To make these farro and beet burgers, pre grind uncooked farro before cooking it. This creates a faux-beefy texture to make a wholesome vegan burger. Beets are added for earthiness and color, and vital wheat gluten is used to bind. These burgers are great with whatever toppings you like, but this one is served with a vegan kimchi mayo for a creamy and spicy kick!
It’s always convenient to buy vegan burgers, but sometimes making your own at home produces interesting results. This farro and beet burger is a great example of this!
This is what it looks like when you combine ground and cooked farro, a fist-sized beet mangled in a food processor and a cup of vital wheat gluten. Smash it with your hands in a prep bowl and form into these vegan burgers!
Using farro as a base for vegan burgers
I’ve pre-ground farro before to make sausages and a faux-pork filling for these dumplings. Pre-grinding it creates a texture that’s similar to ground beef without being too close to the real thing. I don’t like veganized dishes like this to be too convincing, but still interesting enough to stand on their own. Farro allows that, plus it’s super healthy.
What is farro?
Farro is a whole grain similar to barley that’s high in protein and fiber. Farro has a firm texture that holds up well during cooking. Because of these features, I thought that grinding it before cooking would produce a texture similar to beef, and it worked. Adding some vital wheat gluten as a binder and beets for color pulls everything together.
An alternative to The Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger
Don’t get me wrong: I loooove an Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger, but sometimes I just want something a little healthier, and this is where these burgers come in! Plus, you get to mash the mixture up by hand which is fun if you don’t mind beet-stained hands.
After making the mixture, form it into little patties with a little pressure and some turning.
How to cook these burgers
Now it’s ready for baking or chucking into an air fryer. Top with kimchi mayo and vegan cheese for a faux meaty burger. Don’t forget to toast your buns. To do this, I like to melt a good amount of vegan butter in a hot cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add the buns, pressing down a bit with a spatula at first. After a minute or two, check the buns for a crispy, golden sear, then remove.
To serve these burgers
Serve these farro and beet burgers with these chickpea fries, these bangin’ tots or these broccoli-based tots.
Make it a bacon burger with these shiitake mushrooms and make your own vegan cheese if you’d like.Print
Farro and Beet Burgers
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 burgers
- Diet: Vegan
To make these farro and beet burgers, pre grind uncooked farro before cooking it. This creates a faux-beefy texture to make a wholesome vegan burger. Beets are added for earthiness and color, and vital wheat gluten is used to bind. These burgers are great with whatever toppings you like, but this one comes with a vegan kimchi mayo for a creamy and spicy kick!
for the burgers
- 1 cup farro, ground to a coarse consistency in a coffee grinder or Vitamix (it’s fine if some pieces of farro don’t grind up evenly—it adds to the texture of the burger.)
- 2 TB refined coconut oil
- 1 medium-sized beet (the one I used was about the size of my fist) ground in a food processor
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- olive oil, for coating the baking sheet and burgers
for the kimchi mayo
- 1 cup vegan kimchi, finely chopped
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 TB sriracha
- hamburger buns
- vegan butter
- vegan cheese
- microgreens or other greens
for the burgers
- Combine the farro with plenty of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the farro from sticking to the bottom. Remove from the heat, cover and let it sit for an additional 12-15 minutes.
- While the farro is cooking, melt the coconut oil in a medium-sized cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the beet and shallots, stirring to coat. Season with the salt, liquid smoke, thyme, oregano and black pepper. Saute for about 12 minutes or until softened.
- Drain the farro well and add to a large prep bowl. Add the cooked beet mixture and stir to combine. Add the vital wheat gluten in, 1/4 cup at a time, then mash with your hands until all of the VWG is absorbed. If it’s still a little sticky, add a little more.
- Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form into patties.
to oven bake the burgers (recommended)
- To bake in the oven, preheat oven to 425.
- Grease a baking sheet with some olive oil, also coating the burgers with some of the oil. Bake on one side for 15-20 minutes (or until nicely browned on the bottom), then flip and bake on the other side for 15-20 minutes more, or until both sides are nicely and evenly browned. Place a slice of vegan cheese on the tops towards the end of the bake time to melt.
to air fry the burgers (works if you don’t want to turn on your oven)
- Working in batches, coat burgers with oil and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the burgers are brown all over. Place slices of vegan cheese on top of the burgers and let sit closed up in the air fryer with the heat turned off for a minute or so to melt the cheese.
for the kimchi mayo
- Combine all the kimchi mayo ingredients, set aside.
- Toast hamburger buns and serve with the kimchi mayo and greens, or whatever you like on your burger.
You can also make this whole batch and store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later as you like. Just form the patties and separate them with wax or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hours
- Category: Lunch, Dinner
- Method: Boiled, Simmered, Sautéed, Baked, Air Fried
- Cuisine: Italian, American
Keywords: vegan burger, alternative to Beyond Burger, alternative to Impossible burger, farro recipe, farro burger
Looks amazing! But is there anything I can use instead of the vital wheat gluten? Thanks!
Kaylee, I don’t think so. The VWG is a pretty important element here to bind the mixture together and add structure.
I can’t wait to make these! I was just craving beets today.
Jo Tregidga says
I often read recipes that have heaps of comments about how they can’t wait to try these…and “these look so good”. I wish there was more comments of how things actually turned out….So I am here to tell anyone reading this that these burgers are UNREAL! They are simply amazing. The texture and flavour are oh so satisfying. Worth getting messy with the VWG for sure (It is messy..be prepared). It really is our absolute favourite! My partner included who is an omni when not at home. So thank you!
Jo, So happy that these burgers were a delicious, messy hit … thanks so much for your kind feedback, I love to hear it!
Miss Tee says
Hi! What can I use instead of farro? Farro is hard to get where I live so maybe there are other grania that would work in this recipe?
Julia Ralston says
This looks amazing. I’m always on the hunt for new ideas. making this on the weekend.
Erin, How do I grind the beet in a food processor? And is there anyway I could use my vita mix instead?
Jill, you can roughly chop and process in a food processor. I think you could also use a vitamix, but just pulse until fine. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Kristen Bor says
We loved these! The beets and farro made for the perfect texture. This makes me not want to go back to eating pre-made veggie burgers ever again.
Thanks for your feedback, Kristen … I love to hear this!