Mouth-Watering Chicago Diner Burger Recipe: Vegan Style

For over 45 years, the Chicago Diner has been inspiring popular dishes that have become iconic in the city’s culinary scene. Their vegetarian and vegan options redefined what it means to indulge in comfort food while being mindful of dietary restrictions. In this recipe article, we’ll share with you the recipe for one of their most famous dishes – the Chicago Diner Burger.

This burger is the perfect example of how a vegetarian burger doesn’t have to compromise on taste and texture. It’s flavorful, juicy, and packed with plant-based protein, making it a great option for both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.

We’ve included some substitutions and variations in case you want to customize the recipe to your taste preferences. We will also provide tips on how to achieve perfect results every time. Plus, we’ll share some ideas on how to serve and pair this burger, including make-ahead instructions for those busy weeknights.

So, whether you’re a long-time fan of the Chicago Diner or looking for a vegetarian burger recipe that won’t disappoint, this recipe is one you don’t want to miss!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicago Diner Burger
Chicago Diner Burger

Look no further than the Chicago Diner Burger recipe if you’re searching for a delicious, meatless burger. The Chicago Diner, established over 45 years ago, has inspired many popular vegan and vegetarian restaurants across the city. This recipe is a perfect reflection of their passion for culinary artistry.

This vegan burger is created with black bean patties made of red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and celery combined with old-fashioned oats and whole wheat flour to make them hold together. The addition of spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper gives it an irresistible flavor that will have you craving for more. Low-sodium soy sauce adds a perfect amount of savoriness to the dish without being overwhelming.

Not only is the Chicago Diner Burger recipe vegan-friendly, but it’s also incredibly healthy. It’s jam-packed with high-quality protein and fiber that will keep you full all day. Whole wheat flour provides essential vitamins and minerals that improve digestion while adding nutritional value to your meal.

Plus, the recipe is suitable for all dietary restrictions since you can substitute any ingredients as per your preference. Whether you are looking for gluten-free options or want to make it entirely soy-free, this recipe can be tailored to your needs.

To sum up, the Chicago Diner Burger recipe serves Chicago style wings made with seitan recipe that goes perfectly well with spicy crispy coffee pancakes or breakfast lunch. You’ll adore this veggie burger because it’s healthier than traditional BBQ-style wings and uses entirely meat-free recipes from the Chicago Diner Cookbook Meat-Free Recipes New Chicago. Not to mention, the vegan cinnamon rolls are also fantastic!

Ingredient List

 Sink your teeth into this plant-powered Chicago classic!
Sink your teeth into this plant-powered Chicago classic!

Here’s everything you’ll need for the mouth-watering Chicago Diner Burger recipe:

For the Burgers:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat or all-purpose)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Ground black pepper to taste

For the Garlic Mayo:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

For the Cajun Spice Mix:

  • 2 teaspoons paprika_
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder _
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder_
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme _
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper _

Note: You may substitute the black beans for any other type of bean you prefer.

The Recipe How-To

 A juicy, flavorful patty that will satisfy any burger craving.
A juicy, flavorful patty that will satisfy any burger craving.

For those who are craving a hearty, flavorful burger with a plant-based twist, this Chicago Diner Burger recipe will not disappoint. The simple ingredients and easy steps make it a breeze to create, making it a perfect option for vegans, vegetarians or meat-eaters who want to try something different.


  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 1/2 of an onion diced


  1. First, using a food processor or fork, mash the black beans till they are well blended but not too smooth.
  2. Sauté the finely chopped mushrooms in olive oil with diced onions and garlic until the mushrooms are cooked properly.
  3. Add the sautéed mushrooms to the mashed black beans along with old-fashioned oats, low sodium soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and ground black pepper.
  4. Next, add in the diced onions and celery into the mix as well. Mix all ingredients together until well-blended.
  5. Take around a golf ball size of mixture and flatten it into patties of about half-inch thickness.
  6. Heat up a non-stick skillet with some olive oil over medium heat.
  7. Cook the burger patties for around 4-5 minutes on each side.
  8. Place on buns along with lettuce, tomato slices (optional), vegan mayonnaise or ketchup of choice.

This recipe makes around four delicious burgers that are packed full of flavor you would expect from a diner. Serve it up hot and watch your friends and family enjoy every bite with delight.

Pro Tip: Want to take it up a notch? Try adding some spicy crispy maitake mushroom pieces to your burger to give that extra meaty texture that tastes right off the grill!

Substitutions and Variations

 Say goodbye to boring veggie burgers, and hello to a mouthwatering delight!
Say goodbye to boring veggie burgers, and hello to a mouthwatering delight!

If you are looking for ways to mix up this delicious Chicago Diner Burger Recipe, there are plenty of ingredient substitutions and variations you can try.

For a gluten-free option, simply swap out the whole wheat flour and oats with gluten-free flour and certified gluten-free oats. Additionally, you can use portobello mushrooms instead of black beans to create a mouth-watering mushroom burger.

For those who prefer meat, you can still enjoy the diner-style burger by replacing the black beans with lean ground beef or turkey. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using ground bison or even wild boar for a unique twist.

To add some heat to your burger, consider adding some finely diced jalapeños in place of red peppers. You could also switch up the spices by adding cumin or cayenne pepper for a smoky or spicy kick.

For those who prefer a vegan cheese alternative, there are a variety of vegan cheese options available at most grocery stores. A slice of melted vegan cheese can bring your burger to life.

If you want a low-carb bun alternative, try wrapping it in a lettuce wrap instead. With this simple swap, you can keep all your favorite toppings without sacrificing the iconic “burger” taste.

Overall, this recipe is incredibly versatile and can be customized to fit anyone’s dietary needs or preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it uniquely yours!

Serving and Pairing

 This burger is so good, it will make you forget it's vegan.
This burger is so good, it will make you forget it’s vegan.

When it comes to serving the Chicago Diner burger, there are endless possibilities. This vegan burger is so flavorful and hearty that it can stand up to any type of bun, toppings or condiments. However, there are some classic pairings that we highly recommend.

First off, a toasted brioche bun is always a great choice, but you can also opt for ciabatta, whole wheat or even a lettuce wrap for a low-carb option. Then pile on the toppings – think avocado slices, caramelized onions, crispy lettuce and juicy tomato slices. And of course, don’t forget about the vegan cheese! Go for a classic cheddar or try something more experimental like pepper jack or smoked gouda.

For condiments, vegan mayonnaise is a must-have, but you can also add ketchup, mustard, hot sauce or barbecue sauce for some extra zest. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even whip up your own homemade Thousand Island dressing for a vegan twist on the classic burger condiment.

When it comes to pairing the Chicago Diner burger with drinks and sides, the possibilities are endless. For a classic diner experience, go for an ice-cold soda or milkshake made with vegan ice cream. If you want to elevate your meal, try pairing the burger with a craft beer or red wine.

As for sides, crispy french fries are always a winning choice, but you could also try sweet potato fries or onion rings for some variety. A side salad with fresh greens and vibrant veggies is also a great option to balance out the richness of the burger.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair your Chicago Diner burger, one thing is for sure – it will be an unforgettable culinary experience worthy of the iconic diner that inspired it.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready for a burger experience that will blow your mind!
Get ready for a burger experience that will blow your mind!

The Chicago Diner Burger recipe is a perfect make-ahead meal. You can prepare the patties and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. Make sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap to prevent drying out or absorbing any odors from other foods in the fridge.

If you want to prepare a bigger batch of patties and have leftovers, you can also freeze them for up to three months. Put each patty in an individual airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Label each container appropriately so that you know what’s inside and when you made it.

When it’s time to cook, remove the patties from the fridge or freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before cooking. This will ensure even cooking and prevent the center of the patty from being cold when served.

Reheating the Chicago Diner Burger patties is simple. You can microwave them on high for 30 seconds per patty or reheat them in a skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side until they’re heated through.

For storing and reheating leftover toppings like caramelized onions or sautéed mushrooms, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat in a skillet as needed.

By following these make-ahead, storing, and reheating tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the delicious flavors of the iconic Chicago Diner Burger anytime, anywhere!

Tips for Perfect Results

Making the perfect burger requires more than just following a recipe. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results with the Chicago Diner Burger Recipe:

1. Use fresh ingredients: Make sure that all the ingredients, especially the vegetables, are fresh and not wilted. This will ensure that your burger is flavorful and full of nutrients.

2. Don’t overmix the ingredients: When preparing the patty, mix the ingredients just enough to combine them without overworking the mixture. Overmixing can result in tough and chewy burgers.

3. Keep the patties chilled: After forming the patties, refrigerate them for at least an hour before cooking. This will help keep them firm and prevent them from falling apart on the grill or stove.

4. Cook over medium heat: While you might be tempted to cook your burger over high heat to get a nice sear, medium heat is actually best for evenly cooked patties. Cooking over high heat can result in burned outsides and raw insides.

5. Flip once: Resist the urge to flip your burger more than once. Flipping it frequently can cause it to lose its juiciness and become dry.

6. Toast the buns: Toasted buns can take your burger to a whole new level by adding a crunch and enhancing flavors.

7. Let it rest: After removing your burgers from the heat, allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help redistribute the juices throughout the patty, resulting in a more flavorful and juicy burger.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make restaurant-worthy Chicago Diner Vegan Burgers in the comfort of your own home!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Chicago Diner Burger recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves burgers and wants to try something new. Not only is it vegan and healthy, but it’s also packed with flavor and texture that are sure to satisfy even the biggest meat-lovers out there. With the combination of juicy mushrooms, hearty old fashioned oats, and savory spices like garlic and onion powder, this burger elevates the flavors of your average bean burger and takes it to new heights.

What makes this recipe even more special is its roots in the iconic Chicago Diner restaurant. For 45 years, this diner has been inspiring popular meat-free recipes that have become staples in veggie-friendly restaurants all over the country. By trying out this recipe yourself, you’re not only getting a tasty meal but also supporting the long-standing traditions and values of one of Chicago’s famous restaurants.

So why not give this recipe a try? Whether you’re an experienced vegetarian or someone who wants to experiment with a delicious plant-based dish, the Chicago Diner Burger recipe is worth adding to your repertoire. From its satisfying texture to its rich taste, it’s sure to become one of your go-to burger recipes for years to come.

Chicago Diner Burger

Chicago Diner Burger Recipe

Vegetarian burger just like the meat burger in the Windy City. Its great with Red Pepper Aioli (recipe included).
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Easy, Grains, Vegan
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 burgers
Calories: 260.1kcal



  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Red Pepper Aioli

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • Bring 4 cups water, celery, onion, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to a boil in a pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in oats, mushrooms and flour and cook 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and chill.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F; coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape mixture into patties and bake on prepared baking sheet for 15 minutes. Flip and bake 10 more minutes. Cool.
  • Heat grill to medium-high. place foil on grill and coat with cooking spray. Grill burgers on foil for 7 minutes per side. Serve.
  • Red Pepper Ailoi:
  • Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Your own notes


Serving: 135g | Calories: 260.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.9g | Protein: 7.2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 3.6mg | Sodium: 357.7mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2.9g