Isn’t it hard to go inside on an amazingly beautiful day? I want to sit outside all day: work outside, play outside, eat outside, drink outside. It’s no wonder it’s called BBQ season. BBQs are the Netflix of kitchen appliances. There’s basically no competition. What else are you going to use when you want to cook outside? (my husband would beg to differ since he’s been wanting to build an outdoor pizza oven in our backyard for the last few years).

The only problem is I’ve become picky about the BBQ foods I want to eat. Are there any foods you absolutely can’t eat? Something that grosses you out, that makes you feel sick, or you just can’t get behind? I have a few (hi mayo), and one that comes up a lot during BBQ season is prepackaged beef/chicken/turkey burgers. Homemade are ok, but the packaged ones have questionable ingredients and they look and taste kinda gross. They’ve moved to my list of ‘nope’ foods.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I only eat meat occasionally, usually when I’m at a restaurant or a friend’s house. Cooking primarily vegetarian meals over the last 6 months has grown my cooking confidence and stack of go-to recipes. It’s also introduced me to some healthy ingredients that I didn’t have much experience in cooking before (tofu, tempeh, and lots more meals with lentils and beans).

A burger is pretty hard to resist in the summer, though, especially if you’re pregnant and want that big indulgent burger, but know a big beef burger will leave you feeling terrible. So, I’ve moved on to the quest for awesome veggie burgers. As long as it can be on a bun with some tomato, onion, and cheese, a meatless burger totally satisfies my burger craving. I like all kinds of vegetarian burgers, but when I really want one that looks and tastes “meaty”, I think a mushroom black bean burger gets closest to the mark.

Growing up, I Hated mushrooms (yes, capital H on purpose). Despised them. I only started eating them in the last 7 or 8 years, and now they’re one of my favourite veggies. I love how mushrooms have an earthy, meaty vibe when used in pastas, sandwiches, and burgers.

I’ve made many a veggie burger, and it’s always really hard to get them to stay together through the cooking process. If you can make a veggie burger that tastes good and stays in a burger form long enough for you to get it on a bun it’s a 10/10 in my books.

Veggie burgers are one of my favourite things to make because after you’re done with your burger you can eat the leftovers cut up on top of a green salad or in a pita with some veggies and hot sauce, both awesome options for packing your lunch the next day. These are also so good and nutritious for babies and toddlers both as burgers for the older kids and as finger food for the little ones.

I adapted and healthified a recipe by The Kitchen Whisperer blog and made these for my mom’s birthday on Tuesday night as part of a BBQ menu (even though it ended up being rainy and cold that day….oh well).

I highly recommend making these burgers and serving them with a big dollop of lazy guacamole on top (mash two avocados with juice from half a lime, some Himalayan salt and garlic powder). So good together!

Let me know in the comments what your go-to BBQ foods are, and if you have any foods on your ‘nope!’ list.

Note: To speed up your prep, you can mince the broccoli, garlic, onion in a food processor, then add the mushrooms and pulse a few times leaving them chunky.

Smokey Portabello & Black Bean Burgers

Yield: Makes about 5-10 burgers, depending on size.


  • *2 cups portabello mushrooms (about 1.5 large or two medium mushrooms), chopped into small pieces (remove gills with a spoon when they are dry)
  • 1 15oz can black beans (rinsed) (make sure they are completely dry before adding to mixture, this is very important in order for burgers to stick together)
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli, minced (don’t use frozen as the extra water will make burgers fall apart)
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (also called almond flour)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil if cooking in a pan


  1. In a large bowl add black beans and mash until about ¾ are mashed
  2. Add the mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, onion, and spices and mix until combined
  3. Add in the eggs, cheese, almond meal, and chia and mix until combined
  4. Heat a large pan or BBQ to medium heat. If using pan, add olive oil.
  5. Use your hands or burger mold to make burger patties (whatever size you want). If mixture feels too sticky, add a couple more TBSP almond flour. Add to pan/BBQ once the oil/grill is hot.
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side. Don’t try to flip burgers too early or they will stick – when they have crisped up, they will be easy to flip!