Herbed Rice & Sunflower Seed Burgers
5 from 1 vote

Herbed Rice & Sunflower Seed Burgers | The Full HelpingHi, friends! Week one of summer work/class insanity is officially over, and another is about to start. Phew! It’s hectic, but so far, so good. It was a joy to come home a little earlier than expected on Friday, and have time to throw together a freshly made, nutrient-dense salad of the week:

That would be leftover quinoa, chopped raw veggies (celery, carrots, corn) and leftover roast beets over massaged kale, all topped with some avocado chunks. How refreshing, too, to eat a meal that wasn’t sitting in tupperware.

It’s Sunday now, and as I gear up for another long week, portable and packable meals are at the forefront of my mind. There are plenty of packaged foods that I rely on when I’m super busy. One happens to be sunshine burgers, which are an incredibly tasty and allergen-free vegan burger. Made from rice and sunflower seeds, they’re rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, so they’re satiating and excellent for life on the go.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about making a similar burger at home, with a rice and sunflower seed base and a few personalized touches. This weekend, I finally did it, and I’m happy to say that they turned out really nicely! Of course I’ll still invest in store-bought burgers when times are hectic; sometimes, the DIY approach isn’t worth it if it means having less time to rest or see friends or do nourishing activities that don’t transpire in the kitchen. But I’m happy to have made, and frozen, a bunch of these for on-the-go meals this week. Here’s the recipe.

Herbed Rice & Sunflower Seed Burgers | The Full Helping

5 from 1 vote

Herbed Rice & Sunflower Seed Burgers

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion (1 small onion, yellow or white)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax meal
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2-3 tablespoons water


  • Preheat your oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Heat the onion in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and clear and the carrots are tender (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook all ingredients for another minute, stirring as you go. Remove the vegetables from heat.
  • Place the sunflower seeds into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Grind the sunflower seeds until they're coarsely ground. Add the rice, cooked vegetables, flax, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Add two tablespoons of the water. Pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture is evenly incorporated and clumping together. If the mixture is very dry, add another tablespoon of water and keep pulsing.
  • Shape the mixture into 6 burgers. Transfer them to a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through, or until the burgers are browning. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Herbed Rice & Sunflower Seed Burgers | The Full Helping

I love to serve these on a toasted, sprouted english muffin or hamburger bun, topped with ketchup or hummus! Caramelized onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles are lovely garnishes, too. Same with a bit of melted vegan cheese.

Best thing about these burgers, at least if you dwell solo? They’re easy to freeze. In fact, in true planning mode, I put two patties aside for the week ahead, and froze the rest. They should keep in the freezer for about 6 weeks. I’ll be eating mine sooner 😉

Today is going to be another long one. It’s also my birthday! 🙂 I’ve got to work late, so I don’t have any celebration plans to speak of. But I did take the time to celebrate over the weekend in the form of dinner and juice dates with dear friends, and last night, I celebrated with a vegan dinner at Josie’s and some blissfully lazy snuggling on my mother’s sofa. Which is my kinda celebration. 28 years–crazy!


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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes
Ingredients: Rice
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep

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  1. I wish there was one of those handy little print buttons on this recipe! I don’t see one, and I’d love to print this out so I can give it a try.

    • Hi Kristen! I’m working very slowly on getting all of my old recipes formatted properly for print. So sorry this one hasn’t made it yet, but over time all the recipes will be!

  2. have you ever considered using quinoa instead of brown rice? how do you think it would turn out? Maybe not sticky enough? what kind of brown rice do you use (long, basmati etc)?

    • Hi Susie!

      For this recipe, I’d use the rice because it’s a much better binder. Quinoa can be a little feckless in burger recipes πŸ™‚ I use brown basmati or short grain brown rice.


  3. I thought id toss this into the mix. I followed directions but for some reason the ingredients didn’t bond together so well. so I got a little innovative and through in
    two egg whites and just about a half a cup of oats, rolled em into medium sized balls
    sat them on the backers sheet and pressed them into perfect burgers. They were
    better than store bought. So on the next batch I got daring and added ground mixed
    nuts and some raisins. next I’m going to add diced apples to the mix… Happy eating

  4. I made the Sunshine Burgers today minus the Herbamare seasoning and they were not bad- I used organic Pizza sauce as the topping(my ketchup)- I look forward to making the raw sunshine burgers – but Mucho Gracias for the vegan one- I will make them again

  5. This recipe worked out GREAT! Thank you for putting this together! I love Sunshine burgers but we do not buy them often due to price and availability. Just had these for dinner. My seventeen month old put everything into the processor and was in charge of pulsing. The outside was crisp and the inside a little “under cooked”, but we were baking other things at the same time. Thank you, again!

  6. Ps. I’ve actually shortened the time the burgers spend in the dehydrator. When it’s in for too long, it tastes more like a falafel and less of a burger. So I keep it in the dehydrator at 80degrees for about 15 mins. The burgers get warm enough and crispy enough to resemble a real burger, but it still remains soft inside (and most if the flavor is retained!)

    Karen, I followed the recipe proportions to the letter (except for a few substitutions) and then put the patties in the fridge before dehydrating them. I think putting them in the fridge helped them hold it’s shape so mine didn’t crumble!

  7. I just made the RAW burgers for lunch… Substituted baby spinach leaves for the celery (that’s what I had) and used braggs amino acid instead of Nama shoyu, and a dash of Cajun seasoning for some spice + no-salt salt! I couldn’t stop licking my fingers after making the patties and I scraped the mixing bowl clean! So tasty! Its sitting in our dehydrator now just waiting to get devoured! Thanks for the recipe- I’ll def be making this again πŸ™‚

  8. Hiya

    The sunshine burgers completely crumbled after baking (even though they taste great)!
    I followed the recipe verbatim
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Ahhh Sunshine burgers are my favorite! Cannot wait to try this recipe once I am reunited with my food processor next month!!

  10. You are a genius! Seriously. I have never had Sunshine burgers and I don’t think I ever will considering how good these are. As I write this, I’m actually eating one! They’re *that* good that I knew I had to write you right away. Maybe I’m a bit late to hop on the train, but I can assure you I won’t be getting off anytime soon. It’s amazing how just a few simple ingredients taste better than anything else. The only changes I made were to add a pinch of oregano and thyme because I didn’t have the seasoning that you use. Anyway, thank you again for such a great recipe.

    Have a lovely day!

  11. Thanks so much, finally a recipe for cooked AND raw sunshine burgers, such a gift, tried it right away. The coconut oil makes it smell like real meat or at least something yummy in my kid’s opinion.

  12. the cooked sunshine burger was a hit!! i sauteed the veggies and garlic first before combining with the seed/rice mixture and i also added some dried chive and rosemary. absolutely delicious! ovens may vary, but my burgers needed almost 45 minutes to achieve the right consistency. thank you so much for one of my new favorite recipes! can’t wait to try the raw version!

  13. Gena – Amazing! I made both the raw and cooked burgers. My husband said the cooked burgers (he didn’t try the raw ones) were outstanding! This comes from a man who says almost everything is “fair”. We have decided not to buy frosen veggie burgers from CostCo and make these and freeze them. Thanks so much!

  14. Hey Gena!

    Just popped these in the dehydrator! … I was wondering.. are they supposed to be chewy and sort of wet in the middle? Or dense like store bought sunshine burgers? The dough was yummy too though, I just HAD to try it ;]

  15. Happy Happy Birthday! To my fellow Gemini friend.

    I love your breakfast. Strawberries make everything look so pretty.

    I used to eat TONS of sunshine burgers. I would love to try the raw ones. Thank you for making both versions, I am sure it was a lot of work but you will please double the people!

  16. Sunshine burgers are a staple in my freezer – Yummy recipes, can’t wait to try them πŸ™‚

    Happy belated birthday πŸ™‚

  17. Wow, both of those recipes look fabulous! I would love to try making raw veggie burgers.

  18. Happy Belated Birthday!

    The parfait looks completely yummy. Going to try making that a.s.a.p.!

  19. Happy birthday one day late, Gena! Thank you for all you share with your readers!

  20. Both versions sound fab to me. I’ll definitely be hanging onto and trying both of these recipes in the very near future. Tis backyard BBQ season after all, and it’s nice to have some healthy options to take along when invited by friends and family.

    Happy Birthday, my fellow Gemini girl. May your year be filled with beauty, love, and laughter.


  21. Hope you get some more celebrations in again soon Gena – happy birthday!

    Casey xxoo

  22. Happy Birthday Gena!

    The burgers and parfait look great. Really, really great…. *drool*

  23. So I saw your pudding, lept up from my laptop, and made a chocolate version of chia seed pudding of my own.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    And just the other day, the boyfriend asked, “Can you make your own veggie burgers?” I’m obviously a very bad veggie girlfriend that I’ve never made my own. But now I will!

    Thanks again!


  24. Those burgers have given me one mean pregnancy-craving. I must whip some up tomorrow! I love Ani’s burgers and these look just as scrumptious. Thank you for sharing the recipes!

    Happy Birthday!!

  25. Ooh! Major Sunshine burger fan here! I fell in love after VeggieGirl recommended them:) Anyway this recipe will surely save me some $$.

  26. gena!! happy birthday. hope you had a great one, you deserve it.

    ” I’m also my most happy when I can prepare foods from scratch, and whip up meals from raw materials ” – this is exactly how i feel, and i’m inspired by this blog most of all to whip up meals from raw materials.

    i love that you keep a dinner plate in your office!

  27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL!!! I hope you had a wonderful day because you deserve it!!! Burgers looks awesome, I need to get around to making some of these soon πŸ™‚

    Sending lots of xoxo your way.

  28. the burgers look wonderful! i totally want to try yours instead of buying them… since they cost a freak’n fortune!

    and happy birthday beautiful!!!

  29. Happy Birthday, Gena!!!!!!!! Sorry i am a day late, trying to show off my muscles LOL and pack has had me slammed. Ok, so you are still a young’in. Not even 30 and all this greatness you have accomplished. Keep on changing the world, one sunshine burger at a time! Which btw, look fab and i dont even “go for” that type of thing. I do make something called “raw vegan taco nut meat” that i’ve blogged about which you can turn into patties as desired but i mainly make it to impress beef-eating men or company LOL. I mean i like it too but i prefer that strawberry parfait of yours!

    Ok i am moving back home to San Diego at 7am tomrrow. Not sure what rest of week or so commenting will be so if i am MIA, you know i am sending you good vibes and bday wishes πŸ™‚

    lotsa love!

  30. Happy Happy Happy birthday Gena!!!

    I’ve been experimenting with homemade veg burgers but most kind of fail or fall apart – I’ll have to give yours a shot!

  31. This is way better than anything store-bought! you’re awesome with making things!

  32. Happy birthday! I have wanted to make vegan burgers since grilling season began but no recipe “spoke to me.” I just whipped these burgers up (needed to add about 1/4 cup cooked quinoa because I didn’t quite have a cup of brown rice.) They are chilling in the fridge before hitting the grill tonight. They made perfect paddies. Can’t wait to taste ’em!

  33. I think you share a birthday with my son (his is today, June 7 – your post is dated June 6, but I think “today” in your post is June 7, no?). Happy birthday either way. From one Gemini to another. I’ll be celebrating next Monday. With my nose to the grindstone as well.

  34. Happy birthday!!! I’m four days older than you πŸ™‚

    Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating despite work busyness xxx

  35. Auguri!
    love the burger recipes – I’m celiac, and always on the lookout for a good recipe… so many of the frozen ones & recipes have gluten in them, so I can’t wait to try yours πŸ™‚

  36. Happy happy birthday my dear! In honor of Gena day, I just ate 1/2 an avocado on millet bread. And in honor of me, that bread was smeared with cream cheese. πŸ™‚ I’m obsessed with this combo. I need to figure out how to veganize it so you can experience the flavor combo – it’s awesome.

    Nice work on these burgers – they look fab! Great for summer, and surely more delicious than average BBQ fare like Boca burgers or some nonsense like that.

  37. Happy birthday Gena, I hope the long day doesn’t wear you out too much and you’re still able to enjoy your special day. Thanks for the burger recipe! I just got Ani Phyo’s cookbook and made her raw burgers the other day (in my oven on warm because I am sans dehydrator) and I’d love to add another raw burger to my repertoire!

  38. Those burgers look so delicious, i can’t wait to make one!!! And happy bday by the way Gena!! my best wishes for you!

  39. Happy Birthday Gena! I hope you have a wonderful day!

    those sunshine burgers look unbelievable! yum.

  40. Happy, happy birthday!!! I hope you have a lovely one!

    Ahhh, sunshine burgers are my favorite– I tried to make some homemade ones, but they tasted nothing like the original! Yours look really close– I’ll have to give it a try!

  41. Both the recipes look terrific! I’m a big fan of Ani’s burgers.

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday, my friend!

  42. Happy Happy Birthday sweet, smart, sassy Gena!! Wow, all of this food porn looks amazing! I love, love, love Sunshine Burgers and will definitely be attempting your cooked version this summer. And heck, if one of these days I get around to splurging on a dehydrator, I’ll certainly attempt the raw ones. Speaking of Sunshine Burgers, have you tried the falafel flavored ones? Holy yum is all can I say. Throw some homemade hummus on it and you’re good to go. Have a wonderful birthday!

  43. Happy Birthday! Best wishes for the year ahead… I’ve never commented before, but I’ve enjoyed your blog and all of your creative and insightful posts since (almost) the beginning. In fact, yours is one of the (very few) blogs I read with any consistency, as it is so well written. Thanks for this post too… can’t wait to try making these burgers!

  44. happy birthday lady! Both burgers look and sound delicious so I will have to try them out soon. They sound like both amy’s bistro burgers and sunshine burgers, my two faves!

  45. Happy Birthday Gena!! The burgers look AMAZING! I will definitely be trying them. Have a great week. πŸ™‚

  46. First, let me wish you Happy Birthday!

    I’m very pleased with this 2 versions of burgers. It’s been a while since I had a burger (couldn’t find one without non-organic soy at my grocery store). And guess what? I just found that my mini-oven have a rear fan, and that I can adjust the temperature to below 150F. This really makes me all excited to try dehydrator food in it!

  47. Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

    The SB recipes are great, but that agave mustard dressing also looks like something special! I searched your recipes but couldn’t find one for it … could you please tell us how to make it?

    Thank you!

      • Thank you Gena! Who would have ever imagined that agave mustard was . . . mustard with agave! LOL! Everyone but me, I guess! ha ha

  48. Happy Birthday! I hope it’s a great day! Thanks for the burger recipes, can’t wait to try both!

  49. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY GENA! Can’t wait to try and make those burgers for a decent-sized meal πŸ™‚

  50. OH my goodness! I’m making these asap!!! They look soo good!

  51. Happy birthday, Gena! Those burgers look great- I can’t wait to try them. Enjoy your day!

  52. Okay, we are like food soul mates! Hello, HOMEMADE SUNSHINE BURGERS? You are my God! I will be making both, and picking up some Herbamare!

    Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday to you, Dear Gena!!!! Have a wonderful one!! XOXOXOXOXO

  53. Happy birthday Gena! Thanks for the yummy sunshine burgers. It is sunny here (up north somewhere in Canada) and I will make some today for sure.

  54. Happy Birthday, dearest Gena πŸ™‚

    May your day be filled with chocolate (or something else as sweet as you)

  55. Happy Birthday! Your vegan overnight oats look splendid. And those sunshine burgers are genius. I love how the agave mustard dressing looks like cheese, I did a SERIOUS double take.

  56. I will definitely make those burgers – they look fabulous.

    And a very happy birthday to you! Have a great time at Josie’s! πŸ˜€

  57. Hey, congratulations and happy birthday! Hope you’ll have a lovely monday! =D

  58. Happy birthday! Inventive recipe, but I’m an old SB fan- would rather stick to the packaged ones out of my own stubbornness and convenience. πŸ™‚

  59. Happy birthday Gena! Have a great and thank you for a fabu recipe (gee it’s your birthday and we get the treat)