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Trudy’s "Beefy" Burgers

It has been 5 years since I began cooking vegan food and this is the first time I have ever used TVP. I had a bag of it sitting on the shelf but for some reason, I never tried it. So the other day I opened the bag and created one of the best burgers EVER!

TVP is a defatted soy flour product that you rehydrate with boiling water. It comes in granules or chunks and can be prepared to taste like beef or chicken. If you have ever had vegan “chicken” or “beef” at a Chinese restaurant, you have probably had TVP. It’s also an ingredient in many store-bought vegan products.

I know TVP or texturized vegetable protein can be a controversial ingredient since it is highly processed. However, many people love it because it really lends a “meatiness” to dishes, it’s inexpensive, easy to use and it’s gluten-free. If the way the TVP is processed is an issue, there is also TSP, texturized soy protein, which is supposedly processed in a healthier way.

Anyway, I had the bag of TVP and wanted to try it out. The burgers I made were the closest thing I’ve tasted to actual beef burgers. They were reminiscent of the burgers I used to get at diners or better fast-food places. I even had a serious meat-eater try them and he loved them!

If you, like me, loved the taste of meat and want a burger that tastes like the ones you used to eat, this is the burger for you. I love burgers made with beets, beans or eggplant, but sometimes I want to satisfy a craving for a favorite familiar food. This is the compassionate way to do that.

These are called Trudy’s “Beefy” Burgers because Trudy, The “V” Word spokescow, wholeheartedly approves of them.

No cows were harmed in the making of these burgers and that’s all that matters to me…and to Trudy. Enjoy!

Trudy’s “Beefy” Burgers

Makes 6-8 burgers
1 1/3 cups water
1 “beef” bouillon cube
1 ½ cups TVP granules
1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup oats
2 Tbs. arrowroot
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
½ red onion, minced
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¾ cup chickpea flour, divided


In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and dissolve the “beef” bouillon cube in it to create a broth. Place the TVP granules in a bowl and cover them with the boiling broth. Let them sit for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Add the black beans to a large bowl and mash them, keeping a few intact. Add the oats, arrowroot, mushrooms and onions to the beans and mix. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices to the mixture and combine using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Add the TVP to the bean mixture and mix until everything is well combined. Add up to ½ cup of chickpea flour, a few spoons at a time, mixing it in with the spatula or your hand until the burger mixture is at a consistency that feels like it is holding together.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to make the burgers, remove the mix from the refrigerator and make the burger patties. I usually use a 3 ½” cookie cutter to make perfectly formed, dense, thick burger patties but I want these to be thinner so I only fill the mold half-way up. You can just make them by hand but try to make them all the same size. I also find they hold together better when they are made in the mold. Pour the last ¼ cup of flour on a plate and lightly coat both sides of each burger patty before frying.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers until browned, about 6 minutes per side. You may want to flip them carefully several times to ensure that the inside cooks while the outside doesn’t burn. You do, however, want the outside to char a bit and form a nice crust. If your skillet is small, cook 2 burgers at a time so there is room in the pan. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. 

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18 Responses to Trudy’s "Beefy" Burgers

  1. chantal February 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Hello Rhea, so glad to have found your site, I am also Vegan and trying to be gluten free…ummm not always easy lol. I was wondering about one of the ingredients in our awesome looking burgers, you use mushrooms, I’m just not a big fan of then, can I use something else or just not use them?

    Thank you

    • Rhea February 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Hi Chantel, you can just leave the mushrooms out. I do that when I don’t have any. The worcestershire sauce adds mushroom flavor anyway. Hope you like them!!

  2. CC January 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Do you have recipes for the bread that is in the pictures. are they Vegan and Guten Free as well? The burger bun in this Trudy “Beefy” Burger and the Philly Cheesesteak roll especially.

  3. Rache December 30, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    This may be a silly question…
    If I want to double and freeze some, do I cook before I freeze them?

    • Rhea December 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      It’s not a silly question. I make a bunch and freeze them. Don’t cook them first. I make patties, put parchment paper squares between them and put them in a storage bag. I usually put 2 or 4 in each bag so one bag is what I need for a meal. Don’t thaw thaw them either. I lightly coat each side with flour and put them in the hot pan to cook.

      One batch makes about 10 burgers so if you double the recipe, you’ll have enough for a long time.

  4. Paige November 23, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    I just want to tell you that I made these burgers last night. I had everything except for the beef flavored bouillon, so I used vegan veggie flavor instead. I guess I am just so thrilled with the results that i had to sit down and let you know…they truly LOOKED like real burgers,( the bits of bean almost looked like black grill marks!) but best of all they REALLY SATISFIED LIKE BURGERS. I am a new vegan (only 4 months) but have been gluten free for a couple of years, so finding your website has been nothing short of a miracle.
    Biting into these last night was a very delicious surprise. They had a lovely crisp crust, they tasted DELICIOUS, and I had to keep pinching myself that they were cruelty free. It was really a beautiful thing, because a burger craving can be intense and it is an important thing to master a great vegan recipe and THIS IS IT. I wish my husband had been here to try one! I can’t wait to make them for him (currently an omnivore but with this recipe, maybe he’ll rethink his choices:). I think this recipe succeeds in accomplishing your goal of filling people’s bellies with yummy food they are used to. I have tried several of your recipes (Italian sausages and “buffalo wings” were Crazy Good, for ex) and have NEVER been disappointed.
    I was worried that being Gluten free and Vegan was going to make life hard, but since finding your site, I have renewed courage and fortitude that I can totally live my values AND keep my family/friends happy too. I am SO grateful to you for going to all the trouble and expense of testing and retesting recipes that real people can enjoy. If anyone reading this is debating about making these burgers, DO IT! They were really easy and my tummy is still happy this morning.
    Thank you Rhea, you are making the world a better place. The only thing i can think of that would make your website better would be to have more pictures of your Westie on it.!

    I am definitely counting YOU as a blessing in my life this year.
    Happy Thanksgiving! xoxoxoxoxox

    • Rhea November 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Hi Paige,
      Thank you so much for your lovely message. I’m so glad that I can help make your vegan, gluten-free days a bit brighter.

      Yes, those burgers are the closest things I’ve tasted to beef burgers myself. I was very pleased that they came out so well. We have them often. When I first made them, I gave one to a friend who was just becoming vegan and he loved them so I knew it was a good recipe. I hope your husband thinks so too. It must be hard to be a new vegan and live with someone who is not. I think one of the most helpful things in the beginning was just not being exposed to the foods I wanted to eat but didn’t want to eat any longer.

      If I can do anything else to help, just ask Paige. Thank you so much for all the kind words. Have a happy holiday! Rhea xoxoxo

  5. Melissa September 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    I really want these and have everything but chickpea flour. Will any flour work since it’s basically used for binding? I only have wheat based flours in my pantry presently (rough grocery month financially).


    • Rhea September 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      Yes, Melissa, you can use any flour. I use chickpea because I’m gluten-free and it’s my favorite. Thanks!

  6. Pamela August 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Do these hold up well to baking, freezing and reheating on a grill? Thanks much!

    • Rhea August 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Pamela, I freeze these burgers all the time. Just coat them with the thin layer of flour and don’t thaw them. I fry them up in their frozen state and let them develop a good crust. I haven’t grilled them but if you’re worried, you could put them on foil and then on the grill, right? I’m not a griller so I don’t know.

  7. Rhea Parsons August 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Yes you can use cornstarch. Sorry, I’m allergic to corn and I forget to say that.

  8. Ildi August 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I don’t have arrow root – can I use corn starch instead..?


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