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Beetroot Aduki Bean Burgers with Rosemary Polenta Chips

These vegan beetroot and aduki bean burgers have become a favourite recipe of ours this summer. Most veggie burgers are held together egg, so to make ours vegan, we used whizzed up oats and mashed aduki beans to provide this binding effect. Roasted grated beetroot adds bold colour while paprika and chipotle give the burgers a spicy edge. To guarantee your burgers cook properly and don’t stick to the BBQ, we recommend pre-cooking the burgers in a frying pan and then finish them off on the BBQ.

Vegan Beetroot Aduki Bean Burgers with Rosemary Polenta Chips

Serve with your favourite burger fixings! And if you have the time, do try the polenta chips. The polenta can be made ahead and stored for up to three days before slicing and frying. The fried chips reheat well too, so keep any leftovers and reheat in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Try adding different herbs such as parsley, chives or thyme and perhaps some paprika, chilli flakes or smoked chipotle powder.

Beetroot Aduki Bean Burgers with Rosemary Polenta Chips

Vegan | Gluten-free if made with gluten-free oats

Makes 4 large or 6 small

Prep Time: 2 hours to include roasting beetroots | Cook Time: 15- 20 minutes


  • 2 medium raw beetroot
  • 1 tin Aduki beans
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle powder or smoked hot paprika
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped finely
  • 3-4 tbsp oats, whizzed to a coarse rough flour in a processor or blender
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower or rapeseed oil for frying

Herby Cucumber Yoghurt

  • 6 tbsp thick natural yoghurt or strained soya yoghurt (leave overnight in a muslin lined sieve)
  • ¼ piece of cucumber, deseeded and grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • pinch of salt

To assemble

  • 4 large or 6 small burger buns
  • Rocket leaves
  • 1 beef tomato, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • herby cucumber yoghurt
  • Pickled red cabbage or red sauerkraut (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Wrap the beetroot individually in foil and bake for 1-1 ½ hours until tender.
  2. Allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, gently fry the onion over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until soft and beginning to colour.
  4. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further minute until fragrant. Set aside to cool a little.
  5. Drain the tin of aduki beans and rinse under cold water.
  6. Tip into a mixing bowl and roughly crush with a fork leaving some beans just slightly broken rather than mashed to a paste.
  7. Remove the skin from the roasted beetroot and grate on the coarse side of a grater. Add to the crushed beans and mix through with the fork.
  8. Stir in the cooked spiced onions, the sun-dried tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of the oats, lemon juice, mint and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Mix well, then taste and check for seasoning.
  10. To make sure the mixture will hold together and tastes good when cooked it is a good idea to do a mini test burger. Test the mixture by frying 1 tablespoon in a teaspoon of oil. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and add more oats if the mixture is too moist.
  11. Divide the burger mix into 4 or 6 portions. Rub a little oil on the palms of your hands and scoop a portion into your hand and form into a patty. Place onto a lightly oiled plate or tray. Shape the remaining burgers and if possible, chill for an hour to firm up.
  12. To cook the burgers, heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower or rapeseed oil in a frying pan large enough to fit 3 burgers. Gently fry the burgers for a few minutes on each side over a medium heat till a crisp crust has formed but don’t let them blacken. Reduce the heat under the pan if any black spots appear. Alternatively place the burgers on an oiled baking tray and brush the tops with a little oil also. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a hot oven (200°fan) until crispy on the outside, turning them over halfway through baking.
  13. Once the burgers are cooked and cooled, you can pop them onto a hot barbecue to reheat- don't attempt to cook the raw burgers straight onto a BBQ as the mixture is likely to collapse and stick to the grill.
  14. To make the Herby Yoghurt, squeeze the grated cucumber through a couple of layers of kitchen towel to extract as much juice as possible. Add to the yoghurt with the chopped herbs, and a pinch of salt, and mix together till combined.
  15. To assemble the burgers, cut the buns in half and place some rocket leaves on the base. Place a burger on to the rocket and a spoonful of the Herby Yoghurt. Place a slice of tomato, red onion, and a spoonful of sauerkraut or pickled red cabbage on top of the yoghurt, and finally the bun top. Serve with some extra Herby Yoghurt on the side and Rosemary Polenta Chips.

Rosemary Polenta Chips

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free

Serves 4 as a side

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes plus setting 1 hour and frying 5 minutes


  • 250g quick ‘easy cook’ Polenta
  • 1 litre water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped finely
  • 4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast flakes
  • sunflower or rapeseed oil for frying
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the salt and olive oil, remove from the heat and slowly pour in the polenta, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or strong whisk.
  3. Return the pan to the heat and keep stirring until the polenta is thick and smooth. The polenta is cooked when it falls away from the sides of the pan and is no longer granular in texture. Stir in the rosemary and Nutritional Yeast flakes and mix well to ensure the flakes dissolve into the polenta. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
  4. Pour the cooked polenta into an oiled tray (approx 20x20cm or slightly smaller) so that the layer of polenta is approx 1-1.5cm deep. Smooth over with a wet or oiled spatula and leave until completely cold and solid.
  5. Turn the slab of solid polenta out onto a chopping board and slice into chips.
  6. Heat a couple of tablespoon of sunflower or rapeseed oil in a frying pan, add enough chips in one layer without overcrowding the pan and fry them for several minutes. Turn them regularly to ensure they are golden and crispy on all sides. Drain onto kitchen towel and fry the remaining polenta.
  7. Sprinkle the cooked chips with sea salt flakes and serve immediately.

For more vegan BBQ inspiration, check out Rachel's Light My Fire column in Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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