Now that the kids are old enough to  give their input for the monthly meal plan, the question “What do you want for dinner?” is inevitably answered this way by at least one of them: “Burgers!”

Yeah, my boys are great eaters, but like most kids, they enjoy their burgers, pizza, and breaded comfort foods. Getting them to think outside that box can sometimes be a challenge. But I’m always working to make sure we’re branching out and continuing to expand their palates, or at least not giving up hard-gained ground. I certainly don’t mind making burgers or pizza once a month; but there has to be more to feeding a family beyond just constantly making the safe, favored dishes.

Meatless meals around here continue to be a bit of a challenge, because my boys are carnivores, through and through. We’ve got a curated collection of acceptable vegetarian options, but again, J. and I are interested in branching out (and I think it’s healthy, and important, for the boys to do so). It occurred to me at some point that if I could come up with a wholesome homemade veggie burger, I might be able to sneak a new meatless meal into our rotation AND give at least a nod to an old standby.

I’ll be honest: It’s rough going, you guys. The first time I made these, the kids were okay with them; but in subsequent dinners, they’ve been more and more annoyed about my replacement of their beloved burger with a veggie option. (It’s possible, since I’ve tested this recipe a bunch, that it’s just veggie burger fatigue that accounts for their downward spiral.) On the other hand, Loyal Husband J. — never a big veggie burger fan — has started actually requesting these. He’s loving experimenting with different toppings and enjoys having a hearty meatless meal that he can customize. So on the strength of J.’s recommendation — and my own — I’ve decided it’s time to share the recipe.

These are NOT “meat replacement” veggie burgers. They don’t taste like beef. They don’t look like beef. They’re veggie burgers, and for me, a good veggie burger shouldn’t taste like it’s trying to fool me. It shouldn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It SHOULD, however, be moist, have a well-rounded flavor of its own, and taste good on a bun with various toppings.

This veggie burger recipe hits all the requirements for me, but you can also feel free to change things up and experiment with different seasonings. I tried to keep things fairly simple, but you may prefer your burgers spicier, or with different herbs. Consider this a blank canvas that you can make your own.

Get the recipe: Roasted Veggie Burgers