Because everyone loves a good plant-based, protein-packed vegan patty, I present to you... Tempeh and Black Bean Sausage Burgers! Why sausage flavor? Well, because the spices are delicious. And why gluten-free and oil-free options (as well as gluten-full and oil-containing options)? Because it's so easy to have it any way we want it.
Here's the low down on this sausage-inspired vegan burger
At its core, this is simply a patty made from tempeh and black beans with a bunch of delicious spices thrown into the mix. Though a bit delicate, even as an oil-free, gluten-free patty it holds together surprisingly well.
However, after two test batches I decided to include 1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten in the main recipe (with clear instructions on how to omit it - super easy). Gluten makes the patties quite a bit sturdier by serving as a binder, provides a firm, meaty texture, and adds additional protein (not that we need it!). So, for those of you who do eat gluten, you can opt for these perks if you like.
I've also included options for oil-free and oil-based cooking. For oil-free, simply bake the patties according to the main instructions. If you include oil in your diet and feel like kicking up the richness and texture of your sausage burgers, there are easy instructions in the Notes section of the recipe for pan-searing the burgers in oil before transferring them to the oven to finish cooking.
Preparing these vegan burgers couldn't be easier
No need to chop vegetables for this recipe. Sure, fresh onion, garlic, mushrooms, etc, are amazing in veggie burgers, but you won't find them here. My goal with this recipe was to create a burger that's more meaty than veggie-filled, one that relies more on the spice cabinet and pantry than the produce drawer. This also means that even if you haven't been to the grocery store all week, you might still have everything you need to make these burgers. Score!
In the photos above, the first one shows you how crumbly and dry the mixture will look after processing. Next, packing the mixture into a 1/2 cup measuring cup was the most consistent way I found to form the burger patties (full description in the recipe instructions below). If you have a burger mold, that would be the more proper way to go about this. 😉
Let's talk for a moment about the nutrition in these vegan tempeh burgers
With Omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts and tempeh, healthy plant-based protein from black beans, tempeh, and walnuts, plus an impressive amount of fiber, calcium and iron, these just might be the healthiest, high-protein vegan burgers you could ask for!
I dressed my burger with Violife's smoked provolone slices, green leaf lettuce, pickles, mustard, spicy ketchup and onion, but the sky is the limit! Vegan mayo and/or avocado is a must. Oooooh, and don't forget sauerkraut (because sausage)! Also, you can't go wrong with a crusty, toasted ciabatta roll. Mmmmmmm, so good. Of course, if you're not in the mood for all that, these burgers are DELICIOUS on top of a big salad, which is exactly what I had for lunch today. They would also go perfectly in a grain bowl with your favorite steamed greens and veggies.
I hope you enjoy these Tempeh and Black Bean Sausage Burgers. If you give them a try I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below, and tag @myquietkitchen on insta to show off your healthy burger creation!
If you like this recipe, you might also like my Refried Black Bean and Tempeh Tacos With Creamy Lime Dressing and these Tabbouleh-Inspired Bean Burgers.
Tempeh and Black Bean Sausage Burgers
- 1/2 cup walnut halves (use sunflower seeds for nut-free)
- 1 Tbsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- black pepper, about 10+ turns of a pepper mill
- 8 ounces tempeh, cut into cubes
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari (for gluten-free sub 2 Tbsp tamari)
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (omit for gluten-free)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and locate a baking sheet.
- Place the walnuts and fennel seeds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until there are no more large chunks of nuts, about 10 to 12 pulses. Add the remaining spices - paprika, oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, onion, sage, red pepper flakes and black pepper - and pulse to combine.
- Add the tempeh, beans, soy sauce and vital wheat gluten (if using) to the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times, then remove the lid to scrape down the sides. The mixture should look dry, but if it seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water (if omitting the vital wheat gluten do not add any water). Process until fully incorporated, with no large pieces of tempeh or bean remaining, but not so long that it becomes a paste.
- To form patties, spoon the mixture into a 1/2 cup measuring cup and pack it down tightly using the back of the spoon. Run a butter knife around the edge of the measuring cup and coax the mixture out onto a cutting board. Use your palm to gently flatten the patty. If the edges crack a bit, with your palms facing in (pinkies against the cutting board), gently squeeze toward center to secure the outer edges. Repeat this process as needed for each patty so that the mixture is tightly packed and solid. Patties should be about 4 inches in diameter and less then 1/2 inch thick. Transfer patties to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake 10 to 15 minutes more. The burgers should be lightly browned, firm and hot in the center. Serve and enjoy!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat an oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Once hot add 2 tablespoons of high-heat cooking oil, such as grapeseed. Without overcrowding the pan (you may need to work in batches) cook the patties undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the centers are hot and firm when pressed.