There are many perks to when Mother Cookie comes to visit, and one of them is having fresh inspiration. She provides me with all kinds of culinary ideas, whether she means to or not. Plus, she’s a great taste tester.
She rambled about roasted red peppers the other day and how I should make something with them, and at first, I just said “okay” and tucked the idea in the back of my mind. But later, I was trying to brainstorm a delicious, fresh dinner for us, and her request for roasted red peppers resurfaced in my head.
But I guess that’s how all motherly advice works, whether it’s about food or not.
So I weaved her request into these Roasted Red Pepper, Veggie & Bean Burgers. The sweet, robust peppers were exactly what the burgers needed. Veggie burgers can often fall into the trap of being bland, but there’s no chance of that here, especially when they’ve also got eggplant, zucchini, fresh oregano and salty asiago cheese.
There are endless levels of flavors built up within these burgers. Each one is tender and hearty, with a golden outer layer. Plus every burger is customizable. Pick your toppings, eat it plain, sandwich it on a bun or perch it upon fresh lettuce. No matter what you choose, you know that a burger packed with that much good stuff is going to be amazing.
These burgers equate to an easy, stress-free evening because you can make them ahead of time then freeze them. So make them on a Sunday, and whip ‘em out Wednesday. Midweek meal = taken care of. That’s just how the Smart Cookie does things.
If you’ve yet to embrace the world of veggie burgers, now’s the time. There’s a myriad of flavors and possibilities to experience whether you’re a meat eater or not. Why be afraid to try something new when it’s so simple?
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Double the recipe and you can have burgers tonight plus burgers to freeze for a future dinner.
- Basil would also be a delicious fresh herb.
- You can add more cheese on top of the burgers, just make sure to keep the cheese mixed in too because it acts as a binder.
- Only have cannellini beans or chickpeas on hand, and not both? One or the other works fine.
- You can do these stovetop for color, but cooking them in the oven creates a better overall browning and cooks them through.
Roasted Red Pepper, Veggie & Bean Burgers
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield – 6-8 burgers
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
- ½ a medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ of a medium red onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 12-oz. jars roasted red peppers, drained
- ½ cup cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1/3 cup garbanzo beans , drained & rinsed
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup shredded asiago cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread eggplant and zucchini out in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and mix them a bit with your hands to evenly coat.
- Bake for 15 minutes then remove. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Set veggies aside.
- Place onion, garlic and oregano in a large food processor and pulse until chopped. Add peppers, both beans, eggplant and zucchini and pulse until finely chopped.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well until evenly combined. Mixture will be very wet.
- Form into large patties, about 1-inch thick. Gently pat them together and place on tray. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with whatever condiments you like.