Another bean burger. I KNOW.

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Is it getting old? I’m getting old.

I keep making them! I’m on a bean burger journey.

Each one gets better than the last but the previous ones serve their purpose too. And these ones are super special because…

cheesy crunchy crispy chickpea burgers I

…we aren’t totally cooking the beans. Nuts, right? Or BEANS.

We’re soaking them overnight – just enough to keep some fabulous texture and chew. And I’m no stranger to putting quinoa in burgers, so there is some of that too. Of course.

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Ooooh and want to hear something fun? We actually made these crispy burgers at a private cooking class I did on Saturday night for a bachelorette party.

Yes. A bach party! How fun is that? Fun fun fun. Complete with party straws and everything.

You know what I mean.

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So here is the deal with these burgers. This recipe as written makes some THICK burgers. HUGE. It’s important that you keep half of the chickpeas coarsely chopped so that you get a lot of texture and chew. You definitely do not need to make huge burgers, and if you’re serving these to someone who is having a veg burger for the first time, maybe thin out one of the patties juuuuuust slightly. Or make bean balls. Almost like little falafel.

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Or! The other deal with these burgers – guys, they are really crispy. Really, really crispy. You want to know why? Um, because we are almost deep frying them. Well, no, we are not REEEEALLY deep frying them, but I’ve realized that the way to a super all around crunchy-outside burger is to add enough oil to the skillet so it comes up halfway around the burger. This way, even the sides get crispy and crunchy and you have excellent crunch ALL the way around, and not just on the top and the bottom. Half deep frying?

I almost did this successfully with my autumn veg burgers, but as you can see, there is still some un-crispiness all around the edges.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

These ones are cah-runchy. Super crunch.

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But now listen. I totally get it. It’s Monday, it’s mid-week, it’s almost summertime where clothing is scare and you’re not sure if you want to heat a hot pot of olive oil or consume a super fried burger at the moment because you had pizza, peanut butter cookies and 10 pieces of toblerone this past weekend (just me?) so you want to know if… maybe… you can just… not super fry them… ?

The answer is yes. BUT. A big big but. You can pan-fry these in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. They will only be crispy on the ends, so I would not make them too thick. They might fall apart, because the slightly deeper oil helps hold them together.

Your other option is to make them as called for and crumble them over a salad. I’ve done it! It’s delicious.

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Long story long, this is a splurgy chickpea burger. I’ve made lots of versions of a bean burger while trying to keep things on the lighter side. And they taste good. But this one is indulgent. I am a burger fiend and at the moment, I love this so might that I might choose it over beef.

And add bacon, but whatever.

Oh also, I am super boring and made chipotle ketchup AGAIN (I know, get a life!) because I can’t get enough. For me personally, even with the cheese, burgers like these need some sort of sauce. Or at least I need some sort of sauce. Especially when the burgers are fat as heck because the insides can get dry at times if you overcook. Chipotle mayo would also totally work! Or a crazy grainy mustard thing.

Can you just feel the crunch? GAH.

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Cheesy Crunchy Crispy Chickpea Burgers

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  • 3 cups dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grainy mustard
  • ¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, sliced
  • 8 whole grain buns
  • lettuce for topping
  • canola or grapeseed oil for frying

spicy ketchup

  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


  • Note: you want to soak the beans overnight, or for at least 10 to 12 hours. Place them in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by a few inches. You may have some leftover beans, in which case I suggest you make hummus! You DO NOT want to use canned beans for this recipe – you won’t be able to get the coarse texture and chew.
  • Add 3 cups of the soaked chickpeas to a food processor and pulse until just very coarsely chopped. Place the chopped chickpeas in a large bowl. Add the 3 other cups of chickpeas to the food processor along with the onion, garlic, eggs, mustard, basil, oregano, dill, salt, pepper and paprika. Blend until the chickpeas and totally pureed and you have a sticky paste to work with. Add the paste to the bowl with the coarse chickpeas. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl. Mix everything together well. Form the batter into 8 thick patties with your hands, about 1 inch thick and 2.5 inches in diameter – pressing well with your hands so they stick together. I find that grabbing a handful of the mixture, squeezing it together tightly and forming from there works. If you continue to squeeze and press, the mixture will start to fall apart. Place the burgers on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick spray and place it in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • To make the spicy ketchup, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add about ½ inch of oil. You want the oil to come up to the center of each burger so the sides get crispy too. Once the oil is hot (I don’t measure the temp, just keep your eye on the burgers the whole time), add the burgers (cooking in 2 or 3 batches) gently to the skillet so they don’t crumble. Cook until each side is crispy, about 4 minutes per side – very very gently flipping with a large spatula. Right before the burger is finished, add a slice or two of fontina on top and let it melt. If you have a little too much oil in the skillet, you can transfer each burger to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease and place the cheese on top right away. It should start to melt since the burger will be so hot.
  • Serve the burgers with romaine on the bun and topped with spicy ketchup!


[discovered the soaked chickpea method from alexandracooks!]

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