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The Best "Beefy" Vegan Burgers

Photo: Daniel Agee; Styling: Rishon Hanners and Audrey Davis

Active time 15 mins
Total time 1 hr, 15 mins

Serves 10 (serving size: 1 patty, 1 bun)

This umami-rich burger is unabashedly attempting to imitate a beef burger in flavor, texture, and appearance. Mushrooms and grains form the bulk of the burger--the mushrooms are tender, and the grains stay firm to give the impression of protein which has been cooked. The fat helps coat the separate elements so that it holds together nicely and isn't piecey like most veggie burgers. The patty absorbs lots of grill flavor to deliver a charred, smokey patty just like a traditional beefy backyard burger.


  • 2 cups walnut halves
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, gills removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces chilled vegan butter, cubed
  • 2 cups cooked freekeh, bulgur, brown rice, or other grain
  • 1/2 cup uncooked regular rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons grated red beet (grated using a Microplane grater)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated using a Microplane grater
  • 10 hamburger buns
  • Hamburger toppings

How to Make It

  1. Process walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Place ground walnuts in a bowl. Process portobellos in a food processor until chopped. Add butter; process just until combined. Add mushroom mixture, freekeh, oats, beet, mayonnaise, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic to ground walnuts; mix thoroughly to combine. Chill 1 hour.

  2. Shape mixture into 10 (1/2-inch- thick) patties. Heat a grill pan over high. Coat with cooking spray. Cook patties until heated through and lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan, and serve on buns with your favorite burger toppings.