Quorn, chickpea and mushroom burgers

Quorn, chickpea and mushroom burgers


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What better vehicle for the chew of Quorn than this protein-packed veggie burger? Too often, veggie burgers are stuffed with carbohydrate-heavy starches – which makes for an unbalanced meal when sandwiched between two halves of a bun. Instead this recipe uses Quorn – a naturally low-fat, high-fibre vegetarian protein – together with lots of other tasty, protein-rich ingredients – chickpeas, chestnut mushrooms, hazelnuts and linseed.

When trying to make the most delicious food possible, at every stage you should be thinking about how to boost the flavour. When all those layers of concentrated, carefully crafted ingredients become one, you have something truly magnificent. Complex, flavourful, deeply satisfying.

So the mushrooms are first chopped or pulsed into small pieces, then browned in an oven to create the maximum caramelised surface area possible. More browning = more flavour.

I also added a couple of classic vegetarian flavour-boosters – black olives and sundried tomatoes, as well as a little garlic and lemon zest.

It is very, very important that the whole thing is well seasoned, so don’t be afraid to taste the mixture to check the salt and use freshly ground black pepper with abandon.

I find vacuum-sealed sundried tomatoes best for cooking, in comparison with the ones stored in oil. They’re much more reasonably priced and packaged, and they aren’t stored in oil of questionable quality. Let’s face it, no company is going to be cranking out the cold-pressed, new season olive oil to pack their tomatoes in – only you can achieve that by marinating them at home. Otherwise, you can just soak them in water to rehydrate and then chop or blend before adding to your dish. Plump, moist and intensely-flavoured.

Finally, the whole thing is bound together with ground, soaked linseed – an amazing all-natural additive for holding mixtures of all kinds together. It’s a vegan alternative to using egg as a binder – and a healthier one at that.

So the burger has plenty of texture and meaty chew, lots of deep, salty, savoury flavour and bursts of brightness from the tomatoes and aromatics. And it’s vegan. And packed full of nutritious, plant-based ingredients.

Serve on a sourdough bun – the crustier, the better – with dewy lettuce, some slices of ripe avocado, fresh tomato and anything else you might fancy.

I used Greek yoghurt mixed with Dijon mustard as a healthy, creamy burger spread. If you want to make this burger a truly spectacular, mouth-watering, envy-inducing vegetarian meal, top the burgers with some melted cheese (cheddar would be good with these tomato-olive-mushroom flavours) and a perfectly runny fried egg.

A big, juicy salad and/or some baked potato wedges would also be great accompaniments if you want to round the whole thing out into a proper meal, and it’s worth noting that these burgers will stand up to a barbecue without falling apart.


Preheat the oven to 200c. Soak the sundried tomatoes in a small bowl of warm water, just enough to cover. Set aside. Mix the ground linseed with enough cold water to make a smooth paste and set aside
Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor with the metal blade until chopped fine. Mix in the tablespoon of olive oil, making sure it coats evenly. Spread out on one or two baking trays (they should be in a thin, even layer) and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. They are done when most of the moisture has come out and they are relatively evenly browned. Transfer to a large bowl. If the mushroom residue on the baking tray isn’t burnt, deglaze with a splash of water or wine and scrape as much as you can into the mushrooms – this residue has a huge amount of flavour
Pulse the chickpeas until mostly broken down and add to the bowl. Remove the tomatoes from the water – set this water aside for another use, it makes a delicious vegetable stock. Pulse to chop finely and add with the olives and Quorn mince
Scrape the linseed mixture into the other ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hand, so the sticky binder is evenly distributed and all the components are well combined. Put mixture back into the food processor – you may need to do this in batches – and pulse until it comes together into a coherent paste. When ready, the mixture will hold its shape when pressed together with your fingers
Shape the mixture into patties and wrap each one in a little clingfilm. When wrapped they are even easier to make into a perfect round. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, so the whole thing has time to properly set before cooking. When ready to cook, these burgers can be cooked in a frying pan – over medium heat with a film of oil until browned – or they can be barbecued
Cook in a frying pan or on the barbeque
NOTE: This whole recipe can be doubled, or even tripled, to make a stash of veggie burgers for the freezer. Just transfer to the freezer after they have been individually wrapped and allow to freeze, then seal the burgers in a freezer bag for further protection
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