Beans, beans are good for your heart…

I’ve wanted to have a go at making my own veggie burgers for ages. We eat a lot of pulses in our house. They’re a great source of protein on meat-free days. I’ve blogged my recipes for lentil cottage pie and chickpea curry before. But they are also a fab ingredient for bulking out dishes when there isn’t quite enough meat to go around. They help to thicken up a stew, super filling for hungry bellies and an important part of a balanced diet for all kinds of reasons.

So I basically just blagged this. Totally made it up as I went along. I have to admit, the texture wasn’t perfect. They were a bit too squidgy, which made them hard to turn in the pan. Maybe I blitzed them just a bit too long. Or maybe I added too much oil to the mixture. Or maybe they need an extra ingredient to give them extra bite and hold them together. An egg? Or some sort of potato? I’m not sure. If any of you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them and have another bash at it!


1 tin borlotti beans
1 tin chickpeas
1 onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Black pepper
1 tbs tomato purée
1/2 tub of sun-dried tomatoes (save the leftover oil)



I whizzed up the onion in my food processor. Then I added all the other ingredients and whizzed a bit more. I knew I didn’t want the mixture to be completely smooth but blended enough to make it workable.


There you go. Not the best looking thing I’ve ever seen but let’s persevere.

I shaped the mixture into four patties. At this stage it seemed the perfect texture. Not too wet, not too smooth, easy to mould.


Then I fried them in a little oil. This is where it all went a bit squiffy. After five minutes or so, I tried to turn the burgers in the pan. Turns out they didn’t want to turn. They were very soft. And tricky to flip without them squishing into something unrecognisable.


But I did manage it. They didn’t disintegrate. Phew! I left them alone for another five minutes or so until they were crispy on both sides. Then came the transfer from pan to plate. Bit nerve-wracking.


I served the burgers in a wholemeal bun, with sweet potato chips and a side salad. It’s a proper uber healthy summery dish. And it was pretty tasty. The texture took some getting used to, because it obviously doesn’t have that meaty bite to it; it’s much softer. But the flavour was good. Even the meat-loving husband enjoyed his. Just don’t try it on a barbecue. The texture isn’t quite right for that.


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8 thoughts on “Beans, beans are good for your heart…

  1. Tamz June 5, 2014 at 09:00 Reply

    Hand mash them 🙂

    • The Pie Patch June 5, 2014 at 09:16 Reply

      Good plan!

      • Tamz June 5, 2014 at 09:22

        I use a fork and it helps create texture. Sometimes if it’s just falling to bits, depending on the mixture I either add a tsp flour or egg and a bit of flour.

      • The Pie Patch June 5, 2014 at 09:38

        I think you’re right. I was impressed with myself for an unintentionally vegan recipe but an egg & flour might help. Cheers, matey.

  2. ginacaro June 5, 2014 at 11:42 Reply

    They look lovely. Going to have to try them 🙂

    • The Pie Patch June 5, 2014 at 13:24 Reply

      They made a nice change from the usual burgers. Even the husband said he’d eat them again! 😃

  3. Elli June 5, 2014 at 11:53 Reply

    I would probably pop the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours if poss, firms it up well and then will get squidgier again during cooking. I’d also add a potato maybe, and if you can dip them in egg and then breadcrumbs they will cook in the oven on a tray and go crispy on the outside too, also good way of using less oil if you need to 🙂 xx they look really nice, might have a go at these next week!

    • The Pie Patch June 5, 2014 at 13:24 Reply

      I will next time. Silly really, coz when I make beef or lamb burgers, I always rest them in the fridge. Should’ve treated these the same.

      And I usually coat my crab cakes in semolina for a crispy coating so I’ll do that too next time. Thanks for reading!

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