Veggies on the counter

Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on January 21, 2011


I have bookmarked Louisa Shafia’s Beet Burgers a long time ago, and never really got the chance to make them. The other day, while flipping through my notebook, I found the said recipe, that I’ve spotted on her blog and immediately did a quick annotation of the ingredients list to make it. But then, some other plans have crossed my mind and the recipe remained written, but untested. So, this week, having a couple of extra-large beetroot sitting on the fridge, I finally gave Louisa’s burgers a try. And after bitting into one of them, I kept asking myself why haven’t I made the burgers sooner – not only they have the perfect texture and right consistency, but are also packed with flavor. In one word: delicious.

Now, I know there’s a lot of you out there who don’t like beetroot. Some of you, might even hate the poor vegetable. But even with beetroot haters like my mum, the burgers were a huge hit. Now that I think about it I realize they actually don’t taste to beetroot that much – the addition of nuts, caramelized onion, and some spices, not only gives them texture and crunch, but also a delicious, kind of  hearty taste, that somehow balances out the natural sweetness of the beetroot. I’ve made a couple tweaks to the original recipe though: substituted the walnuts called for in the original version for a mix of nuts and seeds, and instead of baking the burgers and searing them as suggested, I managed to save some time up by pan-frying them straight away without sacrificing texture – in the end, you still get a well-cooked inside and crunchy outside, the basic requirements for a perfect burger. I’m sure I’ll be making these again, and maybe next time, experimenting with different grains – substituing the brown rice for millet, for example.

Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers

(makes 6 burgers)

1/4 cup of EACH: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and cashew nuts

2 cups grated beetroot (from approximately 1 large beetroot)

1 1/2 cups COOKED brown rice

1 large white onion, sliced into rings

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoons ground cumin

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoons salt

1. After grating the beetroot, place them in a colander and squeeze out all the liquid. Discard the liquid and set aside. Alternatively, you can use the liquid – like I did – to make a juice and/or a smoothie.

2. Heat a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook, stirring often, for at least 10 minutes, or until the onion starts browning and caramelizing. While the onion is cooking, add the paprika and ground cumin to the pan, as well as a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. In a large food processor, add the cooked rice, 1 cup of the grated beetroot and 1 teaspoon of salt, and process for about 2 minutes, or until it has the consistency of a thick puree. This will work as a binder.

4. Add the cooked onion and all the different nuts and seeds to the food processor and pulse no more than 3 times. You want the burgers to have some texture and crunch, so this mixture only needs to be broken down a bit.

5. Add the puree to the remaining 1 cup of grated beetroot and mix well until incorporated. Have  a taste and salt a bit more, if needed be. The mixture should be thick and easy enough to handle and shape into patties.

6. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. With your hands, form round patties that are about 8 centimeters in diameter and 1 centimeter thick. At this point, you can keep the burgers refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and cook them within that time.

7. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the burgers. Pan-fry them for at least 6 minutes on each side, turning them only once.

8. Serve the burgers right after cooking with your favorite fixings. I’ve topped mine with chutney and lots of fresh parsley.

adapted from Lucid Food


20 Responses

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  1. […] Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers « Veggies on the counter. categorized as: vegan, vegetarian tagged in: beets, brown rice, burger, […]

  2. mihl said, on January 22, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I have a love/hate relationship with beets. Your burger might turn that straight into love. They look amazing!

    • veggies on the counter said, on January 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Hi Mihl! Yay, the burgers were great and, like I mentioned, don’t really taste to beetroot that much.. Thank you for passing by! :) *

  3. Chocolate Shavings said, on January 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    The blend of flavors in that burger sounds just fabulous!

  4. Kyle said, on January 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve been obsessed with beets for quite a while now, but it’s always the same- over spinach with goat cheese (not that I’m complaining, I love it!)… but I’ve been searching for other ideas and this sounds perfect! I can’t wait to try them this week. How exciting!

  5. yamamichibassett said, on January 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    This really excites me! I’ve been on a beet kick lately and this recipe is a fantastic twist on serving up beets more traditionally. Looking forward to giving these a try!

  6. delicieux said, on January 24, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I love a good vegetable burger, but it has to be good, and these look amazing. I am so going to have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said, on January 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I think those look amazing! I LOVE beets.

  8. a taste of health with balance said, on January 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    wow what a gorgeous and tasty looking burger! never though i’d call a burger gorgeous but i just did :)

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Natural Gourmet and Nikki Jong , Lucid Food. Lucid Food said: Gorgeous rendition of my Beet burger recipe on the "Veggies on the Counter" blog: […]

  10. Louisa Shafia said, on January 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Wow! This is the most gorgeous rendition of the beet burgers that I’ve seen yet. I’m so glad you liked them. I’m trying to make another beet recipe today and blog about it, if I can get through the snow to go food shopping. Glad I found your beautiful site!

    • veggies on the counter said, on January 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Louisa! Thank you for passing by and dropping a line. : ) I really enjoyed your recipe, as everyone who I gave the burgers to did. No doubt I’ll be making them again. Love your work (and cookbook!!)* J

  11. Mercedes said, on February 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    hello! totally tried making these today! except I am having a problem with them keeping together. Can I use an egg?

    • veggies on the counter said, on February 6, 2011 at 2:52 am

      Hi! Even though I don’t do eggs, I think the egg would work in here as a binder. But anyway, it’s weird they’re not holding together, did you use the right amount of rice? You could also add a bit more rice to the batter, to give the burgers more structure. Hope this helps!

  12. Errin said, on February 18, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Just commented on your tofu burger, after finding your blog on foodgawker and decided to check it out a little bit. I am so glad, becuase now I have lots of new burger recipes to try. These beet burgers look awesome.

  13. Sandra said, on March 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I’m not sure if I should cook up 1 1/2 cups if rice and use all of that, or cook up a cup and then measure 1 1/2 cups of that cooked rice.

    Help please, I really want to make this for a BBQ.

    • veggies on the counter said, on March 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Sandra, you should cook the rice (as much as you want, I’d say no less than 1 cup) and measure out 1 1/2 cups of the cooked rice. Sorry if the instructions are not clear enough.

  14. Beet Burgers… | Hey! Vegan! said, on June 18, 2011 at 12:36 am

    […] can bear.  My grilled portobellos have been amazing, but I need variety.  This evening I tried a veggie burger made from beets (click on link to open recipe).  Essentially, it is a combination of grated beets, brown rice, […]

  15. moniquemallo said, on November 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

    This was amazing! They held together perfectly and were crunchy on the outside!!

  16. Beetroot Barbecue Burgers - said, on August 14, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    […] on the Counter’, which uses the brown rice method. The recipe can be found here, but mine is quite different, with a larger range of ingredients, yet a simplified method of […]

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