Perfect Vegan-Replica L.A. Chili Burger

We all crave fast food– and, let’s be honest, sometimes we crave the absolute nastiest fast food possible– and for us vegans, a lot of the time we have to just repress these cravings and simply move on with our lives, leaving these flavors and cravings to be forever repressed into our pre-vegan pasts…

But not anymore.

Introducing, the perfect L.A.-style Fast Food Chili Burger Replica– totally plant-based, vegan, cruelty-free, and deliciously satisfying. Believe me, this burger is going to knock out the very last of your non-vegan fatty fast food cravings.

To really nail these burgers, the chili is absolutely key– and luckily, pretty simple and easy to make. Unlike a lot of my recipes, the key here really is in the simplicity, because besides the protein base, it is mostly onion, tomato paste and chili powder. And, hey, that ain’t me– that’s good ol’ American fast food.

I used a Pure Farmland Protein Starter as the protein base; and while I very rarely use pre-made plant proteins, I think that in order to really make a replica recipe like this one, the plant-based “ground beef” is key to making an experience that is just like the one you’ve been craving– and it’s all about the craving satisfaction with this recipe.

The chili shown here is using the Pure Farmland brand, and it turned out immaculate, but I also recommend Beyond Meat or Lightlife Plant-Based Ground, which can be a little more common.

This recipe is super minimal and basic, doesn’t require anything tricky or special, and doesn’t even take too long to make, so if it’s been too long since your last real fast food burger experience, get ready to totally indulge– guilt free.

Perfect Vegan-Replica L.A. Chili Burger

Prep for 20 minutes

Cooks for 25 minutes

Ready in 45 minutes

Serves 2 Burgers per Protein Starter

It’s Vegan! ✌🏻



  • Pure Farmland Protein Starter
  • Yellow Onions (2)
  • Jalapeño Pepper (1)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Sesame Seed Burger Buns


  • Olive Oil
  • Chili Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Minced Garlic or Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika


  • Dill Pickles
  • Yellow Onion
  • Yellow Mustard


If your Protein Starter is frozen, make sure it is thawed in the refrigerator before you start this recipe!


  1. Get yourself ready, and get out a large sauté pan!
  2. Place your sauté pan on low heat with an even coating of olive oil, and dice one whole Yellow Onion into large chunks and throw ‘em in your sauté pan! 
  3. Next, thinly dice one whole Jalapeño-   without coring it- and throw that in your sauté pan, too. Give it a light stir, and let the onion and jalapeño slowly begin to cook together.
  4. Cut off ⅓ of your whole Protein Starter, and then use your fingertips and palms to lightly soften it by massaging a small amount of olive oil into the protein. 
  5. When ready, place the broken off third of protein into your sauté pan with the onions and jalapeño, and turn the heat up on your sauté pan up to medium-low heat.
  6. Use a spatula or another utensil to break your protein up into crumbles as it begins to cook in the pan, and allow for the flavors of the ingredients begin to incorporate with each other. 
  7. Take a moment to open up your tomato paste, and include a full three heaping spoonfuls of tomato paste into what is now your chili base.
  8. Into this same mix, include at least three full teaspoons of Chili Powder- possibly even a little more, to taste-  and begin to incorporate.
  9. While you are incorporating the chili powder, also sprinkle in a fair amount of Salt & Pepper and just a few dashes of Minced Garlic, Onion Powder and Paprika, and incorporate those as well.
  10. Allow your chili to continue to cook on medium-low heat, while constantly lightly stirring, for just a few minutes.
  11. Turn the burner that the sauté pan is on down to low, & cover the sauté pan to allow the chili to continue to slow cook.
  12. Now, get out a large skillet and lightly coat the base with olive oil or another non-stick solution, then place your skillet on a different burner than your chili & turn it on to medium heat.
  13. The remaining ⅔ of your Protein Starter can now be broken into two even patties, which can be formed easily by lightly massaging oil into the protein with your fingers as you mold the patties with your hands.
  14. Place your patties one at a time into the skillet at least an inch apart from each other, and then use a spatula to flatten each patty slightly.
  15. Dust your patties in a light amount of Salt, Black Pepper, Chili Powder, Paprika, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder, flip ‘em, dust again, and then cover your skillet & turn up the heat to medium-high, and make sure you have enough oil in your pan so that they do not burn or stick.
  16. Now keep a watchful eye on those patties, and flip them often to ensure they don’t burn or dry out!
  17. While your burger patties are covered & cookin’, check on your chili, which should still be cooking on low on your other burner. You should just need to give it a light swirl or two, and cover it again to keep letting it slow cook.
  18. While everything is a-cookin’, take a minute or two to thick dice another whole Yellow Onion, as well as slice your pickles (if they’re not already sliced), and any other extra toppings you desire, such as tomatoes or extra jalapeño. 
  19. Check on your burger patties, as well as your chili, and make any final adjustments you need (such as seasoning adjustments, etc.) in order to make sure it’s all ready in just a few minutes! If your chili isn’t piping hot, take a second now to turn up the heat and make sure the chili is ready for serving!
  20. Place your burger buns in a toaster oven on a low setting, and let ‘em get toasty!
  21. Pull everything that’s been cooking off of heat, turn all your burners off, but keep your pans covered so it all stays nice ‘n’ hot.
  22. Move your freshly toasted burger  buns onto your serving dishes, face side-up, and put a zigzag of yellow mustard on each bun. On the top bun, also lay out a layer of pickle slices (& tomato or jalapeño or whatever you’d like, if you are so inclined!)
  23. Now, take your chili and use a serving spoon to put a heaping pile of chili onto each bottom bun, then place one burger patty each on top of that chili, and then cover the patties with the rest of your chili, which should be quite a bit.
  24. Now take your thick diced yellow onion & put an absolute ton of those onions on top of that mess of chili and patty.
  25. Now, close the burgers…
  26. & enjoy! 🙂 

Thanks for reading!

~ Chef G.

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