Juicy Vegan Burgers

I love a good black bean or quinoa burger, but more often than not they fall apart the second you take your first bite. I also enjoy the experience of chewing my burgers rather than it being a mashed potato center with a crisp exterior. That has been my experience with nearly every bean based burger. Don’t even get me started on “Portobello Burgers.” So, to make a burger that stays together, is loaded with protein, juicy, and can be grilled, I turned to my old friend Seitan.

This recipe is fairly straightforward, but it’s the process of cooking that might seem backwards. Trust me. This works. Plus, the big benefit is that you get a juicy burger without any oil! Vegan magic at its finest.

Juicy Vegan Burger

This burger takes what you know about plant based burger recipes and flips it. Just like a burger. Get it. Flips. The patties are loaded with plant protein and are strong enough to be grilled and give some chew.
Servings – 8


  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 14 ounces red kidney beans (black beans also work)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbl red miso paste (Miso Master is a common brand)
  • 1 Tbl soy sauce (or Coconut aminos )
  • 1 Tbl dried parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbl smoked paprika (or standard paprika )
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1 shredded medium carrot (optional )


Prep work

  • Rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes and dried mushrooms by adding them to 2 cups of hot water.
  • Drain and rinse kidney beans. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and put them in the cold oven. Turn oven on to 400 F. Remove after 10 minutes. This helps to remove some moisture from the beans and preheats your oven at the same time!
  • Peel and rough chop the onion and garlic. Brown in a saute pan by adding 1 Tbl of water at a time until they are browned but not burned. This takes 3-5 minutes.

Make the Patties

  • Add all ingredients, except wheat gluten, to a food processor and puree until fully mixed. You can save some of the beans and onions if you want a few chunks in your burger.
  • Pour wet mix into a bowl with the wheat gluten. Using your hands or a heavy wooden spoon mix until no dry remains. Let sit for 5 minutes to let the gluten relax some.
  • Roll into a foot long loaf. Cut to divide into 8 patties. Using your hands shape into a patty that is about 1/2" thick. Place patties on parchment lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. The patties will look and feel dry and hard. That's the goal.
  • Continue to the next step only if you will be eating them right away. If you are planning on prepping patties for future meals see the notes below.
  • Fill a saute pan with an inch of water. Add 1 tsp of soy sauce. Boil the patties in the shallow water for 5 minutes on each side.
  • Repeat as necessary based on your saute pan size.
  • They are ready to be eaten or thrown on the grill for 30 seconds on each side. No additional cooking is needed but those grill marks are a nice visual.


A few notes on this recipe: 
If you’re looking to store these burgers for future enjoyment skip the boiling stage and freeze them after baking. Let them cool to room temperature prior to freezing. When you’re ready to eat them let the patties thaw at room temperature for one hour then boil on each side for 5-10 minutes. Test the center to ensure they are heated fully through. 
Most vegan bean burger recipes just bake the burger which inevitably makes them crumbly or still very soft and mushy at the center. However, most seitan recipes boil their product which makes them spongy. This recipe combines the best of both! Baking them first creates a hard crust on the outside while cooking the center. Boiling them after baking softens that hard crust and adds moisture back to the patty in a controlled manner. This also eliminates the need for added oil!
The goal of a good burger is umami. It’s that flavor that you can’t really describe but it’s present in mushroomy, “beefy” dishes. The browned onion and garlic, red miso, soy sauce, dried mushrooms, dried parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, baked kidney beans, and spices all work together to create a punch of umami. Want to make it even more umami-y? Instead of boiling the baked patties in water sub in a veggie or mushroom stock. 

Nutrition Information calculated using LoseIt app

Yield 8 burger patties | 210 calories each

28 grams Protein, 1.1 grams Fat, 648 mg Sodium, 5.3 grams Fiber

Buns made using a modified version of my “Protein Packed Pizza Dough” recipe. Even more plant based protein with the help of soft Morinu Tofu.

4 thoughts on “Juicy Vegan Burgers

  1. Just finished these for Sunday lunch, and my husband says this is the best burger recipe we’ve tried. Big thumbs up! Combining the beans etc with vital wheat gluten gave them great texture, and then the use of the two different cooking methods is inspired — they held together perfectly and yet were moist and tender. My only change was to use a spoonful of dry onion soup mix in the simmering water instead of soy sauce. Thanks for a great recipe!

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