Houston’s Veggie Burger

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This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.

This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.
Veggie Burger

If you love my black bean burger you’ll love this homemade Houston’s Restaurant copycat recipe! This is by far one of the best veggie burgers out there! Even meat eaters order this burger at Houston’s, it’s just that good.

This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.

Hi there, I’m Heather K. Jones—I’m a dietitian, the nutrition expert for the Skinnytaste cookbooks, and the founder of the weight and wellness program, Feel Better Eat Better. I’m excited to share another recipe with you today, and to invite you to my free Emotional Eating Masterclass. You’ll find out exactly WHY you have struggled for so long, and exactly HOW you can transform your relationship with food and your body, even if you’ve tried everything. You can sign up for the free masterclass by clicking RIGHT HERE. I love sharing what has helped me and my clients build healthier and happier lives!

This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.

During my college years I waited tables at a popular restaurant called Houston’s, and I’ve shared lots of their recipes here on Skinnytaste before.

I shared the Houston’s Couscous recipe in this post HERE, the Grilled Chicken Salad right HERE, and the Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette HERE. And not surprisingly in the comments I got a lot of requests for Houston’s veggie burger recipe. This is by far one of the best veggie burgers out there. Even meat eaters order this burger at Houston’s! It’s just that good. In fact, I always double the recipe and keep some extra patties in the freezer… that way I have them whenever the craving strikes. See more Freezer Recipes here!

How To Make Veggie Burgers

  1. Mash beans and combine with sauteed onion, garlic and spices.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process oats until fine. Combine the oats with the beans, veggies and sauce. Add the rice, beets, beet juice and egg and mix everything until combined.
  3. Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 patties and freeze for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
  4. Cook on a skillet 5 minutes on each side and serve on a bun and top with your desired toppings.

To Meal Prep:

Double the recipe, rrap the burgers in plastic wrap then transfer to freezer safe bags. Label the bags with the name and date. Freeze, covered for up to 3 months.

This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.This is a black bean burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser. Keep them in the freezer to eat thoughout the month.This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.

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This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.
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4.62 from 18 votes
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Houston’s Veggie Burger

6
13
7
SP
302 Cals 11 Protein 56 Carbs 4 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Freeze Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 4 burgers
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: American
This is a veggie burger that even hearty meat-eaters will love! Made with beans, oats, brown rice, beets and a whole lot of spices, this veggie burger is a real crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder, (check labels for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats, (check labels for gluten-free)
  • 1 ¼ cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped canned beets
  • 1 tablespoon beet juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 whole wheat 100 calorie hamburger buns, or Gluten-free bun
  • Optional toppings: Sliced pepper Jack cheese,, lettuce, tomato, avocado, BBQ sauce, ketchup

Instructions

  • Add the beans to a large mixing bowl. Gently pat beans dry with a paper towel. Using the back side of a fork or potato masher, mash beans until smooth and pasty.
  • Heat a small skillet over medium heat.
  • When hot, add the oil, onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes then transfer to the bowl with the beans.
  • In a small bowl, add the paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix until combined then add to the large bowl.
  • Using the same small bowl, mix the BBQ sauce and molasses until thoroughly combined.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to the large bowl and set aside the rest for basting during cooking
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process oats until fine.
  • Add the oats to the large bowl with the beans, veggies and sauce.
  • Add the rice, beets, beet juice and egg and mix everything until combined.
  • Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 patties, about 5 ½ ounces each. Place patties on a freezer safe plate and freeze for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
  • Heat a large flat skillet over medium heat. Spray with oil and, using a spatula, transfer patties to the skillet.
  • Cook the patties for 5 minutes, carefully flip with the spatula, baste with the remaining sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add cheese during the last 2 minutes, if using.
  • With the spatula, place each patty on a bun and top with your desired toppings.

Notes

Serving size: (1 burger with ¾ ounce slice cheese)
Calories: 382
Protein: 15 g
Carbohydrate: 57 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.5 g
Total Sugars: 13 g
Total Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 5.5 g
Cholesterol: 67 mg
Sodium: 975 mg
Freestyle Smart Points: 9

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger w/o cheese, Calories: 302kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 815mg, Fiber: 10.5g, Sugar: 13g
Blue Smart Points: 6
Green Smart Points: 13
Purple Smart Points: 7
Points +: 7
Keywords: homemade veggie burgers, how to make veggie burgers, vegetarian burger, veggie burger

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91 comments

  1. Just WOW!  One of the VERY BEST Veggie Burgers I have made in my life!  And I have made a lot!  We loved it!  And we will be making it again and again and again!  And Since I had to buy a whole can of beets…I think I will make another batch or two or three and freeze individually in freezer wrap and ziplock freezer bags!  So it will be an easy freezer meal prep dinner!  Thank you so very much!  :):):)<3<3<3:):):)

  2. TIP:
    I make and freeze these burgers with the burger press from Tupperware. I bought them years ago but would think they still sell them. It’s easy and works perfect!!!

  3. Delicious!!! When I make rice for another meal I always make extra to make these burgers. I belong to a CSA so I usually have roasted beets in fridge. I roast them on a baking sheet covered with foil with about a cup or two of water and use the beet juice. I have never used canned beets but definitely would if I didn’t have fresh and would use the juice from the can. I freeze them and cook from frozen with a lid on top until they get a crust. They hold together well when cooking. Don’t baste until the very end or the sauce will burn in skillet. The sauce is really good! I make extra and also put on the roll with mayo and finely diced pickles for a special sauce. Yum!

  4. Is there beet juice in the can? Or do I need to buy a bottle of beer juice?

  5. Making now & didn’t include 2 hr chill time! Yikes! Any way to speed it up? Chill time absolutely necessary?

  6. Yum!! This was delicious! I thought I had brown rice at home but when I started to make this I realized I didn’t so I cooked some cauliflower rice instead. I don’t know if it would have been better with brown rice, but it was delicious with the cauliflower.  I’m not a vegetarian but I love a good black bean burger than this definitely was! 

  7. Is there any way to lower the carb count?

  8. What would you use to hold the burger together if you don’t like beets or beet juice?

  9. I haven’t made these yet, but I do make a beet/black bean burger regularly so I’m interested to give these a try – I saw someone substituted roasted beets and water and Heather just said – yes you can use fresh beets! So now I’m, do I roast them or use them raw? I’m not a fan of BBQ sauce (I’ve been vegetarian for almost 40 years and we didn’t have stuff like that back in the stone ages!) but I’m assuming the meat eating members of my family can just put it on top😊

  10. These were really flavorful. Will definitely make them again.

  11. I could not find canned beets.  Only pickled whole baby beets.  Will the do?

  12. Fantastic flavor, best veggie burger I’ve ever tasted! Mine did NOT stay together, though. It stayed together well enough to build the burger, but is squished out and fell apart when eating it. I have this problem a lot with bean burgers. Is there a trick to getting them to hold together? I used oat bran instead of ground oatmeal, and cooked in air fryer. Those are the only modifications I made.

  13. So delicious!  My husband and daughter loved it.  Will definitely be adding to my menus.

  14. Planning to make this but just have “sweet honey BBQ sauce”. If I use that do I still need the molasses?
    Also is beet juice the liquid from the can of beets?

  15. I was tempted to swap out the rice for sweet potatoes, just because I love them, but I made this as is and it was excellent!  We have one vegetarian and two meat eaters and all thoroughly enjoyed these burgers.  Extremely easy to make, they held together better than any other vegetable burger I’ve made (likely thanks to the rice) and they were delicious!  My only change was to roast fresh beets and use water in place of the beet juice.  And of course I made a side of sweet potato fries! Skinnytaste is my go to for all recipes – thanks for another winner Gina!

  16. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I have been craving this veggie burger since our local Houston’s closed over 10 years ago. I didn’t expect to find the recipe online but stumbled across your website. We made it last night and it was exactly what I remembered. Thank you!!!

  17. These were delicious!  I made them for my vegetarian daughters to eat when others were cooking burgers. They aren’t quickly thrown together, and they were fairly delicate when cooking and eating, but I find that true of many veggie burgers. I bought precooked brown rice to save cooking a whole pot. The taste and texture of these more than made up for the messy eating.  I made exactly as recipe stated, and plan to make again.

  18. The veggie burgers were good, but this is a complicated recipe to prepare because there are so many ingredients. It also need me to get out the food processor and the pressure cooker. That is not necessarily bad, you just need to be aware that it takes time. I will probably try them again if I have left over rice. Thank you for including this in the meal plan.

  19. Made this tonight using steel cut oats & maple syrup in substitution for the molasses. Awesome! My new favorite burger!

  20. These burgers were sooo delicious. To my surprise, my beef-eating husband tried them, and also raved about them. I’m so glad I made extra to freeze so I will have them on hand.

  21. Any substitute for beets and molasses?

  22. How “bean-y” do these taste? I really hate beans lol but over wll this look REALLY tasty!

  23. Hi. Sorry. There is egg in this recipe. So not vegan. 

  24. I used a flax egg in this recipe and it worked just fine. I also did not grind my oats and increased amount just a bit because the mixture was so wet. These burgers were great, probably the best I’ve ever eaten and certainly the best I’ve personally made (and I’ve made my share of different recipes). I will be using this one from now on. Planning to make a double batch to freeze. Thanks for yet another great recipe, Gina. 

  25. Excellent recipe! My entire family loved it!
    Based on some comments that the patties were wet, I kept the beets, but left out the beet juice and only added about half the bbq sauce mixture.
    Also, I used steel cut oats and it turned out great.

  26. Can I used steel cut oats?

  27. One of my favorite veggie burgers ever! (Also love the chipolte bean burger on this site). It’s super hearty and full of flavor. It does take some time since you have a lot of ingredients and a bit of chopping and mashing. But to make these from scratch versus one of those from the freezer section of the grocery store….it’s so worth the prep time. I tripled the recipe so I could keep some on hand in the freezer.

  28. Prepping meals for the week. Should I prep in patty form and freeze for later cooking? Or should I cook and freeze to reheat later?

  29. Flavor was good but consistency mushy. I kept them in refrigerator 2 hours then in the freezer 30 minutes. Don’t know what else I could have done. Can you freeze them uncooked?

  30. Gina, do the points value include the 100 calorie bun?

  31. Looks fantastic.  Is the bun counted in as part of the six points?

  32. I made these recently for my food prep as I was needing something higher in carbs for my lunch. I found this recipe very easy. I didn’t use molasses as I didn’t have any on hand. Taste fine to me. I opted for Trader Joe’s Sriracha bbq sauce and that gave it a bit of kick. Over all would make again.

  33. These tasted fine, but were not any better than other veggie burgers I’ve had. They are a lot of work, won’t be making them again.

  34. I was wondering if you can bake them instead and for how long 
    If they are frozen ?
    Thank you 

  35. I made these tonight, my first experience with a veggie burger. We found them full of flavor, with a great spice balance. I cooked them from a near frozen state because they were pretty soft right out of the fridge. I also used coconut oil in my nonstick skillet which helped to give them some crispy texture. It was hard to get them heated through from frozen so I covered them until time to flip for the first time. Texture is still pretty soft so it would be good to add some crunchy toppings. Overall, a winner for a veggie burger. 

  36. Hello! Making these tonight, can I double the recipe and freeze four patties for another night? Will they cook ok from frozen?
    Thanks😊

  37. Dumb question but where do you get beet juice?

    • I’ve found it in the health food section. Biotta is a good brand. biottajuices.com

      • Houston’s veggie burgers are my all time favorite. This recipe was pretty good. Not quite as flavorful as Houston’s. One issue I had was the mixture was very wet when forming the patties and they didn’t bind well. I followed the recipe exactly so not sure what to do to improve that. Thanks for recipe. 

    • I’d use the juice from the can of beets.

  38. Do you think these would freeze well for a make ahead meal?

  39. Heather, I haven’t eaten his burger in years but always LOVED it. I was bummed when the Houston’s in nyc closed! Thank you! Question: the recipe says a Serbia is with cheese, then below it says w/o cheese. Do the Freestyle points include the cheese AND the bun? Or not? Thanks again!

  40. Can you omit or sub something for the molasses?

  41. Hi Gina!
    The burgers look awesome. However, I have chronic kidney disease and brown rice is on my “don’t eat” list. Do you think white rice would work just as well for this recipe? Thanks.

  42. This looks delicious. Can I sub quick cook oats in place  of the old fashioned? It’s all I have at home and I’m too lazy to go to the store!!

  43. First, I would have to omit the rice as I am having problems with it lately. Second, it says “baste with the remaining sauce.” What sauce are we talking about as no where does it say cover with sauce.
    Confused. Thanks Gina and Healther!!

    • Never mind I saw where it says to use the BBQ sauce in the mixture then afterward. Not confused now! So, could more oats be added to make up for the rice? Or cooked quinoa?
      Thanks!!

      • I would try quinoa in place of the rice… no oats. I have never made them with quinoa, but it might work!

  44. OMG I have been looking for a recipe for their veggie burgers for forever!!! Thank you for making my life complete! 🙂

  45. Would fresh beets work somehow in this recipe?  I received beets in my CSA and this would be a good way to hide them if possible.  I would hate then to go to waste.

  46. Can you cook these burgers in an air fryer?

  47. What is the purpose of the addition of beets in the recipe?

  48. I  love a good veggie burger! Houston’s was a favorite place to eat when I lived in Atlanta! Always so good!! And today this pops into my inbox- ALL of the ingredients, including cooked! brown rice are in my kitchen!  Happy dance as I now know what’s for dinner this evening!! 

  49. I love the burger from Houston’s! I wish the recipe was lower in sodium. 
    Thanks!

  50. Can you sub the beans? I can’t tolerate beans and i LOVE this veggie burger from Houstons

  51. Hi! This looks delicious! Have you tried it with a flax egg or other egg substitute? I have an allergy to eggs but would love to try this!!

  52. What would the points be without the bun? Cannot wait to make this!

  53. Omg! This is looking hell amazing yummy… I can’t wait to try my hands-on this veggie burger. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe with all of us. Best wishes and Regards. xoxo

  54. Could you substitute canned refried black beans for the canned whole black beans?

  55. Does the points value reflect the bun or is this patty only?

  56. This looks like a hearty veggie burger!

  57. Looks delicious! Is the 302 calorie quote for the burger, including a 100 calorie bun, or just the patty? Thanks!

  58. This looks so good!  Would other beans – like cannellini – work as well?