Chipotle Pumpkin Veggie Burgers

Today is the last day I will ever spend in my 20's.

I realize 30 is still young, but for some reason I find myself really struggling with this change. Having survived a stroke at 28 has made me (more) thankful for each additional day I get to live on this planet, but it also made me acutely aware that we all have an expiration date. I mean, I had a stroke in my 20's, how the heck am I going to make it to my 80's? The clock is ticking too fast and I'm not ready.

What qualifies someone as going through a midlife crisis? I feel one coming.

But food always makes me feel better. Ok, almost always. 

Since I've already been celebrating this whole week with chocolate cake and ice cream with birthday cake oreo's (aka engineered crack), I decided to make some spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Veggie Burgers for dinner. 

Sandwiched between a toasted whole wheat bun, these thick spicy veggie patties are made from canned pumpkin and cannellini beans and are topped with a creamy chipotle spread, provolone cheese, smashed avocado and fresh greens. You guys, so good! And, confession- it was my first time ever making veggie burgers; I have NO IDEA what took me so long.

Chipotle Pumpkin Veggie Burgers

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 10 minutes / Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 burgers

Ingredients

For the Chipotle Pumpkin Veggie Burgers:
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (more if you love extra spicy), chopped and mashed
2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1/2 cup green onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt (I added approximately 1 teaspoon)
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Avocado Mash:
2 avocados, halved pitted and smashed
Juice from 1 large lime
salt and pepper, to taste

Chipotle Spread:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped and mashed
1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
salt, to taste

Additional Toppings:
Favorite greens
Sliced tomato
Provolone cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl coarsely mash the beans with a fork, leaving some of the beans in tact (we're not looking for a paste here). Add the pumpkin, chopped chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, green onions, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and beaten eggs. Gently mix together with a wooden spoon.

  2. For the oats you can leave them whole, chop them or pulse them in a blender or food processor. For these burgers I pulsed my oats in my food processor a few times to break them up. All three options will taste the same, just give different textures.

  3. In the large mixing bowl with the beans add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the oats. Mix well (I used my hands).

  4. With clean hands, roll your mixture into 6 even balls. Cup each ball in your hands and squeeze tightly, rotating the ball as you squeeze. Gently and slowly, press the ball into a disc.

  5. Transfer prepared burgers to a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow burgers to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight. This allows the burgers to set and helps prevent them from falling apart while cooking (I left mine overnight). In the meantime, prepare the toppings.

  6. For the Avocado Spread- in a small bowl, mash together the avocado, lime juice and salt and pepper. For a little heat, feel free to add a dash of cayenne pepper or paprika.

  7. For the Chipotle Spread- in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to eat.

  8. When ready to eat, pour 1-2 tablespoons into a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot enough, gently transfer burger to your pan and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side (you want a golden outside). Avoid temptation to crowd your pan and cook just 1-2 burgers at a time. While cooking, use your spatula to gently push the sides of the patty to form a perfect disc (thanks for the tip, Jenn!)

  9. With burgers cooked, top buns with avocado spread, veggie burger, chipotle spread and lots and lots of greens!

Enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons

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