This burger is made of chickpeas and spice and everything nice. Everything nice being cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, and crispy shallots.
The inspiration for this burger came from a conversation at a bachelorette party with a newfound friend and fellow food-lover. She mentioned that, although not a vegetarian, she had a thing for vegetarian food blogs and just happened to bring up one (don't remember which) with a picture of a chickpea burger topped with barbecue sauce. Now, I'm no poser but I have been known to fall fondly into the arms of inspiration when it stands in front of me, and there it was in all its saucy glory...
Actually, that's the BBQ Cheddar Chickpea Burger that I just created with all that inspiration, and I think she may be better looking than her influential predecessor. But who's comparing? Not I.
This burger comes together in a pinch with ingredients and spices you're
somewhat very likely to have on hand. Even better, it won't crumble into bits in the pan like so many veggie-burger-esque creations tend to do.
Almost forgot to mention the best part; this burger's taste may convince meat lovers that their conversion to vegetarianism is easy as pie and will definitely have you eager to smash chickpeas on a twice- or thrice-weekly basis.
BBQ Cheddar Chickpea Burger (Makes 4 hearty burgers)
For the chickpea patties:
◊ 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
◊ 1 small zucchini, grated with a microplane
◊ ½ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
◊ 1 tsp cumin
◊ ½ tsp dried parsley
◊ ½ tsp smoked paprika
◊ 1 tsp sea salt
◊ ½ tsp black pepper
◊ 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
◊ 1 egg, whisked
◊ ¼ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
◊ ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
◊ 1 tbsp olive oil
For the toppings:
◊ 1 shallot, thinly sliced
◊ 1 tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance)
◊ 4 slices mild cheddar cheese
◊ 4 large lettuce leaves
◊ 8 tbsp barbecue sauce
◊ 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
In a large mixing bowl, smash the chickpeas into a mash with a fork. Add zucchini to chickpeas and incorporate. Add in bread crumbs, cumin, parsley, paprika, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, and egg; combine. Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add in red onion. Cook until just becoming translucent and transfer to mixing bowl. Add in cheddar cheese and stir to combine.
Refrigerate patty mixture for at least 30 minutes.
While the patty mixture is chillin' out, heat the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until golden brown and just becoming crispy. Dump the shallots onto several paper towels to absorb excess oil and then set aside.
Remove the patty mixture from the fridge and divide into four equal portions. Form each portion into a round patty.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and, one at a time, cook each patty until a golden-brown crust forms (about 6 minutes on each side). With about 4 minutes left on the second side, top each patty with a slice of cheddar cheese and cook until melted and gooey.
To assemble the burger, layer lettuce leaves on bottom of each bun, top with chickpea burger, shallots, and a heavy-handed drizzle of barbecue sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy.