How to make perfect vegan patties

Vegan patties are a huge part of my menu. I love them so much and I make them every week. I like to serve them with potatoes or with pasta or as a burger. They are rich in protein, very filling, affordable and super tasty. People often ask me how to make the perfect vegan patties and it was about time to make this little simple guide for you. I have a few tips and tricks I have gathered over the years and I promise that your next patties will be delightful! 

  • Make sure that your pan is hot before you pour some oil in it and start cooking the patties. Use enough oil, so the patties will be nice and crispy. 
  • Don't flip the patties too soon. Let them cook until crispy on one side and them flip them over with a THIN spatula.
  • I have discovered that one of the best combinations for a perfect patty dough is one part canned beans and one part canned chickpeas. The beans will keep the dough moist but the chickpeas are drier and make the patties firmer. Don't forget to add some flour, chopped veggies and seasonings of your choice.
  • There are tons of ways to season your patties. My favorite herbs and spices are salt, curry powder, ground cumin (not too much!), ground black pepper, turmeric, dried dill, thyme and oregano. I also love to add some ground nutmeg. It gives such a nice nostalgic taste. Chopped fresh herbs are also a fine addition!
  • You can also bake some patties. They tend to get pretty dry that way, though. Sometimes almost like cookies. Yikes! But if you serve them with some sauce, they are pretty nice. But my favorite way is to pan-fry them. I also have a recipe for totally not dry baked bean balls you can use in salads, wraps and pasta.
  • When your patties don't want to stick together (it happens to the best of us), just add more flour or bread crumbs to the patty dough. My favorite is whole-wheat flour. Also make sure that your pan is hot, there is enough oil and you let them cook enough on one side before flipping them over with a thin spatula.
  • It is easier to form the patties when your hands are wet. So before forming another panful of patties, dip your hands into water.
  • You can make burgers with your patties or serve them with potatoes, pasta or bread. I also like to bring them on the road, since they are easy to pack and serve.

Grilled chickpea, beet and peanut butter patties

Here are some versions of the patties I love to cook:

Patties from dried legumes that are soaked but not boiled

Broad beans, split peas, chickpeas, mung beans, white and red beans and lentils. You can soak them, grind them and make patties out of them. No need for boiling here! Just soak 1-2 cups of dried legumes in plenty of water for 10-12 hours. Then drain them, rinse them and grind them with some water (about half a cup). Add salt, your favorite spices and herbs and chopped veggies if you like. I always add onions! Now pan-fry them. Delicious! I have discovered that you can also make these patties without any added flour. Just make sure the mixture is smooth enough. But if the patties fall apart on the pan, then you should still add some flour to the patty dough.

Here you can see easy pea and cabbage patties that are super cheap and tasty:

Patties from boiled or canned legumes

Today I made lentil and rice patties for example. Rice is such a great binder! I just boiled lentils and rice together until soft. Then carefully drained the whole mixture, added salt, ground cumin, curry powder and ground nutmeg. I also added some whole-wheat flour, which is my favorite binder. When using boiled or canned legumes to make patties, you almost always need some flour. They need more binding than the soaked and ground legumes. You can also dip the formed patties into flour before cooking them.

Here are my favorite bean and zucchini cutlets:

And definitely try these crowd-pleasing crispy carrot cutlets:

When the patty shape gets boring, try these turnip and bean balls instead:

Or these baked bean and seed balls, which are great in salads and wraps:

These meaty lentil balls are super tasty too. Recipe in my cookbook:

Patties from soy products

Lets take tofu for example. You can cut tofu into slices, marinate them, bread them and pan-fry them. Or you can add crumbled tofu to different patty doughs. I have also made really tasty patties from dried soy cutlets. Just boil them, drain them and squeeze them tightly. That way they will get drier and absorb all the seasoning. I like to marinate them in barbecue sauce, then bread them and cook them. Or even better - grill them!

Try this epic tofu burger:

Patties from grains, veggies and/or mushrooms

You don't always have to use legumes or soy when making vegan patties. Sometimes you have leftover morning porridge. You can make patties out of it! Just add some flour and veggies and seasonings of your choice. Or try these rice and chanterelle patties for example. You can also use boiled barley or buckwheat when making your next patty dough. Sometimes I love to add chopped mushrooms to my mixture. You can pan-fry them before adding them to the dough.

Try these super simple garlicky oat and beet patties:

Don't forget to check out all my patty recipes HERE!

If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below. Happy cooking!