Do-It-Yourself Veggie Burgers

Updated: May 6, 2021

Photo of homemade black bean burger
Photo of homemade black bean burger

A quick glance into the frozen veggie “meats” area of the grocery store reveals just how popular veggie burgers have become. Some are pea protein based, while others contain soy. There are also veggie burgers that combine whole grains such as quinoa with vegetables. The basic black bean burger is an all-time favorite. Veggie burgers are great to stock in our home freezer for convenient plant based meals that are healthy, delicious and good for the planet.

The BEST Veggie Burgers Ever

With minimal effort and a few low cost ingredients, it is possible to create amazing veggie burgers at home. This do-it-yourself recipe is not only delicious but is protein-rich from the walnuts and black beans. Top your veggie burger with sliced avocado, cheese, lettuce, red onion, pickles or anything else that sounds amazing!

(Recipe adapted from:


  • ½ cup crushed walnuts, pecans or mixed nuts OR may use sunflower seeds (NOT crushed)

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil

  • ¼ onion, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup mushrooms, diced (~2 or 3 mushrooms)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • ½ Tablespoon cumin

  • ½ Tablespoon chili powder

  • ½ Tablespoon smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed, well drained and patted dry on paper towels.

  • 1/2 cup of COOKED whole grain of choice: brown rice, quinoa, etc., OR ½ cup UNCOOKED wheat germ or bulgur

  • 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs

  • 2 Tablespoons of barbeque sauce


  1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.

  2. When hot, add the onion and mushrooms. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring often.

  3. Add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, cumin, chili powder, paprika and pepper. Continue cooking until well blended and there is NO moisture left.

  4. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Place the black beans into a mixing bowl and stir with a fork, while mashing them a bit.

  6. Add the grain of choice to the bowl and mix well with the beans, continuing to mash.

  7. Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms. Continue to mix with the fork.

  8. Add the nuts, breadcrumbs and barbeque sauce.

  9. Mix until well combined.

  10. Form the mixture into 4 or 5 burgers that are tightly packed. This assures that the burgers will NOT fall apart when cooking! NOTE: If using wheat germ or uncooked bulgur, allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes before forming the burgers.

  11. Cook burgers in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. Turn carefully to cook on both sides.

Follow Along

Follow along with Rachel, BCF Program Coordinator, as she makes this recipe on YouTube!

Written by Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN

Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program

Check out Jenny's bio here!

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