Eggplant Veggie Burgers [Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Eggplant Burgers

The end of summer marks the height of eggplant season. Although it starts coming into season in June, more varieties start to appear around August. Too often, eggplant is wronged. It’s smothered with cheese, breading, butter, and sauce and made into a makeshift version of chicken parmesan. On its own, eggplant is slightly smoky has a creamy consistency, and is versatile. When it’s so good by itself, why drown out the flavor? 

We served the burgers on a gluten-free bun and topped them with our favorite pesto, a slice of fresh heirloom tomato, and a kale leaf. With sautéed onion and garlic in the mix, the flavor is a home run. Eggplant is low in calories but high in fiber, manganese, and potassium. The cannelini beans add another boost of fiber, protein, and B vitamins. 

This particular veggie burger was among our first attempts. Let’s be honest – veggie burgers are no easy feat! Since making this recipe, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to veggie burgers. To get it right, it takes a complex mixture of ingredients that combine in the right texture and flavor. It’s all highly scientific.

But enough about science and chemistry – veggie burgers are a staple around here and we enjoy them so much that we developed an entire ecookbook dedicated to them. 20 of our favorite veggie burgers, plus complimentary sauce recipes, all rolled into one cheap, easy download. You can thank us later. ;)

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Get a load of this cross-section. Solid, delicious, veg burger.

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers

Eggplant Burgers
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 4
  • Calories: 282
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated fat: 8g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 776mg
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Crispy, savory vegan burgers made with eggplant and healthy grains.
  • ½ of an eggplant [about 1 cup]
  • ½ of a sweet white onion [diced]
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil + extra to spray/brush eggplant before baking
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of cannelini beans [drained and rinsed in cool water]
  • ¾ c. millet flour
  • 1 clove of garlic [chopped]
  • ¼ c. fresh basil [chopped]
  • 2 Tbsp. cashews
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment [or aluminum foil.] Wash and slice eggplant into ⅓” pieces. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and flip the slices. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  2. While the eggplant is baking, prep the onion, garlic, and basil. Chop the garlic and basil and add both to a medium bowl. Finely chop the onion and sauté on medium heat until they reach a golden brown color.
  3. Preheat the oven again, this time to 400. If the eggplant has had time enough to cool, chop it and add it to the bowl with the garlic and basil. Add sautéed onions, beans, sea salt, and cumin and mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly.
  4. Food process the mixture until it reaches a smooth consistency and then return it to the bowl. Add the millet flour and use your hands to combine. Divide the mixture into four equal portions and shape each portion into a burger. Place all four onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the pan, flip the burgers, and bake for 20 more minutes — until golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Place them on a bun or between two leaves of kale. Top with fresh tomatoes, onion, mustard, etc., etc. etc. Enjoy every last bite!
Pairs well with pesto!



    • thefitchen 13 August, 2013 at 16:23 Reply

      They were from a vendor at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. Wish we had gotten the name! We’ll be going back to get more.

  1. Sabrina 14 August, 2013 at 08:47 Reply

    I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect veggie burger and these look amazing! I’ve always had a problem with the texture; the insides tend to be mushy though the outsides are crispy. Any tips?

    • thefitchen 15 August, 2013 at 16:57 Reply

      We’re probably biased… But this is THE perfect veggie burger. The outside isn’t overly crunchy and the inside is solid without being dry. Fantastic texture. Try them and let us know what you think!

    • thefitchen 15 August, 2013 at 23:51 Reply

      Use parchment to divide the patties and be sure to seal them airtight in a BPA-free ziplock! They should be just fine. :)

  2. Carolee 17 August, 2013 at 19:00 Reply

    Hey! Just tried making a veggie burger for the first time today with sweet potatoes – I loved it, the taste was exceptional but again, the texture of the overall patty (inside) could be firmer – I think it’s because I had no millet or millet flour like such recipe had called for. Any substitutes that you recommend? I used oat flour and quinoa, but perhaps theres something better! Ill definitely be trying these next. They look deeeeliiiishh!!

  3. Emma 18 August, 2013 at 17:09 Reply

    I’ve never seen eggplant in a burger before, but love it as well as loving veggie burgers so should definitely try your recipe. They look gorgeous.

  4. Makenzie 20 August, 2013 at 12:47 Reply

    These were great!! I had more than 1c of eggplant, but used it all.

    Other variations:
    3 green onions (I ran out of white, I did not sautéed them)
    1c wheat flour (we aren’t GF, this seemed like the appropriate amount)
    1/2 tsp cumin (I think it can be overpowering sometimes)

    We ate atop hatch chili buns with tomato and kale. My husband used BBQ sauce, I didn’t use any condiments.

    Not sure what to do with cashews, threw them in the mix, I think they mostly stayed whole, but were soft enough.

    Dough was really, really sticky. I made 5 large patties, could’ve done 6 good sized patties (probably due to amt of eggplant)

    These were amazing!! Very crispy on the outside! My husband didn’t want to eat them because he claims to not like eggplant (we also are not vegans, just dairy free), but he told me to make them again.

    Toddler didn’t eat them first night, but enjoyed the leftovers for lunch.

    Definitely a meal you can feel good about that tastes good! Thanks for sharing!!

    • thefitchen 20 August, 2013 at 16:41 Reply

      Thanks for all of the helpful info! It’s great to know that those substitutions work if necessary. And if it pleased you, your husband, and the baby, it’s a winner! Thanks for the feedback. :)

    • thefitchen 26 August, 2013 at 14:42 Reply

      The cashews should be food processed right before adding the rest of the burger mixture to the food processor. Thank you for catching that, we added it in the post!

  5. Louanne 11 October, 2013 at 13:52 Reply

    I just made these for lunch-oh my goodness, these are fantastic! The flavour and texture are just everything I’ve ever wanted in a veggie burger. I used millet flour, but your burger looks like it may have millet seeds. Am I seeing things?

    • thefitchen 11 October, 2013 at 17:27 Reply

      We’re so glad that you like them! We like the crunch we get from the millet so we started using millet flour, but sub in some plain millet as well. Good eye ;)

  6. Kels 17 December, 2013 at 18:35 Reply

    I used buckwheat flour instead of millet and the patties came out very dry and not very flavourful (tasted a bit buckwheaty). Just a warning to others!

  7. Leslie 25 December, 2013 at 15:08 Reply

    Made these with a few changes for things I had on hand. Used garbanzo beans and spinach (with a ice cube size frozen pesto) My parchment paper max temp is 425, so cooked the eggplant a little longer. Did not process till smooth to keep the nice texture. Made 5 patties, but will make them fatter next time for good crunch to soft balance. Broke up some for tacos. Liked that they were baked and didn’t break apart as some other veggie burgers do. Thanks!

  8. Larissa Crockett 15 June, 2014 at 17:28 Reply

    I wish I had read all the comments before making these burgers. We also had no millet flour and I subbed a combo of oat and buckwheat flours. The resulting burger tasted too much like buckwheat and were DRY. Before adding the flours, however, the flavor was excellent and when dressed with all the burger condiments the burgers themselves were still a good addition to dinner. I will definitely make these again, any thoughts about what would make a good substitution for the buckwheat?

    • thefitchen 18 June, 2014 at 16:13 Reply

      Buckwheat seems to be a temperamental flour – definitely not right for these burgers. Chickpea flour might be a better fit. We really found that millet worked perfectly. If you try another flour, let me know how it works!

  9. Jody 17 August, 2014 at 16:49 Reply

    I wonder of anyone has had success freezing these? If so, please share the process. Did you freeze prior to baking or after. If after baking how did you reheat? I have heard eggplant doesn’t always fair well in freezer, but would love to make multiple batches of these burgers as the eggplant is coming on strong in garden now. :)

    • thefitchen 17 August, 2014 at 18:09 Reply

      I’ve never tried freezing them, but my recommendation would be to bake the patties halfway, then freeze, then bake for the remaining time at the same temp when you want to eat one. If you try it, let me know how it works! :)

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