These healthy vegan chickpea burgers are great on a bun, in a wrap, or on top of salads and grain bowls. They're even delicious straight from the fridge as a quick, savory snack! This recipe includes gluten-free, nut-free, and oil-free options.
There are about a hundred-and-one ways to make a chickpea burger, and this lightly smoky, Tex-Mex-inspired version is our current favorite! They're flavorful without being spicy, although you can definitely add jalapeño or cayenne if you like.
We also love that these chickpea burgers are baked and easy to prepare. They're nicely crisp on the outside, sturdy enough for a bun, and great for meal prep.
What You'll Need
Feel free to play around with the additions and spices and make these burgers your own. Here's a quick look at the ingredients you'll need.
- 1 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15 oz) can
- ½ cup raw walnut halves - sub ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds to make it nut-free
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 green onion, optional
- 1 small roasted red pepper (from a jar), optional
- 1 ½ tsp chile powder
- 1 tsp each cumin and smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup flour of choice such as whole wheat or a gluten-free all-purpose blend
- ⅓ cup corn
How To Make Chickpea Burgers
- Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the spices, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
- In a food processor pulse the walnuts into coarse crumbs.
- Add all remaining ingredients except corn and green onion, and process until combined but not smooth or pureed.
- Stop to check the consistency a few times. You don't want to turn the mixture into a puree. A few larger pieces of chickpea and walnut are okay. Fold in the corn and green onion.
- Using ½ cup mixture per patty, form the chickpea burgers. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping the patties at the 15-minute mark.
The chickpea burgers are done when both sides are a deep golden color, and the outsides are crisp.
Tips and Substitutions
- For nut-free vegan burgers use raw sunflower seeds instead of walnuts.
- For extra flavor and a spicy kick, sauté one diced jalapeño with the onion. Yum!
- If you include oil in your diet and prefer a rich, charred chickpea burger, pan-fry in a small amount of oil after baking for 15 minutes (10 minutes on one side, 5 on the other). This pre-bake makes the burgers sturdier and easier to handle in the skillet.
- This recipe makes 5 burgers, so if you're cooking for a larger family or want leftovers for the week, you may want to double the recipe.
- If serving as a snack or on top of a salad, leftover patties can be enjoyed straight from the fridge. For hot dishes, warm the chickpea burgers briefly in the microwave or in a skillet.
More Vegan Burgers and Tex-Mex:
- mushroom barley burgers
- quick air fryer veggie burgers
- sausage-spiced tempeh burgers
- tabbouleh-inspired bean burgers
- lentil taco meat
- baked taquitos
- warm taco bowls
- vegan tortilla pie
I hope you enjoy these vegan chickpea burgers. If you try the recipe I would love to hear from you. Drop a note in the comments below to let us know how they turned out!
Smoky Vegan Chickpea Burgers
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons oil, optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons chile powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 ¼ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup raw walnut halves - Sub ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds for nut-free.
- 1 (15 oz) can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour or a gluten-free blend
- 1 small roasted red pepper, chopped (about 2 tablespoons), optional
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 green onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup corn kernels, thawed if using frozen
Serving suggestions, optional:
- avocado or guacamole
- lime wedges
- 5 burger buns - Or serve on top of a salad or in a grain/nourish bowl.
- green leaf or romaine lettuce
- sliced tomato
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C), and line a baking sheet with a parchment paper or a silicone mat. Also, preheat a saute pan over medium heat.
- Add oil to the saute pan, if using. Once hot, saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. If cooking without oil, add a small splash of water to the pan only if needed. Add the garlic, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chile powder, cumin, paprika, and black pepper to the pan. Stir constantly, and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
- Add walnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 7 or 8 times or until coarsely chopped. Add the chickpeas, onion mixture, salt, nutritional yeast, flour, red pepper, tamari, and liquid smoke. Process until well mixed but not smooth/pureed. It's okay to have some larger pieces of chickpea and walnut for texture.
- Remove the blade from the bowl of the food processor, and fold in the green onion and corn. Scoop up ½ cup of the mixture per burger (you should get 5 patties, each about 3 ½ inches in diameter). Use your hands to form them into patties. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, flipping the patties at the 15-minute mark. The chickpea burgers are done when both sides are golden. Serve with avocado or guacamole and a squeeze of lime.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
Hi Lori. Thanks for a great recipe. These came out perfect other than the fact I overcooked them at 28 mins. The flavors are amazing. I did omit the oil and I used the optional roasted red pepper. I definitely will be making these again.
The recipe does say to fold in the green onions after removing the S blade, but your pic shows the green onions in the food processor with the beans prior to mixing. My pieces were a little large folded in, so I'm going to pulse them a few times with the bean mixture next time.
These are fantastic! The flavors dance in your mouth -- this is the recipe that will spoil me from any purchased varieties, so I guess I'll just have to make these often :). I used pinto beans for the chickpeas, picked jalapenos for the red pepper, and I did use fire roasted corn. I also added in some chopped cilantro, then served these slider style with avocado alongside some homemade bread. I ate the leftovers with roasted potatoes, which is equally fantastic. Lori, you hit it out of the park with this one!
Two days ago I made this recipe using just the single amounts. Today I'm making it & will be trippling the recipe. We both loved them. Today I'm going to add some aqufaba, not much, just enough to hold them together a wee bit better.
We went vegan 6 months ago & I'm always trying new recipes. Keep up the good work. I love your site.
Thank you so much, Donna. 😀