One of the most frustrating things about being gluten free is checking ingredients lists when food shopping, as so many things you wouldn’t even think could contain wheat seem to. I have a lot of good supermarkets near me, but not a single one’s veggie burger selection includes one that doesn’t contain wheat. Since homemade everything is better anyway, I decided to try making them from scratch.
The problem is that the breadcrumbs in commercial veggie burgers are what helps them hold together, something I only realized when I started cooking my first batch. I threw almond flour in to my second batch which definitely helped (and is great to use if you’re grain-free or slow carb), but I’d recommend using gluten-free breadcrumbs instead to really bind them together well; they’re a bit delicate otherwise…but still taste lightyears better than those gluten-y store bought veggie burgers. The great thing about making veggie burgers from scratch is that you can really customize them to your liking/based on what you have on hand. Don’t like peas? Use corn. Not a fan of spinach? Skip it. Have some leftover zucchini in the fridge? Throw it in. The world is your gluten-free oyster.
Gluten-free Veggie Burger Recipe
1 medium sweet potato, cooked however you like (I roasted mine in a 350 degree oven for one hour, but if you need to save time just stab it with a fork and use the microwave), then peeled
1 cup cooked rice (I used jasmine. If you cook 1 cup of uncooked rice, you’ll have enough for the burgers and to have on the side)
8 ounces button, white, or cremini mushrooms, diced small
1 large carrot (or about 7 to 9 baby ones), diced small
2 small shallots, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen chopped spinach (not thawed)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup almond meal or gluten-free breadcrumbs
In a large bowl, mash together sweet potato and rice. Set aside.
Heat enough olive oil to comfortably coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add mushrooms, carrot, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add in frozen peas and spinach and continue to cook, stirring to break up spinach chunks, until vegetables are cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Add vegetable mixture to the bowl with the sweet potato and rice. (Wipe out skillet but don’t wash it yet.) Add cayenne, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, and mix until well combined. Taste mixture and add more seasonings if necessary. Let cool about 30 minutes (you can speed this up in the fridge), then mix in egg and meal or breadcrumbs until everything is combined nicely.
Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in your skillet (use a paper towel to spread it around). Take large golf ball-ish sized portions of the veggie mixture and flatten into patties, then add to skillet. Cook until lightly browned (about 4 minutes), then flip carefully with a thin metal spatula and cook on other side. Serve on toasted gluten-free buns with cheese, because cheese is the best.
(This recipe makes 8 to 10 burgers and freezes quite nicely. Freeze burgers between pieces of parchment paper in a freezer bag and reheat in a skillet or in the microwave.)