5 Ingredients or Fewer

3-Ingredient Veggie Burgers

September 23, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
Author Notes

No, veggie burgers don’t need a billion ingredients. Or even a dozen. In fact, this recipe—fresh from the Big Little Recipes cookbook—only includes three, and no one will be the wiser. The trick is to start with soaked, not canned, beans. Such is the time-tested strategy for Middle Eastern falafel: Grind soaked chickpeas (or in Egypt, fava beans) into oblivion, shape the mixture into little balls, and fry them until they’re crunchy outside, juicy inside, and impossible to eat just one. But I never thought to falafel-ify veggie burgers until I read Joe Yonan’s wonderful cookbook Cool Beans and gawked at his Black Bean–Chipotle Falafel Burgers in our Genius Recipes column. Unlike the canned sort, which hold together well but mush out at first bite, rehydrated then pan-fried beans yield a crackly crust and meaty center. Once you’ve soaked and food-processed your chickpeas, all you need are marinated artichokes (tangy and herby, thanks to their soak in vinaigrette) and sun-dried tomatoes (make sure they’re oil-packed for that bouncy texture and rich flavor) to get something that’s as flavorful as it is minimalist. Note: Because these chickpeas start out simply soaked, it’s important to make sure the burgers cook through in the pan.

Adapted with permission from Big Little Recipes by Emma Laperruque, published by Ten Speed Press, October 26, 2021.Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 13 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 8 minutes
  • makes 6 burgers
Ingredients
  • Burgers
  • 1 cup (180 grams) dried chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 (12-ounce/340-gram) can marinated artichokes, drained
  • ½ cups (70 grams) drained, julienned sun-dried tomatoes
  • Neutral oil, for pan-frying
  • Fixings
  • Your pick of bread (like a potato bun, English muffin, pita, or grainy toast)
  • Your pick of toppings (say, sliced cheddar and juicy tomato, spicy mayo and raw onion, or Dijon mustard and sweet pickles)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Soak the chickpeas in water for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Drain the soaked chickpeas, then add to a food processor with the salt. Pulse, scraping down the sides as needed, until the beans are finely minced and easily hold together when squeezed. Transfer the ground chickpeas to a bowl.
  3. Add the artichokes to the food processor. Pulse until minced, then mix into the chickpeas. Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor, pulse until minced, then mix into the chickpeas and artichokes.
  4. Use your hands to form the mixture into 6 burgers. Refrigerate them in an airtight container or on a covered plate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. This helps them hold their shape in the pan.
  5. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add enough neutral oil to thickly coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, use a spatula to carefully add the burgers—if you’re cooking all of them, you may need to do this in batches. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until deeply browned, crusty, and cooked through. (Resist the urge to press or shuffle the burgers as they’re cooking—this could cause them to crack.) Transfer to a plate or wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Grab a potato bun or English muffin or pita or some grainy toast. Now sandwich your burger with whatever toppings you’d like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TXExpatInBKK
    TXExpatInBKK
  • Assya
    Assya
  • stinkycheese
    stinkycheese
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

18 Reviews

TXExpatInBKK October 13, 2021
I've never made veggie burgers at home because it seemed like too much work. Then I saw this recipe and decided to go for it! While I'll never mistake these for beef, they are flavorful and delicious and I will definitely make them again! Thank you, Emma!
 
Assya October 6, 2021
If you have reservations about this recipe, give it a try because it is easy enough you won't regret making it (even if you don't like the result). I was skeptical about using soaked uncooked chickpeas but the texture was nice. I felt these were good but did not burst with flavor. I will probably experiment with these as AJ below did. As another reviewer noted, they do get burnt very fast though so keep that in mind when cooking them.
 
AJ October 5, 2021
These are brilliant! I pretty much never make veggie burgers because they have too many ingredients or take a lot of time. These are truly genius! I have already made them twice and working on the third batch. I made the first batch exactly as the recipe states but the second batch I didn't have artichokes so I added pumpkin (canned) instead, some raw onion plus curry powder along with the chickpeas and sundried tomatoes. Also, fantastic! Love this easy peasy recipe!! Delicious because they get a crispy crust and hold up as a burger. Thanks for this idea!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 5, 2021
So glad you're enjoying, AJ—and yum to a pumpkin variation!
 
stinkycheese October 2, 2021
Has anyone actually made these? Mine burned within a couple of minutes on medium heat. Had to toss them. Be very careful with the heat.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 5, 2021
Sorry to hear that! Thanks for the note. Medium worked well in our tests, but every pan/stove is different—sounds like medium-low would work better if you make another round.
 
Rosalind P. October 1, 2021
I dry my own tomatoes and don't store them in oil. Suppose I could add just a little for the processing step. And canned artichokes not in our pantry, but for this they could be. "Big Little" just another way to say "Genius".
 
Arlene September 28, 2021
Any suggested substitutions for sun dried tomatoes? Not a regular pantry item for me.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 28, 2021
Hi Arlene! There are a couple other three-ingredient veggie burgers in the Big Little Recipes cookbook that don't use sun-dried tomatoes. One of them includes Castelvetrano olives, which could be a nice substitute here too.
 
Rosalind P. October 1, 2021
Dry some yourself in your oven, very low temperature. For me, easier than keeping them as a pantry item. Just add a little oil when you process them.
 
Karen September 28, 2021
Can these be made ahead and frozen for quick meals later? If so, would you recommend cooking first?
 
Chris September 27, 2021
These veggie burgers sound delicious and oh so easy. I'm just wondering if the sun dried tomatoes and the artichoke hearts can be processed at the same time. Thank-you!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 27, 2021
Thanks! I like to process them separately so I have a little more control of the textures, but it should be a-okay either way.
 
Chris September 27, 2021
Grazie!
 
daisybrain September 28, 2021
That was kind of my question. Let us know what happens when you whiz them all together.
 
Chris September 28, 2021
I will do that! :) My thought is if they are whizzed together they will be better incorporated in to each other...:)
 
witloof September 27, 2021
Thank you, this looks delicious and easy.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 27, 2021
Thanks, witloof!