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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mushroom Chickpea Burgers

I'm always on the lookout for savory, meatless dishes that feature whole foods instead of processed meat substitutes. When I found this recipe a few weeks back, I knew I had to give it a go. Mushrooms are not only adored for their distinct texture and umami taste, but perhaps more importantly for their incredible healthfulness. The variety featured here- cremini, portobello, and shiitake - are loaded with B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid that help maintain a healthy metabolism, in addition to minerals such as potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium. The chickpeas and their flour tout high levels of folate, which plays a critical role in DNA synthesis, repair, and methylation, as well as a slew of essential minerals. Serve these burgers on buns or salad greens, garnishing with your favorite condiments (I recommend a little 'kraut or pickled onions and cucumbers), cheese, or thinly-sliced veggies.

Mushroom Chickpea Burgers

  • 1 lb portobello mushrooms
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (or 1 cup chickpea flour & 1/2 cup nutritional yeast)
  • 1 cup mirepoix (equal portions diced carrots, celery, & onion)
  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup packed soft herbs, finely chopped (tarragon and basil work well)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for sauteing and frying


Remove stems from shiitakes and trim the bottom half-inch from portobellos. Dice all three mushroom varieties to a small, uniform size.

Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat; add 2 tbsp olive oil, followed by the mirepoix, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes, again stirring frequently. Add the tamari and stir, then remove from heat; transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

When the mixture has cooled enough to handle, add the chickpeas, flour, cumin, and nutritional yeast, if using. Using your hands, mash the mixture until about half of the chickpeas are crushed. Fold in the Sriracha, herbs, and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shape the mixture into six-oz patties. Coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil; when the oil begins to shimmer, add a burger; cook for 3 minutes or until golden and crisp, flip, and repeat.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to five days.

Pairs nicely with some freshly-baked or toasted honey whole wheat rolls!

My two cents: I really enjoyed these burgers. BUT I do want to tell you that the next time I make them, I will chop up the mushrooms more (not for texture, for stickability) and be more careful to use the author's recommended amount of flour (I didn't measure and definitely did less than what was written).


Images by Rebekah Carter (2012). Recipe by Brian Van Etten of Veggie Galaxy via STUFF Magazine (Boston).

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