Sep 15, 2014

ghoulish burgers

Day 12 of  Vegan MoFo takes us clear into next month. We celebrate Halloween early at the Dever residence all in the name of helping you all plan for your personal celebrations in October. What good would it do to present this handsome burger next month? Oh, the sacrifices!

I saw a version of these cute sandwiches in a magazine a few years ago and have made been making them using Chicken-Free Salad filling (EVE, page 70). You can get the recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats right HERE, where Olives for Dinner reviewed the book and shared it.

The above makes for a faster and easier filling, but for our burger MoFo, we upped the difficulty. These made-from-scratch burgers are chili-flavored and use cannellini beans and gluten as the burger base. It is then topped with an easy cheese sauce, olives and small dill pickles for the fangs. Boom!

I might be going on about it being difficult, but that is only in respect to the ease of the chicken-free filling I'm used to making. In fact, these little gems just took longer, but didn't need much more effort.

A little tid-bit for you: if you make it, make a few, looking all cute and adorable, complete with the cheese sauce hair (or face?), olive eyes and pickle fangs, but do yourself, and your guests a favor, and make rest with the burgers with the bun on top of all that gooey-ness, Save some napkins and guest embarrassment at having cheese sauce splattered all over their mug.

Happy Early Halloween!

Ghoulish Burgers
Makes 6 burgers
2 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans
2 teaspoons mild chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon oregon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
Fresh ground black pepper
½ cup vital wheat gluten (stirred before measuring)
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
6 slider buns, split and toasted
Vegan mayonnaise, as needed
6 mini pickles, cut in half lengthwise
12 slices of black olives
Easy Cheese Sauce, recipe below
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Add the beans, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, chili flakes, black pepper and the onions to a food processor. Pulse until the beans are broken up, but not paste. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Add the gluten to the bean mixture and knead for 4 minutes until gluten strands form. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and form into burger patties about the size of your buns.
4. Spray a baking sheet with oil, arrange the burgers on a sheet, add ¼ cup water around the burgers, cover tightly with foil and bake in a 300-degree F oven (no need to preheat) for 30 minutes. Uncover, flip the burgers and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add the vegetable broth, cover and steam for 2 minutes.
6. Make the burgers by spreading mayo on the bottom bun, adding a burger patty, 2 halves of pickles for the fangs, a top bun, a drizzle of sauce, 2 slices of olives for eyes and a toothpick to hold it all together. Serve.
Easy Cheese Sauce
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup unsweetened plain vegan milk
1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

1. Heat the oil in a small sauce pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Using a whisk, stir in the milk and cook until lightly thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


  1. These sound incredibly delicious and are completely adorable!
    Love it!
    I'm a halloween freak. I'm behind on my blog reading, but it is now October and I'm already planning decorating and such. Love the burgers - they will be making it to my holiday-themed potluck for sure =)


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