The Best Tempeh Veggie Burger

4.38

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A delicious veggie burger that’s made with tempeh and holds together so well you can cook it on the grill! Added bonus, it’s packed with plant-based protein and it’s vegan + gluten-free! This post is sponsored by Lightlife.

Three tempeh veggie burgers stacked.

“This is my favorite tempeh dish you’ve ever made.” Bold statement courtesy of Mr. Isaac. But that’s how good this tempeh burger is!

I’m so glad I created these burgers just in time for grilling season. We honestly grill all year long, and by we, I mean Isaac. I don’t personally grill until it’s warm enough to stand outside for 15 minutes or longer. Right now is the prime time! The warm weather + longer days = a winning grill combination.

Tempeh burgers on the grill

I’m pretty picky when it comes to veggie burgers. A lot of them have crappy ingredients, are soft and mushy, and don’t have a lot of protein. This tempeh burger isn’t any of those things. First up, this is a veggie burger that is packed with plant-based protein which means it will actually fill you up! I try to eat protein with every meal and this burger makes it easy.

Another win: the flavor. The veggies, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar and spices… they all come together to make the tastiest vegetarian (and vegan!) veggie burger you’ve ever had.

Lastly, the texture! It isn’t mushy in the slightest and it holds up so well on the grill.

Tempeh burger mixture in the food processor

I’ll definitely be making these for barbecues and cookouts this summer with friends. Pair them with a tasty sweet potato saladbroccoli raisin salad, jicama fries or sweet potato fries and you’ve got yourself a full meal.

Tempeh burger spread laid out with toppings and tempeh package.

In terms of what brand and type of tempeh to buy, I always recommend Lightlife. It’s the best of the best! For these veggie burgers I really like the Garden Veggie variety, but any of the Lightlife tempeh will work! Learn more about tempeh and see some of my other favorite tempeh recipes.

Tempeh burger with avocado being picked up.

Pro tip: To make sure these burgers hold together well when grilling, let the mixture sit in the fridge for a couple hours before forming into patties. There’s nothing worse than a crumbling burger, am I right?

Tempeh veggie burger hero shot

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

4.38 from 35 votes

Tempeh Veggie Burgers

A delicious veggie burger that’s made with tempeh and holds together so well you can cook it on the grill! Added bonus, it’s packed with plant-based protein.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3

Ingredients  

  • 1 8 oz package Garden Veggie Lightlife tempeh
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons oat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • buns and toppings of your choice

Instructions 

  • Cut block of tempeh into 4-6 pieces and place in a pot with water and a steamer basket. Steam for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat with ½ Tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is warm add the onion and carrots into the skillet and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool.
  • Put the cooked onion and carrot mixture into a food processor with the steamed tempeh, nutritional yeast, oat flour, flaxseed, balsamic vinegar, tamari, coconut sugar, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika.
  • Pulse until everything is chopped and combined — just don’t over-process the mixture because you want the burgers to have a little texture.
  • Transfer the tempeh mixture into a large bowl and let chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • Once chilled, form mixture into 2-3 patties. Heat grill to medium heat. Spray grate with nonstick spray and add the patties. Cook each side until browned, about 6-7 minutes total.
  • Put the burgers on a bun and serve with condiments of your choice. I used spicy mustard, onions, lettuce and ketchup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger without toppings | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




49 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and so easy to make. (I’d run out of flaxseed but they still worked – just in case any of you are in the same boat). I served with BBQ sauce and that went really well. Super healthy, not mushy and a cinch to prepare and cook – the perfect recipe – thank you Brittany 🙂

    1. Amazing! I am so excited to hear that you found this recipe and these turned out great for you. Thank you for sharing your review & star rating, I really appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    Didn’t bother to cook the onions and carrots, used turmeric rather than chili powder & processed it until big chunks were broken down. I also don’t think it’s necessary to refrigerate it when the onions and carrots are raw but I did anyway. DELICIOUS! And yes, the nutritional yeast is imperative.

    1. 5 stars
      Talking to myself as usual 😆 – I cooked them on a griddle. They definitely would not have made it on the grill as I did them. Still delicious recipe.

  3. I’m looking forward to trying this! Do you think it will work in an air fryer?
    Thanks!
    Joseph
    Roanoke, VA

    1. Hi Joseph – I haven’t tried it in the air fryer, but I am sure it would work, I’m not sure on temp or time though. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out, enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    These burgers were delicious! I have been on the lookout for a low-carb, high-protein veggie burger and this one did not disappoint! It was pretty easy to form them into patties which I liked. The flavour is also great and not bland at all! I cooked mine on the stovetop; they weren’t fully cooked in the middle but were browsing lots on the outside. This wasn’t an issue since they’re vegan but I just wanted to mention it. I will try BBQing them next time! I will definitely be making these again!

    1. Hi Kayleigh – I am so happy to hear that is recipe was a hit. What temp was your stove at? I would recommend keeping it around medium heat so the outside doesn’t brown quicker than the inside cooks through. Thank you for your review & star rating, I so appreciate it!

  5. 5 stars
    YUM! We used Tru Tempeh’s split pea bricks- there were perfect with your recipe, Brittany! Delicious, flavorful light dinner. Impressed by how well they held together. Will be a weekly staple.

  6. 5 stars
    So good! My husband and 3 year old loved them! Definitely repeating! But I expected nothing less. Have loved everything I have tried from this website. Trying both the beet and Lima bean hummus next!

    1. Yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit with your family Kaianne. Thanks for making it and for the review. I so appreciate it!

  7. 5 stars
    I have had the tempeh In my fridge for some time now. I can across a burger recipe and could not remember where i saw it at. Googling brought me to yours.
    Very simple to make. My flax seed went rancid (my fault) so I subbed ground chia. I figure you use this for a binder and chia is interchangeable. I recently had to go gf and have yet found gf oats. So I subbed 1:1 for the oat flour.
    I was short on time so I popped them in the freezer for about 20 mins. I then formed them and pan grilled them.
    My kids gobbled them up and my oldest requested one for his lunch.

    1. So glad you and your kids enjoyed this recipe, Elicia!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

  8. 5 stars
    After making this recipe over 20 times I thought I best write a review. This burger is absolutely delicious. It’s a great way to have tempeh and is just so flavourful with lots of great ingredients. Really thank you for providing this recipe. We love to have with a garden salad and spiced roast potatoes. Mmm I’m hungry again! Thanks from the UK

    1. Woo!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m so glad you love this recipe, Kimberley. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

  9. 5 stars
    Made these for our Labor Day cookout today and they were amazing!!! Love having a veggie burger option that is homemade, clean, and delicious.

    1. Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Christina! So glad these burgers were a hit. Thanks for making them and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

  10. 1 star
    I followed this recipe to the letter, and got resulting burgers That were gooey and unappetizing. Maybe I should have refrigerated longer. Loved the entire concept but wow. Sad. Will try another veggie burger recipe.

    1. Oh no! So sorry to hear that these burgers didn’t turn out for you, Beth. How long did you refrigerate the burgers before cooking and did you make them on the grill or a pan on the stove?

  11. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe. This burger has quickly become a family favorite. I serve the leftover burgers over rice with homemade mushroom gravy. Delish! Quick question though: I cannot find the garden veggie tempeh from Lightlife…have they maybe discontinued it? I just use the tempeh from Trader Joe’s, and the recipe turns out well with that, but I’m curious to try with the type you recommend and can’t locate it.

    1. Hey Yvonne! I’m so glad you’re loving this recipe!! I’m not sure about the garden veggie tempeh, you’d have to check out Lighlife’s website to see if they’re still carrying it! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!!

  12. 5 stars
    This is, without a doubt, the best veggie burger I’ve ever eaten! I continue to use this recipe, and I freeze the extras for a quick and easy dinner option! Love, love, love them!

  13. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, these were fantastic! Made them tonight and even the 8 year old gobbled it up! I made the recipe as written, subbing regular sugar for coconut sugar only because I was out and couldn’t justify running to the store for one ingredient. Great texture and full of flavor. Thank you for a great recipe! I’ll definitely be making this again!

    1. Great question. I haven’t tried baking this specific recipe but I’m sure you can because I’ve baked or pan-cooked other veggie burgers. Tempeh is already cooked so really all you’re doing is warming up the burger and crisping it up a bit! If you want to try baking it, I’d do 375°F for 20 minutes or so, flip the burgers half-way through cooking and maybe finish with a 3-5 minute broil to get the edges to crisp. Let me know if you try it!

    1. Update: I used the almond flour and I wouldn’t recommend it. They held together great and the outsides got nice and grilled, but the overall texture of the patty was mushy for my taste. Will try another time with the oat flour!

      1. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that they were mushy with the almond flour. They’re definteily not mushy with the oat flour! 🙂

        1. I’m sure that was the problem – almond flour has more moisture and fat, so I probably should have added double the flour. 🙂 The flavor was nice, so will definitely try again with oat!

    2. Hi Lindsay! Sorry I wasn’t able to respond faster. Oat flour is more dense than almond flour so I would assume that you’d need to use more almond flour.

  14. This has quickly become one of my favorite veggie burger recipes of all time (and I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 plus years). I’ve already made this recipe four times! And now I always double the recipe. These burgers hold together unbelievably well when both grilled and baked. They are full of umami, and have the most amazing texture. They are so delicious on their own that I actually prefer them without a bun alongside some roasted potatoes or on top of a salad. Thank you so much for creating what has become a staple in my kitchen!

    1. Oh my gosh, this makes me so incredibly happy and I’m honor given that I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of veggie burgers over the years. Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment as well. Your feedback is invaluable. Quick favor – would you mind leaving a star rating for the recipe as well. I think you might have to leave another comment to give the recipe a star rating, but the ratings are what people see when they’re searching for recipes on Google so they’re really helpful. 🙂

  15. These look so yummy! Could you recommend other spices besides chili powder—even in such small amounts it bothers my stomach. 🙁 Thanks!

  16. So perfect for meatless dinner nights! I’ve made veggie burgers with beans as well and it turned out great!

    1. Exactly. I love bean burgers too, but I really like how much protein these tempeh burgers have. 🙂

  17. I love tempeh!! Lightlife is the best 🙂 I’ve got some in my fridge right now so i can’t wait to try these!

    1. This tempeh burger totally fits the bill. It isn’t mushy and doesn’t fall apart at all. You will love.

  18. Love tempeh and I can’t wait to try it in burgers!! I love grilling season too 🙂

    1. Same!! Grilled foods are probably my favorite. I also love roasting but I think grilling is #1.

  19. So exciting when I have all the ingredients in a recipe! Can’t wait to make these as I’ve had a package of tempeh in the fridge for a week, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. These look delicious – thanks!

    1. Hi, wondering if I could use another type of flour for the recipe? Chickpea flour or even all purpose flour? or vital wheat gluten? Thank you

      1. Hey Marion – I haven’t tried it, so I’m not 100% sure, but I would imagine using a different flour like all-purpose would be just fine! Let me know if you decide to experiment and how the burgers turn out. 🙂