Make GREAT BURGERS Out of Almost Anything

Recipe: Basic Bar-B-Que Bean Burger – (Vegan)

Yes, you really can make a great burger out of almost anything (and just 3 main steps)! In fact, the “5 B’s” recipe that I give below is really more of a quick and easy how-to for making a veggie burger — any veggie burger. Most of the ingredients I suggest for this recipe can be easily swapped out for whatever you happen to have on hand. Or, if the cupboards are bare, just about any neighborhood store should have many of the ingredients or usable alternatives that will still yield a (low cost) but great tasting and nutritious burger. But first, a little history…

For many years most people have believed, beyond all doubt, that burgers can only be made from animal meat, mainly beef. A fairly big change came about in the 1970’s when people (and fast food chains) realized that other meats, such as chicken or turkey can also be made into patties or burgers. The popular fast food “chicken sandwich” — made from a patty of chicken rather than slices — was born. Thereafter fast food meat burgers, mainly beef or chicken, became the norm of the American diet.

And so, Americans in particular have been stuffing themselves with high fat, high cholesterol, chemical loaded, low quality meat burgers since around the late 1940’s. Of course, all of this has generally been accompanied with deep fried white potatoes loaded with fat and salt and covered with sugar-filled ketchup. Not much wonder that the rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a host of other diseases have soared over the last 50-60 years and have been directly linked to the Salt/Sugar/Fat triad best represented by animal meats.

The long and the short of it is that we have simply got to stop eating animals or any kind of animal meat. It is horrible for human health. And the world wide herds of cows, pigs, chickens etc. are damaging the climate, causing the rain forests to be razed, and using up water and other resources for very little food value returned. And it is unnecessary; there are many other inexpensive, available sources of protein that are much better suited to human consumption.

And it is uncompassionate and cruel to animals. Many people are even coming to believe it is immoral to kill and eat animals. Afterall, we are all animals, aren’t we? living and surviving together on Mother Earth. What right do we have to kill and eat other beings that have consciousness and emotions and desire to live just as humans do? Far back in human history, during prolonged periods of starvation and shortages, eating animals had to be resorted to, perhaps. But in modern times, during the greatest plenty and availability of plant foods the world has ever known — what right or reason can there be for the modern day industrial levels of killing and eating animals? This is truly a bizarre form of cannibalism when you think about it. And it is high time it came to an end.

But heaven forbid that burgers should come to an end! Burgers, whatever they are made out of, are one of the most delicious gifts from the food gods most definitely. How thankful we all should be that burgers can be made from almost any kind and combination of plant foods you can think of. And they can be not only great tasting but also healthy, nutritious and nearly free of all the aforementioned garbage that human bodies just don’t need.

Perfect proof that burgers can be made from a panoply of plant foods (more alliteration, sorry) can be found online, all over Pinterest, and any number of cooking websites and YouTube channels. Below is a link to a fabulous e-cookbook that contains a collection of recipes for various kinds of veggie burgers. The ingredients range from cashews to eggplant to chickpeas. This veggie burger cookbook comes from by Alissa, which is a popular vegan cooking site. See her free veggie burger e-cookbook by clicking here.

If you are willing to try any of these recipes, at least one of them is bound to become a favorite. But in the meantime, if you are a person with a busy life and always on the go then here is a great basic burger recipe for you. It’s quick and easy and calls only for ingredients that are inexpensive and available everywhere — you’re gonna love it.

(The 5 B’s) – Basic Bar-B-Que Bean Burger

Yield: (4 – 6 medium 3/4 inch patties)


  • Beans! 2 cups of cooked and seasoned beans of any kind. I use Pinto most often. One 16 oz can of pre-cooked beans should work but it’s always better if you make your own from the dried. Click here for a link to my own easy guide for making homemade beans from the dried.
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs (store bought Panko bread crumbs work great but you can make your own from toast or other dried breads)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (if you’ve got it)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (or bell pepper, or…be creative)
  • 1/2 cup of ? – Got any left over quinoa? couscous? barley? brown rice? Toss them in to the mix — this will add bulk and nutrition
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Bar-b-que sauce (any ole kind you like or have on hand)
  • Spices: a little salt, black pepper, maybe some oregano and basil (whatever you like on your burgers or happen to have)
  • OPTIONAL: a rub or coating mix can be fun and tasty to coat your burgers with before they hit the grill or frying pan. I used “Texas Pecan Coating mix” (store bought) but you can make your own using 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1 cup cornmeal, Salt, Pepper, spices to taste).


  1. Drain as much excess liquid from your cooked beans as you can. Spoon them into a medium size bowl and mash them up with the back side of a large soup spoon — or other method (giving the beans a quick turn in a blender is fine, but don’t over mix or turn them into a cream).
  2. Finely chop the onion and celery (etc.) and add them to the bean mixture. This is a good time to add any grains you have or more spices, if you have a mind to, and perhaps a tablespoon of bar-b-que or other sauce.
  3. Add the cup of bread crumbs – using your hands to mix and pull together all the ingredients is best. Might as well because next you will have to use your hands to form the burger patties (or “meat”balls perhaps).

And that’s it! Now you are ready to grill, or fry, or saute or even eat uncooked if you want — there are no animal ingredients that would make this mix unsafe to eat raw. But here are a few more optional steps:

  • 4. Coat your patties or not-meatballs with bar-b-que or other sauce using a small spatula or butter knife.
  • 5.Put some of your coating mixture (bread crumb based or other) on a small plate. Press each side of your patties in the coating or roll around your not-meat balls.
  • 6.Now you are ready to cook or freeze your burgers to use at a later time (they freeze great! and will stay good in the fridge for at least a week.)
  • To freeze or refrigerate burgers individually take a dinner plate and lay enough cling wrap over it to cover it. Then place one burger in the middle and bring up edges of the cling wrap to cover the burger and then toss it in the fridge or freezer.

And wa-la! You can have a great tasting burger, with or without buns, just about any time you like and quick as can be if you froze (no need to thaw before cooking) or refrigerated ahead of time. The meat ball version can be suitable for dinner parties or guests. And if that’s not enough think of all the money you’ll save — plant based is vastly cheaper than animal meat when you make your own. Quick, easy, healthy, inexpensive and compassionate. You absolutely cannot beat it.

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