Spiced like sausage but built for a burger bun, these healthy, plant-based burgers are oil-free with a gluten-free option. They can be seared in oil for a crunchier exterior or baked for low-fat/oil-free. Serve with your favorite burger fixings, atop salad, or with your favorite veggies and whole grains. *See Notes for pan seared cooking method and a way to make this recipe without a food processor.
1(15 ounce) canblack beans, rinsed and drained well
3Tbspsoy sauce or tamari (for gluten-free sub 2 Tbsp tamari)
1/4cupvital 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!
If you prefer a crunchier, charred exterior (using oil):
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.
Don't have a food processor? Finely chop the nuts and tempeh and mash all ingredients together with a fork or potato masher.