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!
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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.
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.
And how does the grilled veggie burger taste?
Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?
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 Ultimate 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
- 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
- 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
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.