Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Vegetarian Burger

July 6, 2017

This post is sponsored by Sahadi’s

Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Vegetarian Burger | Vegan and Vegetarian Recipe | | Sponsored

Food access is important in my line of work. Well, if you love food, regardless of the type of work you do, it’s important. But when you are tasked to make specific foods or need to photograph a certain ingredient, you have to find it. 

I’m the first one to admit that regularly accessing what I need isn’t always easy around here. Of course, this comes after spending 10 years in the surprisingly excellent local food scene of Central Kentucky, and then a few more years in the Bay Area. Which, I mean, come on. What can’t you find in the Bay Area? 

Internet shopping for groceries is not only a fun pastime these days, it’s often a necessity. 


Vegan Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Burger Recipe | | Sponsored

Finding a new source to shop at online is almost as exciting as finding the exact ingredient I need. The most new-to-me spot currently? Sahadi’s in Brooklyn. This store had been around since 1948. While it is a place known to many food-focused folks, something pretty exciting happened this year. Sahadi’s was given a 2017 James Beard Foundation America’s Classic Award.

Yes, they have some great stuff. 

And now they’d like to get the word out that you don’t have to be in the Brooklyn or New York area to shop there. Nope. You can enjoy their products in places far, far away like California. 

Knowing how important online food shopping has become for me in recent years, I was happy to learn the news and gladly accepted the invitation to create a recipe with their products to help get the word out. 

After spotting their Chicken Shawarma Seasoning (love shawarma) and knowing they have a large variety of dried beans to choose from, I decided I’d try making a shawarma spiced vegetarian bean burger. I also had them send me some of their coarse ground semolina flour to help thicken the burger and their Tunisian Style Spiced Olive Mix (slightly spicy and SO good) to serve on the side. 

Plant-based Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Burger Recipe | | Sponsored

But what to do about the beans. I’ve never worked with dried fava beans before, only fresh, so it struck me as a great challenge. This just in, mini split fava beans make great bean burgers! When cooked in the pressure cooker, they break down completely to form what almost looks like a thick porridge. As it cools, it begins to resemble mashed potatoes, meaning it is easy to form into patties and they hold up well when skillet cooked to get a crunchy edge on the outside. 

Plant-based Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Burger Recipe | | Sponsored

The shawarma spice was such a great flavoring for the beans because the bit of heat it adds balances their sweetness. 

Also, a note on the beans. You will need to pre-soak them. I let mine go about 6 hours and that was enough time. Then I put them in the Instant Pot. I’d suggest a pressure cooker, but if you don’t have one, you can boil them on the stove, until fully tender. 

Fava Bean Burger | Vegan and Vegetarian Recipe | | Sponsored

These burgers are thick and hearty. I put them on a bun with red onion and tomato. I also added a cilantro mayonnaise that can easily be made vegan with a vegan mayo substitute. You can also eat them open-faced or just as they are with a salad. 

And the best part is that there is no need to worry about finding the main ingredients in your area. You can order them all from Sahadi’s. Place your order by July 31 and use the code summer17 for free shipping for my followers!

Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Vegetarian Burger Recipe | | Sponsored



Shawarma Spiced Fava Bean Vegetarian Burger

Makes 8 burgers


What you’ll need:

1 pound dried mini split fava beans, soaked 6 to 8 hours
4 cups water
1 ¼ cups coarse ground semolina flour
½ cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 ½ tablespoons Chicken Shawarma Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1 large tomato, cut into 8 slices
8 burger or sandwich buns

Cilantro mayonnaise
½ cup mayonnaise, any variety
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch fine sea salt


How to make it: 

Place the pre-soaked fava beans in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add the water. Cook on high pressure for 14 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, about 30 minutes. Stir the beans in the cooker. They should break up and become a bean mash. It will look a bit like a porridge.

Transfer to a heat safe bowl and stir in 1 cup of the semolina flour. Next stir in the onion, garlic, and the Shawarma seasoning. The beans will thicken as they begin to cool.  Let the beans cool for 15 minutes, until thick like mashed potatoes. They should be cool enough to handle, but still warm.

Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish and stir in the salt. Form the beans into 8 large patties. Add the olive oil to a large cast iron skillet. Heat on medium.

Coat the top and bottom of each burger lightly with the flour and salt mix. Place in the skillet, 4 at a time, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Place on a baking sheet covered in paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Stir together the mayonnaise ingredients. Spread the bottom of each bun with the mayo, add a bean burger, top with onion, tomato, the top bun, and serve.



Sahadi’s has been kind enough to extend free shipping until the end of July to my followers! Use the code summer17 at checkout. 

Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out.  

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  • All That I'm Eating July 14, 2017 at 5:23 am

    This looks so hearty and I really like the idea of the broken down fava beans with the spices.

    • Lori July 14, 2017 at 8:19 am

      I was thrilled with how well it turned out. I haven’t worked with favas a lot and not the split mini ones at all. They were perfect for burgers.

  • Michael Kitson July 14, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Love these photos!!

    • Lori July 14, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Thanks so much! I appreciate your comment.