These easy cheesy bean burgers with a wholesome homemade (cheat’s) tomato sauce are a yummy meat-free dinner option. Burgers are a big hit with a lot of kids, probably because they can assemble them themselves, and add whatever they like. Oh, and let’s not forget about the fact that they can eat them with their hands!
So, if you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative to your usual burger repertoire, these bean burgers are super simple to make, freeze well, and are awesome lunchbox fillers. The homemade tomato sauce recipe is optional, but if you’d rather not use commercial tomato sauce, you can whip this up and keep it in the fridge for about a week. We’re using tinned tomatoes for convenience, but you could always use fresh and simmer it for longer. It’s sweetened with a little apple, so your kids should love it!
Easy cheesy bean burgers with homemade tomato sauce
- 1 red onion, sliced finely
- 200g mushrooms, sliced finely
- 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- 300g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 100g cheddar, coarsely grated
- 200g (about 4 slices) bread torn into pieces
- Burger buns, lettuce, tomato and other favourites, to serve
- 1 BPA-free can of organic, fire-roasted, no salt added diced tomatoes OR go with jarred, (plain) diced tomatoes without added ingredients
- 1 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar (great ingredient for your health and kitchen!)1/8 tsp. Himalayan/pink sea salt (raw, unprocessed, mineral-rich salt)
- ½ apple (any sweet one, not a green one), peeled and grated
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Tip in vegetables, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins until soft. Mix and mash (or use food processor) cooked vegetables with the beans, cheese and bread until it forms a thick chunky paste.
- With wet hands, mould mix into 8 burgers. Space them out on a tray or plate and refrigerate for up to half an hour to firm up if you have time.
- To make the tomato sauce, drain the liquid off the tomatoes and using a blender or food processor puree the tomato with the grated apple, apple cider vinegar, and salt until smooth.
- Heat the sauce in a small saucepan for a few minutes to ensure the apple is cooked. Serve hot or allow it to cool down. You could also add some of your favourite herbs and spices if you like.
- To cook the burgers, heat oil in a frying pan and fry 2-3 mins on each side until crispy. Serve with toasted buns, salad, and sauce.
If you don’t want to cook all of the burgers at once, they can be kept in the fridge for 2 days or frozen, stacked between grease-proof sheets for up to 2 months. Then simply thaw in the fridge, and cook as above. They’re perfect cold in lunchboxes, too. Store homemade tomato sauce in a glass jar for one week in the fridge. Try to choose a jar that only leaves a small space at the top of the jar, so that it keeps longer. If possible, try not to use plastic containers since they’ll not only stain, but your sauce can also soak up chemicals from the plastic during storage.
Like this recipe? We think you’ll love our Easy No-Bake Kids Chocolate Treat!
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Kara Wilson is the Online Brand Manager of Little Peeps Eats. She is a parenting writer, editor, and Melbourne mum to two kids under 5.. After working with small kids for many years, she’s picked up a few tips and tricks to raising adventurous eaters. Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.