6 Foolproof Ways To Make Sure Homemade Veggie Patties Stay Intact

Whether you're a vegetarian, vegan, or not, veggie burgers are a delicious alternative to traditional ground beef burgers. You can make veggie burgers with just about any ingredients you like. From rice to quinoa to beans to chopped and shredded veggies such as broccoli, carrots, and corn, anything goes. Homemade veggie burgers are also exceptionally easy to make, regardless of what you choose to put in them. However, one of the most challenging parts of making veggie burger patties at home is ensuring they stay intact while you cook and eat them.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to significantly improve a homemade veggie burger's form and help keep them together while you enjoy, including adding stickier ingredients and leaving them to rest in the fridge before sauteing or grilling. When made right, veggie burgers are healthy, packed with lots of flavors, have a delicious texture, and, most importantly, they stay intact. If you've had issues in the past keeping homemade veggie patties together, keep reading to learn six surefire ways to make sure this never happens again.

Use peanut butter to create a sticky veggie burger mix

Adding a small amount of peanut butter to your veggie burger mix is the most straightforward way to ensure your patties stay intact. Peanut butter has an exceptionally sticky texture that helps bind the other ingredients together with minimal effort on your part. All you have to do is stir it into the other prepped ingredients, and the patties practically form themselves. If peanut is not your preferred flavor, feel free to substitute any other nut butter you like, as long as it isn't super runny.

In addition to binding ingredients effectively and efficiently, peanut butter also adds a delicious nutty flavor to homemade veggie burgers and increases the amount of protein they contain. It is most commonly found in Thai-style veggie burgers because peanut is the perfect complement to regional flavors like ginger and chili, but it actually makes a wonderful addition to any homemade veggie patty mix. Just make sure you don't add too much peanut butter, or its potent flavor can easily mask the other flavors and take over the entire dish. Creamy peanut butter is also the easiest to work with, but if all you have is crunchy, go ahead and give it a try.

Add egg to help your mix thicken and stick

Eggs are one of the most popular binding ingredients used to make veggie burger patties stick together. Not only are egg yolks and whites inherently sticky, which helps the other ingredients in the mix congeal and stick together nicely, but they are also a common kitchen ingredient and come with health benefits. When formed veggie patties with eggs are chilled in the fridge, they also harden slightly, further ensuring they stay together during the cooking process and while they are being eaten.

The main drawback to using eggs as your primary binding ingredient is that they aren't suitable for everyone, like vegans and people with egg allergies. Don't worry, though. If you or someone you are cooking for falls into one of these categories, you can easily make vegan burgers with egg alternatives, such as flax eggs. Most alternative egg products still have a gelatinous texture that results in the same binding properties. Regardless of whether you use eggs or a vegan alternative, your homemade veggie burgers are more likely to stay intact than if you didn't, but not as well as a burger made with ground meat, so you'll still want to handle them carefully to prevent them from breaking.

Mix in shredded cheese instead of melting it on top

Melting cheese on top of a veggie patty is one of the best ways to add flavor to a burger. However, if you're having trouble keeping your homemade veggie burgers intact, you can also try adding shredded cheese to your vegetable and grain mix as well. While this won't really aid much when you are forming the veggie patties, it definitely helps bind the ingredients together during the cooking process and carries over to when you're eating them, too.

Another benefit to adding cheese to your veggie burger mix is that there are a nearly endless amount of delicious cheeses with wildly different flavors for you to experiment with. Choose a cheese that compliments the toppings you plan to put on your veggie burger and, of course, goes well with the main ingredients of the burgers themselves. For example, a Mexican cheese blend is a fantastic option if you're making a Southwestern-style burger with avocado, jalapeƱo, or chilis on top. Additionally, softer cheeses melt better, so cheeses like brie, muenster, Swiss, Colby, and cheddar are excellent choices for getting your veggie patties to stick. Adversely, harder cheeses like Parmesan and feta won't produce the same melty, gooey results.

Crushed beans help veggie burgers stay in one piece

Both chickpeas and black beans are commonly used to make veggie burgers because they bulk up the patties and create a solid base for any other ingredients. They also have a soft, somewhat sticky texture when crushed, which helps your patties form a consistent shape and stay in one piece while cooking and consuming. Beans are also high in protein, so they add a ton of nutritional value to your homemade veggie burgers.

Crushing beans with the back of a spoon is an acceptable way to achieve the desired effect, but it can be somewhat tedious. Instead of using any more effort than necessary, try blending them instead. Throwing beans in the blender saves a ton of time, helps create a smoother texture overall, and uniformly mixes all of the ingredients together. If you go this route, be conservative with your blending. Go for a more rustic consistency so you don't accidentally wind up with mush. Once blended, you should be able to form hearty black bean burgers quickly and easily. If you don't want the primary flavor to be black beans, chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) are a fantastic alternative. They may not be as sticky as other beans, but their flavor is less robust and mixes well with a myriad of ingredients without overshadowing the other elements.

Let veggie burger patties rest and chill before cooking

Regardless of which method or ingredients you use to create homemade veggie patties, allowing them to rest in the fridge is essential. It may not seem very important at first, but skipping this step can lead to the downfall of the entire patty. If you choose not to perform this final step, it is likely your veggie patties will crumble while cooking and eating. As a result, all the hard work you put into shredding, dicing, mixing, and forming the patties will be useless.

Once you form your veggie patties, place them on a plate or in a dish and loosely cover them with plastic wrap. Then, put them in the fridge for at least one hour or longer if possible. Chilling them in the refrigerator helps the ingredients congeal and stick together. If you used egg in your veggie burgers, leaving them to rest for more than an hour pays off exceptionally well when it comes to keeping them intact. Either way, don't skip this essential step, or you'll wind up regretting it.

When all else fails, use a portobello mushroom caps

If you aren't getting the results you want from other tactics, or you simply want a super quick and easy option, large portobello mushroom caps make fantastic veggie burgers. Admittedly, this method is kind of cheating when it comes to making homemade veggie patties, but you can pretty much guarantee they will stay intact. Since the burgers only consist of one ingredient, they won't crumble or fall apart while cooking and eating. In addition, there isn't any dicing, rest time, sauteing, or additional prep work required with this method, so it saves you a significant amount of time and doesn't require you to plan ahead.

Portobello mushroom caps also make fantastic veggie burger patties because they have a meaty texture and taste that many vegetarians and vegans love. They are also the perfect size and shape for burger buns. Aesthetically, portobello mushroom's brown color gives the overall veggie burger a pleasing appearance, similar to a traditional burger. If you opt for this method, just make sure to use mushroom caps at peak freshness, handle them somewhat gently, and don't overcook them to avoid any potential complications. Grilling a portobello mushroom cap on each side for five to eight minutes should be sufficient.