White Bean Burgers

Whenever my vegetarian friend comes to visit, I struggle to find good vegetarian-friendly recipes. I can’t exactly serve her Cheetos and brownies and call it a day. (Though that would make a delicious meal and she probably wouldn’t mind.)

As much as I love a good hamburger I am always intrigued by veggie burgers. I’ve tried several different varieties over the years both at restaurants and in my home kitchen. So a veggie burger seemed like a good option for my friend’s visit.

This recipe is adapted from a White Bean Burgers recipe published by the NY Times.


  • 1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large garlic cloves (to taste), green shoots removed, minced
  • ⅓ c. finely grated carrot
  • 1 ½ T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ c. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano
  • ¼ c. fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Whole grain hamburger buns
  • condiments/garnish of your choice


  1.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium-size skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Mash the beans. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the onion mixture, carrot, parsley, oregano, bread crumbs and the egg. Season to taste. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy skillet or on a griddle over medium heat and brown the patties for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, being very careful when you turn them over.

Here’s what I said about this recipe back in 2011:

My only complaint about this ‘burger’ is the distinct lemon taste that permeates the burger. I squeezed the juice of one lemon into the beans when pureeing and it seems as though that was too much. However, my vegetarian friend loved the lemon flavor, which just goes to show … to each her own.

Even when you freeze these patties, they are a bit difficult to flip. If you have an extra wide spatula, you should use it to ensure you have a good grip on the burger before you flip it.

It would be wise to choose a soft bun as this burger falls apart easily when you bite into it. If you use a hard bun it will squish the burger meat out when you bite into it. I ate mine plain on a whole wheat roll. My vegetarian friend added Colby cheese, arugula and thick slice of tomato to hers.

You can see why in 2018 I omitted the lemon. I wasn’t overly fond of this recipe the first time I made it. Since I was omitting the lemon, I decided to omit the step where I puréed the beans with lemon. Instead I opted to mash the beans. Doing so made for a thicker patty that held together better.

With these small tweaks, I was able to improve the rating on this recipe. My dad coined this recipe “a keeper” which means it has to be good.

Enjoy meatless burgers? Check out these recipes:

Recipe rating: 

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