The world loves burgers, especially these days, vegetarian burgers. These are terrific: homemade, so you know exactly what goes into them; and so satisfying, with their Mediterranean spicing.

  Time: 45 minutes
  Difficulty: easy
  Serves: 6


  • 400 g canned red kidney beans, plus the liquid from can

  • 150 g dry couscous

  • 1 stock cube, crumbled

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste/puree

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • ¼ green pepper, chopped

  • ½ carrot, shredded

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon cumin, or more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon dry ginger

  • ½ teaspoon mild chile powder or smoked paprika

  • large pinch oregano leaves, crushed

  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves, coarsely cut up

  • 1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

  • salt to taste—start with ½ teaspoon

  • black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed

  • 6 slices cheese, preferably Gouda

  • To serve:

  • Hamburger buns, mayonnaise, mustard, shredded lettuce, ketchup, sliced onions, pickles, tomatoes


In a bowl, combine the beans and their juice with the couscous and the stock cube. Leave for at least 30 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed the liquid. 

Blend the mixture until it is just a little chunky, for the burger consistency, then add the onion, tomato puree, garlic, green pepper, carrot, and egg, mixing well.

Season with cumin, ginger, chile powder, oregano and coriander leaves; mix well, then add the breadcrumbs and mix this in well, too. The crumbs should help bind the ingredients together

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Form “burgers” from the mixture; it will fall apart easily, unlike meat burgers, so will need to be handled gently.

Heat the oil in one or two nonstick frying pans (the recipe makes about 6 patties) and when hot, add the burgers and cook for about 7 minutes or until browned, then turn over and brown the other side for about 7 minutes. Do not turn over and over again, as they will fall apart.

Top each burger with a slice of cheese, cover the pan, and let the heat or the pan melt the cheese. Alternately you may leave the heat on low while the cheese melts (Because of the sugars in the tomato puree, the mixture may burn easily).

Serve each melted cheese topped burger patty on a split bun, each side spread with a little mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup as desired, and onions, tomatoes, pickles and lettuce. Close and eat right away.