A recipe for a veggie burger with lemony artichoke and white beans that will hold up on the grill

A recipe for a veggie burger with lemony artichoke and white beans that will hold up on the grill

When I make a veggie burger, I start with a vegetable in the lead and add supporting ingredients from there. For me, this approach provides an endless variety of veggie burgers. They are not meat analogues; there is no need to mimic the texture or taste of meat or even think about meat. Rather, they are manifestations of vegetables – exciting, colorful vegetables! – and for example a carrot, aubergine burger or beet burger can all find flavors to suit their individual characteristics.

So in this recipe I started with artichokes (canned or frozen, to save you the trouble of preparing fresh), which elicited a lemony profile. I paired them with the mild flavor and creamy texture of white beans, as well as a herb-infused olive oil for basting. Those ingredients would also make a nice salad, and that’s exactly the idea. Fortunately, beans can grind and cohere. Combined with my favorite binder of instant potato flakes and potato or cornstarch (which keeps the burgers vegan and gluten-free), it’s very easy to turn that salad into a veggie burger that is just as tasty.

However, grilling homemade veggie burgers comes with some challenges. A burger that is firm enough not to fall through the grates and holds its shape when flipped and moved often needs a lot of flavor-determining binder. The best solution here is to pre-cook them. This step solidifies the texture so you don’t have to worry about them crumbling into your coals. It can even be done on the grill.

As for spices, I like to think back to what else is delicious in that salad – things like garlicky aioli, salted yogurt, or a thick smear of Dijon mustard are great. A mild cheese like provolone or Swiss, or a good pre-cut vegan cheese, adds extra richness. And tender lettuces like arugula and watercress, or lightly pickled and thinly sliced ​​fennel, will keep your veggie burger as crisp and fresh as it is.

Lemony Artichoke and White Bean Burger Recipe

Makes 4 burgers


1 lemon
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Leaves of 2 or 3 bushy oregano or marjoram sprigs, roughly chopped
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
A 14-ounce package of artichoke hearts, drained, or a 10-ounce package of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 medium or ½ large white or yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A 14-ounce can of butter beans or other white beans (cannellini, navy, or great northern), drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes, such as Bob’s Red Mill
2 teaspoons potato or cornflour


Step 1: Grate the lemon and combine the zest with ¼ cup of olive oil, the oregano leaves and pepper flakes. Set the oil aside to infuse while you prepare the burgers.

Step 2: Cut three-inch-thick rounds from the fleshy center part of the grated lemon, remove the seeds and discard. Cut into small dice, peel and all, and set aside. Use a sharp chef’s knife to quarter the artichoke hearts and then slice them thinly.

Step 3: Heat a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, turn over, then add diced onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, followed by the diced lemon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the lemon softens, then add the artichoke hearts, a few black peppers and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring the pan frequently, until the artichoke is lightly browned, slumped slightly, and the excess moisture in the pan has boiled off. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Step 4: Add the beans to the bowl and use a potato masher (or large fork or wooden spoon) to mash them with the vegetables until the mixture begins to stick, leaving some of the beans intact. Fold in the potato flakes and starch. Once the mixture has cooled enough to handle, shape it into 4 burgers with slightly damp hands.

Step 5: Before grilling the burgers, pre-cook them so that they stick out above the grates. Preheat your grill to medium or medium heat. Lightly grease a piece of aluminum foil and place on an upper rack. Place the burgers directly on the foil, cover the grill and let them cook until noticeably firmer — 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is.

Step 6: Brush the top of each burger with a little of the infused oil, then add to the bottom rack over indirect heat, oil side down. Cook until grill marks appear – which should only take 2 to 3 minutes – baste the burgers as you cook. Flip with quick, confident motions and cook until grill marks appear on the other side. Then serve warm, warm or at room temperature, garnished as you see fit.

To pre-bake the burgers in the oven: Arrange the formed burgers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 15 minutes. Cool before storing in an airtight container. Then bring them to room temperature before grilling, or heat them on a top rack for a few minutes until heated through before continuing to add the grill marks.

To freeze: Once cool, wrap leftover burgers individually in plastic and store in a zip-top container or bag. Defrosted burgers have a wetter, softer texture and are not firm enough for grilling. The best way to cook them is in a lightly oiled skillet.

Lukas Volger is the author of Snacks for dinner Start simple, and three other cookbooks. He was also co-founder of the queer food journal jarry and created Made by Lukas, a small batch, premium line of veggie burgers.
dina vila is a photographer in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning
Photo assistant: Griffin Koerner