Umami Eggplant-Mushroom Burgers!
Vegan and SOS-free!

Recipe by Katie Mae

Makes 10–12 burgers | Ready in 45 minutes | Stores 5 days in fridge


10 cremini mushrooms, chopped (2 cups)
5 celery stalks, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped
½ cup walnuts or pecans
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1½ cups cooked kidney beans (14 oz can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup cooked wild rice or forbidden rice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Use air-fryer setting if available. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the mushrooms, celery, and eggplant to a sauté pan over medium heat. Cover and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Transfer the veggies to a large food processor. Add the walnuts, flaxseed, beans, wild rice, nutritional yeast, thyme, and rosemary. Pulse a few times to mix well, but still, you want to leave it semi-chunky.
  4. Transfer what’s in the food processor to a large bowl. Use your hands to form mixture into a patty that is about ¾-inch thick and 3 to 4 inches wide. Place it on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until browned to your desired consistency. Flip the burgers after 15 minutes for even cooking.
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  1. Jude Christian

    Am I correct in assuming the wild rice or forbidden rice is one cup cooked?

  2. Dairy Maid

    Is the wild rice meant to be cooked first? And are the mushrooms supposed to be sliced prior to sauteeing?

  3. Alice

    I had the same questions. I also wondered if we put any oil in the pan before we sauté them?

  4. theculinarygym

    Yes, you’re correct! Thank you for catching this—clarifying in the recipe now. 🙂

  5. theculinarygym

    Yes, you can slice or chop the mushrooms, celery and eggplant. After sautéing they will go in the food processor so they don’t have to be cut into small pieces.

  6. theculinarygym

    Oil was not mentioned in the recipe intentionally. We recommend that you do not add oil to the pan before or during the sauteing, because it’s a highly processed ingredient. Simply put, it’s the to the white sugar of the fat world. It’s been stripped of it’s fiber and most of it’s nutrients, and consequently has become the most calorie-dense food on the planet, with 120 calories in just one tablespoon.

    To saute without oil, keep the lid on the pan and stir the vegetables occasionally to prevent burning. The juices from the vegetables will add moisture to the pan. If the pan starts to get dry before the vegetables are done to your liking, then add just a tablespoon or two of water.

  7. Zena

    Can this be made without any nuts? Or is there something else that can be substituted for them? Thank you!

  8. G

    I have no idea how to do an eggplant. Do I peel it? Take out the middle? What is the edible part? What part should not be eaten? Also, how do you buy a good one? Big? Small? Color? Firmness? …Thank you!

  9. chefkatiemae

    Absolutely, Zena! You can add the same amount of beans or rice (in addition to the amount the recipe already calls for). You could also substitute sunflower or pumpkin seeds for some or all of the nuts. Or if you don’t want seeds either, you could use instant oats or oat flour (rolled oats blended to a powder).

  10. chefkatiemae

    There’s really nothing to cooking eggplant. No need to peel or remove anything – I keep the skin on and chop the whole thing (just like a potato). I like to chop it into about 1-inch pieces for the food processor, just to help make sure all of the skin is well processed.

    Some people prefer to peel eggplant because they don’t care for the skin’s consistency, but the only time I leave out the skin is if I’m making an eggplant spread, like baba ganoush. 

    Any type of eggplant will work in this recipe, though firm is better. I tend to use semi-dark purple eggplants because that’s what most commonly available, although there are a couple varieties that have a little marbling of lighter purple and white, and they’re great as well.

  11. Linda

    Can you be more specific as to quantities when using fresh produce that varies widely. How many cups of celery should “5” stalks produce, ditto for “one eggplant” ? My mixture is VERY wet and loose, though it tastes great. I pulsed minimally in Cuisinart and added no oil or liquid. Thank you

  12. theculinarygym

    Hi, Linda. Great to you enjoyed the taste! Five stalks of celery is about 1 and 2/3 cups. I used a medium size eggplant. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to weigh it until it was too late. You can just play with the amounts of dry and wet ingredients until you get a good consistency for shaping the burgers.

  13. Wendy

    Can I use quinoa instead of rice in this recipe please?

  14. theculinarygym

    Wendy, quinoa could be used but it’s less starchy than wild rice and thus I’d suggest increasing the amount of flaxseed to 1/2 cup in order to help bind the burgers.

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