Mediterranean Bean Burgers (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)


I have been wanting to share this recipe with you for SO long. It’s one of my very favorite burger recipes in Let Them Eat Vegan (as many of you know, there is a full burger chapter) – in fact, it’s one of my very favorite veggie burgers of all time! Only two of the recipes in that chapter are photographed in LTEV – the Pan-Fried Falafels and the Nutty Veggie Burgers. I happen to love both of those very much as well, but the falafels are well, falafels – and the nutty veg burgers are quite dense/hearty with the nuts, but sometimes I want a burger that uses its bean! These top my go-to veg burger recipes, along with the falafels, nutty veg burgers, grilled portobello burgers (LTEV), and the Umami Almond and Sundried Tomato Burgers (in the Plant-Powered 15 ebook). Those are the recipes I make most often (shhh, don’t tell my other burgers)!

These Mediterranean Bean Burgers have been getting really great feedback, and I’ve made them at a couple of cooking demos with rave reviews from the audience. So, I have been determined to get a few decent photos of these plant-powered burgers to share with you… so you can finally enjoy the recipe too!

Here are the ingredients waiting for action in my food processor (and before you ask, I have a Breville Sous Chef… all the scoop here). :) I just LOVE the brilliant colors in this pic, all the nutritional GOODNESS going into these plant-powered burgers!



The Breville has a 16-cup capacity, so it can easily manage a double-batch of this mix. I often make an extra batch to freeze for a later date. This time round, that later date will be so the fam can eat them while I’m away at VVC! (Are you going?!)


I get emails often asking whether my burger recipes can be frozen. Short answer: YES! Long answer: Yes, to do so, prep the batch… shape in patties (do not cook), place in an airtight container, separating the patties with pieces of parchment. To cook, let thaw and you’re in burger business!

When I created these burgers, I had NO idea our girls would like them as much as they do. Bonus! I do have to make a couple of patties sans the olives and red peppers for the younger two girls, but that takes just another minute of prep (directions are in the recipe notes).

Mediterranean Bean Burgers on whole-grain tortilla

Mediterranean Bean Burgers on whole-grain tortilla

Last year I made a cooking video for this recipe. (That’s just HOW long I’ve been wanting to post this, truly need an assistant!) Have a watch… and yeah, laugh with me, not at me, when our daughter cheers for the salt. And, then asks me to “scrape out the red peppers”. Uh-huh. Oh, in the clip I made the burgers miniature/slider size, but I usually make full-size patties. OH! Should mention – because this video was recorded last year, that’s my old processor you see in the clip, not the Breville.

What I love about these burgers is that they are really different from many burger recipes. First, they use kidney beans – which have a beautiful color and creamy texture (similar to cannellini beans). I really enjoy them and use them a lot in our weekly cooking. Second, they have a unique blend of seasonings for a vegetarian burger! How often have you had olives and fresh oregano in a burger?! Don’t skip the balsamic vinegar – or any of the ingredients. It’s flavor synergy!

Have I rambled enough? Yeah, I think so. Time to get to the goods!…

Mediterranean Bean Burgers Link to RECIpage for emailing/printing

Kalamata olives, fresh oregano, and other Mediterranean-inspired seasonings give these healthy meat-free burgers a perky twist!

2 cans (14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 to 2 medium to large cloves garlic, roughly chopped (use 1 for kid-friendly)

2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon (little generous) Dijon mustard

3/4 cup green onions, sliced (using mostly green portion, and less white)

1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

2  tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (fresh is best, but if you don’t have it, substitute about 1 1/2 – 2 tsp dried oregano)

1/2 teaspoon (rounded) sea salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free for that option)

1/3 – 1/2 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped (see note)

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (optional, see note)

In a food processor, combine the kidney beans, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, and mustard. Pulse until pureed. Add the green onions, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste, and process to break up and blend. Add the oats and pulse to begin to incorporate. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl (or remove the blade) and stir in the olives and red pepper (if using; see note). Refrigerate the mixture for 30 to 45 minutes, then shape into patties with your hands (see note). To cook, wipe a smidgen of oil over a non-stick skillet on medium/medium-high heat. Cook the patties for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Alternatively, bake the patties for about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping once through cooking. Makes 6-7 patties.

If This Apron Could Talk

If you have family members that don’t care for olives, simply remove a scoop of the mixture before adding the olives and form into a patty or two. And the red peppers add a touch of freshness and texture to the burgers, but can be easily omitted—or, as with the olives, you can make some patties without them before adding the diced peppers.

Refrigerating the mixture is important as it helps the burger mixture firm up. When you first start to pulse in the oats, the mixture will appear somewhat loose. But, the oats absorb moisture as the mixture sits and refrigerates, and once you remove to shape into patties you’ll notice the mixture has firmed up some.

Ingredients 411: If you dislike olives and want to omit them altogether, note that you may want to add another few pinches of salt to season the mixture, as the olives contribute a salty bite.

If you have LTEV, have you made these yet? If so, please share your thoughts, I’d love reads to have some feedback other than mine! And, what are YOUR favorite veggie burgers?


  1. Michelle says

    I made these (altered slightly to accomodate time of day (late!) and what I had on hand (no tom. puree). Chilled overnight and cooked on grill at work. Everyone loved them (even carnivores). Making with Orca beans & double recipe so I get more than 1/2!!! Next time maybe black eyed peas! Thank you for all of your creative and delicious recipes :)

  2. Tawm says

    We made these tonight and I loved them and so did my girlfriend. We really liked how they are filling and heavy like real burger. And all those flavors mixed in really came together. We’ll be making these time and time again. Thanks Dreena!

  3. Violet says

    These were really good. I didn’t have olives or red pepper so I just left them out. By far the best veggie burger I have made.

    • Dreena says

      Regular onion will be much stronger than green, so either saute it down first to mellow the flavor, or maybe use just a couple of tbsps, chopped.

      • pretzel says

        Wow, these are amazing just as everyone else said! Best veggie burger I have made so far.

        I used more garlic and extra fresh oregano since I’m an adult. I probably ate a whole burger’s worth of uncooked mix before I cooked the burgers! The mix tastes great on it’s own and I think would be delicious spread on toast, wrapped in a tortilla, or even used as a dip. Loved the burgers with pickles and plan to try with avocado. Will definitely make these flavor-packed burgers again and again.

  4. Heather says

    Very good. I made these today. I am not vegan, but my son who is 9 cannot eat dairy, gluten or eggs. This leaves his protein choices pretty limited anyway. We enjoyed these. He cannot have oats (not even the gluten free ones) so I replaced those with quinoa flakes. I also added seasoned salt. Thanks!

  5. says

    Thanks for the recipe — it looks great and I’m going to try it very soon. I enjoyed the video, however, it would be better to see what you are doing while listening to you rather than to watch you talk and see none of the action. I understand that your camera person is a young girl but maybe a little instruction on following the action would be helpful. She did a good job other than that and maybe she has a videography career ahead of her.

  6. Julie says

    I just discovered your website and this is the first recipe I made! I made it tonight together with your white bean hummus with thyme and basil recipe. They are both incredible!!! The best veggie burger we’ve made yet – great texture, great flavors, great ingredients! And the hummus is absolutely wonderful too! We’ll be making both again this weekend. These would be wonderful to make for company too! Thank you Dreena! I will definitely be getting your cookbooks!

  7. Cindi says

    These were fantastic! I made a gluten free roti recipe and shaped those into bun sizes. My honey and I were doing the happy food dance. We liked them so much we ordered your cookbook. We’ve been eating plant-based for just 3 months and have enjoyed more flavor than ever before. I’m loving learning to cook. Thanks for making me look good, Dreena!

    • Dreena says

      So pleased to hear it Cindi! Isn’t it amazing to explore new flavors, textures, foods, and cuisines? I have found we just keep learning and exploring, it can be a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy LTEV. :)

  8. k. sparrow says

    Oooh, Dreena, these look (great photos!) and sound deelishous! Thank you for the video, I enjoyed you and your daughter (hah!) and your blade cleaning trick. I have been smelling the charcoal grills firing up around my neighborhood, so my palate is def. craving some awesome plant powered burgers..and I will satisfy that sooner rather than later because of these non-traditional burgers you have proffered. I didn’t know that I could put so much vegetable goodness in a burger mix and it would hold together, fabulous!

  9. says

    In the spring of 2008, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery to remove her right breast and many lymph nodes, my mom has been dealing with lymphedema the past five years. On a recent CAT scan, a few small tumors were found where her lymph nodes used to be and they are slowly growing and causing my moms lymphedema to be even worse causing her constant pain on top of the stress of the news. My mom has decided to take an all natural path to healing with Dr. Keith Nemec at Total Health Institute in Wheaton, IL. The treatment plan is very thorough, my mom is completely changing her diet to eat an all vegetarian diet that avoids all sugars, meats, dairy, and processed foods. The treatments with Dr. Nemec are all natural and will take the next six months to cure my mom of cancer. Due to the high success rate and insurance not covering any of the treatments, my parents are facing a very large medical bill of which they’ve had to take a huge loan out to pay for it. I’ve set up a free fundraiser website so that I can help my parents pay for my moms medical bills. Any amount helps. Your website is inspiration and very helpful for my mom as she transitions into a vegan lifestyle. Thank you for your informative website!

  10. Allison says

    I made these last night, loved them! I’ll be making the double batch next time to freeze some. I also made your
    “Raw-nch dressing” from LTEV for a veggie dip, it’s one of my favorites. Thanks!

  11. says

    I made the burgers today and they will surely become a staple in my kitchen. They are so incredibly delicious. :-)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe

  12. katy sparrow says

    Oooh, Dreena, these look (great photos!) and sound deelishous! Thank you for the video, I enjoyed you and your daughter (hah!) and your blade cleaning trick. I have been smelling the charcoal grills firing up around my neighborhood, so my palate is def. craving some awesome plant powered burgers..and I will satisfy that sooner rather than later because of these non-traditional burgers you have proffered. I didn’t know that I could put so much vegetable goodness in a burger mix and it would hold together, fabulous!

  13. Nadine says

    I’ve had your chickpea falafel and chickpea burgers for 4 nights in a row and I want you to know that every single recipe I make of yours… turns out AMAZING!!! I am buying all of your cookbooks. I really appreciate you sharing your recipes online because it gave me a chance to try them before I buy your books. Made your chickpea burgers for my vegetarian in-laws and they were all raving about them too. Thanks for the fantastic food :)
    Question for this recipe – can the tomato be omitted or replaced? Thanks

    • katy sparrow says

      Hi Nadine, I used Thai Kitchen Red Curry paste in place of tomato paste (because I love red curry paste!) so that’s a sub. that you may or may not like. Oh, and because the red curry paste has salt, I didn’t add the sea salt that Dreena’s [awesome!] recipe calls for.

  14. Laurie says

    Loved the video and I was especially thrilled to learn your secrets for getting mixtures out of the food processor so neatly! Very Cool!! :) I’m excited to try your burgers. I have loved ALL of your recipes, Dreena! Thanks again

    • Dreena says

      Thanks much, Laurie! Glad the tip is helpful for you, I get a silly satisfaction from it… not letting any morsels of goodness get away. 😉

  15. Zoe says

    These look great! Wish I’d seen this post 6 hours ago! I made burgers tonight which were ok but not great and I have all the ingredients in for these! Ach well, next time. I’m waiting patiently for my copy of LTEV to arrive, so excited. Love love love Dreena and Daughters videos. I second Emma, you truely are a fantastic advert for vegan health – keep up the fab work.

    • Dreena says

      Always a next time, Zoe! :) Hope you love LTEV – and you’ll have plenty of yummy burgers to choose from when it does hit your doorstep! (and thank you)

  16. says

    I really enjoy the Dreena & Daughter videos :) I’m a HUGE fan of your Nutty Veggie Burgers and was actually planning on making these ones this week. How weird is that? Now that I’ve seen the finished product, I want them even more. Thanks Dreena!
    Carrie recently posted..HermitsMy Profile

    • Dreena says

      YAY! Glad you like the vids, Carrie… they aren’t exactly proper cooking videos, we don’t always get in on the food enough, but we try our best without making it shaky throughout! 😉 We must have been on a burger wavelength… enjoy my dear! (and the new blog looks great, btw!)

  17. says

    I really enjoy the Dreena & Daughter videos. I’m a huge fan of your nutty burgers and was planning on making these ones this week. How funny is that? Now that I’ve seen pictures of the finished product, I can’t wait.

  18. says

    Those look so yummy and the tip to freeze them without cooking is so helpful. I just have to tell you that Let Them Eat Vegan is in my top ten best cookbook list and I have a LOT of cookbooks. Thanks for sharing this recipe with the picture.

    • Dreena says

      ohhh, that is most awesome to read, Karen. Thank you. Hope you enjoy these burgers as much as other things you’ve tried in LTEV. Have a sweet weekend!

  19. Laura says

    These look fantastic! I’ve had LTEV for a while now and can’t seem to get past the mushroom pecan burgers (so delicious) but may need to give these a whirl tonight. Also, sounds like your camera-person is attempting to get discovered 😉

    • Dreena says

      haha, yep, she enjoys making her voice “known”. It’s actually been weird to listen to that video now, b/c she’s a year older and sounds very different!! And, hey, nothing wrong with being in a mushroom pecan burger fan, Laura! 😉

  20. says

    Oooh scrumptious. I don’t know why I never use kidney beans, they only every make it into veggie chili in my kitchen. Any other recs for dishes to use them in? Thanks so much for all the tips too, definitely going to use that one for getting all the mixture off the blade.

    • Dreena says

      Emma, I love them in hummus! Ok, I know it breaks the hummus rules, but I sometimes make a full hummus with them, like a black bean dip but with kidney beans (b/c I think they taste better), or a mix with chickpeas and it turns little pink! Add smoky spices/lime juice, parsley/basil/or cilantro, etc… yummy! Hope you enjoy the burgers!

  21. Tiffany says

    Dreena, you always have the most flavorful and delicious recipes! Summer has finally begun for me and I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and cook! First up your sundried tomato burgers from plant powered 15! Hope you have a great weekend :) xoxo

    • Dreena says

      Aw, that is sweetness, my thanks Tiffany. Enjoy your weekend, filled with delish veg burgers!! 😀

      • Tiffany says

        Dreena, the sundried tomato burgers were so easy to prepare! It all came together so quickly and they were absolutely delicious!! Thank you for such wonderful recipes! I don’t know what to make next, every recipe sounds amazing! :)

  22. Pua says

    I’ve been nervous about making veggie burgers – I’m not the best cook! – but these look so good that I think I’ll have to give them a try. Thank you!

    • Dreena says

      oh, Pua, please don’t be! These are really VERY easy. If you have a food processor, you are in business – it does 90% of the work for you. And, you don’t have to shape the patties ‘perfectly’ either – I never do! Just get a patty formed, pop in the pan, and be happy with yourself b/c you will have MADE veggie burgers!!! :)

  23. Emma says

    We all love those burgers over here too. Kidney beans are my favorite (homemade in the pressure cooker – perfect).
    As an aside, boy, you sure are a picture of glowy, gorgeous, vegan health, Dreena.

    • Dreena says

      Thanks Emma! On the burgers – and the compliment. Geez. Wow, that was nice to hear, I was a bit critical of myself watching the video (we always *are* our worst critics… except on YouTube – I’ve had some pretty big critics there, lol)! I love kidney beans so much too, far more than black beans or pinto or adzuki, etc. Thanks for the note. hugs!

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