The Meatiest Vegan Burger You’ve Ever Had

Yes, it's possible to make a meat-free burger that doesn't taste dry and processed. This recipe features mushrooms, quinoa, and olive oil.

 Christopher Testani

With the earthiness of black beans, the sweetness of sautéed vegetables, and a textural “pop” courtesy of quinoa—a high-protein grain that contains all nine essential amino acids—all on a classic hamburger bun, this vegan burger is a far cry from those frozen hockey pucks called “garden burgers.”

Skip the food processor when prepping. “I’m a big fan of chopping and mixing by hand so you can see the actual, natural ingredients,” says Chloe Coscarelli of New York’s By Chloe, whose veggie burgers have a fanatical following. To make these burgers vegan, skip the egg whites and just drizzle a little olive oil until a clump of the burger mixture holds its shape.

Prep time

10 min.

Cook time

15 min.

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups minced red onion
  • 1 cup minced button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed, patted dry, and mashed roughly with a fork
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup cracker crumbs or panko
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews or walnuts
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onion and cook, stirring until brown. Add mushrooms, carrot, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until veggies are well browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add remaining ingredients, including 1/2 cup onion, to bowl and mix. Form patties about 1/2-inch thick. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with oil. Cook patties about 5 minutes per side.

Add preferred toppings. We like: veggie bacon, cheese, and lettuce.