Pump[kin] It Up!

Burgers are one of the most reliable staples to be found in any cook’s arsenal. Infinitely adjustable, easily prepared, and universally enjoyed, many satisfying meals both past and present can be attributed to the humble patty.

Watching Labor Day pass right before my eyes, I groaned as I looked back through my archives and spotted this bun-clad beauty just waiting in the wings. A perfect recipe for the backyard barbeques and grilling extravaganzas synonymous with the date, familiar pangs of guilt gripped me as it seemed like a prime opportunity wasted. Created, photographed, and completely devoured in late June, why oh why hadn’t it made it into the spotlight yet? Before the shame could fully settle, I realized that something as versatile as a properly constructed veggie burger was truly timeless, and better yet, the ingredients might even be better suited for autumnal eating.

Pumpkin is the secret ingredient here, like just about every other crazy new edible on the market these days, but before you reach pumpkin overload, consider adding this particular incarnation of everyone’s favorite orange gourd into your diet. Bearing far more than just flavoring or pie spices, these burgers have some real heft thanks to the addition of pumpkin seed protein powder. No additives, fillers, or sweeteners set this particular smoothie staple made by Sprout Living apart from the crowd, making it an ideal ingredient for both sweet and savory recipes. My standard bean burger formula is no slouch when it comes to nutrition, but the pumpkin puree and protein powder ensure instant hunger satisfaction, without sacrificing flavor one bit.

Whether you’re determined to keep the spirit of summer alive or looking to transition into more autumnal foods, this is the recipe for you. Best of all, the finished patties freeze beautifully for even colder days down the road.

[Photo note: I found these awesome “accidentally vegan” store brand pretzel buns at Fresh & Easy, but you can also buy them online from Pretzilla, if you were so inclined.]

Pumpkin Protein Burgers

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Cup Diced Onion
1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 14-Ounce Can (1 3/4 Cups Cooked) Chickpeas, Drained
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When shimmering, add in the garlic and onions, sauteing until aromatic and lightly golden brown. This should take no more than 6 – 8 minutes; be careful not to overdo it and burn the garlic. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, turn off the heat, and let cool for about 10 minutes minutes.

In a separate bowl, roughly mash the beans with a fork or potato masher. You want to keep the texture fairly coarse so that the burger maintains a satisfying bite. Add in the pumpkin puree, mustard, spices, and herbs, mixing well to incorporate. Once cool enough to handle, introduce the sauteed vegetables and stir once more, introducing the pumpkin seed protein powder as well. Mix thoroughly, making sure that there are no pockets of dry ingredients remaining. It should be soft but manageable; something you can fairly easily mold into patties that will hold their shape. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Measure out between 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the burger mixture for each patty, and form them into round, flat pucks with slightly moistened hands. Space them out evenly on the sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, 10 more minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before removing from the sheet.

Serve immediately while still hot, or cool completely before freezing and storing for up to 6 months.

Makes 6 – 8 Pumpkin Burger Patties

Printable Recipe

37 thoughts on “Pump[kin] It Up!

  1. These look really lovely. I have 2 ginormous pumpkins waiting for my next fortnights heady delights and these burgers are going to make an up front and close and personal in my immediate future meal. Cheers for the tasty share Ms Hannah :)

  2. OK. I am utterly intrigued. A pumpkin burger? Pumpkin seed protein powder? And just when I thought that last year’s pumpkin craze could go no further!! I love this! and that is one glorious bun-clad beauty. Brava!

  3. I like the double pumpkin ness here! A very underrated veggie is the pumpkin, beyond its excellent work in pies. Reckon running some pumpkin seeds through a blender would stand in for the protein powder?

    1. I’m afraid that straight pumpkin seeds wouldn’t be quite the same thing. The consistency is very fine, like flour almost, and seeds ground in a food processor can only become a coarse texture at best. That said, I think that it could possibly work in this particular recipe. If you give it a go, I’d love to hear what you think!

  4. Ooooh! I LOVE pumpkin! And veggie burgers! Never hear of pumpkin seed protein powder, but I’d love to give this a go! PS are you on Instagram? You *totally* should be if not! And I should totally find you if so!

  5. Pumpkin meets veggie burger? Woah! I a might just have to make these… too good! And did I tell you that my husband is vegan now? It’s kind of massive as when I met him there was only meat and cheese in his fridge. Not even bread. Like, ZERO veg-based matter. He would love these. And so would I :)

  6. I made these tasty pumpkin burgers & loved them with salad leaves, tomato slice & fried red onions & tomato ketchup, of course! They were very scrumptious too! Thanks again, Hannah! x

  7. Youur styke is so unique in comparison to other foks I’ve read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess
    I’ll just book mark this page.

    1. I’m afraid the beans are pretty essential to the foundation of the burger itself… You could use a different bean, like pintos or great northern, but I don’t think there’s a non-legume alternative that would work as well.

  8. I love the taste but they fall apart. I’ve tried adding egg white (I’m not vegan) and that didn’t help. Any tips to how I can get these not to basically turn into a pile of pumpkin “burger”? Thanks for the recipe…like I said, the taste is great.

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that. Make sure you mash the chickpeas very well, so they’re more creamy than crumbly. Otherwise, you might try adding a tablespoon or two of tapioca or potato starch to help bind them a bit more? I hope that does the trick- Please report back!

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