These vegan carrot burgers are packed with hearty walnuts, flavored with cilantro and lime, and smothered in spicy maple ketchup.
I need to work on trusting my instincts. Let me explain. Sometimes I find myself in the kitchen working on a recipe idea that I'm not that enthused about. Take these carrot burgers, for example. It took me a while to make them, because for a while I wasn't really excited about the idea. Interestingly though, when I first came up with the idea (and I really can't recall what prompted it), I thought I was brilliant. At some point that feeling fell away and I could't really remember what made me think the idea was so great, just that I did at some point.
Keeping the faith that my initial idea might make some sense, I made them. This was after a few weeks of dragging my feet going "Carrot burgers? I must have thought they'd be awesome for a reason but can't for the life of me recall what that might be." But the thing is, I had to do it, lest I spend the rest of my food blogging days wondering what could have been.
What could have been and what did be was awesome! I'm hoping you guys don't view this post with the same "meh" attitude I had in the weeks preceding making these. They were so good! Even my husband was surprised at how good they turned out (apparently the idea of walnut carrot burgers didn't pique his interest that much either).
So, let's talk about how exactly they were good. Well, there's the cilantro-lime-cumin flavor for starters. Delicious to begin with, but then can't go wrong when you pair it with the sweetness of carrots. The outsides crisped up really nice, which I attribute partly to the panko, but also to the little bit of cornstarch, which I actually added as a binder. You might be tempted to skip the spicy maple ketchup; after all, most folks already have bottles of ketchup stocked at home. It's not the same though. The extra sweet, extra spicy, extra tanginess of this ketchup brings out the sweet-savory flavor of the burgers.
Walnut Carrot Burgers with Spicy Maple Ketchup
For the Walnut Carrot Burgers
- ½ lb fresh carrots about 2 large, cut into 2 inch pieces
- ½ medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup panko
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
For the Spicy Maple Ketchup
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. sriracha or to taste
- 3-4 burger buns
- about 1 cup of your choice of greens
Make the Walnut Carrot Burgers
Place carrots, onion and garlic into food processor bowl. Pulse until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Add panko, walnuts, cilantro, cornstarch, flax seeds, lime juice, cumin and salt. Blend until completely mixed, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add a splash of water if the mixture seems a little dry.
Shape mixture into 3-4 patties.
Coat a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat.
Working in batches if necessary, place burgers in skillet and cover. Cook about 4 minutes, until lightly browned on bottoms. Gently flip, recover, and cook another 4 minutes on opposite side.
Make the Spicy Maple Ketchup
Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl.
Assemble and Serve the Burgers
Place a burger inside each bun. Top with spicy maple ketchup and greens.