Vegan Beet Burgers

Vegan beet burgers

Vegan beet burgers are all the rage in the plant-based world. The red color is absolutely gorgeous! Serve as you would any other kind of burger — on buns or in pita bread, with your favorite condiments. They’re so flavorful that I like to serve them on their own. If anything, I’d add a dollop of a quick vegan tartar sauce and serve them with salad.

Makes about 12 small slider-sized burgers, or 6 to 8 larger burgers

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds beets (3 to 4 medium or several smaller ones)
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (oatmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 15- to 16-ounce can kidney or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or mesquite seasoning, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To serve (any, all, or none!)

  • Whole grain buns or pita bread
  • Mustard, ketchup, relish
  • Shredded lettuce or sprouts
  • Sliced red onion
  • Quick Tartar Sauce

Cook the beets using any preferred method — microwave, cook, or roast them whole (for more details on how to cook beets, see How to Cook Beets) until tender but not overdone. Plunge them into a bowl of cold water if you’d like them to cool off faster. Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into chunks.

Preheat the oven to 400º to 425º F., depending on what else you’re making and how hot your oven runs.

Place half of the oats in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup boiling water. Let stand for until needed. 

Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and scallions and continue to sauté until all are soft and beginning to turn golden.

In a food processor, combine the beets, onion mixture, both the soaked and dry oats, beans, cumin, and both kinds of paprika (or mesquite). Pulse on and off until the mixture is evenly and finely chopped. Stop the machine from time to time to scrape down the sides and give it a little stir.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Taste and add more of any or all of the three seasonings if you’d like a bolder flavor, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Vegan beet burgers recipe

Line a baking sheet with parchment. 

If you’d like smaller burgers, use a round, 1/4-cup measure. For the larger size, use a 1/2 cup measure. Oil the measuring cup very lightly and pack it fairly tightly with the beet mixture. Transfer to the baking sheet by turning the cup over and dislodging the mixture with a sharp tap. Flatten to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness with the bottom of the measuring cup.

Continue with the rest of the beet mixture, wiping out the cup and oiling it lightly from time to time.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottom is starting to brown, then flip the burgers carefully and bake on the second side until lightly browned, 15 minutes or so longer.

Serve hot or warm on their own on buns with your favorite condiments, or on their own, plain or with tartar sauce. 

Note: These can also be sautéed on a skillet using a little oil, instead of baked.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving (making 8 burgers; not counting garnishes): 123 calories; 2.5g fat; 267.6mg sodium; 411.6mg potassium; 21.2mg carbs; 6.9g fiber; 4.4g sugar; 5.3g protein

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22 comments on “Vegan Beet Burgers

  1. amy

    I love this recipe, because I love beets. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate these gems into my gluten free vegan diet. Thank you Nava! Can’t wait to try it.


  2. meggs

    I just made these tonight and my meat eating family loved them. thanks so much. This will deff be a regular in my kitchen!

  3. Martie

    Confused a bit by directions. First it says to soak half cup or oats in hot water and later to mix both wet and dry oats. Can you clarify? Thanks.

  4. Nava Post author

    Hi Martie — as per the directions, it says to soak just half of the oats in one of the first instructions, then later, to add both the soaked and reserved (dry) oats to the mixture. Not sure how to further clarify! Let me know if you have a follow-up question.

  5. Nava Post author

    This is a good question; I’m not as familiar with the texture of steel-cut oats. As long as they cook to a mushy and kind of sticky consistency, that’s what you want, as that is the “glue” that holds these burgers together!

  6. Dede

    Martie, i misunderstood the instructions too at first. I think since the recipe requires 1/2 cup of oats total, then only “half” of that (which is 1/4 cup) needs to be dry.
    Also, if you use steel cut oats you’ll end up with a more gluey burger

  7. Susan

    The taste is great but my burgers were a bit too much like pancakes. Should I keep adding oats until the batter is thick enough to roll into balls that I can flatten on a baking sheet? Or would adding moistened flax seed help? As it is, when I flipped the burgers they were still a bit wet and shapeless (but they do taste great!)

  8. Nava Post author

    Hi Susan, I suppose that this depends a bit on how moist the beets are, and how hot your oven runs. I would say that adding more oats would be better than moistened flaxseeds; and letting them firm up as much as possible (without too much browning) on the first side. I’m sorry these were a bit runny for you, and hope they work out better next time.

  9. Stefi Butler

    I used canned beets when I made these (how can a supermarket be out of fresh beets? but they were) and accidentally got pickled beets instead of regular beets. The burgers were wonderful. The sweet-tart flavor worked really well with the other flavors.

  10. Cindy

    I tried this recipe but used the pan fry method…Every burger turned out like mush, couldn’t even flip them over. So I tried cooking them longer and only got burnt bottoms but still they were like mush. So…I just used it like a spread and had it on flat bread. It was OK, but I was disappointed.

  11. Laura Bell

    I made these last night and they tasted great! Although I think I added a little too much water to the oats as it was a little liquidy and difficult to flip!

  12. Linda Orowitz

    If you line the cup with plastic wrap the mixture will come right out and you’ll avoid the added oil.

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