Low waste vegan burger dinner

Hungry for vegan burger night but sick of all the plastic that goes with patties? 

Check out this low waste vegan burger dinner with simple recipes!

vegan burger in bun held in person's hand
This low waste vegan burger is DELICIOUS


We love Beyond Burgers but there’s SO MUCH plastic packaging around those patties that I always feel guilty about buying them. 


We have them once in a while when life gets too busy and I don’t have much time for dinner.


Homemade patties take a little more time but come together with almost NO WASTE.  


And they really don’t take that long to make.


We could’ve made these with entirely unpackaged ingredients (except the BBQ sauce) but we took a few convenience shortcuts.


Here’s the ingredient list for low waste vegan burgers:

-1 ½ cups black beans, rinsed & patted dry (1-15oz can is perfect)

-1 c brown rice (used leftover or cook the night before to speed up dinner prep)

-½ medium onion, diced

-3-4 T BBQ sauce

-1T each cumin, smoked paprika, & chili powder

-½ t each salt & pepper

-oil for cooking

–⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs (available in bulk bins at Staff of Life in Santa Cruz OR you can make your own by putting toasted bread in a food processor.  In a rush, we bought the packaged versions.)

-1 c raw walnuts (available in bulk.  We actually got locally picked walnuts from family!)


Buns – if I’d planned ahead, they have these at our local bakery.  In a rush I got them at the store in a plastic bag that we’ll recycle.  


The rest of the meal included a big green salad:

-homemade dressing: 2 parts olive oil, 1 part red wine vinegar, salt, pepper & nutritional yeast to taste

-kale, torn into small pieces

-thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, & cucumber

kale salad in a wooden bowl with wooden serving utensils
Even the kids love this kale salad recipe!


Plus air popped popcorn with melted vegan butter (Earth Balance) & salt & nutritional yeast.  All of this available in bulk bins.

popcorn in a bowl with nutritional yeast on top
Who doesn’t love popcorn? And it’s a healthy alternative to french fries & chips!


Here’s the recipe for the low waste vegan burgers (from Minimalist Baker):


  1. Toast the walnuts in a skillet for a few minutes, until they start to get a little color.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the spices & cooled walnuts to a food processor and blend until you get a well mixed meal-like texture.  You’re looking for no large pieces of walnut left.

3. Sautee the diced onion until it gets a little color.


4. Get a medium-sized bowl & add the beans.  Smash them with a fork until they’re almost completely smashed & there’s just a few whole beans left.


5. Add the onions, the rice, the bread crumbs, the walnut spice mixture to the bowl with the beans & combine them with a spoon or spatula so that you have a nice thick dough that you can shape into patties.  


6. Shape them into patties – big or small, whatever you prefer.


7. Cook them in a skillet on medium high heat until they start to get a little color.  Flip them over & repeat on the other side.

plate with flowers on it with several vegan burger patties on it
This recipe made plenty of patties for the 4 of us!

Serve in a toasted bun with your favorite vegan toppings!  We love pickles, veganaise, ketchup, mustard & lettuce. 




Let me know if you make these!  Or do you have another favorite low waste vegan burger recipe?  Share in the comments!

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