Adapted from “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery,” by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson (Celestial Arts, 2009).

These chickpea burgers are similar to a Middle Eastern falafel. But the Americanized version of falafel usually resembles carnival food: they’re often deep-fried.

Here the secret ingredient is basmati rice, which holds the chickpea mixture together and helps create a complete protein. Gently pan-seared or baked, these burgers are bountiful, healthful bites, especially good when topped with a dollop of tomato-mint chutney.

MAKE AHEAD: The baked burgers can be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. To freeze these burgers, either cooked or uncooked, stack them with parchment paper between each one, then wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Once defrosted, cooked burgers can be reheated at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, and uncooked burgers can be baked at 375 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes.

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (may substitute a 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and mixed with a spritz of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 small cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
  • Leaves from 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley, minced (1/4 cup loosely packed)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the chickpeas, salt, turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, oil and lemon juice in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the rice, bell pepper and parsley.

Moisten your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to them, then shape the mixture into seventeen 1/4-inch-thick patties about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the patties start to look crisp on the outside. They will firm up as they cool.

VARIATION: For a crispy burger, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

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  1. This looks fantastic. A burger can’t get any healthier than this 🙂

  2. These look wonderful, Monica! Can’t wait to share, and try! 🙂

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