The popularity of plant-based meat is at an all time high, with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing on a new wave of healthy eating for many. In fact, sales of plant-based foods increased by 90 percent in March of 2020 (the peak of the food rush during the pandemic), compared to sales at the same time the previous year. And while store bought veggie burgers have their benefits in terms of convenience, homemade veggie burgers are a delicious treat, if not a little difficult to keep in one piece while cooking. In this article, we give our tips on how to make the ideal veggie burger, so you can ensure that your homemade veggie burgers are perfect and delicious every time.
Make Sure Your Recipe Includes a Binder
The most important step for keeping your veggie burgers together? Making sure you’re using a binder! A binder is the glue that makes the patty’s ingredients stick, with eggs being one of the most common binder ingredients. Before using a recipe, make sure it includes a binder if you don’t want to be picking up the pieces of your poor veggie burger from your pan!
Jolinda Hackett of The Spruce Eats tells us more about what can be used as a binder in your veggie burger recipes:
“Eggs are the most common and effective binder, and egg replacers are an excellent alternative for vegan burgers. Other common binders include wheat germ, bread crumbs, oats, and ground flaxseeds. These are dry ingredients, though the recipe’s other ingredients often add just enough moisture to make a sufficient binder.”
Mash It Up
One of the key traits of a delicious veggie burger is one that is perfectly mashed. Not only do you not want to be able to differentiate the ingredients used too much due to taste and texture, but big pieces of individual ingredients can fall out and cause your veggie burger to crumble.
One Green Planet explains why mashing up your ingredients can be key to a successful veggie burger:
“Make sure all the ingredients are mashed well and chopped finely. Use a potato masher, a fork or your hands. While it’s nice to see and taste the individual ingredients in the burger, pieces that are too big will fall out and keep the burger from holding together. If you use a food processor, process until everything is just combined but don’t turn it into a soup.”
Let It Rest
“Letting it rest” is a common step in many recipes when it comes to properly combining wet and dry ingredients. While you may think that this is a waste of time, this step is included for a reason, and can make a big difference in whether your veggie burgers stick together.
Julie R. Thomson of The Huffington Post explains why you should never skip this important step:
“Some recipes call for letting the veggie mixture rest in the fridge before shaping into patties, and some ask that you let the shaped patties rest for a few minutes before cooking. Never skip this step. It’s written for a reason. Letting the burgers rest helps the dry ingredients better incorporate with the wet ones, creating a more homogenized burger that’ll stick together.”
If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration or you want to see where you can enjoy a delicious veggie burger at your favorite restaurant, check out our list of all restaurants to compare food menus.