These Indian-Spiced Veggie Burgers will take your next summer BBQ to the next level! They’re super flavorful and happen to be both gluten free and vegan, so they’re suitable for guests with any allergies. Served with mango chutney and a perfectly toasted bun, they’re far from the flavorless, cardboard veggie burgers you picked up at the store!
Growing up, it was common knowledge that veggie burgers were synonymous with cardboard. ALL veggie burgers. While I’m sure some decent veggie burgers actually existed, I can remember ordering one as a child and being absolutely disgusted with the lack of flavor. It took years for me to try a veggie burger again!
Nowadays, there are SO many options on the market, and I’m happy to report that store-bought veggie burgers have improved significantly over the last decade. We have a few go-to brands that we typically recommend (our favorite being these), but unless we’re on a tight schedule, we typically prefer to make them from scratch.
We recently posted these Classic Gluten Free Veggie Burgers and they’ve been a hit. I’ve made them quite a few times this summer, but we wanted to switch things up a bit and try a few new flavors. These Indian-Spiced Veggie Burgers were the first idea that came to mind!
We had originally planned to add a vegan raita (an Indian condiment made with yogurt, mint and cucumber) but instead landed on mango chutney. While you can certainly make mango chutney from scratch, we left it to the pros and found a really great locally-made version. It adds just the right amount of sweetness and depth of flavor to this burger!
How to make veggie burgers that don’t fall apart
A good veggie burger gets nice and crispy on the exterior, without drying out too much in the interior. We still have yet to find a veggie burger recipe that truly holds together well enough to put on the grill, so we pan-sear these and then bake them instead. I suppose you could throw one of these cooked patties on the grill, but that just adds an extra step. Totally up to you!
Many store-bought veggie burgers contain gluten, which helps bind everything together so the patty doesn’t crumble. Since we can’t have gluten, it’s a bit more challenging to come up with a mixture that binds well.
After quite a few trials, we landed on rice and flax meal as the two main binding ingredients. You can use either white or brown rice – both have enough starch to keep everything together. Flax meal (ground flax seed) helps absorb extra liquid, which helps form a more cohesive patty.
Once you mix all of the ingredients together, it’s important to let it sit for 10-15 minutes before forming into patties. This allows the flax to absorb as much moisture as possible. Next, we form the patties (using a large cookie scoop to ensure similar sizing) and then pan-fry for a few minutes on each side. Once all of the veggie burgers have been seared on both sides, simply bake for 20 minutes.
Note: it’s very important not to crowd the pan when you’re searing the patties. If you have to many in the pan at once, it will be very difficult to flip the patties, and you’ll likely end up with some breakage. We suggest cooking no more than 3 at a time (in a large pan).
Putting the “veg” in veggie burgers
Okay, sorry for the corny headline. But really, we go heavy on the vegetables in our veggie burgers! I feel like a lot of store-bought brands barely contain any vegetables, but they add so much flavor, texture, and of course nutrients.
In our classic veggie burger recipe, we use a pretty wide variety of vegetables, including peppers, carrots, spinach and beets. We wanted to keep these a bit simpler, especially since we added in more spices. These Indian-spiced veggie burgers are made with a vegetable base of sweet potatoes, onion, carrot and garlic.
Rounding out the ingredient list are some lentils for plant protein, cilantro, gluten free breadcrumbs and a slew of spices and various other seasonings. The result is an incredibly flavorful veggie burger that might even convert some of the meat eaters in your house!
When it comes to assembling these burgers, I like to keep it simple with a toasted bun spread with mango chutney, lettuce and tomatoes. No need to dress this one up too much – there’s so much flavor in the patty alone!
Let’s talk side dishes
What to serve with these Indian-Spiced Veggie Burgers, you ask? Here are a few suggestions:
- Spiced Sweet Potato Fries – these would be my first choice for sure! Feel free to switch up the seasoning with some curry powder, chili powder & garlic.
- Polenta Fries – yes, more fries. Always more fries.
- Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad – moving onto something a bit healthier, this cucumber salad is the perfect refreshing complement to burgers.
- Vegan Kale Tahini Caesar Salad – my go-to salad/side dish for just about anything!
- Onion Pakora (Vegan + GF) via Happy and Harried. I LOVE Pakora. These onion pakora made with chickpea flour batter are perfect for all diets!
- Chutney Three Ways via The Jam Lab – technically not a side dish, but any of these would be great with this veggie burger!
These Indian-Spiced Veggie Burgers will take your next summer BBQ to the next level!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp finely minced garlic
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1 1/4 cup grated carrot
- 1 1/4 cup grated sweet potato
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 2 cups cooked short grain white or brown rice (cook 1 cup dry according to package directions)
- 1 3/4 cups cooked red lentils
- 3/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- For assembly: buns (toasted), mango chutney, tomatoes, lettuce
- Cook rice and lentils according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
- Add carrot, sweet potato, cilantro, miso, tomato paste, and sriracha and cook for 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together bread crumbs, curry powder, salt, cumin, and coriander. Add in cooked lentils, cooked rice, cooked vegetable mixture and flax meal. Stir until well combined.
- Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to make sure flax is absorbed.
- Make burgers into evenly-sized patties (it’s easiest to use your hands!).
- Preheat a large fry pan over medium-low heat. Brush pan lightly with high heat oil. Cook each patty for 5-6 minutes on each side (don’t over-crowd the pan!) and then transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all patties
- Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Serve on a toasted bun spread with mango chutney, lettuce and tomatoes.
To easily grate the carrot and sweet potato, we suggest using a food processor attachment. Otherwise, a box grater will also work.
Don’t overcrowd the pan while searing the patties. We suggest no more than 3 patties at a time.
Keywords: indian veggie burger