Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Going into a holiday as a new vegetarian or vegan can be a challenge. Especially when your family thinks you’ve lost your mind. Make it easy (and delicious) for yourself with this Vegan Thanksgiving Bean Burger! It features savory poultry seasoning, sweet cranberry sauce, and crunchy onion rings.
What happens to new vegans during the holidays?
You: "Hey family, so, um, this year I'm not eating meat, eggs, and dairy and stuff any more so I'll figure out something for Thanksgiving! Don't worry about me!"
Family member 1: [HUGE EYE ROLL]
Family member 2: "Now what are we going to feed her?"
Family member 3: "I’m sure she'll be over all this nonsense in a month."
Family member 4: [Giant sigh]
You: "You guys I'm right here, I can hear you."
Family members together: [Giant sigh]
Hang in there, it gets easier!
Little did they know it would stick. Over a decade later I'm still on the plant-based path. Though there are a few foods I miss, I've found SO many delicious foods that I love just as much. In fact, all of my alternatives are so easy and delish that I prefer them to some dried out old piece of meat. My family and close friends have become much more supportive and now sometimes send me photos of a plant-based meal they're eating!
Why did I go plant-based?
There are four reasons.
Number one, it's insurance against chronic illness. My dad died of heart disease on the day he decided to retire! He rode his bike up to the fitness center to swim laps and lift weights on his lunchbreak. While swimming, he had a massive heart attack in the pool and could not be revived. He was eating a keto style diet. Though he looked amazing on the outside, on the inside he was riddled with atherosclerosis that was undiagnosed at his yearly doctor appointments.
Number two, it feels really great to be in alignment with my values. I’m an animal lover and I realized eating animals, and understanding what animals have to go through to get to my plate, did not align with my value of loving animals.
Number three, I have a desire to preserve the planet for my daughter and for future generations. I understand the negative impacts of the commercial farming industry and especially animal agriculture, as well as the commercial fishing industry, have on the environment.
Number four, I don't want to be a burden. I consider the fact that my choices impact others. If I become ill with a chronic illness, my family members will be impacted. They would be stuck caring for me physically, and possibly financially.
Why am I STILL plant-based?
Because I feel amazing. My depression and insomnia are gone. I finally lost the last fifteen pounds without having to struggle and have kept it off. My skin looks so much better. And finally, my joint pain and chronic inflammation and headaches are gone.
There's nothing I can't eat. But there are foods I choose to not eat because of all the above reasons.
I'm so grateful to have found this lifestyle and the scientific proof that supports this way of life as the most health promoting option.
Back to the food! What else am I making for vegan Thanksgiving dinner?
This year for Thanksgiving I'm also making mashed potatoes, a green bean "casserole" in the pressure cooker (we'll see how that goes), cranberry sauce, and some stuffing on the stovetop.
A Thanksgiving meal the family will be jealous of
These burgers are moist, have all those Thanksgiving-y flavors of thyme and sage and a touch of sweetness from the sweet-tart cranberry sauce….the PERFECT topping to blend with the flavor of the burger and the baked onion rings give it a nice crunch. It sort of reminds me of the crispy onions some people put on their green bean casserole.
So when your family is cooking their bird for hours upon hours it's your turn to return the eye roll and make these burgers in just a few minutes!
Thanksgiving Bean Burger
Vegan, Gluten Free
2 cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini, butter beans or great northern
1/3 cup rolled oatmeal, (Millers Grain)
1 tsp poultry seasoning (salt free, or if your poultry seasoning has salt, reduce the amount of salt added)
1/4 tsp salt
1 rounded tbsp prepared mustard
8 Frozen breaded onion rings, (Alexia)
1 cup Whole cranberry sauce, (Pacific Foods)**
2 Thin bun, (Ozery Baker, 100 calorie)
1. Cook onion rings to package directions, if using.
2. Preheat broiler to high. Process the oatmeal to a powder with a Magic Bullet or blender. Mash beans and oats together and add seasoning, salt and mustard in a medium bowl; divide into four; shape into burgers by hand. Spray burgers with cooking spray, place on baking sheet and broil about 5 minutes per side or until browned.
3. Toast thin buns and top half with one burger; spoon 2 Tbsp cranberry sauce over each burger and top with 2 onion rings.
***FOR GLUTEN FREE DO NOT USE BUN OR ONION RINGS AND USE GLUTEN FREE ROLLED OATS.
Nutrition Facts – Burger only
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 0.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 174.5 mg
Potassium 597.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.9 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 10.3 g
Vitamin A 3.2 %
Vitamin B-6 5.2 %
Calcium 9.9 %
Copper 15.4 %