I guess this 60+ degree weather was starting to mess with my head because all I could think about was firing up the grill and making some (vegan) burgers… crazy, right? I mean it’s JANUARY. In COLORADO. But I still couldn’t stop thinking about my favorite grilled treat of all, my very own Spicy Chickpea Burgers.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get the hubster on board for firing up the grill, but that’s okay because my chickpea burgers are just as yummy baked. These are my go-to for any backyard eating, and since that’s usually in the summer I tend to favor the grill, if only because I don’t want to heat up my kitchen. But it’s winter now, as much as Mother Nature seems to keep forgetting, so bake them I did!
I cooked my own chickpeas, as usual, but all other ingredients are store bought. I love these things. I eat them as burgers, and I crumble them up over the salads I take to lunch. I’ll even tear bites off and eat them cold straight out of the fridge, but I highly recommend you try breaking these into bite sized pieces and adding them to a salad- it’ll take your lettuce to a whole new level! This time around I enjoyed them on Oroweat sandwich thins with fresh avocado, tomato and lettuce. The heat of the burger and the cool creaminess of the avocado were the perfect flavor combo.
True story: When I first went vegetarian I ate a lot of the Morning Star and Boca type frozen burger patties. They were okay. I kept seeing recipes online for veggie burgers, and I always wondered why these bloggers were making their own from scratch. Did their local grocer not carry Boca? Then one day I made some black bean burgers from scratch, and I was hooked. I saw the proverbial light! These came along later, the spring/summer of 2011 to be exact… and now I’m sharing them with you. I hope you give them a good home (in your belly).
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ red bell pepper cut into large chunks
- ½ large onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 can (or equivalent) of chickpeas, cooked/ drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon thai chili sauce, or more if you like heat
- 1/2 + cup bread crumbs (you may need to had more, depending on consistency)
- Mix the chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water, stir and set aside.
- Drop bell pepper and onion into food processer. Blend for just a few moments until the pieces are smallish, but not minced.
- Pour in beans, and blend until everything is all mixed n’ mashed together. You don’t want it to be liquid or completely smooshy, in fact a few bean chunks are a good thing!
- Pour entire mixture into medium bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, including a scant 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. Mix with your hands until everything is completely blended. Add more breadcrumbs if needed- you want this to be sticky and you want to be able to form pretty little patties that will stay together.
- Place entire bowl into the fridge for at least 20 minutes. It gives the flax egg time to gel but I also think it give the flavors time to develop and meld together!
- Divide into patties (4-5 depending on your bun size).
- If you’re grilling, I recommend foil or a veggie tray- but baking is super awesome too. Spray a little cooking spray on a baking sheet, and give these babies about 20 minutes (10-12 each side) in a 375 degree oven. I like to finish mine under the broiler for just a few moments, to get that charred look that you get on the grill.
- Be mindful as you're adding in the breadcrumbs... you want to be able to work with the mixture, but you don't want it so dry that it falls apart.