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TVP (texturized vegetable protein) burgers

Fresh corn and parsley buns? Check! Homemade pickle relish? Check!

I kinda feel like veggie burgers can be a hit or a miss. As a vegetarian who does not like cooked mushrooms, I often don’t like the flavor of veggie burgers at many restaurants. And frozen patties from the grocery store are just so full of preservatives and ingredients that are difficult to pronounce.

I do enjoy black bean burgers, and though I use beans in these patties, the real flavor comes from the seasonings I use in the mixture. The fennel seeds and herbs create an earthy flavor, the tomato paste and liquid smoke add a mesquite essence, and nutritional yeast hits a subtle savory note.

There are a few special ingredients in this recipe, the first of which is TVP, texturized vegetable protein. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand, which is made from soy. It’s protein content is equal to that of meat, but really doesn’t have any flavor of it’s own. Which is why you need sturdy list of ingredients.

I also use dates in this recipe, which add a sweetness, and also help bind the burgers after a minute in the food processor. I also add a bit of xanthan gum which gives the inside of the patties a nice gummy texture. You could omit the xanthan if you didn’t have it, or use guar gum instead.


3/4 c TVP (texturized vegetable protein)
1/2 c water
1/4 c grated onion
1/4 c cooked quinoa
1/2 c kidney beans
1/8 c dates (pitted and chopped)
2 Tbsp minced parsley
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/8 c sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp rice flour
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp drieg oregano


1. Combine TVP with hot water, and let sit in a bowl for at least 15 minutes.

2. Carefully grate your onion by holding onto the stem. Don’t cheat and chop your onion, it needs to be grated to help hold the form of the patties.

3. In a food processor, combine kidney beans, dates, parsley, olive oil, tomato paste, sunflower seeds, and fennel seeds. Pulse until smooth.

4. Transfer contents of food processor into a bowl along with hydrated TVP, grated onion, cooked quinoa, rice flour, and remaining ingredients. Mix with your hands, then press down flat in the bottom of your bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

5. Shape mixture into 6 patties, and lay them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with saran wrap and let rest until you are ready to use them.

6. Bake at 345 degrees fahrenheit (320 convection) for 15 minutes, flip patties, then return to the center rack of the oven. Turn the temperature up to broil, then let each side of the patties char slightly.

To assemble burgers, start by cutting your corn and parsley buns in half. Spread one side with mustard, and the other side with vegan mayonnaise and homemade pickle relish.

Add onions and kale, or any other lettuce and fixing you’d like.

Edgy tip! Never put your greens underneath a hot patty when assembling your burger. This will cause it to quickly cook and go limp. 

Place a hot TVP burger patty on the bottom bun, add your kale and top bun, then enjoy! Once assembled eat immediately. Otherwise the patties can be store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.



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