Vegan Za’atar Spiced Chickpea Burger Recipe with Caramelized Onions

Vegan Za’atar Spiced Chickpea Burger Recipe with Caramelized Onions


A Chickpea Burger recipe that is crispy, packed with plant-based protein, fragrantly spiced with Za’atar. Pair this winning veggie pattie with your favorite burger bun, spicy caramelized onions, and Tahini Dill Sauce! Nutfree Jump to Recipe

side view of a vegan chickpea burger with caramelized onion, tomatoes, hummus and lettuce

Chickpeas. They are perfect in so many ways – high in protein and fiber, soft yet starchy in texture and incredibly versatile! Throw them in hummus, roast them until crispy and pile them on top of a salad, stir them into a pilaf or bake them into brownies – or make these za’atar spiced chickpea burgers.

Fragrantly spiced, perfectly nutty and deliciously savory. Their deliciousness alone is a good reason to make these vegan burger patties but I also would like to point out that these are wonderfully filling and protein-packed to boot.

side view of a Middle Eastern Za'atar spiced chickpea burger with caramelized onion and hummus on a white plate

You can bake them in the oven or fry them in the pan. Up to you. The secret weapon here? Za’atar Spice. This aromatic Middle Eastern blend of herbs, sesame seeds, and sumac will transform your cooking so do get some. You will find many many ways to use it up, I promise. Try it on this Pizza or this flatbread. 

The sumac in the spice blend lends a slightly sour tangy flavor to the burger patties which is further enhanced by the sundried tomatoes. To add some sweetness to the mix,  I topped the veggie patties with caramelized onions. The sweet and slightly spicy onions balance out the sour and tangy notes. A drizzle of my Tahini Dill Sauce – it all goes together like burger and fries. 🙂

a vegan za'atar spiced chickpea burger on a white plate

Ingredients:

  • za’atar –  a middle eastern condiment which has sumac, dried herbs, sesame seeds and other spices. I use Israeli Za’atar from our local World Spice store. Za’atar blends are quite different from different merchants or brands.
  • cauliflower florets lighten up the texture so the burgers aren’t too dense in the middle.
  • seasonings & spices – coriander seeds, ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro, red pepper flakes
  • chickpeas/garbanzo beans – canned or cooked. This is the base of our burgers but you could use white beans instead.
  • sundried tomatoes add some more umami to the burger patties.
  • flax eggs – store-bought works but you can easily make them yourself by simply mixing 2 tbsp finely ground flax seeds with 5 tbsp water.
  • chopped red onions because no burger patties without onions, right? They also add some more umami.
  • extra virgin olive oil or use more tahini for moisture.
  • flour (oat, chickpea or wheat) or breadcrumbs if needed for binding.

Tips and Substitutions:

  • The key to less crumbly patty here is blending up the chickpeas and nuts well.  If the pieces are too big, the patty can get crumbly.
  • I served these burgers with tahini dill sauce and caramelized onions but feel free to add your own twist. Hummus is a great addition too. Mayo or ranch? Always – and I also listed plenty of other ideas for burger toppings at the end of the post.
  • Serve the patties with spicy or plain caramelized onions.
  • If you are not too keen on Za’atar, use garam masala. That works perfectly in the patties as well.
  • Taste and adjust the burger patty mix before baking but take into account that the flavors get enhanced after the patties are baked/cooked.
  • Go with your gut and add flour or breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Or, if too dry, add another flax egg.

How to make Za’atar Chickpea Burgers:

How to caramelize onions:

overhead shot of caramelized onion in a black frying pan

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and sugar and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until onions are translucent. Add the cayenne and paprika, mix and cook for another minute.

ingredients for making vegan chickpea burger patties in a food processor

In a food processor, add cauliflower and coriander seeds and blend to a coarse mixture.  Add the chickpeas, zaatar, sun-dried tomato, cilantro, salt, garlic, ginger, flax eggs and pulse a few times (5-second pulse) so most of the chickpeas disintegrate.

Tip: There should be almost no whole chickpeas and half of them should be pureed.

Add the onion, pepper flakes, oil. Mix and mash. Taste and adjust salt and spice level. Add flour or breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Add another flax egg if the mixture is too dry.

overhead shot of vegan chickpea burger patties lined up on a cookie sheet

Shape the batter into round burger patties by packing a 1/3 cup of the mixture into a 3-inch cookie cutter or just shape them by hand. Freeze them on a tray for 10 minutes before pan-frying.

If you are planning on pan-frying the patties, make them thinner. Pan-fry the chickpea burgers with a little oil for 3 to 4 minutes each side. If they stick too much, dust with flour before pa frying. Alternatively, brush oil on top of the patties and bake them at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Then flip and bake for another 5 minutes.

Assemble the chickpea burger:

I served these chickpea burgers with tahini dill sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and my caramelized onion.

side view of a vegan Middle Eastern Za'atar Spiced Chickpea Burger on a white plate

More delicious burger topping ideas:

  • Hummus
  • fresh dill
  • pickled red onions,
  • fresh baby spinach
  • fresh guacamole,
  • salsa
  • diced mangos
  •  sliced apple
  • veganaise
  •  sliced cucumber
  • sprouts
  • grilled pineapple instead of the caramelized onions
  • sautéed portobello mushrooms
  • veganaise, ketchup, and mustard mixed together

More vegan burger recipes from the blog:

Vegan Za’atar Chickpea Burger Recipe with Caramelized Onions

A Chickpea Burger recipe that is crispy, packed with plant-based protein, fragrantly spiced with Za’atar. Pair this winning veggie pattie with your favorite burger bun, spicy caramelized onions, and Tahini Dill Sauce! These bodies are Nutfree and soy free. Can be made Glutenfree with Glutenfree flour

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time50 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Vegan

Keyword: chickpea burger patty recipe, chickpea burger recipe, vegan burger recipe

Servings: 5 – 6 servings

Calories: 209kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

Patties:

  • 3/4 cup (75 g) cauliflower florets, 1-1.5 inch size
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 15 oz (453.59 g) can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans or 1.5 cups cooked
  • 1.5 tsp Zaatar spice blend or use garam masala or Cajun spice
  • 1 Tbsp sundried tomato
  • 1/4 cup (4 g) packed chopped cilantro or parsley or greens of choice
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons (2 Tbsp) flax eggs, 2 tbsp flax seed meal mixed with 5 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a generous dash of black pepper
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil or use tahini
  • flour , oat, chickpea for Glutenfree or wheat or breadcrumbs if needed

Caramelized onions:

  • 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika

Instructions

Patties:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F ( 205c) if baking.

  • In a food processor, add cauliflower and coriander seeds and process to a coarse mixture.

  • Add the chickpeas, zaatar, sun dried tomato, cilantro, salt, garlic, ginger, flax eggs and pulse a few times (5 second pulses) so most of the chickpeas disintegrate. There should be almost no whole chickpeas and half of them should be pureed.

  • Add the onion, pepper flakes, oil. Mix and mash. Taste and adjust salt and spice.

  • Add flour or breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Add another flax egg if the mixture is too dry.

  • Shape into patties by packing a 1/3 cup of the mixture into a 3 inch cookie cutter or by hand. Freeze the patties for 10 minutes before pan frying. Make thinner patties to panfry. (The the patties stick too much to the skillet, dust in flour before panfrying)

  • Pan fry with a little oil for 3 to 4 minutes each side. Or Brush oil on top and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for 5 minutes.

  • The key to less crumbly patty here is blending up the chickpeas well. With large the pieces, the patty can get crumbly. Overblended chickpeas get a mashed bean texture so you want the texture somehweee in between. Serve with spicy or plain caramelized onions, hummus, mayo or ranch, and other toppings of choice.

Caramelized Onions:

  • In a pan heat oil on medium heat. Add the onions, salt and sugar and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until onions are translucent.

  • Add the cayenne and paprika, mix and cook for another few minutes until golden.

Notes

  • The key to less crumbly patty here is blending up the chickpeas and nuts well.  If the pieces are too big, the patty can get crumbly.
  • I served these burgers with tahini dill sauce and caramelized onions but feel free to add your own twist. Hummus is a great addition too. Mayo or ranch? Always – and I also listed plenty of other ideas for burger toppings at the end of the post. 
  • Serve the patties with spicy or plain caramelized onions.
  • If you are not too keen on Za’atar, use garam masala. That works perfectly in the patties as well.
  • Taste and adjust the burger patty mix before baking but take into account that the flavors get enhanced after the patties are baked/cooked.
  • You can use garam masala instead of za’atar.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Za’atar Chickpea Burger Recipe with Caramelized Onions

Amount Per Serving (1 burger patty)

Calories 209 Calories from Fat 63

% Daily Value*

Fat 7g11%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 290mg13%

Potassium 419mg12%

Carbohydrates 30g10%

Fiber 9g38%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 10g20%

Vitamin A 247IU5%

Vitamin C 12mg15%

Calcium 67mg7%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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