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Comfort Foods: Toasted Sesame + Garbanzo Bean Burgers with Red Onion Straws

Do you usually say garbanzo beans or chickpeas? It’s the same, but I feel like people tend toward one name over the other. I find I use them both (like a weird-o), but I get a little thrill out of the word garbanzo. It immediately makes me think of Gonzo, who was one of my favorite muppets growing up and maybe still is. Along with all the other muppets because I freaking LOVE the muppets! I try to convince Elsie all the time that we should be Statler and Waldorf for Halloween. Which she always points out makes no sense because we are not old enough, or men, and now we don’t even live in the same state, but I persist.

I could probably talk about the muppets for the entirety of this post but that would make no sense because this post is about a very delicious veggie burger and not adorable puppets (#fail ?). So what about this burger?


Well first, I feel like you can’t even really see the burger in my photos very well because by the time I had moved him by the window for his closeup, the cheese had melted all over the patty. Which was the goal, but I guess I didn’t realize how much it would cover the burger patty. So just believe me that it’s there (I swear!). But the real heroes of this burger are the red onion straws! You’ll want to make extra so you can have a little side of them along with toppings for your burgers—just trust me on this.

The garbanzo bean burger is the prefect blank canvas as it will get dressed up with the red onion straws and all your favorite fixings. But if you decide to make these burgers and skip the onions (boo!), I would recommend topping with something fun and flavor packed like guacamole or maybe a little greek yogurt and feta cheese. Like I said, it’s the prefect vehicle for lots of great burger topping options. On its own it’s substantial, but a bit underwhelming in the flavor department. Which is why I really think you should make the onion straws—do it, do it!

Toasted Sesame + Garbanzo Bean Burgers with Red Onion Straws, makes 4

For the burger patties:
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
1 small white or yellow onion (approx. 100 grams or 1/4 cup once chopped)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the onion straws:
1 large red onion
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
oil for frying (enough to fill a pan 2 inches)

First toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan just until they begin to brown and smell nutty. Remove to a plate until ready to use.

In a food processor combine 2/3 of the beans (not 2/3 cup, just 2/3 of the total amount), white or yellow onion, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined, like a thick paste. Remove to a medium size mixing bowl.

Stir in the remaining beans and the bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. Divide into four patties and either prepare to bake, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for future use. If you don’t plan to use the patties within the next few days, you could also freeze them.

When you’re ready to bake, lightly coat a baking sheet with oil and bake at 375°F for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway. You could also pan fry these in a little oil. But I like baking as it frees you up to work on the onions for this recipe.

For the onions, chop the ends off the red onion, cut in half, and then slice into thin straws. On a shallow plate, whisk together the eggs and water (using a fork here is easier than a whisk). On another shallow plate, combine the flour and spices and give that a gentle stir so it’s well distributed. Now dip the onions in the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Once you have all the onions breaded, you are ready to fry.

Heat the oil to around 350°F or just under. Fry the onions for about 30-45 seconds until golden brown (like in the photos). Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. I like to use metal tongs when frying as it can be easier to move food to and from the hot oil.

Toast a few burger buns and add your baked burger patties, lettuce, cheese, tomato, etc. as well as the warm onion straws. Enjoy! xo. Emma


-You can use other flours in place of the all purpose like a gluten free all purpose or white whole wheat flour.

-If you freeze any of the burger patties, allow to thaw before baking or pan frying.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.


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