Chickpea Veggie Burgers & Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce

Chickpea veggie burger with tzatziki yogurt sauce

I know this blog is about family friendly meals but I am also going to introduce you to “mommy” meals.  Mommy meals are meals that I typically eat for lunch while the kids are in school or on the weekends.  Mommy meals are nutritious, whole grain, chock full of vegetable meals.  I know most of these meals would not appeal to my kids yet so I eat them for lunch or dinner on those nights where there is an acceptable leftover for them.

Anyway, I have had Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Cooking for about a year.  I love this cookbook as well as her blog, 101 cookbooks.  She is a local gal, just 15 minutes from me (somewhere in SF), so I feel a sort of local kinship with her.  This cookbook has so many beautiful recipes and photos that I often just browse through like I would a picture book.  My hubby was commenting to me the other day as I was paging through the book, how I still have not made a recipe from it.  I told him I have not made anything from it because most of the meals would not appeal to our kids.  He told me, in a loving way, to stop with the excuses and just make something from it. He also promised that he would happily eat anything I made from the book. I decided he was right, so I opened up to page 155 and got ready to make Heidi’s chickpea patties that I have been wanting to try for so long.

Chickpea veggie burger

These are not your typical burgers that you put inside a bun.  These burgers are the bun!  You insert the goodies inside of the burger.  Genius!  I made these burgers the first time for lunch and they were so tasty that I decided I was going to make them for some friends that were coming over for dinner the next night.  We served them up with some Tzatziki sauce (recipe below), fresh avocado, sprouts, chopped tomato and my kale salad.  It was a fabulous vegetarian meal! I felt so refreshed and light after eating this dinner, that is until I had a huge piece of chocolate cake, ugh! This is a great do-ahead meal because you can make the burgers, tzatziki yogurt sauce earlier that day or the day before.  All you have to do when your guests arrive is heat up the patties and chop up the fresh ingredients to put inside.

I wanted to simplify this recipe so I did not get sprouted garbanzo beans nor did I make my own bread crumbs.  Sometimes we just have to cut corners and make things easier on ourselves. I kept Heidi’s recipe the way she wrote it below and noted my changes in green.

Chickpea veggie burger with tzatziki yogurt sauce

Chickpea veggie burgers

Recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking
makes 8 hamburger-sized patties

This is a great do-ahead meal; you can store shaped, ready-to-cook patties in the refrigerator for a week’s worth of lunches or dinner.  Just cook them up when you are ready to eat them.

  • 2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed – I used the boxed variety and 2 boxes gave me 2 1/2 cups plus some leftovers.  I’m assuming it would take 2 cans as well.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium red onion, small dice
  • grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (either broccoli, onion, clover or alfalfa sprouts) – I used clover sprouts
  • 1 cup toasted whole-grain breadcrumbs – I was to lazy to make bread crumbs, so I just used Ian’s whole wheat panko bread crumbs and they worked perfectly
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter for sautéing the burgers

I found these chickpeas at the market and grabbed them as they were in these BPA free and recyclable boxes.  I also use Eden Organic chickpeas which are in BPA free cans as well.  If you don’t have the time to soak beans its nice to know that there are great alternatives out there that are BPA free.
Isn’t the packaging cute?

Organic chickpeas

If you’re using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until tender, about 10 minutes.  If you are using canned or boxed beans (which I did), jump right in.  Combine the chickpeas, eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor.

Note:  I used my mini-prep so I added 1/2 of the chickpeas and 2 eggs plus the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pureed it, and then added the rest of the chickpeas and the other two eggs and pureed it again.

Chickpea burger ingredients in food processor

Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus.

Chickpea puree

Pour into a mixing bowl and add in the cilantro, onion, lemon zest, and sprouts.

Chickpea veggie burger ingredients in bowl

Mix all the ingredients together.

Chickpea veggie burger ingredients

Chickpea veggie burger ingredients

Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for about 5 minutes so the crumbs can absorb the moisture.  This is where I clean up the kitchen a bit.

Chickpea veggie burger ingredients

After about 5 minutes or so, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into patties.

I formed mine into 8 hamburger-sized patties.

These patties are moist but will hold their form quite well.  You can always add more breadcrumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if needed.

Chickpea veggie burgers

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there’s no browning after 10 minutes.

Note:  If you are just making one burger for lunch or dinner then just pour enough olive oil in the pan to coat the bottom and cook up your burger.  The cooking time might be less per side as there is only one burger.

Chickpea burgers cooking in skillet

Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and cool patties on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.  I added another tablespoon of olive oil before I put in the rest of the patties, as I did not want them to be dry.

Chickpea veggie burgers cooling on wire rack

Carefully cut the patty in half, insert your favorite filling and enjoy!

I filled mine with some of the tzatziki sauce, avocado and some clover sprouts.

Chickpea veggie burger

Tzatziki yogurt sauce

recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Note:  It’s recommended that this sauce chill in the refrigerator for a few hours in order for the flavors to blend together.  You can even make this sauce the day before. This recipe makes a lot of yogurt sauce, so please feel free to cut it in half.

  • 1 pound (1 pint) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar – we used champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill – I added a bit more to flavor it up
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

This yogurt sauce is also great to use as a dip for veggies for a healthy after school snack or with pita chips.

Tzatziki yogurt sauce

Peel and grate the cucumber.  Wrap the grated cucumber in a paper towel and squeeze it to get out the excess water.  You may have to re-wrap and squeeze it a few times to get out all of the water.

Scoop out the yogurt into a bowl.  Add the grated cucumber, 3 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil,  1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced dill, and a pinch of pepper.

Tzatziki yogurt sauce ingredients

Tzatziki yogurt sauce ingredients in bowl

Mix the ingredients together.

Tzatziki yogurt sauce

Cover and put the tzatziki in the refrigerator for a few hours so that the flavors can blend together.

That’s it, easy peasy!

Chickpea veggie burger

Hubby Verdict?  He loved these and was actually the one who suggested that we serve these up for dinner for our friends.  This is coming from a Midwestern meat and potato guy.

He has had one for lunch the past two days as well.

Kids Verdict? Eli wouldn’t even try one, Zoe tried it and liked it, but could only handle a few bites!

Chickpea veggie burger

Have you ever made a veggie burger before?

Do you prefer a beef/buffalo, turkey, salmon or veggie burger?

With love Jackie

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58 thoughts on “Chickpea Veggie Burgers & Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce”

    1. Thanks Aiko! I may start opening up all my burgers and inserting all types of goodies. I always put everything on top of a burger and then put it all beneath 2 buns but now I am going to re-think that concept and possibly make the burger the bun for now on.

    1. Thanks so much Maria. I would love to hear how your burgers turn out. I had another one today for lunch and each bite was delish! I was sad when it was all gone 🙁

      I have never made tzatziki before and it’s so flavorful. We didn’t make it exactly the way Barefoot made it (she strained the yogurt and the cucumber) but it tasted amazing and gave such flavor to the chickpea burger.

      I have yet to visit London and I hope to someday and it has such history and the arts and theater there are amazing!

  1. YES!! These are totally my sort of thing – and (Louis is not going to be impressed) but I may shoot them up the que, in front of the sausagey pasta dish. Ive never made veggie burgers before – although Ive made Tzatziki and LOVE it – but Ive always wanted to give them a try. I adore veggie burgers with middle eastern dips (and hot sauce!!) – especially on top of salad fora light lunch, or in buns for a more indulgent treat. I like them in buns with yogurt dip and peanut butter!! A bit of legume overload, but very tasty! 🙂

    You must come and visit London someday!! Will keep you posted on which recipe we do first!

    1. Hi Em! I’m making your tuna for dinner tonight as it’s easy peasy Monday at the Grandy household. Kids have sports and are home late so it’s sandwich night! I love easy nights like this.

      So funny how many people have made Tzatziki before. I feel so behind the times that this was my first time making it.

      You might be surprised as Louis might just enjoy these. I was shocked when John asked me to make them for our guests for dinner. He does not typically eat my “mommy” food.

      I do hear London calling! Someday!

    2. Yay!! And I just got a proper look through your response to my 11 factoids – and Im so glad to find someone else unable to move totally beyond cardio to yoga/ stretching … I feel like Im the only stuck in the 90’s sometimes! :). I LOVE hiking on Mt Tam – especially if there is brunch involved at that amazing place (do you know where I mean at all…?) afterwards. I hope you liked the tuna!! xox

    3. Hi Em! I loved the tuna and had it two days in a row for lunch. Mountain home Inn, is that the place you are talking about on Mt. Tam? Were not stuck in the 90’s girl, we just like our cardio and like to move. Whenever I think of 90’s cardio I think of Olivia Newton John in her “Let’s get physical” video. That was such a cool music video at the time but when I see it now, I just crack up.

  2. I am on a serious chickpea kick and this is the perfect way to continue it. I love the idea of using the patty of the burger as the bun. Such a simple twist, but totally delicious! This is a seriously delicious mommy meal 🙂

  3. I would love to try this…I love that you are so real and say that your kids would not go for it…mine would never…ever. But it looks so good.

    1. Thanks Annie. All of my friends are salivating over these but their kids are like, no way mom. My kids are good about trying most things but some of my mommy dishes are a bit to much for them. I do always have leftovers from all the pasta I cook up so I get to eat my mommy food quite often while the kids enjoy their leftovers!

  4. Are these veggie patties or veggie buns? Love your genius way of making these veggie burger.
    I’m happy to receive my first Barefoot Contessa book. Love love love Ina’s cooking and I think she is brilliant. Thanks for your recommendation.

    Starting from Mar, I will be organising a blog hop event and will be using Ina Garten as my blog hop theme for the month of Apr. I hope that you can blog hop with me if you are cooking Ina’s recipes in Apr.

    1. Hi Zoe! They are both the burger and the bun. Basically they are burgers that you open up and stuff with goodies.

      So glad you got a Barefoot cookbook. Post your first recipe when you make it. I am posting another Barefoot chicken recipe tomorrow.

  5. Hey Mamacita!

    Catching up on your posts this morning. This one looks amazing. I think it actually looks better than a beef/buffalo burger…makes me think I could easily be a vegetarian. But more importantly, I wanted to let you know how proud I am of you!!! You’re inspiring. It’s great to see your passion, joy and sense of fun come through your posts. Thank you!!!

    Oh, and I’m thinking about doing the stairs Monday morning…cardio style 🙂 Join me?


  6. Hey Cathie! Thanks for the sweet words! Your the best. Can’t wait for the gym today.

    You would love these burgers and next time I make them I will bring you over a patty or better yet, I will have you over here and I will make my kale salad to go along with these burgers!

    See you in an hour sister!

    1. Hi there! Do you mean sauté them up beforehand and then bring to the beach chilled or grill up at the beach? I would recommend sautéing them ahead of time and then bringing them to the beach. I would also slice them up at the beach and then insert the condiments or just top them with the yogurt sauce or whatever you were going to eat them with. They will get soggy if you insert the condiments or yogurt sauce ahead of time.

      I have eaten them cold topped with the yogurt sauce and inserted with some sliced avocado and they were great.

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, when you pair the burgers with all the fixings they are really hearty and you don’t realize that they are not a meat burger!

  7. My husband tried chickpea veggie burgers & tzatziki yogurt sauce at one of his friend’s place and loved it. I cooked it today it was awesome and we loved it 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Awesome! So cool that your husband tried them at a friends and then you made them up as well. I love hearing things like that 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

  8. This was FAB.U.LOUS! I made it exactly as you suggest and served it to two 16 yr olds who don’t generally eat vegetarian (we’re encorporating a vegetarian menu each week this year) who not only gobbled it up but LOVED it! We used broccoli sprouts as those were most appealing at the market and had the Kale salad as you recommend YUM! Thank you for the wonderful recipes!

    1. Hi Diane! AWESOME! I’m so happy that not only you enjoyed these burgers, but that your teens did as well 🙂 I’m also happy to hear that you paired it with a kale salad. I seriously love that combination and I feel so good after eating such a healthy dinner. You should try the Paul McCartney refried bean tacos as well as the spaghetti taco recipe I will be posting in a bit. Both are so good, easy to prepare and kid approved as well. xoxo, Jackie

    1. Hi Christine! I’m glad that Diane sent you over and I hope she didn’t twist your arm to hard 😉 It’s always great to meet new foodie friends. xoxo, Jackie

    1. Hi Pamina! They can fall apart once you start eating them as most veggie burgers do. I usually just eat mine with a fork with some of the tzatziki yogurt sauce and and avocado on top or inserted in the center. These are not burgers to eat with your hands.
      You could add a bit more egg or water to moisten the batter next time, but make sure it’s not too much as you want to be able to form the patties. I find that topping them with the yogurt sauce and avocado helps to moisten them! xoxo, Jackie

      1. Thanks! I’ll try some water first as I still have half un-cooked in the fridge. I couldn’t get them to hold together for frying – I couldn’t form patties well. But they were delicious with the Tzazicki sauce & avocado! My 5 year old twins weren’t impressed -have to try them on my spouse next….so overall great recipe at least for me although a bit time consuming for a weekend for this Pali momma who works & cooks

        1. If you’re having trouble with the patties holding together, you may want to add more breadcrumbs next time. I have made these a number of times and haven’t had a problem with them holding together, but I do use larger sized panko breadcrumbs from Ians. They’re not your typical small breadcrumbs. When I’m forming my patties I always cup them into my hand and really try and form them well so that they stay together. I push them down mold them in my hands. If I’m making patties and they’re not holding together, then I put them back in the bowl and add more breadcrumbs, till I get a consistency that works. A good rule of thumb, if you’re making burger mixture that is not holding together or is too wet, then add more starch, if your burger mixture is too dry then add a bit more liquid. I do that with any veggie or meat burger recipe. I know these are a bit labor intensive, that’s why they’re not on my weekly menu to often. I usually make the patties up on a Saturday or SUnday and then just store the patties and cook them up later during the week. I have tons of healthy meals on the blog that are quick and perfect weeknight meals. You should try my green bean and shallot ravioli, or my broccoli lemon pasta if you’re looking for easy, kid friendly meatless weeknight meals. I’m actually going to create a weeknight meal tab on my recipe bar as I think it would be helpful to working and busy moms! Let me know if you have any other questions! xoxo, Jackie

  9. Just found your site. Super excited about all your recipes as it seems we have very similar tastes and eating habits. Your beautiful photos and well organized blog format have kept me up now an hour past bed time. I’m looking forward to doing some meal planning mañana with your help!

    1. Hi Laura. Welcome, and I’m so glad you stumbled on my blog. I love hearing from new readers! Thanks for the sweet comment about the site’s layout. I’m always trying to keep it fresh and easy to navigate! I hope you try some recipes and find some new faves! Let me know if you end up trying anything! Have a great week! xoxo, Jackie

  10. I love your site! I finally subscribed to your blog. You prepare dishes that I love! Yesterday I made the kale salad (the one where your daughter is eating it out of the bowl!). It was delish! Tonight I made these chick pea veggie burgers. The hubs and I loved! Even my 17 year old son ate it although he asked why I didn’t just make a meat-burger…..he said it would be easier. Youth……Tomorrow I get a veggie burger over kale for lunch and he gets 2 veggie burgers for dinner. The tzatziki (sp) sauce was such a great compliment to the chick pea veggie blend! Thank you!

  11. This recipe looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try my own chickpea veggie burgers and can’t wait to make these! I came across your blog when researching beet and carrot juice! Congratulations on your blog! I love discovering the world of health blogs and hope to create my own healthy fun blog someday! keep blogging 🙂 <3 Love and Light <3 Thank U!

    1. Hi Julia! I’m so happy that you found my blog and I can’t wait to see your blog when you get it up and running someday! I hope you enjoy these burgers! xoxo, Jackie

  12. Ooooh yum. Tonight is the night I make these wonderful “burgers”. Have had your recipe bookmarked for a while, and now I’m ready to try it. Yours just look too good, so I hope mine turn out as well. Wish me luck! 🙂

    1. Hi Janie! Yaay! I hope you LOVE these burgers! Best of luck making them and please let me know how they turn out for you! xoxo, Jackie 🙂

  13. This is the third time I stumbled across your website looking for recipes, so I added it to my favorites list. The chickpea burger is a great variation on my falafel balls that always fall apart. Thank you for the breadcrumb tip! I roll them into small balls, fry them, and put them into pita bread, add the yogurt/tahini sauce, hot sauce, and sprouts on top. My kids are all grown and moved out, so I don’t have to cook two different things anymore. This gives me more time with my chickens and horses. Wish I could send you some eggs, but PA is too far from CA.

    1. Hi Sandy! yaay! I’m so glad that you kept stumbling upon my website and that you now included it as a fave 🙂 Thanks so much! I’m so glad that these burgers worked out so well for you! Where do you live in PA? My mother lives just outside of Harrisburg. I grew up in Upstate NY and lived in DC so I was in and out of PA all the time! Fresh eggs would be wonderful, but they would be hard to ship 🙂 Thanks for thinking of me though! xoxo, Jackie

      1. Originally from Seattle, business in NY brought our family to the east coast, but we miss the REAL mountains. I own 30 acres near Newfoundland and Lake Wallenpaupack. Got a small greenhouse for Mother’s Day last year and it really helped extend the growing season. This year we are doing some of the world’s hottest peppers, Trinidad Scorpions, so my hot salsa will have even more power! I make it from all organic produce grown here on the farm. Last fall we put up about a hundred canning jars of various tomato products!

    1. Hi Jinny! I’m assuming you could bake them, though they wouldnt’ have that crispy outside that makes them amazing. Bake them at 350 on a rimmed baking sheet. I would actually rub the baking sheet with some oliveo oil so that the patties can brown up. I would also flip the patties halfway through so that both sides brown up a bit. You may even want to put them under the broiler at the end so that they really brown up. Give it a try and let me know how they turn out. 🙂

  14. These are seriously amazing. I make these at least once a month, my husband and I are obsessed with them! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Dahlia! Awesome news! I’m so happy to hear that these burgers are a fave in your house. Yippee! Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂 xoxo, Jacquelyn

  15. Hello Jackie!

    I have a quick question: having made these more than a couple of times (they’re great!) I was wondering if, instead of keeping some in the fridge for later in the week, I could save some time (and mid-week planning madness) by making a bigger batch and freeze the uncooked patties for later on. What do you think? Have you tried this? (I’m kind of afraid they’ll fall apart or somthing like that…)


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