Tempeh Burgers with Millet & Rice

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 2 votes

These sturdy tempeh burgers are vegan, protein-rich, and sauté up to golden perfection. These hearty and flavourful patties are quick to prepare and have been loved by the TFM community for years!

An overhead shot shows a vegan tempeh burger wrapped in lettuce on a worn wood background.

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!

Two side by side shots show a tempeh and rice veggie burger wrapped in lettuce, topped with mango, red onion, and sriracha.
An overhead shot shows millet and rice grains on a dark background.
An overhead image shows a tempeh veggie burger mixture coming together in a food processor.
A 3/4 angle shot shows a bowl filled with ingredients for veggie burger patties.

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.

Two photos show: a clean out mixing bowl and a bowl containing a fresh head of boston lettuce.
An overhead shot shows a vegan tempeh burger wrapped in lettuce on a worn wood background.
Two images show: toppings for a tempeh burger + a wrapped up tempeh burger in lettuce leaves on a plate.

Tempeh Burgers with Millet & Rice

These sturdy tempeh burgers are vegan, protein-rich, and sauté up to golden perfection. These hearty and flavourful patties are quick to prepare and have been loved by the TFM community for years!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 6


  • 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.
24/04/2013 (Last Updated: 24/04/2013)
Posted in: autumn, carrots, earthy, gluten free, main course, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, spring, summer, tempeh, umami, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • DELICIOUS flavor, especially with the suggested toppings but these burgers completely fell apart. I didn’t even consider grilling them on foil (as suggested in vegan grilling guide). I might add some sort of mashed veggie (sweet potato) or flax egg next time. I do think they are worth trying again. Yum.

  • Do you mean 1/2 cup of nuts and 1/2 cup of seeds OR 1/2 cup of nuts and seeds in any proportion?

    • 1/2 a cup of nuts or seeds in any proportion!

      • Hi Laura! Just about to make these…does the recipe call for 1/2 cup cooked rice and millet or is that uncooked? Thank you!

        • Uncooked!

  • Hi

    From Niagara but now in Toronto so I check the Niag. Review on line. This is how I found you. I was wondering, as I live alone, that it might be helpful to note if some of your recipes can be frozen. I am looking at the burger recipe and it looks very good but it seems to make a lot of burgers and it would be great if I could freeze some for later use. Keep up the good work and thanks.


    • Hi Maureen! Lovely of you to say hello here. And yes, I like the suggestion on freezing meals and such. Will keep it in mind for the future. As for these burgers, I freeze them all the time. I just shape the patties, place them on a parchment lined tray and freeze them until they’re pretty much solid. From here, I place the frozen patties in a large sealable container or ziploc bag. Thaw before you plan to cook them and all’s good!
      Thanks again,

  • My belly doesn’t do well with fried food so I baked these and they were deeeeelish! I put them on parchment on a baking sheet and baked them at 350 for 45 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Scrum-dilly-icious! Great recipe!

  • I’m a new vegan. You are such an inspiration. Your photos are beautiful. Your recipes are awesome (I made your Magic Healing Soup today). Thank you.

  • I made these first time for a cookout — though the recommendation is to sauté these, it’s July in DC and we don’t cook indoors this time of year ;-) Came out perfect — wrapped the grill in foil just in case, but the held together just fine… I only omitted the water, used gram masala, chili powder + old bay, & regular flour. Tripled the recipe for a batch of 18, folks have been raving ever since. Will definitely add to my veggie burger go-to recipe list…

    • Loving that foil-wrapping suggestion, Kai! Glad they worked out :)

  • I made these the other day and they were absolutely fantastic. I probably tripled the nutritional yeast because I really wanted that cheesy flavour. I had them smothered with avocado and they were really wonderful. I also used tempeh that was pre-marinated in sesame garlic sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Thanks for your insight! I was able to form patties, but just barely, really really soggy patties. I did chill them for over an hour, but they were still so soggy. I cooked the grains using the measurements you suggested, but i do think they were still too wet when i added them, maybe i should have let them cook a bit longer to absorb all the water. The only thing i subbed was flour for most of the yeast since i didn’t have enough yeast. I’ll try again and will let you know!

  • Really like the recipe, but my burgers turned to complete mush. I couldn’t even cook them. I think it might be because the rice was too wet. Any advice? I’d desperately like to find a good veggie burger recipe, but this seems to always be the problem, they are total mush or fall apart.

    • Hi Lissylu,
      I’m so sorry they didn’t work out for you. Was the mixture so mushy/wet that you couldn’t even form a patty? If you did manage to form the patties, did you chill them down for at least an hour before attempting to cook them? Did you sub any of the ingredients at all? It sounds like the rice might have been overcooked/there was too much water left in the grains when you mixed them in. I kind of cook the grains to a point where they’re still quite chewy and usually there’s no water left in the pan at that point. If you try them again, I would cook the rice to a point of under-doneness and drain any remaining water in the pot out (although, there shouldn’t be any). You can kind of see in the photo of the mix, that it isn’t terribly wet and the flour contributes to some moisture-sopping as well… Hopefully some of these observations help a bit.

  • Thank you for the recipe! Made the burgers with beets, arugula, hemp seeds and smoked tempeh and enjoyed the final result. The taste reminded me of PPK beet burgers. I liked the different ingredients and extra protein in your recipe :)

  • your blog is like a warm comfy comforter on a cold winter day….simply divine!

  • Yum..I can’t wait to try this veggie burger tonight

  • These photos are GORgeous! I love the burger with the greens — but was it hard to eat? I always have problems with unwieldy greens… :)

    • Hey Sonja! I definitely used multiple lettuce leaves for wrapping them up. Kind of cheating but… more greens, sooo better? :)

  • I’m so thrilled to have found your site! I am always on the lookout for veggie burgers. I love them. Some more than others! This one is gorgeous. I love the combination of ingredients and your presentation is so beautiful!

  • Looks LOVELY!!! My mouth is watering!

  • G’day! I’ve never cooked with millet before, TRUE!
    What a healthy, exciting veggie burger this is and LOVE your photo/staging too!

  • what an amazing list of ingredients! sounds just as lovely as it looks.

  • Tree hugging vibe? Well duh! I’m in pretty lady!

    So much love for you in my heart!

  • Gorgeous post!!!! I love the newspaper sheet you chose for the photo xxx big love

  • You’re amazing. If I ever find myself with a personal chef, I’m just going to have them cook from your blog. xo

  • WOW!!! made these for supper tonight.. FABULOUS!!! the whole family loved them. they are delicate, wondering if a bit more flour would have helped them hold together better? regardless.. REALLY, REALLY delicious. i will most certainly be making these again. MUCH thanks Laura :)

  • These are absolutely delicious! I baked them instead of frying (30 min 425F), they are so tender and juicy and mmm..served in lettuce wrap with avocado and homemade ketchup sauce. heavenly!

  • Yes. My inner hippie thinks that these sound awesome and that the lettuce wrap is genius. Loving it all.

  • Can’t wait to try this, just gorgeous!

  • Holy perfect veggie burger. My boyfriend Sam makes a pretty fine millet burger, but these look like they’d trump his any day of the week. Cannot wait to try. Thank you for another beautiful recipe!

  • These scream fresh and healthy. An amazing recipe thank you for sharing :)

  • What a beautiful quote, so true! And the burger sounds fantastic, love the flavour combos. Thanks again for another inspiring recipe.

  • WOWWW. This looks incredible!

  • I cannot even begin to describe how delicious this looks! I love veggie burgers but they are just so much work. Worth it for sure, but still lots of prep.

  • this is indeed the veggie burger of my dreams too.. and the photographs..of my dreams too.. the beautiful millet on the blue, the gorgeous rustic wood, and the delicious burger!

  • Wow. These look wonderful — love the photo styling, too.

    I’ve had trouble with veggie burgers holding together in the past, but these look good enough to get me to try again.

  • um, of my dreams too. I wish I was your lunch date.

  • Oh yeah, love me a veggie burger that tastes like actual grains and veggies, not pretend meat! My poor parents (having been vegetarians for the past several decades) were super excited many years ago when they first started hearing about vegetarian patties and such showing up on the grocery store shelves, only to be disappointed by the fact that most of them were trying to taste like meat. My dad has been bugging me for years to come up with a good homemade veggie burger recipe, and I’ve done a few that were so-so. But THIS could definitely be the veggie burger of his dreams too! :D

  • These photos are EXTRA dreamy. As are these burgers. LOVE.

  • I was veggie for nearly 10 years and never once did anyone serve me anything as fabulous looking as this. Now I eat meat and fish, but I still love the look of this – on my to make list!

  • Yes. I’ve been craving more lightness, so these veggie burgers wrapped in lettuce feels so right.

  • Just found your site and it’s stunning! Thank you!

  • This looks incredible and your photography is amazing! I just started eating vegan two months ago and am still in search of a good veggie burger recipe (they all seem so focused on black beans!) I can’t wait to try this out <3

  • That is the most perfect quote for today, Laura. And talk about the veggie burgers of MY dreams—I love how you wrapped them in lettuce. Veggie burgers with big buns are just too bread-y for me. Gotta try these asap.

  • lovely little post. sweet pics. rockin’ burger!! i think i may actually have all of the ingredients on hand to make these!! pumped. thanks :)

  • Ummmm. I don’t even know where to start so I’m going to make a LIST for this comment. 1 – You had me at (hello) “veggie burger of my dreams” and “tree-hugging vibe thing.” 2 – Brilliant using tempeh! Haven’t tried that yet. 3 – I want your quartz counters. 4 – I love that your wooden spoon is charred on the end. ALL of my wooden spoons are charred. 5 – The tray setup made me think, “breakfast in bed,” but how awesome would, “burgers in bed” be!? You know, after a mid-afternoon nap. 6 – Lettuce wraps. Mmmhm. 7 – Perfect lighting. 8 – You kind of rock. Let’s be best friends.

  • I am always looking for sandwich and burger recipes without bread– this is perfect! beautiful photos as well!

  • This looks fabulous! Love the photos you took too :)

  • this is certainly a veggie burger with a little bit of everything in there! i love the lettuce wrapping, too. no need to weigh down this beauty with bread.

  • Really want to try this. I am always scared to try recipes for patties of any type as they fall apart on me no matter what I do, but it’s worth trying again! Just started trying tempeh and am a huge fan.

  • OKAY- this is the veggie burger of MY dreams!! looks too good. can’t wait to remake :) ps- i NEVER follow recipes, and always come up with em on my own but this one– i am so down for!!! xx thank ya! ps- gorgeous gorgeous photos!

  • Love it with all those greens, yum! Gorgeous photos…

  • I adore this! healthy but slightly indulgent all at the same time! Like you, often I seem to have a million things on the list of LIFE and a recipe like this often makes everything so much better….


    Scribbles xx

  • words can’t express how much i love this… i want to do this, like, asap, or right now? but somehow i’m stuck in the office today… schmeh. thanks for the inspiration!

  • No bread in burges – I like it a lot. I could eat as many as I wanted as it’s healthy and looks so delicious. Great idea and amazing pictures.