The Best Veggie Burger Ever

veggie burger final header


Yes, yes, the title of this post is bound to invite raised eyebrows. Could this really be the best veggie burger, of all time, ever? Well, I can tell you this with full confidence: this here veggie burger is the best I’ve tasted by some margin.

Because here is the thing–given the choice between a beef or lamb hamburger and a vegetable facsimile, I would never normally choose the later. Ever.

It’s not that I have something against vegetables. In fact, I quite like vegetables, in their natural state, or coaxed with a bit of heat, olive oil and sea salt. But veggie burgers are not vegetables. Veggie burgers have always seemed to me a strange and unhappy amalgamation of rabbit food mash, a strict and humorless attempt to appease those who forgo meat.

But then, but then. I tasted the veggie burger Burger FI. And then all my previous ideas of veggie burgers were exploded. What was I to do?

I asked what was in these magical, paradigm-changing patties, and was told the following:

quinoa, lentils, onions, fontina cheese, Parmesan cheese, red wine, panko bread crumbs, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, egg

Armed with this information, I took to my kitchen to try and reproduce the restaurant’s version. After a bit of tinkering, I arrived at this recipe. While I don’t have a deep fryer (and didn’t cover mine with melty cheddar cheese and “special” sauce, although by all means you could if you like), I think my homemade version tastes almost as good.

What’s more, you can make a big batch, and then freeze them individually for some other night you are short on time.

Makes 12 veggie burgers


  • 1/2 cup French lentils
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • sea salt, pepper
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1.5 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 -1.5 cup peanut oil
  • about 1/2 cup of flour, for dusting
  • 12 whole wheat or oatmeal buns
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 1 red onion, cut crosswise into slices
  • 1 heart of Romaine lettuce
  • hot sauce (optional)


1. Prepare the lentils: Empty the French lentils into a medium pot. Add 1 of the garlic cloves (peeled), the 2 bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Pour in 1.5 cups of water, and bring the lentils to a boil. When they reach a boil, cover the pot with a lid, and let them soak for 1 hour. After the hour is up, simmer them for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then set the lentils aside.

lentils with bay leaf and garlic

2. Prepare the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa under running water for 1-2 minutes, and then tap the sieve to dry them off as much as possible. Add the quinoa to a small pot, along with the thyme sprig and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium, and cook the quinoa for about 2 minutes, or until it is quite dry and smells toasty. Add a small pinch of salt and the chicken stock. Cover the pot, and cook the quinoa for 10 minutes. (At this point, the chicken stock should be absorbed.) Turn off the heat, but keep the lid on for another 5 minutes. Fluff, and set the quinoa aside.

quinoa, chicken stock, and thyme

3. Prepare the onion and carrot: Mince the remaining garlic clove, along with the onion and the carrot. Saute the three vegetables together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, until everything is quite soft, about 15 minutes. (If the vegetables start to brown before the carrot is soft, you can add a little water to the pan.) Add the red wine, and let it reduce until there is no spoonable liquid left. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the vegetables aside.

carrots, onion, and garlic

4. Prepare the mushrooms: Wash and slice a punnet of button mushrooms, until you have 1.5 cups of mushrooms slices. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large pan, until the butter is gently bubbling. Add the mushroom slices, and cook until they are soft. Add salt to taste, and then set the mushrooms aside.

sauteed mushrooms

5. If you have not done so, grate both the cheeses.

6. Move the lentils, the quinoa, the onion/carrot, the mushrooms, and the cheeses to a food processor. Pulse everything together until it is quite well combined. (I admit, at this point the mixture will not look very pretty, and you will be able to smell the funk of the fontina cheese. Power on!) Move the mixture to a large bowl.

veggie burger mix in processor

7. Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, beat the eggs.

8. Add the beaten eggs, the panko bread crumbs, and the lemon juice to the bowl with the vegetable/lentil/quinoa mixture. Fold everything together until just combined. Add a healthy pinch of sea salt and pepper, for good measure.

9. Now form the veggie burgers into patties: roll the mixture into balls, about the size of a large meatball. Place each ball between your palms, and push together to flatten. (It’s better to make smaller veggie burgers and plan to serve 2 per person; the cooking process is just easier when they are smaller.)

10. Pour the peanut oil into a cast iron pan or Dutch oven (you want about 1/2″ of oil in the pan). Heat the oil over medium heat; the oil is hot enough when it sputters after being spritzed it with water.

11. When the oil is hot, dust each patty generously with flour. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to cook a few patties at a time. (Don’t crowd them.) Cook the veggie burgers for a few minutes per side, or until both sides are thoroughly golden brown. When you are finished cooking each patty, move it to a paper towel-lined plate.

veggie burgers, dusted with flour

veggie burgers, draining

12. Put the burgers together: Toast the buns, slice the tomatoes and onion, and pull the lettuce apart. Allow everyone to dress the veggie burgers how they like; I think they taste best with a healthy splash of hot sauce. Serve warm.

veggie burger, vertical 2

veggie burger, bite 2




    • CristinaSciarra

      Thanks, Lindsay! If you want to make them vegan (forgoing the fontina and Parmesan), I suggest adding a bit more salt, and perhaps a touch of something umami to make up for it–a spoonful of balsamic vinegar or soy sauce, or maybe some oven dried tomatoes?

  1. Hannah

    Veggie burger with chicken stock as an ingredient. Riiiight.

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Hannah, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this veggie burger! Of course you are welcome to substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.

      • Santiago

        Hannah is just being a hater. I’m not vegan or vegetarian (anymore) I think its important to include meats and such in my diet! meat doesn’t need to make a meal though and this recipe is great for someone like me.

        its not all about you vegans!!

  2. Erika

    This looks super amazing!! You’ve definitely sold me on the “best” part of this burger. It’s unfortunate how time-consuming the recipe looks (otherwise I would be making these tonight!) but I’m sure it’s all worth it!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Thanks, Erika! You’re right that they are a bit time-consuming. My suggestion is to make a big batch on a day you have some time, and then freeze them individually. That way, you’ll be stocked for whenever the craving strikes!

      • Kstherine

        Hi! If I were to make a large enough batch to freeze, would it be best if I freeze them before or after frying them?

        • CristinaSciarra

          I would probably cook and then freeze, just because it would make it easier on the other end.

  3. Nunki

    Hi, in your directions you instruct to add eggs, but don’t have the number of eggs in your ingredient list. Also, is there any way to use something other than eggs as a binder?

    • CristinaSciarra

      Yeesh, thanks Nunki! This is why proofreading is important! I’ve added the eggs to the ingredient list. Personally, I don’t know too much about egg substitues, but a quick google search revealed quite a few options. Happy tinkering!

  4. Aiza

    Looks and sounds AMAZING

  5. Con

    These seem quite time consuming but delicious. Have you tried to bake these (skipping the flouring & panfrying step)? I wonder if they will hold up.

    • CristinaSciarra

      You’re right, Con, they are a bit time consuming. However, if you decided to make a double batch, you could freeze each patty individually. Then, you would have a rather large supply to call on in no time at all. As to the cooking method, I think part of what makes these veggie burgers so tasty is the contrast between the hot, crunchy outside and the warm, creamy middle. However, by all means you could try baking them. In that case, I might lightly spritz them with olive oil, and bake at 400-425F. I would probably tent them with foil for most of the cooking (so as not to dry them out), and then put them under the broiler in the last few minutes, to make them golden and a little crispy.

  6. Erika

    Wow, I have had been trying different kinds of Veggie burgers and burger substitutes since I haven’t been able to eat beef in 5 years. These Veggie burgers are the best I have ever had!! They seem to take a long time but Now that i have made them I see where you can cut the cooking and prep time in half. Getting the lentils started first and then cooking everything at once will have everything ready to add to the food processor at the same time.

    Great recipe I will be making these alot!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi, Erika. I’m so glad you like the veggie burgers! Thanks for your message

  7. Elle

    They were SUPER tasty (better than some restaurants) and I didn’t follow the exact recipe. I cooked the lentils and quinoa together in one go as they have the same 1:2 ratio of grains to water/broth. Boiled with all the spices/garlic and simmer for 20. Still plenty flavorful for me! Mushrooms were awesome (used cremini) and just threw in parm cheese as slapped on a slice of provolone as a topping. Didn’t bother with the carrot and red wine so I don’t know if I missed the 8th wonder of the world there or not. Overall: DO IT!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Elle, I am so glad you liked the veggie burgers, and that you adapted them to your preferences! Perhaps I will try cooking the lentils and quinoa together next time, too.

  8. Brandy Moore

    I work at Burger Fi and LOVE the Veggie burger here, better then the regular in fact. You could grill it if you don’t want as much grease. Taste just as good to me, just a different texture.

  9. Lesley

    YAY! BurgerFi has the best Veggie burger anywhere! And I eat meat and enjoy a juicy burger… but the flavor and texture combination is just out of this world. This is better than most beef burgers I have tried. I have been searching for this recipe and I am glad I found it! A great Sunday afternoon experiment! Can’t wait!

    • CristinaSciarra

      I hope the recipe works out well for you! It’s just my interpretation of the Burger FI veggie burger, but I think it comes pretty close!

  10. Taylor

    Any special tips for BBQIng these bad boys? I’m giving them a go at a friends cottage tomorrow and hope they hold up!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hm. I hadn’t thought to BBQ them. Part of what makes these so delicious is the crisp-hot crust formed by pan searing, contrasted by the creamy-warm insides of the burger. For BBQing, my recommendation would be to brush them lightly in oil. Let me know how it goes!

  11. Vegan James

    This is the kind of recipe I’m afraid a well-meaning non-vegan friend of mine will find and invite me over to try. Eggs, cheese, and chicken stock in a veggie burger? Yikes.

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi James, While this is clearly not a vegan burger, it can very easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable or mushroom stock for the chicken stock.

      • Lucy

        I’m vegan and can’t wait to adapt this recipe. No wine (we don’t use or have any in the house), aquafaba for the eggs, veggie stock, vegan parm, Hampton Creek vegan thousand island mayo for the sauce. Most restaurant-made veggie burgers are mushy. Burger-Fi has solved that by coating in flour and frying. I’ll try spritzing with olive oil and baking.

  12. Cricket

    Love, love this burger . I was tired of going to BurgerFi and spending a arm and leg on family of 4. When I came across this recipe it was a no brainer. Yes it is time consuming but so worth the time invested. Thanks again!!!!

  13. aleta

    I am so excited to try this recipe. I had the burger fi one a few weeks ago abd have to agree, it was the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. Thanks Again for this, you didn’t happen to get the onion ring recipe too?

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Aleta, This isn’t actually Burger FI’s recipe–I developed the recipe based on a list of ingredients. I think it’s pretty close, though, although this one is not deep-fried. As for onion rings, my suggestion would be to use Wondra flour, which is much finer than all purpose flour.

  14. Cricket

    Any idea of the calorie count? Trying to add this up and it’s is becoming a brain pain

  15. Sal

    Hi does anyone have a substitute for the eggs? Or a calorie count? I love the veggie burger at BurgerFi but I eat only the patty. Had no idea a vegan burger had eggs in it.

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Sal, This veggie burger is not vegan even without eggs, as it also contains cheese. I believe flax meal + water can be used as an egg substitution, and you may be able to use nutritional yeast as an umami-substitute for the cheese.

  16. Alienkid

    Sounds great! I can’t use wine though, would I be missing out without, or is there something I could substitute it with?
    And is peanut oil essential? I can use it, but I’ve never used it in anything else. I’d hate to buy it only to correct dust most of its shelf life…

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi there! The wine is meant to deepen flavor; perhaps try a splash of lemon juice to brighten. And you can use whatever neutral, vegetable oil you already have on hand.

  17. e tobin eckian

    these look wonderful. i am substituting rice for quinoi since i have a pot ready. I am going to make some tonight for dinner.

    i really like your photo blog way of writing recipe.



  18. GiGi

    Thank you. I had a BurgerFi VeggieFi burger and I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  19. tania

    i do not usually take the time to leave a review but this recipe is AWESOME!!!!
    as a strict but lazy vegetarian that does not palate fungus, i had to make a few substitutions:
    – used 2 cans of precooked lentils (cooked with onions/bay leaf)
    – used 1/2C rainbow quinoa cooked in 1C veggie stock, sprig of thyme and 2 whole cloves of garlic (as i said, i am lazy, the food processor chopped the garlic for me eventually
    – used 15oz pre-shredded parmesan (all fontina i could find used rennet, yuk)
    – oh, and i shredded onions & carrots in food processor as i am super lazy and then sauted them using half butter and half olive oil
    the only situation i ran into was i always use sweet onions but they can be more juicy than other onions and so i need to dump some of that off.

  20. THeron

    AMAZING receipe. Made it tonight! Took a loooong time but definitely worth the wait. Made 6 and placed the extra in the fridge to reheat in the oven later in the week. Some mentioned freezing it but I wouldn’t because it may be too soggy after you reheat them Also I didn’t have any cheese or mushrooms or carrots!! So I just used red peppers instead. Still worked out great!!! THANKKKK YOOOUUU #burgerfirocks

    • CristinaSciarra

      I’m so glad it worked out for you, Theresa! I think I’m going to rework the recipe a bit, so hopefully I’ll be able to cut down on both time and dishes!

  21. Emily

    My mom is vegan….I’m not. I would go to Burgerfi and never get the veggie burger and then one day I said oh what the heck let me try it….I was hooked….I add cheese and the egg and voila….it tastes too good to be vegetarian. My husband gets the conflicted (meat + quinoa) since he likes it so much. Thanks for the recipe

  22. Meg

    I just made these today and they are amazing! Great recipe:-) Now all I have to figure out is how to make the special sauce haha

  23. M N

    How do you freeze them?Please explain, i made a big batch today!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi! I would wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and then place them in a gallon size freezer bag.

  24. M N

    Thanks for the prompt reply! The ones I made are totally vegetarian.
    I wanted to let you know that I made these without eggs or chicken stock or red wine or the lentils as I wanted to make them quick before my daughter came home from school and because I cant eat eggs /vinegar/wine for health reasons . Thanks for inspiring me to make these burgers.Inspite of the changes they were still great.I had recently had the burgerfi vege burger , I loved it but they deep fry the patty:(
    Here is what I used in case there is someone out there who would like to make them minus the eggs/chicken stock etc.
    I chopped these(whatever veges I had one hand) finely one at a time in the small chopper then sauteed these:
    onions, garlic,mushrooms ,cauliflower,zuccini.squash,carrots while the quinoa cooked in the rice cooker.I had a couple of boiled potatoes so mixed then all together with panko bread crumbs and made the patties.
    Thanks again!

  25. M N

    Hi again,
    I am browsing through your recipes and each looks so tempting and mouth watering….the pictures are outstanding! The overall look of your page is beautiful!
    I guess I will be not be sleeping tonight!
    Thanks again for delicious vege burger!

  26. Jill Bracy Brown

    Hello there! Just cooked tofu for my daughter last night for the first time . I would say I’m a very experienced cook but it scared me. Now onto veggie burgers. No tofu in your recipe but it sounds delicious! For us it’s not about being vegan, it’s about being healthy and making good choices. Thanks fot the recipe. I’ll post after makingmaking. Please keep sharing recipes…. Jill

  27. Jill Bracy Brown

    Hello there! Just cooked tofu for my daughter last night for the first time . I would say I’m a very experienced cook but it scared me. Now onto veggie burgers. No tofu in your recipe but it sounds delicious! For us it’s not about being vegan, it’s about being healthy and making good choices. Thanks fot the recipe. I’ll post after making. Please keep sharing recipes…. Jill

  28. Boomdog02

    I have to try this. I am a true carnivore..I admit it. But one taste of the Burger FI vegi burger, and I was hooked. I never order anything else there. OK, I get it their way with cheese and sauce, and I add a fried egg, (and a side of cry and fry)…but I feel better not eating the gut bomb of their burger.

  29. RJ

    This article is no joke. I am complete lover of a meat burgers. I had lunch with a friend at BurgerFi and they insisted on ordering for me. I reluctantly agreed, but was introduced to the Vegifi. It is amazingly good. Now I will have to try to make them on my own. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  30. Nancy

    These are AMAZING! Just like BurgerFi. Thanks for the recipe! (and I eat meat too.

  31. Stephanie P Whitfield

    I am HOOKED on the VeggieFi burger and was intrigued by this recipe, but passed it by because it appeared to be so time consuming. My sweet husband decided to surprise me by making it one lazy weekend while I was recovering from surgery. Yes, it takes time. Lots. But it is WONDERFUL and makes heaps so you can freeze some for later. The man has earned himself some brownie points and you, Cristina, a devoted follower! YUM!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Stephanie, 1) You have a very kind husband and 2) I’m so glad you liked the veggie burgers! (I hope he used the V2 recipe–it’s definitely more streamlined.) I know they take a long time, but that’s why I love the freezer. Thanks for writing!

  32. Jill

    Omg. This is the best veggie burger ever! I made these tonight for dinner and the whole family loved them. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  33. Tricia

    I have been craving a burgerfi veggie burger but I’m vegan now and wanted to learn how to recreate this in my kitchen. Can’t wait to try this out tonight !!:)

    • CristinaSciarra

      I’m so glad you found my recipe, Tricia! (I’d go from my V2; there’s a link at the top of the post.) To make these dairy free, use nutritional yeast instead of the cheese, and oil instead of butter. I’ve never used flax eggs instead of eggs here, but if it works out, they’ll be more healthful! You could also top with nut cheese–I like Parmela Ceamery, which I believe you can buy online.

  34. Jennifer Starck

    You have no idea how happy I am that I found this recipe. The burger fi veggie burger is hands down my favorite veggie burger, I just had no idea what was in it. I cannot wait to try out your recipe! Thanks for experimenting and finding the perfect recipe!

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