Meatless Grilling: 7 Satisfying Veggie Burgers

Summer is officially underway, and we’re turning up the heat on your grilled meatless dinners. The grill (or frying pan) is about to become a meat-free zone. Even non-vegetarians won’t be able to deny the appeal of these seven veggie burgers awaiting them. Follow the recipes to a T, or give the burgers tantalizing toppings of your choosing. Serve alongside french fries, chips, coleslaw, or salad for a tempting summer meal.


1. Quinoa-Feta Burgers

When you have Eating Well‘s recipe, there is no need to pick up your quinoa burgers in the frozen food section for your vegetarian cookout. Infused with feta cheese  and seasoned with fresh ingredients like parsley, the burgers will be beyond what you’d buy pre-made, and you can garnish with grilled onions and radicchio, if desired. This dish makes about six servings.


  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 whole-wheat buns, grilled
  • Whole-grain mustard, for serving
  • Grilled onions, for serving (optional)
  • Radicchio, for serving (optional)

Directions: In a bowl, mash beans into a thick paste and mix in shallot, carrot, quinoa, parsley, feta, salt, and egg whites. Form mixture into six patties and chill 30 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat directly on grill grates or on stove top, and cook patties until golden (add remaining tablespoon oil if cooking in batches), 4-5 minutes per side. Serve on buns with mustard, grilled onions, and radicchio.


2. Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Mint-Yogurt Sauce and Carrot Salad

When the rain starts pouring down, take your vegetarian grilling indoors with Martha Stewart‘s veggie burgers, made using lentils; the recipe serves four. As you put the ingredients through the food processor, a few chunks are okay, and will add texture when you form the patties.


  • 4 medium carrots
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 5 whole-wheat hamburger buns
  • 1 can (15 ounces) lentils, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce

Directions: In a food processor fitted with the shredding disk, shred carrots. Transfer to a medium bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and half the scallions. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Wipe food processor clean and fit with chopping blade. Process 1 bun until finely ground. Add lentils, egg, half the mint, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and remaining scallions. Pulse just until combined; do not overmix.

Dividing evenly, shape mixture into four 3½-inch patties. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Cook burgers until browned and firm, 4-5 minutes per side. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, remaining mint, and remaining tablespoon lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Place burgers on buns and top with yogurt sauce and lettuce. Serve with carrot salad.

Grilled Eggplant

Source: iStock

3. Grilled Eggplant Burgers

Seasonal eggplant is put to a good vegetarian use by Chicago Farm Stand to make burgers that are fresh and flavorful. You can choose to make either four large or six small burgers with the ingredients on hand.


  • 1 large eggplant, cut width-wise into rounds about ⅓ inch
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 10-15 basil leaves
  • 4 tablespoons of Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • Buns or bread
  • Favorite lettuce, Italian dressed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cooking spray

Directions: Use a grill or grill pan to cook the eggplant slices. Lightly coat with olive oil or cooking spray before grilling. Grill on medium heat, about 4 minutes on each side. Chop tomatoes into small chunks, dice the basil, and combine with lettuce and Italian dressing. Toast (to your taste preferences) buns or bread. Add eggplant slices to bread. Top eggplant with Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese, and then add tomato/basil/lettuce.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

4. Garbanzo Bean Burgers

Another option for when you’re marooned inside because a monsoon is raining down or if the weather is otherwise unfriendly to grill masters is to fry up these garbanzo bean burgers from Taste of Home.


  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 6 slices reduced-fat process American cheese product
  • Dill pickle slices, fat-free mayonnaise, and ketchup, optional

Directions: Place the beans, water and lemon juice in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings, and mix well. Shape into six patties.

In a large skillet, cook patties in oil in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve on buns with cheese. Top with pickle slices, mayonnaise, and ketchup, if desired.


5. Grilled Lemon-Basil Tofu Burgers

As the tofu stands, it will perfectly soak up the lemon juice marinade from this Cooking Light recipe. With no real flavor of its own, your tofu will have the taste of the marinade plus any flavors it picks up while grilling. It yields six one-burger sized servings.


  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
  • Cooking spray
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped, pitted kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 6 (1½-ounce) hamburger buns
  • 6 (¼-inch-thick) slices tomato
  • 1 cup trimmed watercress

Directions: Combine first eight ingredients and 3 garlic cloves in a small bowl. Cut tofu crosswise into 6 slices. Pat each square dry with paper towels. Place tofu slices on a jelly-roll pan. Brush both sides of tofu slices with lemon juice mixture; reserve remaining juice mixture. Let tofu stand 1 hour.

Prepare grill. Place tofu slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 3 minutes on each side. Brush tofu with the reserved juice mixture. Combine remaining 1 minced garlic clove, chopped olives, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a small bowl; stir well. Spread about 1½ tablespoons mayonnaise mixture over bottom half of each hamburger bun. Top each serving with 1 tofu slice, 1 tomato slice, about 2 tablespoons watercress, and top half of bun.


6. Black Bean Veggie Burgers

In‘s version of the veggie burger, you can grill or bake the patties. If baking, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the burgers for about 10 minutes on each side. The recipe yields four patties.


  • 1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
  • ½ cup bread crumbs

Directions: Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic, then stir into mashed beans.

In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties. To grill, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

7. Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone, and Roasted Peppers

Pesto, peppers, provolone, portobello, and no shortage of alliteration is on-hand with Bon Appétit‘s mushroom-based burgers.


  • ½ cup purchased pesto
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 sourdough, whole grain, or ciabatta rolls, split horizontally
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out
  • Olive oil
  • Roasted red peppers from jar, drained
  • 4 cups arugula (about 2 ounces)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

Directions: Stir pesto and mayonnaise in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill rolls, cut side down, until lightly toasted. Transfer to plates. Spread grilled side of rolls with pesto mayonnaise.

Brush mushrooms on both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, rounded side up, 4 minutes. Turn mushrooms over. Cover and grill until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Place 1 mushroom on each roll bottom. Top each with enough red pepper pieces to cover, then with arugula and cheese. Press roll tops over and serve.

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