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Veggie Burgers with Zucchini and Corn

Veggie burger with zucchini and corn against a pale pink background.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Katherine Sacks
  • Active Time

    50 minutes

  • Total Time

    1 hour, 10 minutes

Bright zucchini, sweet corn, nutty millet, and creamy white beans add vibrant flavor and texture to these hearty, grill-able vegetarian burgers. Bonus: they're gluten-free!


4 servings

1 large onion
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini), squeezed to remove excess water, divided
1/3 cup white beans, rinsed, divided
1/4 cup frozen corn (preferably fire-roasted) , thawed, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus more for brushing
3/4 cup cooked millet or white quinoa
1/2 cup finely chopped basil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
4 slices white cheddar
4 hamburger buns
Green leaf lettuce, (for serving)
1 avocado, cubed, lightly smashed

Step 1

Cut onion in half crosswise. Slice one-half into 1/4" rings; set aside. Finely chop remaining onion. Pulse chopped onion, garlic, cornmeal, 3/4 cup zucchini, 2 Tbsp. beans, and 2 Tbsp. corn in a food processor until finely chopped, 30–45 seconds.

Step 2

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Add chopped onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to soften and thicken, 3–4 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 cup zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to soften and become translucent, 3–4 minutes more.

Step 3

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and gently mix in millet, 1/4 cup basil, 3/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. pepper, and the remaining beans and corn until well combined. Form mixture into 4 (1"-thick) patties. Cover with plastic and freeze 20 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, and remaining 1/4 cup basil in a small bowl; set aside.

Step 5

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat or heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high; oil grate or pan. Toss reserved onion rings with 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook onion rings until softened and lightly charred, about 5 minutes.

Step 6

Brush patties all over with oil. Cook, flipping once, until medium brown and toasted, about 7 minutes on each side; add 1 slice cheese to each during last 3 minutes of cooking. Transfer onions and burgers to a plate. Toast buns until golden brown, about 30 seconds.

Step 7

Place 1 piece lettuce on each bottom bun and top with a burger. Top with onions. Spread 1 Tbsp. basil mayonnaise on each top bun, add smashed avocado, and close sandwiches.

Cooks' Note

Burgers can be made 3 months ahead; tightly cover and freeze. To serve, cook frozen patties 10 minutes on each side, adding cheese during last 3 minutes of cooking.

How would you rate Veggie Burgers with Zucchini and Corn?

  • Based on user feedback, I modified the recipe: salted the zucchini and let it drain 20-30 mins before squeezing out the water added an egg instead of freezing the burgers, i dredged them in breadcrumbs and baked on an oiled cookie sheet at 400°F 30-40 mins. They were delicious and held together... okay in the buns, with a few crumbs. Not soggy or mushy at all.

    • nikujaga

    • Boston, MA

    • 4/30/2021

  • Not easy to make, there are so many different steps. So, lots of dishes. but could make ahead of time, thats a plus. Taste was decent, though not amazing. my kids wouldn't eat them, but mostly because these burgers ended up a mushy, sloppy mess with a bad texture. I froze them for well over an hour, but it still didn't hold together. won't make again.

    • Anonymous

    • Newport, RI

    • 1/22/2018

  • I made the burgers but not the condiments (I'm not a mayonnaise fan). Burgers are okay, not great. I used some of the liquid from the can of white beans as binder, and that worked well. I froze the burgers thoroughly and then cooked them over high heat in a cast iron pan. Again, flavor was okay, but not my favorite veggie burger.

    • Maddie Hj

    • Cape Cod, MA

    • 11/13/2017

  • One cannot call this 'Burger' gluten-free and serve it on a regular hamburger bun. If you want to call it a veggie patty, I'm ok with that, just don't make this confusing for those new to cooking gluten-free by necessity.

    • jasmine00

    • Santa Rosa, CA

    • 10/22/2017

  • I made this including mayo topping, which was wonderful. This recipe was so good that I'm going to serve to company for an informal dinner. After reading the reviews, I cooked these in a pan just for browning and to heat them through. I also formed smaller patties than the recipe indicates putting them in the refrigerator to firm up.

    • kek2char5134

    • Ohio

    • 10/16/2017

  • Unimpressive and very messy as a burger - even frozen for more than the 20 minutes recommended; but the frozen leftovers, crumbled and crisp-fried, were a yummy hash brown type substitute. At the very least, if I made these again, I'd definitely forego the bun.

    • mrsmasterchief

    • Islamorada, FL

    • 5/24/2017

  • Reading this recipe, I was exited to try it. Many positives, gluten free, nutritious, and more. I assembled the ingredients; reread the instructions and began. Several ingredients are "divided". This increases the chance for "errors". none the less, I followed the recipe to the "T". My wife asked about what was I using as a binder? No egg; potentially the cornstarch would mix with moisture in the zucchini? But we squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini and the cornmeal was a desiccant. In the end the burgers would not stick together and definitely NOT a grill item. The flavor was great, so we reheated and ate as a warm salad.

    • srmski

    • Mound, MN

    • 5/1/2017

  • We thought these were great! I just made the patties, not the mayo, although that sounds good too - just didn't have time. This veggie burger is an entire meal, covers all 4 food groups! We didn't even have a side dish - served with thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes, fresh greens, avocado and condiments. I made 6 burgers out of this recipe - cooked 3 and froze 3 for later. I think they would be unwieldy if they were bigger. I found the recipe a little hard to follow. Several ingredients say "divided" - that always irritates me; for some ingredients the prep technique is in the ingredients list, but others it is not; and I wish the ingredients for the burgers, the mayo and the toppings were not all lumped together. Nevertheless, I followed it exactly and they turned out wonderful. The only change I made was to use marjoram instead of basil, because my basil was too worn out. I think you could use really any herb you like in the burgers. (Can't speak for the mayo though.) It's true they are a little soft - but most veggie burgers I've ever made have been soft in the middle or end up squeezing out the sides of the burger a little. My method is to cook them for a good long time in a cast iron skillet. Put them in the pan and leave them there so they develop a nicely browned, caramelized surface. Don't flip sooner than that or you'll have a mess. Another tip to share - instead of toasting the buns dry, I always spread butter on the inside surface of the buns, and grill or toast them face down in another skillet or griddle. It gives another layer of texture to the burger (since veggie burgers tend to be soft in the middle) and makes it like a restaurant meal. Once you start doing that, you won't go back! :)

    • Anonymous

    • Richmond, VA

    • 10/2/2016

  • Made this exactly as written (with white quinoa). Though the patties were a little soft, as expected, and exceedingly thick the flavor was good. But when I added all the condiments as described we couldn't taste anything at all except the lime zest in the mayo. Having used that much basil and with grilled onions on top, we couldn't understand how the taste of everything else had been lost. I only cooked 2 patties. The other two patties will be crumbled up and crisped in a frying pan for use in a wrap - or just alone. I won't kill the rest of the batch with all the bread and condiments as suggested in the recipe.

    • ditw

    • Islamorada, FL

    • 8/31/2016

  • I have not made this but would recommend using some powdered flax seed powder for thickener. I would not rate this at all but the only way I can comment is to rate it. Plus it is very healthy.

    • gbsk12

    • Alaska

    • 8/16/2016

  • Wondering if the mushy, "doesn't hold together" people below actually cooked these frozen, as recommended. Like the store bought bean burgers, they really have to be cooked from a frozen state.

    • jfbmd

    • Colorado

    • 8/6/2016

  • Not a keeper. Flavor is good however, even after adding egg eaters to help as a binder, these fall apart, are mushy. Thankfully I used a fry pan and not the bbq grill! I doubled the recipe so that I could freeze ahead. What a mistake!!! My choice is to eat mush or throw all away!!! 👎

    • kitchensal701

    • MI

    • 7/29/2016

  • I have zucchini growing none stop in my garden so after reviewing this recipe I was excited to try a ligit sounding homemade veggie burger. After freezing the patty I could tell they probably wouldn't hold on a grill, so we cooked them over the open fire with cast iron. The veg burgers ended up being super tasty with the consistency of crab cakes- holding together well but just the tiniest bit mushy. With a few light swipes of jardamayo, stone ground mustard, and a pile of thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes... on a lightly toasted brioche bun... this veggie burger was just as great as a good ol' fashion grass fed slab o'beef! (Hint raw, fresh of the cobb corn added a delectable sweetness that complimented the garden fresh zuc) #growyourown #dontforgetthesalt

    • Anonymous

    • Chicago

    • 7/29/2016

  • I too found this to be way over 600 calories when adjusted for only 4 people rather than 10 in the nutrition info. I haven't made it yet but I will with changes to bring the calories down. will let you know the results!

    • raneylorene

    • Bergamo,Italy

    • 7/26/2016

  • I agree with Nightowlknitter: needs binder. I love the flavor, though. Very tasty! Was too mushy even after 14 minutes of cooking. I may try adding an egg next time I make this. It's worth trying again!

    • alaskabasin

    • St Louis, MO

    • 7/25/2016

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