The ultimate Wild Rice Burgers with pickled red onion, avocado, and Tahini Special Sauce. These homemade veggie burgers are fiber-filled, freezer-friendly, and sure to become a household favorite.
This recipe post is sponsored by USA Rice (@think_rice). I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
Why You'll Love these Wild Rice Burgers
Impressively high in protein and fiber and sporting some serious smoky flair, these powerhouse patties are flavorful, filling, and exactly the meal you should make this week. Unlike some veggie burgers that fall short compared their meat-based counterparts, these burgers are sure to win the praises of even the most devout carnivores.
The base of these burgers include cooked wild rice, mashed cannelloni beans, eggs, and breadcrumbs. A slew of pantry-staple spices (plus a few wildcard umami boosters) build up their aromatic flavor profile. And to further elevate each bite, a dynamite Tahini Special Sauce helps bind each patty to the bun.
Beyond their hearty appeal, these veggie burgers boast many other benefits. They are:
- Meal prep-approved and last for days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer-friendly, so feel free to make a double batch to store for later use.
- Super versatile! Serve them in a bun, or over a bed of arugula for a lower-carb, fresher option.
What is Wild Rice?
Technically, wild rice is not a rice, but rather a semi-aquatic grass native to North America. U.S. wild rice is grown in California and Minnesota, and you can typically find it in the bulk bin section or grain aisle of most well-stocked grocery stores.
Cooked wild rice has a cream-colored interior and deliciously nutty flavor. It’s fantastic in pilafs, stuffings, and casseroles, and also gives heft to chowders and soups.
Due to its hearty texture, wild rice takes longer to cook than most other rice varieties. However, the finished result is always well-worth the extra stovetop time.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- U.S.-Grown Wild Rice: The star of these burgers, wild rice creates a super hearty meatless patty. For this recipe, look for a Wild Rice Blend, such as Lundberg brand.
- Cannelloni Beans: Rich in protein and fiber, mashed cannelloni beans help bind the burger patties.
- Tahini: While some recipes lean on mayonnaise or nut butter to create a more unctuous patty, I love the nutty richness of tahini (sesame seed paste). In terms of brands, Soom is my go-to for its smooth texture and beautifully bitter undertones. To try any Soom product for 10% off, simply enter code ‘dishingouthealth’ at checkout.
- Eggs: Eggs are also essential to help bind the burgers. I have not tried this recipe with flax eggs, so I cannot confirm that a vegan alternative works here.
- Spices: A mix of ground cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano create an earthy, aromatic flavor profile. You can also add a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, and/or Italian seasoning for extra oomph.
- Tomato Paste: Just 1 tablespoon of tomato paste adds bright strokes of umami to balance the earthy spices.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Why not add one more umami booster to really double down on the savory swag of these burgers? One note: most brands contain anchovies, however if you're looking to make the patties fish-free, look for a vegan version.
- Breadcrumbs: Classic unseasoned breadcrumbs work best, however if making the burgers gluten free, oat flour also does the job.
- Tahini Special Sauce: While this sauce is optional, it's highly, HIGHLY recommended. Plus, it's only 4 ingredients: tahini, sweet Thai chili sauce, lemon, and fresh garlic.
Step 1: Cook Wild Rice
*Note: this can (and should) be done in advance--1 or 2 days ahead to allow the rice to fully cool.
Combine ¾ cup dry wild rice blend and 1 ½ cups water or broth in a small saucepan; bring mixture to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer; cook for 45 minutes.
Transfer cooked rice to a bowl, and let cool completely.
Step 2: Mash Beans
In a large bowl, use a potato masher or fork to thoroughly mash cannelloni beans.
Step 3: Mix all Burger Ingredients
To the bowl with mashed beans, add cooked and cooled rice, eggs, breadcrumbs, tahini, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, and oregano. Thoroughly mix until well-combined.
Transfer bowl to the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours (overnight).
Step 4: Form into Patties
For slider-size burgers, use a ⅓ cup measure to divide and form 8 uniform patties. For regular bun-sized burgers, use a ½ cup measure to divide and form 8 uniform patties. Place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 5: Sauté Wild Rice Burgers
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add half of the burger patties. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently flip, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Step 6: Prepare Tahini Special Sauce
Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl; stir to combine. Gradually stream in 2 tablespoon of warm water, whisking constantly, until smooth and creamy.
Step 7: Assemble Burgers
Spread Tahini Special Sauce on both the top and bottom of the bun. Add 1 wild rice patty to the bottom bun, and top with pickled red onion, avocado, and arugula, if desired. Cover with top bun and enjoy!
Health Benefits of Rice:
U.S.-grown rice is sodium-, cholesterol-, trans fat, and GMO-free, and offers more than 15 vitamins and minerals. For example, folic acid and other essential B-vitamins, as well as iron and zinc. Rice is comprised of complex carbohydrates, which are more slowly digested and provide sustained energy to fuel your body’s physical needs. This type of carbohydrate also aids in satiety and helps keep you full longer.
Wild rice, in particular, is a good source of both protein and fiber. Additionally, it’s rich in energy-supporting B-vitamins such as thiamin and riboflavin, a protein-building amino acid called lysine, and vital minerals such as iron.
How to Make-Ahead, Store, and Reheat:
- Make-Ahead: Cook the rice up to 2 days ahead, and store covered in the refrigerator. Uncooked patties can be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2 days (or frozen for 2 months). Let thaw in the refrigerator prior to cooking.
- Store: Cooked leftover wild rice burgers will keep well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Reheat: Reheat patties in a skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of water to the pan and cover with a lid so that they steam and heat through. Remove the lid, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook on each side until lightly crisp and the water has evaporated. Alternatively, reheat patties in the microwave or toaster oven until warmed through.
Other Homemade Veggie Burger Recipes to Try:
If you give these wild rice veggie burgers a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Wild Rice Burgers with Tahini Special Sauce
- Medium saucepan
- Large skillet
- Mixing bowls
Wild Rice Burgers
- ¾ cup dry U.S.-grown wild rice blend (such as Lundberg brand)
- 1 cup canned cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs (sub oat flour if making gluten free)
- ¼ cup tahini, well-stirred (such as Soom brand)
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. dried oregano
- 3 Tbsp. cooking oil of choice
- 6 regular hamburger buns, or 8 slider buns
- Optional toppings: pickled red onion (instructions below), sliced avocado, arugula or lettuce of choice
Tahini Special Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. tahini (such as Soom brand)
- 2 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 grated garlic clove
- 2 Tbsp. warm water
- Cook Wild Rice Blend (Note: this can be done up to 2 days in advance to save time.)Combine wild rice blend and 1 ½ cups water or broth in a medium saucepan; bring mixture to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer; cook for 45 minutes. Transfer cooked rice to a bowl, and let cool completely.
- In a large bowl, use a potato masher or fork to thoroughly mash cannelloni beans. Add cooked and cooled rice, eggs, breadcrumbs, tahini, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, and oregano. Thoroughly mix until well-combined. Transfer bowl to the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours (overnight).
- For slider-size burgers, use a ⅓ cup measure to divide and form mixture into 8 uniform patties. For regular burgers, use a ½ cup measure to divide and form 6 uniform patties. Place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Note: If burgers aren't holding together well, chill for another 20 to 30 minutes.)
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add half of the burger patties. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and repeat with remaining patties.
- Meanwhile, prepare Tahini Special Sauce by combining tahini, Thai sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl; stir to combine. Gradually stream in 2 tablespoon of warm water, whisking constantly, until smooth and creamy.
- Assemble burgers by spreading Tahini Special Sauce on both the top and bottom of the bun. Add 1 wild rice patty to the bottom bun, and top with pickled red onion, avocado, and arugula, if desired. Cover with top bun and enjoy!