need to use ground beef for.
Cooking Tips & Tricks
When you cook the patties, there are a few ways to do that. If you aren’t oil free, just put a little oil in the pan and cook them for 4 minutes each side. I prefer using some more veggie stock in a non-stick pan. That really works for me and they don’t seem to stick. By not flipping them so much, I swear it seems like the burgers are firmer.
To make ground beef style crumbles, cook them for about 2-3 minutes each side then separate them using your spatula or a wooden spoon.
I prefer a really fine dice on the mushrooms and onions. It helps give it a more “meaty” mouth feel and also looks less like a veggie burger. Also, it helps make them stick together in the final burger form.
Onions: I prefer white onions myself. I think the non-sweet onions work best since they tend to cook a bit better. Putting red onions into a dish you’re applying heat to usually ends up with a fairly nasty end product. Sweet onions will sometimes also taste off when you cook them. At least they do to me but I freaking love onions.
Mushrooms: Honestly, I’ve used about every type of inexpensive mushrooms in this recipe. I usually get the Baby Bella mushrooms from HEB since I can usually find them on sale. Also, I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms in general so I’m not a mushroom snob.
This is a really good base for anything you’d normally use ground beef for. The recipe is hella versatile and can be used for so many different types of flavors.
If you want to seriously kick up the “meatiness” or umami flavor, you have a few options that will let you totally not miss having ground beef.
Meaty Option 1: MSG. Yes, there is a TON of FUD and general bs about using MSG in recipes. But, MSG is a perfectly healthy ingredient that is sadly not used nearly enough. Honestly, it’s the thing that makes Chik-Fil-A and KFC so tasty compared to the chicken people make at home. Really. Sprinkle it in the mix like you would salt. However, if you’ve never used it before, start light and go with more.
Meaty Option 2: Liquid Amino Acids. Yes, once again I’m a Braggs fanboi but adding in some liquid
Meaty Option 3: Better Than Bullion. A lot of non-vegan have this bullion at home and don’t realize it’s actually vegan. You can use it like you would liquid aminos. Fun Fact: It is MSG Free, however, the ingredients actually end up forming the same chemical structure as MSG. Sigh. So much FUD about MSG.
You can also use other spices to make either fancy burgers or use as a meat substitute for other dishes.
This can be as simple as adding some chipotle powder or even taco seasoning to the mix. You can get a pack of taco seasoning for well under $1. Just add it to the mix when you combine ingredients.
To use in quesadillas or tacos, I will still form patties but once they’ve cooked for a few minutes, I’ll start breaking them up in the pan. It’s that easy.
Adding a tbsp of garam masala or tikka masala seasoning gives the burgers a really Indian (to American palettes at least) flavor to the burgers. I have tried this in burger form and it’s really nice. I’ve also made croquettes to use on skewers one time and it was a hit.
If you want to do a stir fry rice, I’ll do this.
Add in some soy or tamari sauce to the mix to give it a bit of Asian flavor. Just as before, I’ll cook the patties a little before breaking them up judiciously to mix in with the stir fry rice.
To do a Hawaiian burger, make the Asian burger patty but serve with a slice of pineapple over the patty. I’ve been considering making
Getting Crazy With The Beans
You can do a lot to change the flavor and texture by subbing a different bean. I’ve found dark kidney beans work with the recipe since they are a very hearty bean. You could use pintos but you would need to make sure they don’t get overly wet and thinned out.
So, here you have it. My base recipe with some serving suggestions. Have you tried it out? Do you have a combination that always is a win with your kids? If so, please let me know!