Veggie Burgers from weelicious.com

Veggie Burgers from weelicious.com

One of the dinner time staples for many of my friends are frozen veggie burgers. I informally polled some moms to ask them why they like and make them so much, and the most common answers I got were "my kids love them", "they're easy to prepare", and, most frequently, "they're healthy". That last answer, is almost true. Compared to so many other prepared foods you can buy at the grocery, frozen veggie burgers do seem really healthy (and some brands are certainly better than others). The problem is that many of them are packed with sodium, additives and fillers. They also can be pretty expensive, with the "healthier" brands coming out a well over a dollar per burger.

Veggie Burgers from weelicious.com

This veggie burger recipe is nutritious, really easy to make and it freezes beautifully, so you get all the convenience and great taste of store bought brands, only these are healthier and much cheaper. And on those nights when you're in a hurry (doesn't that seem like every night!), you'll be glad that you had a few of these in the freezer all ready to heat up, pop in buns and chow down with your gang!

Veggie Burgers from weelicious.com

Veggie Burgers from weelicious.com

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Veggie Burgers (Makes 4 Burgers or 8 Mini Burgers)

Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 6 mins

nut free

dairy free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Bulgur Wheat
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 15 Oz Can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 Cup carrot, grated
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp oil

Preparation

1. Place the bulgar wheat and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 13 minutes.
2. After the bulgur has cooked, place in a bowl and let cool.
3. Place the pinto beans in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
4. Add the cooked bulgur, cheese, carrot, salt, garlic and onion powder to the beans in the food processor and pulse to combine.
5. Form into patties.
6. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook the burgers for 3 minutes on each side.
7. Serve with accompaniments.

To Freeze: After forming patties and before cooking, place patties on a baking sheet in the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to a zippered bag or other food-safe freezer container. Defrost in the refrigerator then follow recipe directions for cooking.

Accompaniments

Bread, Lettuce, Tomato, Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Pickles

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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45 comments

  • Lisa

    This sounds great- do they sell bulgar wheat in most grocery stores & if so, where would I find it?

    leave a comment

    • Carol

      What does Bulgar wheat look like? Is it a wheat germ, bread crumb, or closer to a rice? Would Genuardis, Acme, or Shoprite carry it?

      leave a comment

  • Traci

    Some grocery stores carry bulghar in the isle with rice.

    leave a comment

  • Amber

    I'd love to try these but my son has a dairy allergy so cheese is out. I'm assuming they won't bind well without it, any suggestions?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can take out the cheese, I don't think it will effect the binding. The bulgar and beans really hold together well.

      leave a comment

  • Brittney

    such a great idea! to re heat you would just pan fry or bake like they tell you on the packaged veggie burgers right?
    btw, I found your site about a month ago, and like thousands of others, LOVE it. I visit it multiple times a day, and am so glad that I have a source to go to for healthy easy fun recipes! what would we do w/o the internet? I tell everyone to visit your site becasue it makes my life so fun and easy. I have a love/hate relationship with cooking for my girls (which I'm sure most do, but I feel that what goes into my girls bodies is too important to take the easy/processed, unhealthy way out, so I keep pushing myself to make sure good things go in!) and you make it a bit more easier to love!!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Thank you so much! Yes you would just have to pan fry, you can bake as well but I think pan fry is the easiest.

      leave a comment

  • Mikki

    Do you think I could sub out barley for bulgar with good results?

    leave a comment

  • Lisa

    I was just going to ask if I could sub quinoa- very different consistency but I was disappointed that trader joe's didnt carry bulgur and I'm pretty sure our mainstream store (Harris Teeter) doesn't either...

    leave a comment

    • Jaime

      Lisa : Harris Teeter DOES carry :)

      leave a comment

  • Amy

    I too was wondering about a sub for the bulgar, I wanted to use couscous, mostly because I have a lot of it in my pantry...

    leave a comment

  • Missy

    I would also be interested in a quinoa variation. I'm a vegetarian so quinoa is a very popular staple for me (and subsequently for everyone else in the house).

    leave a comment

  • TS

    I just made these - it definitely took longer to cook - maybe because i added peas, they were a bit more watery? Did anyone else find them to fall apart a bit? otherwise, i am excited to give my son!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes peas contain a lot of water, I think that would have been the problem with your burgers to come together. Let me know how he likes them! We love them!!

      leave a comment

  • Kim

    I too would be interested in a substitute for the bulgar as my son is GF and dairy free. Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can substitute the bulgar with quinoa and not use the cheese. Let me know how they turn out!

      leave a comment

  • Lisa

    I made these today using quinoa (just kind of estimated how much though b/c I wasn't sure howm uch cooked bulgur this recipe made). I really liked them myself & my 11 mo old twins gobbled it up, but I am wondering about sticking to the pan & consistency? Might be related to the quinoa but mine were pretty mushy inside & sticked to the pan majorly even though I used oil in the pan so I didn't get much of the nice brown crust on the outside. Any tips?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      In cases like yours, you have to heat the pan with the oil till it is really hot and place the patties in the pan. They will not stick to the pan if you do this. Sear for a minute on each side and enjoy! :) hope this helps!

      leave a comment

  • Amber

    Also wondering about GF/DF options...perhaps Kasha? I have some at my house, that I've been trying to find a good recipe to try - do you think it would work?

    amber :)

    leave a comment

  • Dena

    These were delicious. I followed the recipe exactly (maybe the bulgur wasn't exactly room temp?), but found that the burgers didn't stay together when I cooked them. Like TS said above, they also required much longer cooking time. Any ideas? What kind of oil do you use? Thx

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Hm, was there any excess water from the bulgar? If there was, you would have had to drain it and then let it cool. My burgers were about an inch thick. how thick did you make them? You really just have to cook the burger until it warms through and creates a nice crust on the outside. I used vegetable oil too. I'm happy you enjoyed them though, let me know if this helps :)

      leave a comment

  • Kelly K.

    When freezing these, how to you go about cooking them later? Right from frozen, or do you have to thaw them out the night before? Can you bake them, or is pan frying the best? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      The best way is to thaw them out then pan fry on each side :)

      leave a comment

  • Paulina

    I made this today with quinoa and just for the doubt of not sticking together I also put a wee bit of beaten egg into it.
    They turned out great, my husband was the only one who told me to put some burger seasoning next time, which is a good idea for those not so vegetarian people out there.

    leave a comment

  • Angela

    Finally tried these this week and they were a hyoooge hit! These mamas loved them and our hot teething mess of an 18-month-old shoveled them into his mouth with gusto. Yum!

    leave a comment

  • Courtney

    They were a HUGE hit with my daughter. She didn't even spit the carrots out!! Thank you so much!

    leave a comment

  • Jchambers

    I just want to thank you...SO MUCH for this recipe! I made it modified it per the ingredients I had on hand and #1 my husband loved them (and he is a carne!) my daugher loved them (1 year old) and I love it bc it is a great alternative to meat. I have different views on meat consumption and this is a great option for me and my family! :) Thanks SO much!

    leave a comment

  • SKnight

    My 12 year old loved these burgers but my 17 month old wasn't thrilled with them. Instead of serving them as patties, I mixed the cooked ingredients with rice and formed little bite-sized balls for my toddler. She LOVED them. It's all she wants to eat now, and that's fine with me (for now).

    leave a comment

  • Theresa787

    Catherine, thank you AGAIN. You are my go-to for toddler recipes. I made these tonight for my 24-month olds, and they loved it! Thank you for adding beans into my babies' diet (and for making it so simple, from now on I'll always keep pinto beans and bulgur wheat in the house for a quick meal). I will definitely be adding this into our menu rotation. Thank you again Catherine.

    leave a comment

  • Elena

    Why is this recipe labeled \"dairy free\" (upper right corner icon) and include grated monterey jack cheese? I didnt read thru the other comments (too many) so I'm not sure if this was already discussed, but what's an alternative ingredient to use in this case since I'm cutting dairy temporarily from my lil ones diet...? TIA Katherine :)

    leave a comment

  • Jessica Hill

    Hi, I am unable to find bulgar wheat in the stores near me. Is there anything I can substitute?! Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Tanna Holbert

    Made these today, Great flavor and baby girl loves them, but had a hard time with the burgers falling apart. I had to put a small amount of water in with pintos to puree. Food processor kept stopping up. Do you think that that is the reason for them falling apart? Because no one else seems to be having this issue.

    leave a comment

    • Kinjal

      The Absent Game Involving me and my husband we have owned a lot more MP3 pyealrs over time than I can count, such as Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few a long time I've settled down to one line of pyealrs .

      leave a comment

  • English

    These are awesome. I had the \"falling apart\" issue the first time I made them. Having made them a few times I am guessing either the beans were not pureed enough or the bulgar was a bit too dry (simmered to quickly?) Who knows. These are awesome. I also made the version suggested by other commenters substituting with black beans, quinoa, and cheddar (fake cheddar because it was all I had) and those *might* be better. Thanks so much for your creative recipes!

    leave a comment

  • Erica

    Made these tonight- my 13 mo old loved them which makes me happy. My 3 year old didn't eat it but he's 3 and tomorrow he'll probably think they're delicious. I also really liked them. Mine fell apart but they were still really good and easy to make.

    leave a comment

  • Jane

    Any suggestions for a substitution for the beans? We have a legume allergy in our household. Thanks.

    leave a comment

  • J

    Looks so easy and healthy, I will try

    leave a comment

  • September Meal Plan – Week Soul Munchies

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  • Levitra

    You've really impressed me with that answer!

    leave a comment

  • Laura

    Hi,
    These look great but was wondering what I can substitute for the bulgur to make a gluten free version.. Quinoa?
    Thanks

    leave a comment

    • MathieMom

      I had he same question, not because we need to eat gluten-free we just love quinoa!

      I'm curious what grains people have tried, because obviously you need some startch to hold the burger together.

      leave a comment

  • Connie

    I made these tonight and they were so yummy! My bulgur was a little watery, so I strained the water out, but even with the straining the patties had a hard time staying together. I just let them sit on the plate to cool down and sure enough, once they were cool they firmed up. My 2 y/o son loved them and even asked for seconds. I will definitely be making these again. Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Jade

    These were very good , but what kind of food processor do you use for the beans, mine is too weak and downst mix them enough?

    leave a comment

  • Lina

    Very nice but.... How do you keep them together? Yes they fall apart

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      Moisten your hands with water so the patties stick to themselves instead of to your hands. Also make sure the oil is really hot before cooking so the patties begin to cook immediately once they hit the pan.

      leave a comment