I love making vegetarian burgers of all kinds, but these tempeh burgers are at the top of my list. The texture of crumbled tempeh makes for a great burger, and unlike some other bean-based burgers, these are much firmer and hold up better for reheating.
Still on the fence about tempeh? I highly suggest you try this recipe – you may just change your mind (the cheese doesn’t hurt). If you find you love these burgers as much as I do, double the recipe and freeze the extras for quick dinners on busy nights.
Tempeh and Cheddar Burgers:
1 # (two 8 oz. packages) tempeh
1 small onion, small dice
1 small carrot, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 roasted red pepper, small dice
1 tsp. of your favorite hot sauce
6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
olive or canola oil
S & P
Crumble all of the tempeh into a large bowl and set aside. Heat a wide saute pan over medium heat and saute the onion and carrot in olive oil until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with S & P. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes more. Scrape all of the onion mixture into the bowl with the tempeh and add the diced roasted pepper, the hot sauce, the eggs, cheddar and herbs and mix thoroughly.
Separate out about 1/3 of the mixture and puree in a food processor until fairly smooth and then return to the bowl, mixing thoroughly. Pureeing some of the mixture will ensure that the burgers hold together more easily since tempeh can be very crumbly. Chill the mixture for 1 hour or overnight.
When you are ready to cook the burgers, roll the mixture out into a log and cut into 6 equal pieces. Heat a wide saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. With moistened hands, form the mixture into patties, making them as compact and firm as possible, and place them into the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, undisturbed, until nice and golden brown. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook in the same manner on the other side.
Serve on buns with your favorite toppings or as I like them, sans buns with extra hot sauce and a crunchy salad on the side.