Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bulgur Veggie Burgers

Lately we've had a lot of success around here with eating less meat. While Joe and I are not becoming completely vegetarian, we have been limiting our meat to probably 2 or 3 dinners per week. This leaves us a lot of time to experiment with vegetarian cuisine. We're getting used to the different grains and protien sources used frequently by vegetarian cooks, but I think we still have a lot to learn.

We've loved veggie burgers as long as I can remember, and always have a box or two in the freezer for busy nights. More than once we've attempted homemade varieties, but the mushy texture has distracted us from the great flavor of previous tries. We made cannellini bean burgers and spicy lentil burgers, and both times the mixture squished out of the sides of the bun. No matter how good they tasted, that is a texture issue I can't look past. I didn't blog about either attempt, because I couldn't figure out how to make these burgers worth trying.

Finally, Joe stumbled across this recipe for Bulgur Burgers, and I think we've struck gold! They burgers held their shape AND tasted good... what more could I ask for? You could play around with the type of beans or the seasoning, but I think the bulger wheat is the key to keeping the burgers together.

Bulgur Veggie Burgers with Lime Mayo


1/2 cup chopped onion, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup water
1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 cup walnuts (2 1/2 ounces)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
4 slices multi-grain bread, toasted
Equipment: a perforated grill sheet (we did them straight on the grill)
Accompaniments: lettuce; sliced tomato (napa cabbage leafs leftover from Potstickers were good too!)


Cook half of onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add bulgur and water and cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in beans and soy sauce.

Pulse bulgur mixture, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Form rounded 1/2 cups of mixture into 4 (31/2-inch-diameter) patties. Chill at least 10 minutes.

While patties chill, stir together mayonnaise, zest, and juice.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas). Put perforated grill sheet on grill and preheat 10 minutes. Brush patties all over with oil. Oil grill sheet, then grill burgers on grill sheet, covered only if using a gas grill, carefully turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total.

Serve burgers open-faced on toast with lime mayonnaise.
I served this with leftover Couscous with grilled zucchini and chickpeas, a fantastic side dish.


Joelen said...

Looks delicious Erin! Who knew you could turn lentils into a burger?! If you'd like, I'd love to feature your blog and this burger recipe in my weekly "Burger Bunday" post that I do every Sunday. Feel free to email me with this blog link so I can feature it! (

outdoorgriller said...

Those burgers sound good I like to eat healthy too. If you would like to see the collection of tips and recipes I have for grilling you can visit

elly said...

These look great! I absolutely love bulgur & beans so I know I'd like these.

zoe said...

I really like veggie burgers, never thought to make it myself though. Thanks for sharing! Looks great!