Spinach-Chickpea Burger

SpinachChickpeaI love the flavor combo of spinach and chickpeas, and aside from the addition of cumin seeds and a squeeze of lemon, this burger tastes cleanly of just that. Inadvertently gluten free—I’m constantly on the hunt for alternatives to bread crumbs, primarily because bread crumbs to me are a wet blanket to flavor but also because, hello, we’ re putting it on a bun—the garbanzo flour only strengthens the flavor and protein power.

Garbanzo flour is found pretty easily at grocery stores in the health foods section, but you can make your own by blitzing the dried beans in a blender or in small batches in a spice grinder and then sifting it. But be warned: it will make a lot of noise.

Spinach-Chickpea Burger (gluten free)

1 t olive oil
5 oz. fresh spinach
1-3/4 cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, rinsed thoroughly), divided
2 eggs
1 t toasted cumin seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-1/4 t salt
1/3 c garbanzo bean flour

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach, tossing with tongs until completely wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. Cool until safe enough to handle, then wrap in a towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop finely.

Combine 1-1/4 cup beans, eggs, cumin, lemon, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a chunky hummus.

In large bowl combine the remaining beans and the spinach and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add the bean-egg mixture, stirring thoroughly. Fold in the garbanzo flour. The mixture should be sticky but somewhat pliable. Add more flour, a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if too wet, or a bit of water if too dry. Adjust seasonings, and shape into 5 patties.

To panfry, heat a tablespoon olive, grapeseed, corn, or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, cooking 4 to 6 minutes on each side, until golden-brown and slightly firmed.

Alternatively, bake the burgers in a 350-degree oven on a lightly greased baking sheet for about 15 minutes, checking periodically (they dry out easily in the oven), until browned, crisped on the outside, and slightly firmed in the middle.

Serve on toasted buns spread with Dijon mustard, and top with fresh tomato slices, slices of cucumber and/or radish, and crispy lettuce leaves.


6 Replies to “Spinach-Chickpea Burger”

  1. hey!

    thanks very much for this recipe. i tried the burgers and made two small changes:

    1) toasted cumin seeds in oil, adding the spinach to the same pan

    2) added vital wheat gluten for extra binding – mine were a bit too wet (perhaps from overcooking the chickpeas)

    i’m looking forward to trying your other recipes. do you have any which include wheat gluten and are more of a boca burger texture?

    thanks again.

    1. Hi! Thanks for trying out the burger! I do use vital wheat gluten in several, but something that I’ve found to be really helpful in achieving the “Boca” texture is TVP, which, if you’re cooking with VWG you must already be familiar with. Also, baking (after a quick pan sear) seems to help a lot in the firming-up department. How much vital wheat gluten did you need to add?

      1. Hi, Good point. I’m new to Vegan cooking (My burger-loving boyfriend has recently gone Vegan) and right now I’m trying to cook w/o soy, TVP, or soy isolates.

        Originally I wanted to bake them but I cooked pan fried bc I wanted to see how a sample burger patty would hold. I did have to add quite a bit of gluten + flour- ~1/4c. Would ground flax would work to keep as a binder to keep this a GF?

        A tahini dijon of sorts would be nice w/this!

        Thx again!

  2. Lukas, I just loved the Spinach-Chick Pea Burger. I heard you on The Splendid Table over the weekend and rushed out the next day for some chick peas and spinach to try it. I did, and it was wonderful.

    I so totally appreciate your wanting a veggie burger that tastes like a burger, not reconstituted veggie protein that tastes like cardboard

    My only deviation in the recipe was that I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour, which contains chick pea flour as well as potato starch, tapioca and fava beans, because I had it in my pantry.

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