I have been a vegan for nearly three years, and in that time I have tried tons of different veggie burgers, both homemade and from the store. So many burgers crumble in my hands, are mushy, or are just so obviously vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good veggie burger. A smoky sweet potato and black bean burger was one of my go-to recipes in my first year of veganism, but it was not long before I just wanted a burger. I looked for something properly meaty that would hold it’s shape and stand up to toppings without flattening like a pancake. Enter: textured vegetable protein and these classic TVP burgers.
I don’t remember how I learned about TVP. Is it one of those things vegans come by via osmosis? Are the best vegan meat substitutes etched on a tablet somewhere that descended from on high? All I know now is that I cannot live without a five pound bag of the stuff in my pantry. TVP is a byproduct of soybean processing. It is high in protein, low in fat, and resembles ground beef, making it an excellent meat substitute in a variety of dishes. So far, I have only used it in the burgers, but I cannot wait to do more experimenting.
TVP’s neutral taste makes it the ideal canvas for any flavors you want. The seasonings in my recipe below make for a great all-around burger, but feel free to make spice substitutions depending on the flavor profile you are going for! Try this recipe with chili powder or adobo and serve with jalapeño. Try it with cumin and dill and serve with a vegan yogurt sauce flavored with lemon. The possibilities are endless.
For today, I’m serving these TVP burgers with a fresh broccoli slaw and a homemade rhubarb barbecue sauce. You can find the barbecue sauce recipe that I used over on One Green Planet. Similar to my Kalamata tapenade recipe, I wanted to divert from the traditional and put my favorite vegetable ever on a burger.
To my skeptical family: I see you shaking your heads at me. I see you scrunching your noses at the thought of broccoli on a burger! Well, stop that.
Classic TVP Burgers
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein
- 1/4 cup rolled oats slightly chopped or blended (I use a spice grinder to break them up slightly)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon tahini*
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Fresh Broccoli Slaw
- 2 pounds broccoli about 1 large head, cut into large florets
- 4 ounces red onion (1/2 small onion), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise**
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more as needed
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
To Prepare the TVP Burgers:
- In a large bowl, mix the textured vegetable protein, oats, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt. Add the hot water and mix carefully.
- Stir in the tahini, tomato paste, brown mustard, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Let the mixture stand for several minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Mix in the whole wheat flour. The mixture should come together and hold it's shape without being too sticky.
- Put a heavy-bottom skillet on medium heat and add a light coating of high-smoke point oil like grapeseed or canola oil and cook each patty for about 4-6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. I find that these burgers can go from perfectly cooked to burnt very quickly, so keep a close eye on them as they cook.
- Serve on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings, or try my broccoli slaw below!
To Prepare the Broccoli Slaw:
- Shred the broccoli in a food processor using the shredding disc. If you do not have a food processor, feel free to chop the broccoli finely by hand.
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded broccoli, red onion, pecans, and capers.
- In a smaller bowl, mix together the vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt. Add pepper to taste.
- Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the shredded broccoli and carefully stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes before serving.
What is your favorite burger topping? Do you like to experiment, or do you stick with the classics? If you make your own variation of this burger, snap a picture and tag me on Instagram!