3 Meat-Free Burgers Recipes For Your July 4th BBQ

This July 4th, as your backyard grill strains under the weight of the usual beef burgers, steaks, ribs, and other delicious carnivore delights, consider inserting a few meat-free alternatives into the menu.  Here are three meatless burger recipes that bring the flavor, shared courtesy of V-Lish.com, a new site dedicated to helping people explore or sustain a transition to meat-free eating by showcasing recipes, videos, and cooking tips from talented chefs on preparing great-tasting meatless meals.

Mushroom-Nut Burger

Image credit:
Image credit: Laura Theodore


  • 1½ cups lightly packed, fresh, soft whole-grain bread crumbs (from about 3 to 4 large slices) (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari or ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
    Put the bread crumbs, Italian or all-purpose seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender and process in pulses until they resemble coarsely ground flour. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir gently to incorporate. Put the mushrooms, onion, and tamari in a blender and process to a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut–bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate.
  2. Place a 3-inch cookie cutter ring on the parchment. Pack one-quarter of the mushroom– bread crumb mixture into the ring and press it firmly and evenly into the ring to form a “burger.” Gently remove the ring. (see note) Repeat with the remaining mushroom–bread crumb mixture. Flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula. Bake for 18 minutes. Flip each burger and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes, or until the burgers are slightly crisp and golden.
  3. Serve on toasted whole-grain buns, topped with lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, mustard, and catsup.

Chef’s Notes:
Gluten-free option: To make gluten-free bread crumbs, use your favorite gluten-free bread in place of the whole-grain bread.

Freshly made bread crumbs must be used in this recipe, as dry bread crumbs will not hold the burgers together. To make fresh bread crumbs, tear 3 to 4 slices of fresh, soft whole-grain bread into chunks. Put the bread chunks in a blender and process into coarse crumbs.

Alternately form the burgers into four patties, with your hands.

Yield: 4 Servings

Recipe provided by Laura Theodore, the Jazzy Vegetarian, and host of the PBS television series of the same name, as well as the podcast. Her most recent book is Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites. For more information please visit: www.lauratheodore.com

Big Ben Lentil Burger

Image credit:
Image credit: Sarah Kramer


  • 3⁄4 cup (95g) wheat germ
  • 2 cups (400g) cooked or canned lentils
  • 1 cup (120g) bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup (40g) onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper


  1. On a small plate, set aside 2 tbsp of wheat germ for coating.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the wheat germ, lentils, bread crumbs, onions, oil, salt and pepper and mash together ingredients with a potato masher or your hands.
  3. Divide and shape into 4 patties like you’re making a snowball. Really pack the patties tightly together. Lay down each patty in reserved wheat germ, coating each side.
  4. Cook in a lightly oiled frying pan on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping occasionally.
  5. Serve an all-vegan patty with special sauce, lettuce, vegan-cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame bun! YUM!

Big Ben Lentil Burgers from GoVegan! w/Sarah Kramer App.

Available at www.goveganapp.com

Watch how to make these burgers HERE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SleirL5C3SU

Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers

Image credit: Spork Foods


  • 1 tablespoon neutral tasting high-heat oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 12 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 12 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 12 large red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Dash sea salt, plus 12 teaspoon
  • 1teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
  • 14 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 34 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or 2 slices spelt bread
  • Whole grain mini burger buns
  • Ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, tomato and lettuce (optional)


  1. Preheat large (6-quart) pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add corn, bell pepper, dash of sea salt and black pepper. Cook until mixture is slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes, and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine black beans, chipotle powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and agave. Pulse together 5-8 times. Add oats and bread crumbs or spelt bread. Pulse until uniform, scraping down sides to further incorporate into food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add cooked onion and pepper mixture to bowl and fold into veggie burger mixture.
  4. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add remaining oil. With damp hands, form burgers into patties and place in heated pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Serve on a toasted mini bun with cashew cheese, if using and desired toppings!

Recipe provided courtesy of Spork Foods, a gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live vegan organic cooking classes in Los Angeles at Spork Foods. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently in stores, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel. Heather and Jenny are Chef Ambassadors for two major corporations, GO Veggie! Foods and Setton Farms. They teach all over the country and the world reaching about 10,000 people a year.

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