Burgers and rissoles (burgers without a bun) can be made with a variety of ingredients and taste profiles. The hard part won’t be enjoying one, the hard part will be deciding which one to try first!

I have made burgers (and rissoles) with a variety of legumes and starches. I have made many burgers out of cowpeas when those were the most readily available; however, at the moment, for both Rob and I, our favorite legume to use is kidney beans. Kidney beans provide a great flavor and heartiness to a burger or rissole that is difficult for lentils, peas and other legumes to mimic. Another great attribute about kidney beans is their color–they too are similar to the color of animal flesh.

I encourage you to make your own veg**an burgers or rissoles! I have a recipe in Single Serve Nutrition you can follow to the T if you find it hard to create recipes on your own. If you are feeling adventurous, here is a general recipe to follow:


  • 1 cup unsprouted/2 cups sprouted or pre-cooked legumes (beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup grain (cooked rice, corn flour, oatmeal, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup wet vegetable (tomato, beetroot, carrot, zucchini, etc.)
  • Lots of herbs and spices


Mash the beans before adding the rest of the ingredients into a big bowl and mixing together. Use your hands to create patties. Chill the patties in the fridge for at least an hour beforehand for the best results. To cook either A) Bake at 350° F (180° C) for 25-30 minutes or B)  grill/pan fry on medium/high heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.

With this general recipe, you can create an large amount of variations on the same dish. Use lentils for lighter burgers/rissoles. Use paprika, chili flakes and cumin for some spice. If you desire a wonderful red-purple color to the rissoles, use beetroot.


Chickpea burgers served on flatbread corn buns

Don’t be afriad of recreating traditionally unhealthy dishes into healthy dishes. The most important thing with recreating dishes like burgers, mac’n’cheese and ice cream is to not let normal preconceptions of the traditional food block your willingness to make them. No, legume burgers are not going to taste like ground beef, but they can be equally enjoyable, just like Monkey Ice Cream can be as refreshing as dairy ice cream on a blistering summer day.

Go forth, be creative and make food!

  • Updated 3 years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.