This easy Tofu Burger Patties recipe is the vegan version of the popular German style meatballs, also called ‘Frikadellen’ or ‘Buletten’. The meatless patties are crispy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside, flavorful and as delicious as grandma’s traditional ones!
Easy Vegan Tofu Patties
These German vegan meatballs are super quick and easy to make with healthy ingredients. Not only are they high in protein, healthy and low in fat, but they also have the perfect consistency and can be made gluten-free too. Thanks to the addition of fried onions, roasted garlic, mustard and some spices, they are super hearty and flavorful – just like the classic meatballs from grandma!
You can either quickly cook these vegan meatballs in a pan or bake them in the oven until crispy or even grill them on the grill. Serve the tofu patties with crispy pan-fried potatoes, potato salad, or on a burger bun and you have a delicious, healthy, meatless meal that will keep your whole family full and satisfied!
What are Frikadellen?
Classic German Frikadellen are pan-fried meat patties made of ground meat, also known as “Fleischpflanzerl” or “Buletten.” They are easy to make, require only a few simple ingredients, and are always a hit! However, there are also many ways to make traditional meatballs without meat. Seasoned with sautéed onions, roasted garlic and flavorful spices, these vegan tofu burger patties are super tasty!
German Vegan Meatballs
For my meatless Frikadellen version, I used tofu as a meat substitute since it’s available everywhere and quite inexpensive. There are many options what you can do with this vegan tofu meat mixture. You can shape it into small tofu burger patties to serve with your favorite dips or into big hamburger patties to serve on a homemade burger bun with delicious burger sauce – it’s up to you! Aside from that, you can adjust the recipe to your liking by adding grated carrots or other vegetables, different seasonings like soy sauce, ginger, etc. if you prefer another flavor.
What can you use instead of tofu?
Instead of tofu, you can use store-bought vegan ground beef from the refrigerated section. Kidney beans, black beans or other beans as well as lentils are also a good meat alternative. You could also combine different legumes with tofu or vegan ground beef and create your own mince meat alternative for your patties.
What is the best binder for meatballs?
Although an egg is usually added into classic or vegetarian recipes, the main binding agent for meatballs is actually bread rolls soaked in milk. Soaking bread makes it soft and soggy, so you can easily mix it into the vegan mince. However, it not only provides a good binding, but also makes the meatballs softer, while the remaining breadcrumbs absorb the excess moisture.
What are tofu burgers made of?
- Bread Rolls: or white bread. Use gluten-free bread if needed.
- Soy milk: unsweetened and lukewarm for soaking the bread.
- Tofu: use both plain and smoked tofu for flavorful patties.
- Onion: very finely chopped.
- Mustard: I use medium hot yellow mustard, but you can also use another type like Dijon mustard.
- Paprika powder: or chili powder if you like the meatballs a little spicier.
- Marjoram: or any other dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc.
- Breadcrumbs: gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed, or sub oat flour as an alternative.
- Parsley: fresh and chopped.
- Salt and black pepper: to taste.
- Vegetable oil: for frying such as canola oil or sunflower oil.
How to make Vegan Tofu Patties
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make the vegan meat mixture
First, cut the bread into rough pieces and soak in soy milk for about 5 minutes. Then squeeze it out well.
Meanwhile, press both types of tofu dry with paper towels, finely chop in a food processor, and then place in a bowl. Add chopped onions, mustard, paprika powder, marjoram, breadcrumbs, parsley, some salt, pepper and the soaked roll. Knead everything with your hands into a mixture that holds together well.
Step 2: Shape patties and fry them
Form about 15 patties from the tofu mixture, or more or less, depending on the size you want. Heat some oil in a frying pan or non-stick skillet and fry the patties for about 5-6 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Done!
What goes well with veggie patties?
You can serve these tofu patties with many side dishes like fried potatoes, potato salad, potato gratin as well as various dips like aioli, ketchup, hummus, guacamole, herb dip and much more! Meatballs are also always delicious on mashed potatoes with creamy mushroom sauce. Or simply put them on bread or on a bun and enjoy as a sandwich or burger.
How to store and freeze tofu burgers?
You can store leftover vegan meatballs in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Then simply reheat briefly in the microwave, skillet or oven or eat them cold.
The unfried tofu patties can also be frozen. When needed, simply take them out of the freezer and cook them straight from frozen in a pan or oven.
This vegan tofu patties recipe is:
- Plant-based, meat-free
- Vegan, vegetarian
- Very delicious
- Ideal to make ahead
- Perfect as a side dish for lunch or dinner!
More recipes for vegan snacks like burger patties and nuggets
- Quinoa Patties
- Lentil Patties
- Spinach Potato Cakes
- Zucchini Corn Fritters
- Sweet Potato Falafel
- Vegan Cevapcici
- Tofu Nuggets
- Broccoli Cheese Tots
- Bean Burger
- Pumpkin Quinoa Burger
- Veggie Beet Burger
- … you can also try my German Vegan Königsberger Klopse!
If you try this easy veggie burgers recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your tofu patties and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Have fun trying them out 🙂 .
Easy Tofu Burger Patties - Vegan German MeatballsAuthor:
- 1 (80 g) bread roll or white bread, gluten-free if needed
- some unsweetened soy milk lukewarm for soaking
- 7 oz (200 g) natural firm tofu see note for alternatives
- 7 oz (200 g) smoked tofu alternatives see note
- 1 onion very finely chopped
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp marjoram
- ⅓ cup (50 g) breadcrumbs gluten-free if needed
- ½ bunch parsley chopped salt and pepper (to taste)
- vegetable oil for frying
To serve (optional)
- pan-fried potatoes
- vegan aioli
- fresh parsley
*Note: Feel free to check out the recipe video and step-by-step pictures above!
- Chop the bread roll into rough pieces and place in a bowl. Cover with lukewarm soy milk and allow to soak for about 5 minutes. Then squeeze out well to remove any excess liquid.
- Meanwhile, press both types of tofu very dry using paper towels. Add to a food processor, process until crumbly and transfer to a bowl. Add chopped onions, mustard, paprika powder, marjoram, breadcrumbs, parsley, some salt, pepper and the soaked bread roll. Knead everything with your hands to form a mixture that holds together well.
- Form about 15 patties of 1.5 oz (45 g) each, or more/less depending on desired size.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs for about 5-6 minutes per side until golden brown and crisp.
- Tofu alternative: Instead of tofu, you can use 14 oz (400 g) of store-bought vegan ground beef from the refrigerated section. Beans or lentils are also a good alternative. You can also combine different legumes with tofu or vegan mince to create your own vegan ground meat mixture.
- Gluten-free: you can also use a gluten-free light bread roll or white bread and gluten-free breadcrumbs, or sub oat flour.
- Oven: You can also grill the meatballs or brush with a little oil and bake in a preheated oven at 392 °F (200 °C) for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- More information on the recipe, including make ahead, storing and freezing notes, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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