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smoky bbq veggie burger on plate

Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers



For the easy vegan BBQ sauce:

  • 2 cups naturally sweetened organic ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon plain yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup muscovado sugar or organic brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne or chipotle pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and ground black pepper

For the burgers:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or organic brown sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons easy vegan BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or avocado oil, plus more as needed
  • Buns, lettuce, onion and/or slaw, extra BBQ sauce, etc. for topping


  1. To make the BBQ sauce: In large saucepan over medium heat, stir all ingredients to combine. Heat until just bubbling, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking mixture often, 15 minutes until well combined and slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside to cool.*
  2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, use pastry cutter or fork to mash chickpeas to a paste, leaving a few chickpeas whole for texture. Add quinoa, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, sea salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper if desired, coconut sugar and 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce. Stir to combine. If mixture is too dry, add more BBQ sauce. If mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium heat. To form patties, line 1/2 cup measuring cup or 1/3 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap. Fill with mixture and press down firmly. Lift out and slightly flatten so patty is not as tall. Transfer to clean plate. Repeat to make 4 burgers (with 1/2 cup measuring cup) or 6 burgers (with 1/3 cup measuring cup).
  4. Add 2 tablespoons grape seed oil to hot pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle tops of burgers with more salt and chili powder. Gently place patties seasoned side-down in hot, oiled skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until brown. Season top sides with more salt and chili powder, then flip. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes on other side.**
  5. Serve burgers on buns with desired toppings.
  6. *Leftover BBQ sauce can be stored in large resealable jar in fridge for 3 to 4 weeks. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
  7. **Burgers can be served as is, or for firmer/crispier texture, bake burgers on baking sheet in 350 degree F oven for 15 to 30 minutes.