Frozen store-bought veggie burgers tend to be very expensive, and almost all use soy and/or wheat, which doesn’t work for my family. These were a from-scratch experiment based on what I had on hand, but turned out so well that when I had my mom taste a bite from the skillet, she got a second spoon and came back for more! This recipe makes a crumbly veggie mixture that can be made into vegetarian meatballs, veggie burgers, or a crumble to be used in spaghetti sauce in place of ground beef.
[GF] This recipe is gluten-free.
- Olive oil for sauteing
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 eggplant, skinned and finely chopped
- 5 oz. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 1 small tub of Trader Joe’s original hummus
- 1 can garbanzo beans, pureed
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 8 oz. frozen spinach, thawed
- Seasoning to taste (I used sea salt, black pepper, Kitchen Bouquet, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, oregano, but you could easily add chili or any other seasoning your family prefers)
- Large skillet with cover
- Food processor
- For vegetarian meatballs: melon baller (or 2 spoons) and a cookie sheet
- For veggie burgers: cookie sheet
- For ground meat substitute: cookie sheet with 4 raised edges
- In your food processor, pulse the onion and garlic several times until very finely chopped. Set aside.
- In your food processor, pulse the eggplant, mushrooms, and carrots several times each until very finely chopped. Set aside (separated by item).
- In a large skillet, sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes.
- Add eggplant and sautee for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sautee for 2 minutes. Add carrots and sautee for 2 more minutes. Add more olive oil as needed if it looks dry.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add hummus, garbanzo beans, tomato paste, and spinach. Mix well. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Season to taste. I used a dash of Kitchen Bouquet, sea salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powders, parsley and oregano. If you want more kick, you could try chili or paprika or whatever spices your family enjoys. Make it as mild or as intense as you like.
- Decide what you want to make your mixture into. To save time, I just pressed it into a cookie sheet (the kind with 4 raised edges) to bake. If you prefer, use a melon baller or two spoons to make it into “meatballs” or shape it into patties to bake.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. This just helps it to stick together better; there’s no raw egg or meat in the mixture that needs cooking, so you can skip this stage if you’d like to use the skillet mixture as-is.
- Serve however you’d like. I paired mine with gluten-free quinoa pasta and marinara sauce. Yum!
My own creation.