Chicago Diner Burgers Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Chicago Diner Burgers

Vegetarians in the Windy City flock to the Chicago Diner for burgers that have a truly meaty taste. We added a step—baking them in the oven—and grilled them on foil so they would get a smoky taste without sticking to the grill. Serve with Red Pepper Aioli.  



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3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 ¼ cups)
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1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
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¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
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2 tsp. onion powder
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2 tsp. garlic powder
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½ tsp. ground black pepper
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3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
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12 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
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½ cup whole-wheat flour


  1. 1. Bring 4 cups water, celery, onion, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to a boil in pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in oats, mushrooms, and flour, and cook 5 minutes more. Transfer to bowl, and chill.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape mixture into 8 patties, and bake on prepared baking sheet 15 minutes. Flip, and bake 10 minutes more. Cool.
  3. 3. Heat grill to medium-high. Place foil on grill, and coat with cooking spray. Grill burgers on foil 7 minutes per side.

Nutrition Information: 

9 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
0 g
32 g
0 mg
289 mg
5 g
3 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

I agree. This makes a ton of burgers. I was not impressed with this recipe. I followed it to a T and the burgers did not hold together well. They do have a meaty texture, they're more like sloppy joes.

I agree with the other commenters. This recipe made a ton of burgers and they didn't hold together well. They tasted alright, especially on a good bun with lettuce, onion, tomato, and bbq sauce but I won't be making them again.

I used mushroom broth instead of water during the first step and found that the flavour was much more "mushroomy" and enjoyable.

These are very moist, and they look meaty. I would make them again. They are, also, very flexible. I added several other ingredients.

This makes a HUGE amount of burger dough. I'd say I made more like EIGHTEEN burgers, not eight.

Can I freeze this burgers?

a real let down, I've eaten at The Chicago Diner many times and their food great, but this lacked so much taste. Wish I'd read the comments before commiting to making these.

Has anyone tried these with a gluten-free flour like chickpea flour?

This recipe is a disgrace to the Chicago Diner, and the "burgers" are appallingly bad - they taste like celery-infused oatmeal. In what world is slimy the equivalent of meaty? VT, you should remove this recipe before someone else wastes her time on it.

I actually loved these. Granted, I've never had the Chicago Diner's version, but they were super tasty. They were very sticky and a bit softer on the inside than I typically desire, so they require a lot of patience to flip,but I have a two-spatula method that works well. I opted to Broil mine for about six min per side rather than grill and enjoyed every last one of them. I got a solid dozen out of the recipe. I think next time tho I will try using cauliflower for half of the celery just to suit my personal tastes.

These were fantastic. next time I will caramelize the onions along with some carrots and the celery, adding the mushrooms till they are browned too then add fresh garlic instead of the powder. I used quick cooking oats along with just some chick pea flour. For a half batch, I got 6 nice sized patties. Browned them on the stove then threw them on the grill. Didn't fall apart or anything. I also am thinking of adding some cooked lentils for a meatier texture.

I thought these were very tasty! :) I followed the recipe to a T, and had no problem with the consistency, they were easy to flip! got 10 burgers from it.

I am an new vegetarian, and made these. Making my second batch. I really like them, and they freeze well!

I agree with other reviewers, the yield is way off. This made 16 big burgers for me. As far as texture, follow the recipe and let the batter cool completely before forming into patties and baking. The first batch I baked came out very wet and mushy, not a good texture at all. But the second batch, which sat around a bit longer since I wasn't expecting so many extra burgers, after I baked them and grilled on the stove had a very nice texture, much better than the first batch that hadn't cooled completely. If I make these again, I will try 3 cups of water instead of four and brown the vegetables before adding water to develop better flavor. I think breadcrumbs would also lend a better texture than flour. I love VT, but I often wish they had better recipe testers.