A flavorful veggie burger that can be grilled or pan fried. Delicious, texture rich and with that BBQ flavor we crave! This chickpea burger recipe is easy to make, freezer friendly and is make ahead ready! Pile your favorite toppings on, we’re making vegetarian and vegan chickpea burgers y’all! This recipe is also easily gluten free.
The Ultimate Comfort Food
Easy to pull together and ideal for meal prep, these hearty vegetarian and vegan chickpea (aka garbanzo beans) veggie burgers are full of wholesome, good for you ingredients.
Homemade chickpea veggie burgers are the ultimate comfort food.
Not the kind you can buy in the store, but the ones you make at home, prepared and frozen ahead of when you need. Pull em’ out of the freezer a few hours or the morning before you need them, and wallah! Toast the buns, fix the toppings and whip up some fabulous homemade oven fries and dinner is done!
What’s in a Homemade Veggie Burger?
Depending on the recipe, many homemade veggie burgers start with a base of beans. For this recipe, we’re using chickpeas which are sticky by nature, and are fiber and protein rich, so they make an excellent base for vegetarian and vegan veggie burgers.
Flavor builders such as smoky paprika, garlic, vegan Worcestershire, mustard, ketchup, and liquid smoke also add moisture so the veggie burgers hold together. To aid egg free veggie burger binding, choose between chickpea (garbanzo) flour or whole wheat flour. Both work!
For texture and bulk I include ingredients like cauliflower, rolled oats, and walnuts. Then there’s sautéed red onions that add to the mouthwatering flavor profile.
Quick Guide to How to Make BBQ Chickpea Veggie Burgers
These veggie burgers are simple to pull together and with mostly pantry staples. In summary, here’s how to make mouthwatering BBQ burgers (see recipe card for details):
- First, dry toast the walnuts in a pan.
- Second, sauté the onions that’ll be used in the patties.
- Third, toss the ingredients in a food processor in three batches. Transfer each batch to a large mixing bowl.
- Fourth, using your hands, mix all the ingredients together in the bowl.
- Next, portion, shape and chill the chickpea patties.
- Last, cook the patties in a skillet or on the grill.
Plan ahead so that the chickpea patties have time to rest in the fridge. Although this step can be skipped, the burgers hold together better and the flavors have time to marry with a refrigerator rest.
For a most mouthwatering experience, try slathering these burgers with my Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce!
How to Store Veggie Burgers
Refrigerator: Store raw or cooked patties in the fridge for up to three days.
Freezer: The patties can either be frozen raw or after cooking for the ultimate convenience. For frozen patties, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and either reheat in a warm oven or cook/grill as directed.
Chickpea veggie patties hold up to just about any condiments you can throw at it. Try some variations to see what makes your toes curl!
- Extra Tall: Onion rings with all the classic condiments are fabulous on this burger. Stack em tall then gently smoosh it all together!
- Classic: Mayo, a quick aioli (mayo mixed with minced garlic and lemon juice) and/or mustard with pickles, lettuce, onion and tomato.
- Go old School: Simply dress with mayo and ketchup, top with pickles and cheese du jour.
- BBQ Burger: Add cheddar cheese just before pulling the patties off the grill or pan and drizzle a bit of homemade smoky bourbon BBQ sauce over the top for some amazing BBQ burgers! Slather the grilled buns with a bit of mayo and/or mustard. Don’t forget the pickles!
- Caramelized Onions: Y’all are loving the saucy sweet onions on this Black Bean Burger! Well, they’re just as fabulous on this chickpea burger!
Sides to Share with BBQ Chickpea Burgers
Veggie burgers are hearty enough on their own, however, no BBQ is complete without some delicious sides! Here are recipes we love with these healthy chickpeas burgers:
- Simple Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Green Olive and Egg Potato Salad
- BBQ Baked Beans
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Crispy Oven Fries
- Broccoli Slaw
- Texas Potato Salad
- Carrot Raisin Salad with Pineapple
Boring but important! Take a look at the recipe card notes if egg-free veggie burgers are new territory.
A Few Recipe Notes
- BBQ Sauce: I like Homemade Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce to top this chickpea burger recipe, but a favorite prepared BBQ sauce will be delicious as well.
- Cheese? Optional! Use your favorite cheese on this chickpea burger recipe. My favorites are medium cheddar, Swiss or provolone. For dairy free, try Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda!
- Make Ahead: This chickpea burger recipe is freezer friendly before or after cooking the patties. Simply freeze on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, stack the patties between parchment paper and store in a freezer bag or container for up to three weeks.
- Chill the Veggie Burgers: Resting the burgers in the fridge does take a bit of pre planning, but is needed to hydrate the oats and help hold the burgers together. It also marries the flavors.
- GRILLABLE: You can grill or pan fry these chickpea burgers. Hooray! Handle with care for delicious results.
More Veggie Burger Recipes to Love
- Black Bean Burgers with Saucy Sweet Onions
- Spicy Chickpea Veggie Burgers – Cajun Style
- Sweet Potato Burgers
BBQ Chickpea Veggie Burgers
For the Patties:
- 1 C (110g) Walnuts
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil like olive oil
- 1/2 C (60g) Red Onion small dice
- 3 C (265g) Cauliflower Florets in medium chunks, about 1/2 a medium head to yield about 2 C 'riced' cauliflower
- 2 C (439g) Cooked Chickpeas one can, drained, rinsed & patted dry
- 3/4 C (75g) Rolled Oats
- 1/4 C (30g) Chickpea Flour aka Garbanzo Bean Flour (or sub whole wheat flour)*
- 2 Tbs each, Prepared Yellow Mustard and Ketchup
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 2 tsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 tsp Smoky Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules or garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp fine Sea Salt
- A few shakes of Tabasco optional
- Vegetable Oil for frying or grilling, I like olive or coconut
Share With (optional):
- Smoky Bourbon Homemade BBQ Sauce or favorite prepared BBQ sauce
- Favorite Burger Buns
- Cheese of Choice
- Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions or onion rings, mustard, mayo.
To Make the Patties:
- In a medium saute pan, add the walnuts and toast on medium-low for about 6-7 minutes until toasty and fragrant, tossing occasionally so that they toast evenly. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan, and add 1 tsp vegetable oil. Once shimmering, saute the onions on medium-low for about 5-6 minutes, or until just soft. Transfer the onions to the bowl with the walnuts. Set aside.
- To the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade, add the cauliflower chunks and pulse until it looks like short grain rice - or in small bits like couscous (don't over process as it can turn mushy). You'll need about 2 C (265g) 'riced' cauliflower. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- To the work bowl of the food processor, add the chickpeas, walnuts and onions. Pulse until crumbly. Some small chunks are good! Transfer to the large mixing bowl with the cauliflower.
- To the work bowl of the food processor, add the oats, chickpea flour, mustard, ketchup, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic, salt and Tabasco if using. Process until a the mixture is thick, crumbly and a bit pasty. Transfer to the large mixing bowl with all the other ingredients.
- Using your hands, mix thoroughly squeezing and pushing the mixture together. Be patient here, it takes a few minutes. The mixture should hold together when squeezed in a fist.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and make room in the fridge for the pan. Use a 1/2 cup (133g) scoop for 6 patties OR 1/3 cup (85g) scoop for 9 patties to portion the patties. Roll each into a ball. Using the back of a metal measuring cup with a small piece of parchment under it, press each ball into a patty using gentle pressure to about 1/4"- 1/2" (.6 – 1.2 cm) thick. Place the patties on the parchment lined sheet pan and transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least one hour so the flavors can marry and to hydrate the flour/oats. *I've fried these patties without resting for an hour in the fridge, and they were okay, although a little more tender. To Freeze (optional): at this point the raw patties can be frozen. Slide the pan in the freezer for one hour then stack the patties between parchment squares and into a freezer bag for longer storage.
- Preheat the oven to 200F (95C) and line a sheet-pan with parchment paper. Place the pan in the oven. This will keep the patties warm after they’re cooked.
- In the Skillet: Add two to three Tbs of oil to a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Heat until shimmering. Add three patties. Be sure to give them plenty of room. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, adjusting the heat as needed and being careful when flipping a patty. Slide the patty on the parchment lined sheet pan in the oven. Sprinkle with sea salt. Finish cooking the remaining patties adding more oil as needed.OROn the Gas Grill: Clean grill and oil with vegetable oil (like canola or olive oil). Heat a gas grill on highest setting. Brush both sides of the veggie burger with oil and gently transfer to the grilling grates or a grill pan (use a grill pan if the grates of your grill are thin). Cook for about 5 - 6 minutes on each side, taking care when flipping the patties. Adjust heat as needed so that the burgers don't burn. Add cheese if desired just a few minutes prior to removing them from the grill or pan. Cook those final few minutes with lid on to melt the cheese.To keep warm, transfer the patties to the preheated oven.
- Just before serving, brush or drizzle warm BBQ sauce on the patties. Share with your favorite condiments.
- After cooking the patties, store in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three weeks. When freezing the patties, freeze first on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, stack patties between parchment squares and place in a freezer bag.Thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat at 400F (200C) for about 15 minutes.