Smoky, Spicy, Sweet Vegan Cheeseburger Recipe

A Fun Foodie First

My first original recipe posting is here! For an audition I went to last week, I had to come prepared with a meatless cheeseburger recipe. I decided to go full in and develop a fully vegan cheeseburger recipe. I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone—and come up with something I was happy enough with I could share it on my blog. So, here we have it. I must say, that as an omnivore I was very impressed with the outcome of this dish—both times I made it. Yes, I’ve eaten 4 of these burgers within a week!

Smoky and Sweet Vegan Cheeseburger Recipe

Beyond delicious…

Beyond delicious…


Caramelized Onions

  • 1 Medium-Large Red or Yellow Onion

  • 2-3 Strips of Tempeh Bacon

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (depending on the size of your onion)

  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Spicy Vegan Mayo

  • 2 Tablespoons Veganaise

  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

Vegan Cheeseburger

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Lemon

  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Podwer

  • 2 Vegan Burger Patties

  • 2 T Olive Oil, divided if using a pan or skillet, cooking spray if using a grill

  • 2 Sesame Seed Buns

  • 2 slices Vegan Cheddar

Pretty purple half-moons

Pretty purple half-moons



  1. Peel the onion and cut in half then slice each half to get even crescent slices.

  2. In a medium-sized pan, heat your oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add your onions, stir and break up until they’re coated with the olive oil. Cover and let cook until medium-dark brown, stirring frequently. 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your onion.

  3. While the onions are caramelizing, chop up or crumble the tempeh bacon and set aside. Stir the mayo and hot sauce in a small bowl until combined, and set aside.

  4. When the onions are browned, remove the cover, add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, then add the tempeh bacon pieces and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook until coated and browned, about 3 more minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Vegan Cheeseburger

  1. Combine the dried lemon and garlic powder to create a seasoning blend.

  2. Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of the patties so that they’re covered evenly.

  3. Over medium-high heat add half of the olive oil or spray to your grill/pan/skillet and toast your buns to get a nice crispiness on the insides of them, then set them aside.

  4. Turn the heat up slightly under the same grill/pan/skillet and add the rest of your oil or cooking spray. Cook the burger patties for 3 minutes on each side.

  5. While your burgers are cooking, add the spicy mayo to the bottom buns. And when you’ve flipped the patties, top them with the cheese slices and cover them with a lid.

  6. When they’re finished cooking, put your patties on their bun bottoms, then add your onion-tempeh bacon mixture over the cheese and top ‘em off with those seeded bun tops.

  7. Enjoy with your favorite chips or other side dish!

Piling it on!

Piling it on!


Make sure you don’t overcook these burgers. There is no animal protein in them, so all you will do is dry them out and add an unpleasant aftertaste if you do. So—remember the red is not blood, and it won’t drip down your chin—but the caramelized onions and tempeh might!

Super Veggie-forward lunchtime!

Super Veggie-forward lunchtime!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe or put your own spin on it. Also—if you’d like me to keep posting recipes like this. And if you post a pic on social media be sure to tag @FunFoodieNYC!