How to Make Veggie Burgers

A vegan chef teaches you how to make a perfect, mouth-watering veggie burger from scratch. The one recipe you'll need for grilling season.
Veggie burger recipe

Homemade veggies are quite possibly one of the best things in the world. They are insanely simple to make and they always taste 1,000% better than the store-bought kind.

Yes, you read that right, I said one thousand percent.

As a vegan chef, I love teaching my clients how to make an actual, made-with-love veggie burger. And I’m going to teach you how to do the same, giving you the perfect formula to follow so you can make homemade veggie burgers and infuse them with whatever ingredients you have on hand and whatever flavors are inspiring you at the moment.

Why You Should Make—Not Buy—Your Veggie Burgers

Sure, you can buy a pre-made veggie burger from the store. But before you do, let’s think about the following:

I have a theory that fast-food and the processed food industry have contributed significantly to this busy-ness that we feel—socially, professionally, culturally, internally. Think about it this way: we are what we eat, from an energetic and cellular level. So if the majority of the foods we consume are produced at such an insanely fast and mechanized speed, wouldn’t that contribute to our overall energy levels? To the very way in which we show up in the world? Making us busier, faster, more uniform? I would argue that yes, it would.

One the other hand, let’s consider a hand-formed veggie burger made with love and good intentions, nourishing our bodies from a cellular level. Filling our system with all the vitamins and minerals necessary to keep us running in good working order.

A veggie burger made from scratch is one of the best ways to deliver both nutrient density and self-care in the form of food to our bodies. It’s self-care and self-love through food. This formula for making veggie burgers will have you whipping up delicious patties with ease and joy. That’s what we are supposed to feel when we cook a meal for ourselves – peace of mind and self-love, knowing that what we are about to put into our bodies are ingredients meant for our unique systems. Foods that will continue to build us up, making us resilient to illness, stabilizing our mood, boosting our energy, and raising our vibration so we may contribute to the collective rise in that incredible feel-good energy.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

How to Make a Homemade Veggie Burger

A great veggie burger is made with a few basic ingredients, and you can totally customize it based on what you have in your pantry and what scraps need to be used in your fridge.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Lentils or beans smash down to become the “meat” of the burger and provide a dose of healthy protein.

Grains, gluten-free or otherwise, are added to provide texture and bulk, and sometimes act as a binder – if you opt to use oats.

Diced, roasted veggies add color, flavor, and variety while increasing the nutritional content.

Spices, seasonings, and condiments bring it all together in any flavor combination your plant-based heart desires.

The Veggie Burger Formula

  • 2 15oz cans beans (any kind – kidney, black, white, navy, chickpeas)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (for binding); breadcrumbs also work here
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or your fave grain (for texture)
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato (cooked, peeled, mashed)
  • 1/4 cup sauce or salsa (something wet with lots of flavor!)
  •  2 tbsp spices (garlic, onion, dried herbs, curry, Italian, etc.)


  • Drain and rinse beans; add to a large bowl and mash.
  • Add oats, rice, sweet potato, salsa, and seasonings.
  • Combine ingredients; you may need to add more rice, oats, or flour to get patties to form and stick together.
  • Shape into patties, about 8-10 depending on size.
  • Let dry 10 minutes in the fridge to activate oats.
  • Sear in a pan over medium heat for approximately 4-5 minutes per side.

Try these flavor combinations for super flavorful veggie burgers:

  • Black beans, your fave salsa, red peppers, cumin, cilantro
  • White beans, marinara sauce, oregano, parsley
  • Black-eyed peas, BBQ sauce, liquid smoke, shredded kale stems
  • Kidney beans, shredded beets, broccoli stalks, carrots, ketchup, mustard
  • Chickpeas, roasted red peppers, olives, oregano, lemon, garlic
  • White beans, tamari, red curry paste, turmeric, coconut milk, cilantro

Increase the quantities if you’re cooking for a crowd or want to batch cook your burgers; they freeze well, which is a meal prep win!

Pro tip: form them into meatballs and add to your favorite plant-based pasta dish, too.

Veggie burgers are a great way to use up all the odds-and-ends in your fridge or pantry. Once you master the technique, I bet they’ll earn a reoccurring spot on your weekly plant-based meal plan.

Chef Lauren D'Agostino
Chef Lauren D'Agostino creates, cooks, and serves all things plant-based and high-vibe. Her virtual cooking courses and plant-based transitions coaching offers non-judgmental support for hungry people who are overwhelmed by the idea of going plant-based or vegan. Learn the what, why, and how of beginning your plant-based journey by visiting