Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger

Want vegetarian grilling ideas? Finally, here’s a delicious Grilled Veggie Burger that doesn’t fall apart on the grill, and our grilled veggie burger tips!

Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger | A Couple Cooks

This Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger was created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own.

Are you ready for the ultimate grilled veggie burger? 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 veggie burger that doesn’t fall apart on the grill and tastes delicious! There’s even a video! It’s part of our 6-episode Summer Barbecue Series hosted by Alex, me and our friend baking blogger Tessa from Handle the Heat. Alex, Tessa and I created six brand new summer recipes for you and the entire series is sponsored by Kroger as part of their #RedWhiteandBBQ summer resources. Three of the recipes are healthy vegetarian recipes from A Couple Cooks and three are Tessa’s delicious baked goods, each featuring ingredients we found at our local Kroger store. See our video below!

Related: How to Host a Simple Backyard Party

Ready? Watch the video: how to make grilled veggie burgers!

Watch our entire Summer Barbecue Series!

Why make a grilled veggie burger?

As you may know, Alex and I aren’t fully vegetarian. But we eat vegetarian about 90% of the time, so this A Couple Cooks website is full of our everyday healthy vegetarian recipes. Since we’re what we call flexitarian, when we fire up the grill for summer entertaining often Alex will just eat a real burger! However, I eat vegetarian recipes even more than he does (maybe 97% of the time), so typically I’d prefer vegetarian grilling ideas. There are lots of vegetarian grilling ideas that are outside of a bun (like these grilled nachos), but sometimes you just want a big burger, right? So we’ve created this easy veggie burger recipe for when you want to eat vegetarian at a summer barbecue. And we promise, cross our hearts, that this veggie burger doesn’t fall apart on the grill! In this recipe, we’ve featured Simple Truth Organic Garbanzo Beans and Kingsford charcoal for the grill.

Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger | A Couple Cooks

What are your grilled veggie burger tips?

It’s actually kind of hilarious how many times Alex and I have made grilled veggie burgers that flopped. I think we might have grilled veggie burger PTSD, actually! The reason that it’s so difficult to make a veggie burger that doesn’t fall apart on the grill is that, 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 burgers are that they’re too dry and crumble on the grill, or they’re too mushy, like the consistency of mashed potatoes. After 10 years of experimenting, we have some grilled veggie burger tips for you! Here are all our secrets to a veggie burger that doesn’t fall apart on the grill:

  • Rice: In this grilled veggie burger, we’ve used rice to make a firm texture. It also helps the visual appeal.
  • Walnuts: We’ve also added some walnuts, again to create a firm texture.
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): 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 recipe vegan, but unfortunately it needed another binder! Egg white is the final secret ingredient to keep everything held together. (If you’re adventurous and want to try a vegan sub like flax egg, do so at your own risk!)
  • Barbecue sauce: We painted our burgers with barbecue sauce to get a color and shine that looks similar to a beef burger.

Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger | A Couple Cooks

And how does the grilled veggie burger taste?

To us, this easy veggie burger recipe is truly the best 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 veggie burger 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.

Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger | A Couple Cooks

Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?

Here are the other summer barbecue recipes in our Summer Barbecue Series!

This recipe is…

This Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger recipe is vegetarian. For gluten free, use gluten free flour and gluten free buns.

Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger | A Couple Cooks

Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American


Want vegetarian grilling ideas? Finally, here’s a delicious Grilled Veggie Burger that doesn’t fall apart on the grill, and our grilled veggie burger tips!


For the burger

  • 1 cup white rice (2 cups cooked)
  • 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

  • Guacamole or other creamy sauce
  • 1 tomato
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 6 hamburger buns (gluten free if desired)


Make the rice according to the package instructions. 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. 

Preheat a grill to medium heat.*

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.

Roll over the walnuts with a rolling pin until they are fine and crumbly.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Keywords: Burger, Veggie Burger, Veggie Burger on the Grill, Grillable Veggie Burger, Grilling Recipe, Grilled, Summer Recipe, Grilling Season, Veggie Burger that Doesn't Fall Apart on the Grill

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website 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 food 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!

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