Super Healthy Veggie Burgers

April 30th, 2013 at 6:06 am

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page, I mentioned that I threw together some amazing veggie burgers for dinner one night on a whim. I told folks that I’d be happy to make them again if they’d like the recipe. And the answer was a resounding YES!

So to the kitchen I went to remake the burgers and get some good photos. I tweaked a few tiny things and they turned out even better the second time.

What I love about these veggie burgers is that they’re actually made with—get this!—veggies. I know, shocker. But seriously, most veggie burgers in the store are made with anything but vegetables. Just take a look at the ingredients I jotted down from a veggie burger I spotted in the store the other day:

Textured vegetable protein (soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, water for hydration), corn oil, egg whites, calcium caseinate, contains two percent or less of modified tapioca starch, onion powder, mixed triglycerides, canola oil, hydrolized vegetable protein (corn gluten, wheat gluten, soy protein), dextrose, soy protein isolate, natural and artificial flavors, salt, yeast extract, sugar, caramel color, whey, methylcellulose, spice, garlic powder, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, soy sauce (water, soybeans, salt, ethyl alcohol, wheat), autolyzed yeast extract, ascorbic acid, thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), niacinimide, sesame seed oil, soy lecithin…


Forgive the all caps—I try not to yell at you very often—but seriously. Where are the vegetables in these “veggie burgers”?!

Care for a little disodium guanylate with your lettuce and tomato? How about a little whey and autolyzed yeast extract with that side of sweet potato fries?

In contrast, here are the ingredients in my veggie burgers:

Cauliflower, onions, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic, almond flour (or ground nuts or seeds), extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed, cumin, poultry seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, eggs.

That’s it. And there’s even an option to make them egg-free. True, my burgers don’t have as much protein as the packaged kind, but 14 ingredients compared to 36-plus?  I think I’ll take the homemade version and have a little more protein at my next meal, thank you very much.

Seriously, folks. When are we going to wake up and realize that the stuff marketed to us as “health food” is actually nothing more than the result of a science experiment and a whole lot of tinkering around in a lab? You want health food? Start in the produce department, or better yet, the farmers’ market. Cook from scratch. Eat REAL food, stuff that you can pronounce or that you can imagine growing in nature.

I read this article last week and was reminded again just how much work there is to be done in this country in regards to reclaiming our health. I often throw my hands up and sigh, feeling like there’s not much I can do to bring about positive change in our world of food terrorism. This is precisely how I was feeling when I asked the Facebook community if they’d like the recipe for these burgers.

Well, 70 “likes” and 32 comments later, I realized that there are a lot more people out there like me who get fed up with the food system and want to clear the clutter from their cooking, too. And if giving people a super healthy veggie burger recipe on my little blog is going to take them one step closer to optimal health (and one step further away from the frozen food aisle…), then I’m in.

So here you go. A veggie burger made with veggies. Revolutionary to many of us, perhaps, but hopefully not for long.

Grab that apron, head to the kitchen, and get cooking. I’ve seen a quote flying around Facebook and Pinterest quite a lot lately, and maybe you’ve seen it, too. It goes something like this:

“You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake.”

Can I get an amen?

New Calendar!

By the way, it’s almost May, so that means it’s time for a new Daily Bites Motivational Calendar. Click HERE to download the free PDF. Have a great start to the new month!

Super Healthy Veggie Burgers

Yield: Makes 6 burgers

Unlike most store-bought "veggie burgers," these super healthy homemade patties are, believe it or not, made with vegetables! They can easily be made vegan and are also free of grains, beans, and soy.


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 medium head cauliflower, cored and chopped small (about 3 cups chopped)

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped small (about 3/4 cup chopped)

1 medium celery stalk, peeled and chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and shredded (about 1-1/2 cups shredded)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup (packed) blanched almond flour, or any 1/2 cup (packed) any ground nut/seed

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 large egg (see note below for egg-free/vegan)


Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the grated sweet potato and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Add the almond flour, flaxseed, cumin, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper to the vegetables. Pulse just to combine. (You still want the vegetables to have some texture, so don't completely turn them into paste.) Add the egg and pulse just to combine.

Use your hands to form the mixture into 6 "burger" patties. The mixture will be somewhat wet, so don't be alarmed if it seems really moist. Place the patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze while you preheat the oven to 400ºF.

When the oven is preheated, place the pan in the oven and bake the burgers for 10 minutes. Carefully flip them over and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Let the burgers rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with your desired toppings.

For egg-free: Whisk together 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons HOT water. Set aside for 10 minutes to form a gel. Use this in place of the egg in the recipe.



  1. These look so good.
    I am a vegetarian and am always on the lookout for options to include vegetables in my ~5 yr olds diet.
    Can you suggest some other seasoning options? I do not have any poultry seasoning and this will probably be the only recipe I will get it for, I should like to know if I can use any other (for ex. Cajun) seasoning.

    • Pallavi: Any type of herb seasoning will be great. I like poultry seasoning because of the thyme and rosemary, but if you have a basic herb blend on hand that would be just fine. Cajun seasoning sounds delish! :)

  2. Tiffany B. said on April 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Is there a substitute for the nuts/almond flour due to allergies?

    • Tiffany: Any ground seed will work (just make sure the 1/2 cup is “packed”). Or you could try ground oats or quinoa flakes if you can tolerate grains.

  3. YUM! I will be making these with the egg-free option for my family. My son is allergic to dairy and eggs. One added benefit of reading all the labels looking for danger is noticing the increasing use of mystery ingredients in our food! Frightening!

  4. Hallie mine are chilling in the fridge right now! I am excited to try them tonight at dinner. I was wondering why you recommend peeling the celery? I didn’t peel any of the veg, but mine are organic so I’m hoping that’s okay :) I also used some leftover hummus instead of an egg! Thanks for another fab recipe .

    • Maggie: People always look at me funny when I say I peel my celery. :) It’s 100% personal preference. My mom always peeled her celery when I was growing up, and so did my grandma. So I guess I come from a long line of celery peelers! Your hummus swap sounds great. Enjoy! :)

  5. I love that these veggie burgers are actually packed with veggies – they are not just “not meat” burgers!

  6. I think the reason for peeling celery is so that you remove those tough strings that are sometime in celery. It makes the celery more tender.

  7. I can’t eat cauliflower. Can you suggest a substitute? Maybe zucchini?

    • Rachel: I haven’t tried these burgers with anything other than cauliflower, so unfortunately I don’t know what other vegetables might work. If I try anything else out in the future I’ll be sure to come back and let you know! :)

  8. Just what I have been looking for Hallie! Finally a REAL veggie burger! Can’t wait to try this recipe!! You are amazing! Thank you!!!

  9. ajsoares said on May 1, 2013 at 7:00 am

    These were really, really good! They fell apart when I was trying to flip them (could it be because I was too hungry to chill them?) but were delicious! I added one pepper and some homemade curry powder (cause I am not sure what poultry seasoning is) – cannot wait to have the leftovers for lunch!

    Once again your recipes are a hit: Simple, quick-prep, healthy and delicious :)

  10. Amen! These look fabulous!

  11. These sound yummy. Thank you. But I have one question: How do these hold up in bun? So many of the gluten-free vegetarian burgers turn to mush and fall apart when served as a sandwich.

    • Peggy: If you cool them for 5-10 minutes after they come out of the oven (like it says in the recipe), that helps them stay together and remain firm. I usually eat them as “knife and fork” burgers with a bunch of toppings, but I served them a few weeks ago to others and they enjoyed them in buns just fine. No crumbling or mush! :)

  12. So many veggies packed into one little patty – only you could work this kind of magic Hallie.

  13. Loving this. I have all the ingredients although I will use a spicier seasoning. If I can eat it straight from the fridge it will be a bonus.

  14. I made these last night. They were really good – the boyfriend has been scarfing them down.

    Just a note that I had to bake them longer than the recipe called for to feel like they were done and holding together. I haven’t eaten them in a bun; I have a feeling that is going to smoosh them. But that doesn’t bother me.

  15. Hi, I really like the sound of these, but could you tell me what the ground flaxseed is for (I’ve never heard of it) and if it could be repaced with something more common or just left out please? Thank you.

  16. These sound wonderful, and I can’t wait to make them. I’m hoping my eldest will eat them (not a picky eater), but am not so sure about my very-picky youngest. I know my husband and I will enjoy them.

    Do you have a nutritional breakdown for these? I need to keep track of how much protein and fat I’m eating because of an absorption issue.

  17. I’m super excited to find a recipe that has no beans due to husband with kidney disease. Thank you so much for this recipe.

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