This juicy Spicy Bean Burger is such a tasty vegan BBQ option - packed with flavour, juicy and moist and doesn't fall apart on the grill!
Here's a cheeky vegan burger recipe for you to try this weekend. Not one of those dry, crumbly, bland veggie burgers which never fail to disappoint in pubs and second-rate restaurants across the country, but a great big, juicy, lip-smackingly tasty quarterpounder.
There are thousands of veggie burger recipes out there on the internet, with all sorts of 'bases' - beans, tofu, sweet potato or butternut squash, 'Sosmix' or similar soya bases.
Here, I've gone for a mix of beans and pre-cooked rice, (inspired by Anna Jones' Really Hungry Burger), with cooked mushrooms and onions for moisture and to loosen the texture a bit.
The flavour comes from a great big punch of Marmite and chilli - if you like great big lip-smacking flavours, these burgers are for you.
What you need to make your Spicy Bean Burgers
Tinned butterbeans are creamy and nutritious. They are packed with protein, fibre, iron and vitamins to the point of being considered a ‘superfood’. They have a 'meaty' texture, but don’t have a strong flavour of their own, which works well here as they show off all the other punchy flavours in these spicy bean burgers.
Marmite Well, what can I say..... you either love it or hate it! If you love it - the Marmite adds a really deep, savoury 'umami' to these juicy burgers which makes them so special. If you hate it - you can replace it here with 'nooch' - nutritional yeast, or some grated vegan cheese, or just a teaspoon of vegetable stock powder.
Red chilli I've suggested one de-seeded chilli in the recipe which gives a warm glow to these burgers, but you can leave the seeds in or double up the recipe for a more fiery punch. Dried chilli flakes or even chilli powder are a good substitute if you don't have a fresh chilli to hand.
Nut butter This helps to bind the burgers as well as giving a nice texture and background flavour. I used cashew butter but almond or peanut would be great too, or even tahini.
Pre-cooked rice I've suggested a pouch of pre-cooked brown rice in the recipe, but these burgers are a great way of using up leftover rice - for just a few minutes extra effort you can stack your freezer with vegan burgers rather than throwing away excess rice. Do follow food safety advice on reheating and freezing cooked rice.
Mushrooms These give such a juiciness to the burgers, just make sure you cook them until their juices have been both released and then bubbled away. You need a fairly dry mix to add to the burgers so be patient and keep the mushrooms cooking low and slow. I used chestnut mushrooms but flat-cap mushrooms are great too as they are very dark so give a rich brown colour to these burgers.
You can either mash the butterbeans for these burgers by hand, or use a food processor or mini chopper. They are really handy bits of kit to have in the kitchen.
For small chopping or blitzing jobs I use my Breville Active Compact Food Processor* which at £30 is a bargain and really handy for all sorts of quick tasks in the kitchen.
Or for bigger jobs or larger batches for the freezer, I will get out my Magimix Pro Food Processor* which has three different sized bowls for any size job. (This one was a gift for review from Magimix some years ago, but I’m a big fan and haven’t ever been paid to say so!)
Can I freeze my Spicy Bean Burger?
Yes! These spicy burgers freeze well, (after shaping, but before cooking - pile them up with squares of greaseproof paper between each burger and wrap the whole stack in foil).
As they contain rice, make sure you freeze them as soon as you have made them (once cooled). Then when you cook them make sure they are definitely piping hot throughout before serving.
Why not make up a big batch and keep them on standby for a speedy supper? Add an extra 5 minutes to the cooking time to cook straight from frozen.
What else can I make with Butterbeans?
Butter beans are so nutritious that I’m always looking for new ways to cook them. How about trying:
- Choclette’s Chunky Vegetable Soup with Butterbeans from Tin & Thyme
- My Sun-dried Tomato Pâté which has a base of creamy butterbeans
- Chris’ Butter Bean Stew with Pumpkin from Thinly Spread
- Tomato and Herb Gigantes Beans from me!
- Choclette’s Mushroom Pâté with Walnuts from Tin & Thyme
- My Butter Bean Hummus which is so creamy and delicious!
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For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
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Spicy Bean Burger
- 400 g tin butterbeans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp marmite (or other yeast extract!)
- 1 red chilli seeds removed
- 2 tbsp nut butter (I used cashew butter, but peanut or any other nut butter will also work well)
- 150 g pre-cooked rice (leftover rice or a microwave pouch are ideal)
- 75 g breadcrumbs (roughly 2 slices of bread blitzed into crumbs)
- 1 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 small red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 350 g mushrooms chestnut or flat mushrooms give a darker colour to the burgers
- plain flour for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- In a blender or food processor, blitz the butterbeans, marmite, chilli and nut butter to a smooth paste. Scoop into a large bowl.
- Add the rice and breadcrumbs to the bean mixture. Mash together with a fork or potato masher until fully combined.
- In a large frying pan, heat a tablespoon of oil.
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic finely, and add them to the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Finely chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan. Season with a little salt and black pepper, and cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, and it has bubbled away - ie. you are left with a fairly dry pan.
- After they have cooled slightly, add the mushrooms & onions to the bean mixture and mix well to combine. Chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes.
- Divide the mixture in to six roughly equal sections, then sprinkle a little flour over your hands, and shape the burgers. I find the best way to do this is to roll the mixture into a ball, then pat it down on a chopping board.
- Oil a baking tray, and place the burgers on it, turning them over after placing them on the tray so that both sides get oiled.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown with a crispy crust.
- Serve in a bun - pictured here with mashed avocado, red onion, tomato and salad.