With rich sun-dried tomatoes and protein-packed chickpeas, these Chickpea Burgers are the perfect vegan dinner to add to your rotation. The dough comes together in no time and the patties can be made on the stove, in the oven, and even on the grill!
You’ve probably used chickpeas before – right? Maybe in a salad or to make falafel. In my academic years, I leaned heavily on them because they were cheap and packed with protein and fiber (as I would later learn during my nutritionist studies).
But have you ever had a chickpea burger? Vegetarian burgers are commonly black bean burgers and while good, chickpeas are another great option with a more neutral flavor to mimic a chicken patty. They also have a bit more structure than other types of beans meaning these burgers can be made without eggs.
For this chickpea burger, I chose to use some Italian flavors, inspired by my Italian recipes and travels. The simple ingredients like parsley, garlic, and red onion all pack in the flavor to keep the ingredient list short and the taste buds happy. Let me show you what I mean by teaching you how to make these vegan chickpea burgers!
Why you’ll love it
- No crumbling with this veggie burger! When you bite into it, it holds its shape just like a meaty burger!
- Grilled or baked or pan-fried to perfection. This makes it a great choice for summer cookouts or busy weeknights.
- No eggs are needed to make these burgers making them totally vegan in addition to a vegetarian! This also keeps the ingredient list shorter and you don’t have to handle raw egg (win-win)!
Ingredients for Chickpea burgers
Ok, open your pantry and fridge while you read through this list – I bet you have most of these items already! The only one you might not have is Italian parsley because it doesn’t last forever (sadly). But, you definitely need to grab it on your grocery run this week because it adds a unique freshness and so much flavor!
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas have a secret, sometimes they go by garbanzo beans just to try and confuse people. Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are exactly the same thing though, so feel free to use either in the canned form.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: These add that Tuscan flare that elevates these chickpea veggie burgers to new heights! If didn’t have them in your pantry and are looking for them at the store, they are in glass jars, usually near the tomato sauce.
- Red Onion: Red onion is a must for this recipe. It adds so much tang and just the right amount of sweetness.
- Garlic: You will need 4 fresh garlic cloves. If you only have pre-minced, try to drain out any of that liquid and aim for 1 tsp of minced for each clove.
- Italian Parsley: Flat-leafed Italian parsley has much more flavor than its curly counterpart. But, the stems shouldn’t be eaten, so be sure to remove them.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is what I use for these burgers but if you’re gluten-free a 1:1 gluten-free replacement flour should work. If you try it, let us know in the comments!
- Spices: Flavor time! A simple combination of cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper work together to put on one jumpin’ concert for your taste buds!
Do you use a lot of garlic?
If you cook a lot, the answer is probably yes. And when that’s the case, minced garlic is SO convenient and seems to last forever but sadly it goes bland (not bad, just bland) much sooner than people realize. A better option is to buy frozen minced garlic or to mince a large batch of garlic cloves once every two or so weeks and store them in the fridge.
How to make Veggie burgers with chickpeas
This chickpea burger recipe is very easy to make and requires no chopping or dicing, it’s all done in the food processor. You will need to let the dough mixture firm up in the fridge for a bit, but that also makes this recipe great for meal prep. Or for when you forgot guests were coming over tonight and you have 10 minutes in the morning to set something (anything) up.
- Prep by draining the chickpeas and patting them dry. Too much moisture will make these burgers crumbly.
- Blitz everything together in a food processor.
- Let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour or the whole day if the above situation happens to you (speaking from experience here).
- Shape and cook on a stove top skillet, grill, or in the oven, then serve as you would a normal burger!
If you are storing the dough (before cooking), simply cover it or keep it in an airtight container for up to 24 hours in the fridge. If you are storing leftovers, also store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
To freeze them, wrap in plastic wrap first and then place in an air-tight container or plastic bag. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. You can reheat in the oven, air fryer, on the stove, or by blitzing them in the microwave in 30-second increments. The oven or air fryer is my preferred method because it helps get them crisp again. No need to thaw before cooking!
Why this Recipe Works
I tried this recipe a few different ways. Through this process, I learned what makes this recipe so special and why. Here’s the abridged version of my hours of testing:
- The dough has to chill not because it’s so cool but because it makes it SO much easier to handle and gives the flavors time to infuse.
- Canned chickpeas will make your life so much simpler. Sure, you can rehydrate your own garbanzo beans but canned ones are cheap, ready-to-go, and shelf-stable.
- Different cooking method options allow you to make these using whatever you have OR take them to show off to your friends at your next grilling meet-up. Yes, grilling meet ups are a thing.
How do you keep chickpea burgers from falling apart?
Since these are chickpea burgers without eggs, they need time in the fridge. This allows the chickpeas to soak and bind with the flour, thus keeping them from falling apart when cooked.
What toppings should I put on my burger?
Can I make these burgers ahead of time?
Yes, these are great for making in advance! You can make the dough up to 1 day in advance and the burgers will keep all week in the fridge. This makes them a great option for a quick protein at lunch.
Can I make these gluten-free?
Yes, these garbanzo burgers can be make gluten free but either using an all-purpose gluten-free flour, or by making your own oat flour. To make oat flour, blitz rolled oats or quick oats in a blender or food processor until they resemble flour!
Side to serve with burgers
No burger is complete without some fries on the side! But what about a salad or chips? Here are a few of my favorite side dish pairings.
- Cornbread Casserole is easy to whip up and can be baked while you pan-fry the chickpea burgers.
- Truffle Fries can get nice and crispy in the air fryer while you bake or grill your burgers.
- Grilled Zucchini Corn Salad has all those delicious summer vegetables that can go on your burger and into this salad.
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas 425 g each
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes 60 g
- ½ medium red onion ½ cup diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup Italian parsley aka flat leaf parsley, thick stems removed
- ¼ cup flour can sub chickpea flour for gluten-free, 30 g
- 1 tsp each cumin and smoked paprika
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- Prep: Drain the cans of chickpeas well, then pat them dry with paper towels.
- Blitz: Add sun dried tomatoes, onion, and garlic to a food processor and blitz until broken down. Add chickpeas and blitz again briefly. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse just until combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (up to 24 hours).
- Shape: Scoop ½ cup sized portions of the burger dough, then use your hands to form them into patties.
- To cook on the stove: Place patties on a greased saute pan over medium heat. Cook each side for 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown and firm all the way through.To cook on the grill: Set patties on a greased piece of aluminum foil over medium/high heat. Cook each side for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.To cook in the oven: Arrange patties on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F (204°C) for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping once during cooking.
- Serve on a burger bun with your favorite burger toppings, like cheese, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. (And don't forget the condiments. BBQ sauce, mustard, and vegan mayo are all great on these!)