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vegetables | mini spicy bean burgers

Serves 4 with little bread rolls or potato wedges and salad garnish.

These are the most fantastic spicy burgers I have ever tasted! That's quite a claim, I know. But there are some things which you know you make really well. For my grandma it was Welsh cakes and apple pie, for my mum it's kipper pate and boeuf bourginoine. For me it's chocolate puddings, casseroles and these. When I started to make them, I envisaged by the time I got to version 10, I'd still be fiddling, but actually, this is one of the only recipes to ever be just right on the first attempt. And I was over the moon! They are a bit crumbly, so I'd advise you make small ones.

Wheat free, dairy free, nut free, meat free version...



  1. Heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. In a saucepan, boil the rice.
  3. Whilst that's cooking, in a pan on a moderate heat, heat 1 tbsp of oil and sauté the onion and garlic and chilli for a few minutes, then add the carrots.
  4. Keep stirring occasionally, turn to a low heat, but leave the lid on for 5-10 minutes whilst it all cooks.
  5. Add the spices and herbs and cook for a further few minutes.
  6. Then add the tomato paste, tamari, chilli, stock and water and mix well.
  7. Add the sweetcorn and stir in to warm through.
  8. When the rice is ready, drain and mash it.
  9. Add to the onion mixture and really mix in well.
  10. Give that pan a quick rinse and quickly cook the kidney beans in water for a few minutes.
  11. Drain and spoon half of the beans into the burger mixture, then mash the rest and add that too.
  12. Mix thoroughly.
  13. Take a heaped desert spoon full of mixture and shape into a mini burger and place on the tray.
  14. If you put the tip of your index finger and the tip of your thumb together and make a circle. That's about the size that you're aiming for (unless you have massive hands, in which case, make it a bit less!).
  15. Repeat for as many as you wish to make.
  16. Alternatively, you could refrigerate some mixture for the next day or freeze it.
  17. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Maybe serve with...

These are gorgeous served with salad, salsa and potato wedges. If you can get wheat free bread rolls, use those. If not, cut sections of a wheat free baguette and make 'open' burgers: a layer of tomato sauce/salsa, crisp lettuce, a mini spicy burger and slice of tomato. You could make sausage shapes and add the mixture to tortilla wraps rather than make burgers.

For those able to eat dairy ...

You could add a thin slice of cheese if you were making burgers or maybe add some grated cheese to the potato wedges 5 minutes before they finished cooking.

For those able to eat wheat...

These work really well in mini seeded rolls with lashings of tomato sauce. You can also use the mixture in short crust, filo or puff pastry parcels, or make alternative sausage rolls with them.

For those who can eat meat...

I honestly don't think you need to add meat to these, but if you had someone who was adamant that they wanted some, I'd be tempted to just cook a separate burger!

If you have kidney beans left over, see light Mexican bean salad or bean chilli. If you have carrots and onion leftover see the carrot and coriander broth and cottage pie.

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