By Rachel Wilhelm
Summertime means one thing for the Randall Beans family: grilling. Burgers, chicken, brats and ribs are the king of grill food; but what about vegetarians?
Summer cookouts can be hard for vegetarians or those looking for healthier alternatives to your typical grill fare. Often relegated to picking over the veggie tray or settling for a salad, it’s easy for vegetarians and healthy eaters to feel left out. Instead, why not including something delicious that won’t only satisfy your vegetarian guests, but will also tempt everyone else? Try bringing these flavorful bean veggie burgers to your next gathering!
Our recipe developer Rachel debuted her new recipe at our Memorial Day get together, and they were a huge hit! Using garbanzo beans instead of black beans, which are typically seen in bean burgers, these have a little extra Mediterranean “something-something.”
They can easily be made ahead of time and keep well in the freezer, so you can enjoy your company rather than doing prep work. She served them up with a cucumber salad and tzatziki sauce on pita bread “buns” for an extra Mediterranean twist. It’s part gyro, part veggie burger.
She also left out eggs as a binding agent, so if you’re vegan, sub dairy-free yogurt in the tzatziki sauce!
Can’t find our Randall Beans garbanzo beans? Just use extra great northern beans! Garbanzo beans give these Greek-style veggie burgers a little extra Mediterranean flair but using one 24-oz. jar of great northern beans is a good substitute if you are in a pinch.
Mediterranean Gyro Bean Burgers
- Drain and rinse both jars of beans. Using a large food processor, pulse for about 15 seconds or until beans are mostly indistinguishable, but not pureed. You can also hand mash with a potato masher, but the food processor will give the best consistency. Remove from food processor and set aside in large bowl.
- Coarsely chop spinach and parsley and put in food processor. Add the juice of one lemon and two tablespoons of sundried tomatoes. Add one heaping tablespoon of minced roasted garlic. Pulse until combined, about ten seconds.
- Add spinach mix to bowl of bean mixture. Salt and pepper desired amount. Don't be afraid to taste! Blend together well, noting the consistency will be fairly wet and loose.
- With hands (or with cleaned and dried food processor) crush bag of dried onions. Add to wet mixture and combine. If mixture is still too wet to hold together, add a tablespoon of Italian breadcrumbs (or a gluten free flour) one at a time until proper consistency forms.
- On a cookie sheet, hand-patty the bean mixture into individual bugers, less than an inch thick. Unlike meat, bean burgers will not shrink during cooking.
- Chill for 30 minutes. While patties are chilling, you can throw together a quick cucumber salad and tzatziki sauce!
- Thinly slice one and 3/4 of the cucumbers. Reserve other portion for the tzatziki. Combine cucumber slices with two tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add two tablespoons of fresh dill and combine. Set aside.
- In clean food processor, add two cups of Greek yogurt (or substitute), juice of remaining lemon, tablespoon of fresh dill, 1/2 tsp each of cumin, dried thyme, ground coriander seed, and a dash or two of cayenne pepper. Add remaining portion of cucumber. Pulse until well blended. Pour into small jar with a lid and place in fridge to chill.
- Place large non-stick saute pan over medium to medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. (You can also use an outdoor grill, but using aluminum foil under burgers to prevent sticking is recommended).
- Place patties in hot pan, making sure you don't overcrowd. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, ensuring you get a nice brown crust. Use a long flexible spatula to carefully flip.
- Once cooked, move to a paper towel lined plate to absorb extra oil from cooking. Arrange cucumber salad on top of one half of the Pita bread, add extra baby spinach, place bean burger on top, and drizzle with tzatziki sauce. Top with other half of pita.
Want to complete a Mediterranean-themed meal? Try some of these other great recipes:
Looking for more delicious bean recipes? Grab a copy of the Randall Beans Cookbook. Get it for free!
Are you hungry yet? Head out to the store, and look for Randall’s Great Northern Beans to make this dish tonight.