the best damn vegan burger

the best damn vegan burger_hot for food

The best way to convince people to go vegan is to simply trick them! That’s my philosophy, anyway. I created the best damn vegan burger recipe, and I hardly want to give it up because it’s such an awesome idea. But after one juicy bite you’ll be convinced that vegan is the way to live. Don’t believe me? Watch the little piece of food porn below.

If you’re burger beast like I am, what I’m about to say will be music to your ears… I have even MORE recipes for mouthwatering vegan burgers. That’s right! I’ve made a grilled cheese burger, black bean beet burger, and even a vegan “big mac” in the hot for food kitchen. No need to thank me! 

vegan burger recipe

Sometimes I like make this juicy burg with some crispy onion strings no top too! That’s the ultimate burger move right there.

the best damn vegan burger_hot for food
4.66 from 20 votes
Print Recipe

the best damn vegan burger

After one juicy bite of the best damn vegan burger, you’ll be convinced that vegan is the way to live!

Course burger, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword burger, burgers, meatless
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 burger patties
Author Lauren Toyota


  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (or coconut sugar/brown sugar)
  • 1 package Gardein ultimate beefless ground (about 3 cups)
  • 1 x 15 oz can black beans
  • 1/2 C vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin


  1. You need to start with a thawed package of Gardein beefless ground, so either leave it in the fridge overnight (best option) or remove the contents of the package into a large mixing bowl and let it sit on the counter until it’s thawed.

  2. Caramelized onions are going to be part of the binder for the beefless ground. To start, thinly slice the onion and sauté in a pan with coconut oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in salt and stir to coat the onions. Then don’t stir them much to allow them to brown and let them cook in the pan for another 10 minutes. Add in a teaspoon of agave nectar to add some more sugar to the pan and toss again to coat all the onions. Sauté for another 5 to 10 minutes to get them caramelized. They don’t even need to be as caramelized as the photo above, as long as they are soft and browned up.

  3. Drain and rinse the black beans. In a food processor, combine the caramelized onions and black beans into a smooth paste. Add this mixture to the beefless ground in the mixing bowl along with vital wheat gluten, chipotle chili, and cumin. Mix by hand until it’s well combined.

  4. Form your patties by hand. Mine are small, approximately 3 1/2-inches in diameter and 3/4-inches thick, You can make them any size, based on the size of your buns, but at this size they’re easier to cook. You can either BBQ them or pan fry while basting them in your favorite BBQ sauce. If you want to make a homemade BBQ sauce, check out this classic BBQ sauce recipe. They take about 2 to 3 minutes each side, plus another 2 to 3 minutes once the sauce is on them.
  5. Dress your burger however you like! These ones have vegan mayonnaise and iceberg lettuce on the bottom, then the patty, a tomato slice, crispy onion strings, and dijon on the top bun.

Recipe Notes

 If you want to serve this burger with baked fries, I’ve got that recipe too!

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48 thoughts on “the best damn vegan burger”

    1. Thanks Connie! They are amazingly meaty. The vital wheat gluten really does keep it together as it is pure gluten. I have not tried with gf flour. If you have a gluten intolerance the pre-made ground "beef" also has gluten in it anyway. This might not be the right recipe for you but we are working at alternative veggie based patties now! Stay tuned 🙂

    2. Beyond Meat has beefy crumbles that are gluten, soy, and GMO free. I’m going to try it with gf flour.

  1. First of all, every recipe I have ever tried from your site = delicious! So, thank you!!! I am going to make these soon, and am just wondering if they freeze well?

    1. AWESOME! thank you so much. I think they would yes. But honestly we haven’t actually tried.

  2. Is it possible to male the patties in advance and save them in the freezer for a while, or would you say you could better make the day you would eat them?

  3. This was literally the best veggie burger I’ve ever had in my life. I cannot emphasize how perfect they were! We didn’t do the BBQ sauce, just ketchup, mustard, and Chao tofu cheese and it was the best thing ever. Thank you so much!! I’m so happy I found your blog, your recipes look awesome 🙂

  4. I’m still searching for the perfect burger recipe so will definitely give these a try this week! Do they hold up well enough to barbeque? How key is the beefless ground to the recipe – I’m not usually into fake meat, but I trust you!

  5. I have a question about the vital wheat gluten. Are "vital wheat gluten" and "vital wheat gluten flour" the same thing, just the names are used interchangeably? Seems like all sorts of stores carry the "flour" but can’t seem to find just the "vital wheat gluten".

    1. They are the same thing!!! Where I live vital wheat gluten is only found under the name "gluten flour." If you want to be sure, check the ingredients. It’s mist likely going to say "100% vital wheat gluten" no matter the name.

  6. I’ve been making this burger every weekend now for about 3 or 4 months. I put sliced kaiser rolls with vegan cheese on them in the oven just until the cheese is melted and the rolls are slightly crispy. I also make extra caramelized onions to go on top of the burger. SERIOUSLY FOLKS. SO DAMN AWESOME!!! Thank you soooo much for this recipe!! xoxoxo

  7. Can you subsitute the black beans?
    I’m 11 and trying to cook vegan for myself but I’m severely allergic to black beans. 🙁

  8. Hmmm…..this recipe definitely has promise. I liked how the burgers stayed together rather than crumbling like other vegan burgers, and the flavor was good. But for me they seemed to stick to the pan (despite it being a non-stick pan and I used oil) and became a bit mushy after cooking. I’ll definitely try this one again though. Maybe better to bake/broil in the oven rather than fry?

  9. I’m really in love with your blog and the RECIPE?! series. The problem is that, this is another recipe I really want to make, but where I live this all kinds of vegan meat (generally vegan food) is extremly expensive and so hard to find. Do you have any idea how to sub this? With crumbled temph maybe?

  10. Burgers look great, yet to try them. Just wondering if the beefless could be sub’d for something like mushrooms or another veggie?

  11. i don’t get it – how vital gluten/raw seitan supposed to be cooked in this mix on a pan? wouldn’t the mixture stay mushy?

  12. Hi! I have a question. I made this tonight and I followed the recipe but it was trying to fall apart after it was cooked.
    I don’t have a food processor so I had to hand mash it. Would that be it? I thought maybe it could be not enough flour? I’m not sure but I really want to make this again. Please help, thank you

  13. These are really amazing. They are perfect to freeze and keep on hand for days you just don’t feel like cooking. Mine weren’t too soft on the inside and a quick fry-up in a pan got the outside nice and crispy. I don’t like barbecue sauce so I left that off and they were still delicious!

  14. I want to try these out today. I realized I was out of chipotle chili powder. Would it work okay with regular chili powder as well? If its essential i don’t want to leave it out.

  15. I live abroad and the can of black beans I have here says 439 grams net weight (that’s about 15 oz.) or 232 grams drained weight (about 8 ounces) so should I use 2 cans or 1?

    1. the measurement is whatever is written on the can – so 15 oz (pre drained), so use 1 can

  16. Where I live, I don’t think there’s Gardein ultimate beefless ground. Is there a substitute for it? Also, the comment above that asked about arrowroot powder subbing for the vital wheat gluten, is that alright?

    1. the non judgy vegan

      I’m personally going to use Beyond brand, but your freezer aisle should have many vegan crumbles, any of which would work!

    2. Khushal Roopnarain

      Hi. Where I live, there’s no Gardein ultimate beefless ground. But I do have unflavored top. How do I
      prepare this. God bless.

  17. I absolutely love all your recipes, Lauren! You are amazing! And this recipe looks phenomenal!
    I love being vegan but I have such an issue with the copious amounts of soy (goitregenic) and canola oil (toxic sludge) thrown into the meat alternatives 🙁
    I will be soooooo very happy when these alternatives are healthy as well as tasty. I live in hope!

  18. So so good! I didn’t have wheat gluten so I substituted about ~1/4 cup cornstarch and they held together perfectly when I pan fried them.

  19. Hi. I cant find soy curls here in South Africa. But I can get normal TVP in mince/granular form. Is the soy curls that you use flavoured/spiced. The TVP here is just plain bland. Or do you have a recipe to flavour the TVP. Really want to try this burger. God bless.

    1. search the meatball recipe on the blog. It will explain how to prepare the TVP and then you can measure out the same amount for the beefless ground

  20. Hello,
    Two questions for you.
    What is the total time to cook the onions?
    I can’t see the photos of the onions on this page, I have ad block off. How come I can’t see the photos?
    Thank you.

    1. I’m sorry I don’t know, but I will look into it! The total time may vary because you are caramelizing them, but low and slow until they are golden brown

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