This post is a paid partnership with Hilary’s Eat Well. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
I love a good burger. They’re the ultimate comfort food and are so much fun both to make and eat (except if you’re trying to make a good impression on a first date perhaps…). There’s nothing quite like taking a huge bite out of a loaded burger, and the satisfaction that comes with chomping down through crisp lettuce to the hearty patty beneath.
I also love to eat a whole food diet however and it can be difficult to find a burger that satisfies both my cravings for comfort food and my desire to nourish my body. All my recipes come from natural, whole food ingredients. I wanted there to be no exception when I created this delicious Smoky Eggplant Bean Burger recipe.
Happily, I’ve found the perfect mix with the burger patties from Hilary’s Eat Well. Having enjoyed their products for years (I first discovered them when on holiday in Hawaii and instantly loved their Hemp & Greens Veggie Burger), I’ve always loved that their ingredients list is clean and full of nourishing, healthy whole foods. Things like millet, adzuki beans and flaxseeds are ingredients I use regularly as they contain so many nutrients. When combined with delicious seasonings, they make a burger patty that I feel really good about eating!
I’m really happy with this Smoky Eggplant Bean Burger recipe. It compliments Hilary’s Adzuki Bean Burgers with lightly smoked eggplant strips for a succulent, satisfying bite. I’ve also paired this with a smoky garlic vegan mayo to add rich creaminess. The crisp onions, fresh tomatoes and lettuce finish the burger off and ensure that you get one delicious mouthful!
The recipe may look a little complicated but it’s actually surprisingly simple to make, it just requires some assembling. The smoky garlic mayo can be made in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it, just leaving you to quickly make the smoky eggplant strips and cook the burgers.
Loking for a bread-free option for this Smoky Eggplant Bean Burger? I recommend wrapping the burgers, mayo and toppings in a large collard leaf. I’ve done this myself, it works really well and you don’t lose the taste. There is enough flavour in the burger and fixings that you won’t feel deprived by not having the bun! Also, be sure to check my notes below the recipe regarding any substitutions, as these points are important. Enjoy!
Smoky Eggplant Bean Burger & Garlic Mayo (vegan & gluten-free)
For the smoky garlic mayo
- ½ cup soy milk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp powdered mustard
- ¾-1 tsp salt (depending on taste)
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup avocado, grapeseed or any other oil with a light flavour
For the smoky eggplant strips
- 1 small or ½ a medium eggplant/aubergine
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Braggs Soy Seasoning or tamari
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp olive, avocado or grapeseed oil
For the burgers
- 2 Hilary's Adzuki Bean Burgers
- 2 wholegrain or sourdough burger rolls
- red onion slices
- tomato slices
- lettuce leaves
To make the mayo
- Add all ingredients except the oil to a blender, and blend on low speed for approximately 5 seconds to combine.
- Gradually add in the oil while the blender is churning (still on a low speed). If you have a Vitamix or similar you can add the oil through the hole in the top of the blender.
- Once all the oil is added, continue to blend the mixture on low until the oil is mixed in and the mayo thickens (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).
- Remove the mayo from the blender and store in an airtight jar in the fridge until needed (it will naturally firm up a little more when it's cold).
To make the eggplant strips
- Preheat a large frying pan or skillet on a medium heat.
- Slice the eggplant into chunky flat strips no more than ½cm thick and approximately 10cm long.
- Add the eggplant strips, along with the paprika, Bragg's, garlic powder and oil to a large bowl. Mix with your hands to evenly coat the eggplant strips with the seasoning.
- Place the strips flat on the surface of the frying pan, and fry them for 3 minutes until browned on the underside.
- Flip them over, brush the tops with more Bragg's/oil if needed and fry for another 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the burgers
- Cook the Hilary's Adzuki Bean Burgers as per the package instructions.
- Slice the bread rolls in half, and spread smoky garlic mayo over the bottom halves.
- Add lettuce leaves, then the burgers, spreading more mayo over the top of them.
- Add the eggplant slices, red onion, tomato and finally the top halves of the rolls.
- Eat while hot and enjoy!
- Don't be tempted to substitute soy milk for any other kind of milk! The protein in the soy is what helps the mayo thicken. Almond milk etc. likely won't have the same effect.
- Avoid blending the mayo on a really high speed - this can cause the milk/oil mixture to curdle! Stick with a low setting.
- Make sure to use SMOKED paprika for the mayo and eggplant strips. If you just use regular you won't get that smoky taste.