Learn how to make vegan tempeh burgers that hold together and cook to a golden brown on the stovetop! These are simple to mix up in the food processor with chopped tempeh, cooked millet and brown rice, herbs, spices, onion, and grated carrots. These veggie burgers are protein-rich, filled with nourishing goodness, and ready to go in 30 minutes prep time. These are great for summer cookouts with their crusty exterior and soft (but not soggy!) insides. I have another great spiced tempeh burgers recipe in my cookbook!
This is my go-to wholesome veggie burger recipe that reminds me of the hippie-dip patties of my youth. It’s loaded with tempeh, whole grains, spices, herbs, nutritional yeast, onions, and carrots. The prep for these patties is pretty simple and takes about 20 minutes. For an even easier BBQ option, I recommend checking out my vegan black bean burgers.
Tempeh has a savoury, almost mushroom-like flavour. It’s a “cake” made out of fermented and cooked soy beans, so it’s filled with readily available plant-based protein. The hefty qualities and robust flavour work really well in this tempeh patty mixture. Sometimes you can find pre-marinated tempeh pieces at the grocery store–they would work great here!
Cooking Tempeh Burgers:
- After resting the tempeh burgers, I recommend cooking them in a skillet with some avocado oil slicked along the bottom. You get a nice golden crust on the outside and it’s a very fast cooking method.
- You can also cook these in the oven! I would line a baking sheet with parchment and bake them at 400 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes. Remember to flip them at the halfway point.
- I have not tried grilling these, but my hunch is that they are more on the delicate end. If you are really fixated on grilling them, I would line the grill with foil and brush it with oil first.
These are such a hearty patty that I generally prefer to eat them wrapped up in lettuce. They are fabulous with buns or on top of a salad too. For toppings or to serve alongside, I recommend my creamy mustard slaw, fresh summer salad with arugula & corn, or my crispy baked sweet potato fries.
Tempeh Burgers with Millet & Rice
- ½ cup millet
- ½ cup brown basmati rice
- ½ cup toasted nuts and seeds (I used walnuts & sunflower seeds)
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- ¾ cup roughly chopped red onion
- ½ cup grated carrots
- ¾ cup roughly chopped tempeh
- 1 ½ tablespoons Tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground spices of choice (I used za'atar, ancho chili powder & Old Bay seasoning)
- ¼ cup chopped herbs of choice
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- avocado oil, for sautéing
- toppings of choice, for serving
- burger buns or large lettuce leaves, for serving
- These burgers really do need that hour to set up in the fridge!
- I think you could bake these burgers as well! In a 400 oven for about 20-30 minutes, flipping them over at the halfway mark.
- You could use all purpose, whole wheat, spelt, or any other wheat-based flour in place of the brown rice flour.
- You can substitute cornstarch for arrowroot powder.
- If you want to freeze these babies, place the tray of them in the freezer for an hour or two to firm the patties up. Then individually wrap them/place all of the patties in a large zippy bag for maximum storage capacity.
- Combine the millet and brown rice with 2 ½ cups water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt. Bring this mix to a boil and simmer, covered, until all of the water is absorbed about 15 minutes. The grains will still be quite chewy. Allow grains to cool.
- In a food processor, combine the nuts/seeds, garlic, chopped onion, grated carrot, and tempeh. Pulse the mixture a few times until a moist + chunky paste forms. Scrape this mixture into the large bowl.
- To the large bowl, add the cooked rice and millet, Tamari, brown rice flour, arrowroot, nutritional yeast, spices, herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together until thoroughly combined and the mix resembles a thick paste. It should hold together when you pinch it with your fingers. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if necessary to bind it at this point and mix one more time.
- Form the mixture into 6 equal patties with your hands. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the fridge for at least an hour.
- To cook: Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cover the bottom with avocado or other high-heat appropriate oil. Gently transfer 2-3 patties to the pan and sauté until golden on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the patties over and cook until golden on the other side, another 3 minutes. I kind of nudged the patties up against the sides of the pan to brown them all over as well. Repeat with remaining patties, while you keep the cooked ones warm.
- Serve the tempeh burgers with lettuce wraps, toppings etc.