This Best Grilled Veggie Burger recipe was created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own.
Are you ready for our best grilled 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 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
Watch our video: how to make veggie burgers
Watch our entire Summer Barbecue Series!
Why make a grilled veggie burger recipe?
As you may know, Alex and I aren’t fully vegetarian. But we 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 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 our best veggie burger recipe for when you want to eat vegetarian at a summer barbecue. And we promise, cross our hearts, that this grilled veggie burger recipe doesn’t fall apart into a mush on your bun! In this recipe, we’ve featured Simple Truth Organic Garbanzo Beans and Kingsford charcoal for the grill.
How to make veggie burgers
It’s actually kind of hilarious how many times Alex and I have made a grilled veggie burger recipe that flopped. I think we might have grilled veggie burger PTSD, actually! The reason that it’s so difficult to make a veggie burger recipe 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 burger recipes 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, here are all our secrets to our best veggie burger recipe that doesn’t fall apart on the grill:
- Rice: In this grilled veggie burger recipe, we’ve used rice to make a firm texture. It also helps the visual appeal.
- Walnuts: Walnuts create a firm texture and add protein.
- 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 veggie 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 our veggie burgers with barbecue sauce to get a color and shine that looks similar to a beef burger.
And how does the grilled veggie burger taste?
Can you bake this veggie burger recipe in the oven?
Yes! If desired, you can also bake this grilled 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.
Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?
Outside of this best veggie burger recipe, here are the other summer barbecue recipes in our Summer Barbecue Series!
- Loaded Grilled Nachos
- Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad
- Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vanilla Sheet Cake with Grilled Strawberries
- Cheesy Skillet Cornbread
This recipe is…
This Best Grilled Veggie Burger recipe is vegetarian. For gluten free, use gluten free flour and gluten free buns.
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
- 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
- Guacamole or other creamy sauce
- 1 tomato
- Lettuce leaves
- 6 hamburger buns (gluten free if desired)
- 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.
- 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 Recipe, Best Veggie Burger Recipe, Grillable Veggie Burger, Grilling Recipe, Grilled, Summer Recipe, Grilling Season
About the Authors
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.
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.