Best Veggie Burger Recipe

This mouthwatering veggie burger recipe is slathered with barbecue sauce and doesn’t fall apart on the grill! It’s truly the best you’ll find.

Veggie burger recipe

This veggie burger recipe was created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own.

Are you ready for our best veggie burger recipe? Alex and I have seen so many veggie burgers fall apart on the grill over the past 10 years. So we are beyond excited to share this recipe with you: a grilled veggie burger that doesn’t fall apart and tastes amazing, too. This recipe is part of our 6-episode Summer Barbecue Series hosted by Alex, me and baking expert Tessa from Handle the Heat. Scroll down to watch us make it in our kitchen!

Another great burger (that’s vegan too)? Try our Best Chickpea Burgers.

Video: how to make our BEST veggie burger

Why to make this veggie burger

Alex and I eat vegetarian about 90% of the time, so our website is full of our everyday healthy vegetarian recipes. We call it flexitarian! When we fire up the grill for summer entertaining, often Alex will just eat a real burger. However, I eat vegetarian even more than he does, so typically I’d prefer something meatless. There are lots of summer vegetarian recipes and vegetarian grill recipes that are outside of a bun (like these grilled nachos). But sometimes you just want a big burger, right?

So we present: our best veggie burger recipe! And we promise, cross our hearts, that this grilled veggie burger recipe doesn’t fall apart into a mush on your bun. It’s got a sturdy texture and big, big flavor. In this recipe, we’ve featured Simple Truth Organic Garbanzo Beans and Kingsford charcoal for the grill.

Grilled veggie burger

How to make a great veggie burger

It’s a little embarrassing how many times Alex and I have made a grilled veggie burger recipe that flopped. The reason that it’s so difficult to make a veggie burger recipe that doesn’t fall apart on the grill is that, well, newsflash: it’s not a meat burger! Molding together a bunch of vegetables and grains does not necessarily equal the consistency of a burger.

Problems with grilled veggie burger recipes are that they’re too dry and crumble on the grill, or they’re too mushy. And there’s nothing worse than biting into a burger with the consistency of mashed potatoes! After 10 years of experimenting, here are all our secrets to our best veggie burger recipe that doesn’t fall apart on the grill:

  • Rice & walnuts: Rice makes a firm texture and helps the visual appeal. Walnuts create a firm texture and add protein.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are main veggie here; we mash them with a fork to keep some of their texture as well.
  • Flour: The flour acts as a binder to hold everything together. You can use any type of flour, including gluten free flour if desired.
  • Egg White: We tried to make this burger recipe vegan, but unfortunately it needed another binder to hold it all together! Egg white is the final secret ingredient to keep everything held together. (Feel free to try a flax egg — and let us know how it goes!)
  • Barbecue sauce: We painted these burgers with barbecue sauce to get a color and shine that looks similar to a beef burger. Try our Homemade BBQ Sauce that you can make in just 10 minutes!
Charcoal grill

And how does it taste?

To us, this is the best veggie burger recipe we’ve ever made. And we still can’t believe how beautiful it turned out! It doesn’t taste exactly like meat, but the experience feels just like eating a burger and is incredibly tasty in its own way. Even better, it’s truly a burger recipe that doesn’t fall apart on the grill. How about you: would you try this grilled veggie burger recipe? Tell us in the comments below.

Can you bake this veggie burger recipe in the oven?

Yes! If desired, you can also bake this veggie burger recipe if it’s not grilling season! Preheat an oven to 375F, then bake for 30 to 40 minutes until evenly browned on both sides, flipping once. Brush both sides with barbecue sauce, then return to the oven for 2 minutes.

Best veggie burger recipe

This recipe is…

This recipe is vegetarian. For gluten free, use gluten free flour and gluten free buns.

*For vegan and plant-based, you could try a flax egg replacement for the egg — we haven’t tested it but let us know if it works!

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Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger | A Couple Cooks

Best Veggie Burger Recipe (Grilled or Baked!)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (88 votes, average: 3.84 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This mouthwatering veggie burger recipe is slathered with barbecue sauce and doesn’t fall apart on the grill! It’s truly the best you’ll find.



For the burger

  • 2 cups cooked white rice (1 cup uncooked)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 15-ounce can Simple Truth Organic Garbanzo Beans
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg white**
  • Barbecue sauce

To serve


  1. Make the rice according to the package instructions or use our Instant Pot method. If making the rice directly before grilling, quickly cool it by spreading the rice into a single layer on a sheet pan and placing it in the freezer for 2 minutes until it cools. Otherwise, you can make the rice in advance and refrigerate until using. 
  2. Preheat a grill to medium heat.*
  3. Mince the garlic and onion. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the the onion and saute for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for for 2 more minutes until golden and translucent. Remove from the heat.
  4. Roll over the walnuts with a rolling pin until they are fine and crumbly.
  5. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Place them in the bottom of a large bowl and mash them with a fork. Mash until about 90% of the garbanzo beans are mashed; a few can remain whole.
  6. Measure out 2 cups of the rice and add it to the bowl with the garbanzo beans. Then add the onion and garlic mixture, 2 tablespoons olive oil, walnuts, flour, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper. Mix together, smashing any rice clumps so that everything mixes evenly. Stir in 1 egg white, then mix until everything comes together into a sticky dough.
  7. Using your hands, form five or six 1-inch thick patties by firmly patting and squeezing the dough together (making 5 results in a very thick burger; making 6 makes moderate-sized burgers). Set the patties on a baking sheet or plate for grilling. Brush both sides of the burgers with olive oil.
  8. Place the burgers on a grill and grill for 10 to 12 minutes on one side, until firm and grill marks appear. Gently flip the burgers and brush them with barbecue sauce. Grill for an additional 10 to 12 minutes on the other side, then serve immediately.
  9. To serve, place the burgers on a bun, topped with guacamole or another creamy sauce, tomato and lettuce (or other burger toppings of your choosing).


*You can also bake this grilled veggie burger if it’s not grilling season! Preheat an oven to 375F, then bake for 30 to 40 minutes until evenly browned on both sides, flipping once. Brush both sides with barbecue sauce, then return to the oven for 2 minutes.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Burger, Veggie Burger, Veggie Burger Recipe, Best Veggie Burger Recipe, Grillable Veggie Burger, Grilling Recipe

Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?

Outside of this best veggie burger recipe, here are the other summer barbecue recipes:

Looking for more vegetarian grilled recipes?

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Jessica Flory
    June 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    These look FABULOUS!!! Can I use brown rice instead of white?

    • Reply
      June 30, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Yes, you can definitely use brown rice instead of white! I’ll add that in the recipe too.

  • Reply
    Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
    June 30, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Love how well these hold together on the grill…impressive! And they look so much like real burgers too :)

    • Reply
      June 30, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you so much! We were pleasantly surprised at how much the look simulates a real burger!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    These burgers look delicious! Do you think I can use sunflower seeds instead of the walnuts? I have to avoid nuts.

  • Reply
    Becky Hardin
    July 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    It really is hard to find good veggie burgers! This recipe looks amazing, and I love how you explain what each ingredient does to make the burger so great.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I made it and was really impressed! This burguer is scrumptious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    Tiago Oliveira
    March 2, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    This ultimate grilled veggie burger looks so delicious!! I am gonna prepare it this weekend!!

    • Reply
      March 2, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you so much! Let us know what you think!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Can we make them ahead of time and freeze them?

    • Reply
      April 18, 2019 at 10:06 am

      We haven’t tried it but I think that would work fine!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Would love to see a PRINT button.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2019 at 10:06 am

      Hi! There’s a gray Print button inside the recipe card just above the ingredients!

  • Reply
    Hue Chon White
    May 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

    I made the hamburger today and it was great. Can these be frozen?

    • Reply
      May 16, 2019 at 10:21 am

      Hi! We haven’t tried it but I think they would freeze well. Try freezing them uncooked and then thawing before throwing on the grill!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Have you tried 1/4cup of the garbanzo liquid? Instead of egg?

    • Reply
      May 31, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Hi! We have not tried this but let us know if you do!

  • Reply
    June 24, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Really good! I made these tonight subbing oats for the walnuts simply because I didn’t have the latter. I topped mine with bbq sauce afterward vs painting it on prior. Will definitely try it your way next time.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2019 at 7:26 am

    you guys all made this recipe and they didnt fall apart? What did I do wrong? At the first flip, they just broke apart and by the time we ate them we needed a spoon… The only thing I could think was – was the egg white too little and I should use a large egg or a whole egg? Any ideas ?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 3, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      We tested this one a bunch to make sure it’s reliable! Did you press them really tightly together when shaping?

  • Reply
    August 3, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    I feel that I did but I will give it another try in a week or two. Your BBQ sauce recipe really saved the day as the burger crumbles topped with that were still very good!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 5, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Haha! Glad you could salvage it :)

  • Reply
    January 30, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Delicious, I didn’t have any cumin so I used curry which was a little strong but yummy. My two small kids ate and enjoyed also! Planning to try again and play with different spices, thinking Montreal steak seasoning style. I also used my food processor to save time instead of chopping, rolling or using a fork which did give me a smoother dough, which I think may have helped prevent any crumbling or falling apart.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    My husband and I agree with the name- The Best Chickpea Burger (and that was even before we added the delicious Russian Dressing)!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 3, 2020 at 9:13 am

      So glad you enjoyed! :)

  • Reply
    March 21, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    These burgers were amazing!! Even my carnivore fiancé agreed, and that’s a big feat! We will definitely be making these again :)

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 23, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      So glad you enjoyed! :)

  • Reply
    April 18, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Yum! I stumbled onto this recipe from Pinterest and I loved it. Yes, a flax egg worked for me HOWEVER I also had to make a few other substitutions (covid lockdown) including using buckwheat flour, so can’t guarantee it would work following the recipe more carefully. Thank you for this!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Do you think the burger would hold together on the grill if pecans are substituted for walnuts? We have pecans but not walnuts, and going back to the grocery store during lockdown is not very appealing! Looking forward to trying out the recipe!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      May 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Yes, that should work great!

      • Reply
        May 4, 2020 at 10:49 pm

        Came out great — thank you very much for the recipe! :-D

  • Reply
    Thom Benedict
    May 25, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    A single egg white didn’t seem to be sufficient as the binder. Two of six patties completely fell apart as soon as they hit the grill (even though they were tightly formed). Overall, the flavors are pretty darn good. Next time, I might add a splash of liquid smoke or vegan Worcestershire, the entire egg, and let the patties set in the fridge for a while, before grilling.

    • Reply
      Lindsay Goodson
      June 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      I’m with you. My 12 yo loved them as is; I want some more flavor. I would’ve added Montreal Steak Seasoning had I had some. And, maybe some more sauteed veggies. But, this is an AMAZING base recipe! I’m excited to see where I can take it!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Well finally! A non-black bean, unmushy (if that’s a word!), toothsome veggie burger that tastes delicious! Well done you guys. Second recipe of yours I’ve made today as a newbie to your site and I am duly impressed! I made these with a whole egg based on comments that indicated they weren’t holding together too well. Worked a treat. Added a little less cumin because I like it, but don’t love it. Baked them on the oven, then slathered with some BBQ sauce (will try yours when mine runs out) and stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes. Seriously. Soooo good. Thank you!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Btw, that trick of using a rolling pin to break up nuts? Sheer friggin’ GENIUS!!

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