Saturday, January 15, 2011

3 Ingredient Veggie Burger Recipe with video

Today I am going to share a recipe that has some processed product in it. I avoid these types of foods most of the time, but sometimes they come in handy for me and I'm sure that some of my readers will feel the same way. The ingredient is Onion Soup Mix. 

The other day I went to the store with $3.33 cash in hand. I wasn't sure what I was going to buy for the day, but  onions were on the agenda. I could have bought 5 lbs of onions for 2.99 which is what I usually do. That usually lasts for 2 weeks. I wandered around the produce aisle and saw a huge bunch of kale for $1.69. That went into my basket. I had a decent stash of dried beans at home and I planned on making some soups and burgers, but I needed onions for those. Buying the onions would put me over my budget. I didn't want to buy smaller amounts and pay so much more per pound, so I ended up getting some Onion Soup Mix instead of the onions

I decided to create super simple Veggie Burger Base that can be used as is or dressed up and turned into a sausage patty or bean ball.

Don't leave out condiments! Check out my Lower Fat Vegenaise Alternative, Chipotle Sauce and Sugar Free Ketchup recipes to dress these babies up!

Serve a side of my Low Fat Potato Salad and you've got yourself a delicious, stick to your ribs meal.

3 Ingredient Veggie Burger Base

  • 3 C HOT Beans (HOT means TEMPERATURE)
  • 2 C old fashioned oats (rolled oats, uncooked)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • Hot bean liquid if needed to bring the mixture together

  1. Mix everything together
  2. Let mixture cool
  3. form into patties and cook over medium heat in a cast iron skillet for 5 minutes a side
Here's a video of what the mixture should look like:


  • ½ batch Veggie Burger Base
  • ½ t oregano
  • 1 t garlic powder
  •  Pinch ground fennel 
  • ¼ t rubbed sage or pinch sage powder
  • 1 t balsamic
  • Pepper

 Form into balls and microwave for 10 minutes. You want these to be hard, dry and not edible when you're finished. Simmer in sauce for 10 minutes before serving.

Metaballs. before cooking
In anticipation of your questions:

  • Yes, the bean mixutre needs to be hot.
  • I really do mean to microwave the beanballs until they are hard as rocks. The texture when reconstituted is much better when you do it this way. You can bake them, but they will be mushy. 
  • I use home cooked beans and cooking liquid which has not been salted. I think canned beans in addition to the soup mix would be too salty.
  • You can use whatever kind of beans you like, make sure they are very well cooked and HOT!
  • You can bake the burgers, but they will  be very dry. The cooking methods I use in my recipes are generally tailored to the specific recipe. A baked veggie burger will be a much wetter mixture than a stove top burger. If you still want to bake this burger then add more bean liquid than you think is necessary. 
  • If you don't have onion soup mix, you can use couple T soy sauce and a couple T onion powder. 
  • If you are offended by said onion soup mix the don't make the recipe! It is not necessary to email me warning me of the dangers of processed foods. 
Here are some Whole Food Veggie Burger Recipes:

I am making Brown Rice Spaghetti, Bean Balls and Marinara for Dinner probably tonight along with a side of Sauted Kale for dinner. One of my favorite meals ever.

What are your dinner plans? Do you enjoy going out or staying in? I like staying in.


  1. "If you are offended by said onion soup mix the don't make the recipe! It is not necessary to email me warning me of the dangers of processed foods."

    not to hurt your feelings, and you know me!so you know the way im saying this(!), but this made me laugh:) you poor thing, you have had some rough critics.

    i also liked the "YES they do need to be hot" and also the "yes micowave them till un-edible"
    i love this simple burger idea. i also like the subs (soysauce and onion powder)

    i really want to try out your meatball good at microwaving stuff till its un-edible

  2. I've been craving veggie burgers for quite some time. Fuddruckers are my favorite but I haven't had any in a while. I'm all for some convenient swaps and the soup was a brilliant idea, but how would you have gone about making a version without it if you were going to go the real onion route?

  3. Love your anticipation of the comments :) Sometimes you need to save time, save a buck, or both, and there's nothing wrong with that!

  4. Fantastic! I love this. I'm always in a quandary with veggie burgers, because they're usually something I want to make for a quick dinner, so I think of buying storebought, but this recipe is so straightforward, I can see it being my go-to veggie burger recipe for sure.

    Thanks again for another great recipe! Did you say you were writing a cookbook? Can't wait! :)

  5. DD.. haha.. it does amazing me how much time some people have on their hands!

    Lovelyascharges, I have a sub up there for soy sauce and onion powder instead of the soup mix. If you'r using regular onions, I'd probably add 1 and some soy sauce and decrease the bean liquid a bit, but the recipe is really meant to work with dry ingredients not raw veggies.

    Rose, I a writing a cookbook! I plan on having my proposal ready by mid April!

    1. So excited about cookbook!!!! Please publish before Christmas :)

  6. I want to be one of your recipe testers, if you need some! I love the clarity of your directions — you're really good at explaining exactly how to get the right results. I can remember when onion soup was the secret ingredient of almost everything, but it's been so long since I've used it. Do you have a recommended brand?

  7. Oh yes...what Andrea said. If you're looking for recipe testers, I'd like to apply. :)

  8. I'm not busting on your onion soup mix at all, just wanted to put this out there. I found an organic onion soup/dip mix made by Simply Organic. It wasn't bad, maybe add some dried onions to it, because it's pretty much just powders. It was pretty cheap too. $1.39 for one envelope. I know the Lipton or store brand is cheaper, but for those who have a problem with those it's a good solution.
    Will definitely be trying this burger recipe. Dinner last night was a veggie loaf and mashed potatoes and gravy, yum. I prefer staying in, lol.
    PS Love your blog!!!!

    soup mix:

  9. I usually prefer eating in, too, just because that means I get to cook! My boyfriend and I made pho for dinner last night, and it was wonderful!

  10. What a great blog you have here! So, I'm going to ask a couple of questions (that you didn't address), and I'm sorry if you've already covered them previously. First off, what's "melo" in melomeals? Do you shop every day with $3.33 in your pocket? I think that sounds really fun, by the way! And, what is burger base? I love the idea of a three ingredient burger, and I am not offended at all by using a shortcut help. We can't be hard on ourselves!

  11. I would rather eat in too :-)

    Do you have a brand of onion soup mix you recommend? I have never really used it before, but have seen tons of recipes calling for there a brand you like?


  12. BlessedMomma, Melo was my nickname growing up. My name is Melody.

    I have budgeted 100 bucks a month which works out to approximately 3.33 a day ( based on a 30 day month ).. I have tried doing one big shop a week, but I find I get a better variety of food when I do it daily or every couple days.

    The burger base is the burger recipe I shared in this post.

    Lara, thanks for sharing that link!

    About the brand.. I bought the Market Basket store brand which is probably the same as Lipton Onion Soup Mix..

  13. ROFL about emails from haters. Give me a break. You are about the most unprocessed food user I've ever seen. This looks great and simple!

    Speaking of processed foods, have you ever had a veggie patty made by Don Lee Farms? If you could replicate that sucker (or do you already have a similar version?) It's really good. Ingredients are: Fresh vegetables (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers); bread crumbs (wheat flour); sunflower seeds; flour; salt; carrageenan; soybean oil; spice; natural flavor.

    It has this texture that is pretty special. Think it's the sunflower seeds. Browns nicely. I burn everything (pattywise) with beans, bean flour or soy anything.

  14. Question- could I make the meatballs through the "microwave them till inedible" stage, then freeze for later??

  15. Steph, I have never seen that brand... but I will take those ingredients and play around with something the next time I make burgers!

    Barbara, I wouldn't advise that. Because of the beans, when frozen when the mixture thaws it will release a lot of liquid and be very difficult to firm up. You could freeze the microwaved balls though.... or you could freeze the mixture (but don't form into balls) and then when it thaws add a bit of vital wheat gluten to hold it together.

  16. i wanted to let you know that i don't generally have onion mix around,but thought the method was right up my alley, so i subbed 1/4 c each of nutritional yeast and dried onion flakes and it worked great, i have done it now with black eyed peas, chickpeas and lentils, i always end up using some bean liquid so you might be able to cut down on the nooch and onion. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. RSM, thanks for sharing about the onion flakes and nooch!

  18. I love that this recipe is soy free!!

  19. Jennifer, a lot of my recipes are soy free or can easily be modified to be soy free .. You can even make my Lower Fat Vegenaise with white beans and leave out the lecithin!

  20. ok i am only feeding 2 people me and my son so i either need to know about freezing the burgers or scaling the recipe down if you can help thanks in advanced

  21. 3 ingredients, lovely! But I don't think I could find the beans and soup mix you are talking about in NZ, still, I can find oats :-)



  22. hi melo! I love your blog soooooooo much!! :)
    i live in argentina, and $3.33 here is a lot, but food is just so expensive, so your menus are awsome for budgeting :) yay!
    thanx for the inspiration!

  23. Hey Melody! I love your blog! The photos, the recipes, and the motivation behind all of it. You are awesome. I'll be buying that cookbook when it comes out, btw! My husband and I are pretty adventurous in the kitchen, and have tried a few different veg burger recipes. Well we are never trying any other ones again because we made your 3 ingredient veggie burgers last night and were so impressed at the cohesion and the texture and flavor! We used black eyed peas that I cooked up in a crock pot, and instead of onion soup mix we subbed onion powder with chipotle seasoning with 2 T. Bragg's aminos. Holy cow! So danged good. Can't wait to try more of your awesome eats. I love your blog! Thank you for sharing your genius! :)

  24. I had this bookmarked for MONTHS and finally got around to making this. Just wanted to say thank you! I've actually had one of these for breakfast every day the past few days--never again will I be overcharged for frozen veggie burgers (I'm talkin to you, Amy's).

  25. By HOT beans, do you mean hot from cooking, or spicy hot?

    1. Thrice Blessed, if you look at the list of ingredients she says HOT is temperature. =)

  26. The fact that you simplified this recipe w/a processed ingredient is actually a good thing. I appreciate the whole food approach. However, I am dealing with a vicious hand injury and sometimes simple w/something processed is the difference between me getting to make the dish or not on a given day. Militant whole foodie-types who give you a hard time are being a little thoughtless. Your recipes are fab for a lot of reasons, some not so obvious!!

  27. Hey, this looks like a groovy recipe, and I can't wait to try it. But I wanted to give you a heads up that your side navigation for corporate recipe creation,, that theoretically goes to your website, is 404ing. (I clicked on it and got the "this site doesn't exist" message.

  28. Curious how many burgers this typcially makes?

  29. Flo.. around 8-10 burgers depending on how large you make them

  30. Do you mash the beans or leave them whole?

  31. I do not have a microwave. Any thoughts?

  32. IF you happen to have the option to get your onion soup mix at a health food store, you can avoid the MSG in the soup mix. Sometimes it is found being sold as french onion soup and dip mix and you can buy it by individual packets. IT also makes great dip mix to put in vegenaise or your fav sour cream-ish product

  33. Anonymous12:28 PM

    I just made this! I added a bit more seasoning (1/2 tsp salt and pepper) to the onion soup package because I had a bit more then 3cups of beans and it was excellent. Def my new burger recipe...and so easy. Thank you so much!!

  34. I think I will try this with the substitution you suggested. Also, I will try making the meatballs in the toaster oven rather than a microwave. I am always looking for quick plant based meals so this recipe is very helpful. I may try some of the other spices suggested by other posters, too.

  35. Thanks for the recipe, Mel. While I am not vegetarian or vegan, I don't eat red meat. I HAVE found it hard to find recipes for veggie burgers that not only taste good but hold together, don't have a list of ingredients longer than my arm and that are gluten free. Thanks once again for a great recipe! You rock, my dear!!

  36. First, best blog EVER! I just love the creativity, frugality and (mostly) vegan cooking. Love! Second, I made the veggie burgers (version with nooch & onion flakes) and they are amazing. Omni hubby says WAAAY better than commercial veggie burgers (we've had 'em all).

    Last, a small warning re the meatballs, I think I may have taken your "hard as rock" too literally. Mine still had a little bit of softness after 10 minutes in the microwave, so I nuked 'em some more until they were completely hard and basically dry. They have now been simmering in tomato sauce for 45 minutes and no end in sight. I know it will work eventually (they are softening somewhat) but next time I'll just stick with 10 minutes and not worry if they aren't completely hard.

    1. Haha... thanks for the warning. 10 minutes seemed to made my balls super hard.. (wow, that sounds really perverted ;-) .. hope they worked out for you in the end.