• Thee Burger Dude

Vegan Tommy's Chili Burger


I used to get a Tommy Burger as often as possible, and it was always late at night after a few too many drinks. It's a rite of passage for a lot of folks living in LA, and for good reason, there's really nothing like it! The patrons are usually slightly less sloppy than the burgers, I can't tell you how many shirts I ruined with one of these chili burgers. But that being said, standing in a parking lot, licking chili off your arm, it's a classic LA thing to do!

However, it's been a loooong time since I've had a burger from Tommy's so I really can't say that this is an exact copy, it definitely hit all the notes that I remember, but regardless, I can say that these burgers are super delicious and that I ate 3 over the past 2 days with the kind of abandon that I used to, and I was totally sober each time too!

The chili is pretty simple to throw together. All you need is a veggie mixture of carrots, onions, and peppers (serrano or jalapeño work), some plant-based meat, spices, beefless broth and masa harina and you are golden!

This recipe is for one burger and a lot of lefotver chili, which you can make more burgers with, or put it on hot dogs, fries, or make a chili cheese omelette! Whatever you want!

Here's a handy dandy video showing you the process as well!

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  • 4 oz. plant based burger patty

  • 1 burger bun

  • Tomato slices

  • Dill pickle slices

  • Diced onion

  • 1 slice vegan cheese

  • Yellow Mustard


  • 1 pound plant based meat

  • 1 medium / large carrot

  • 1 medium onion

  • 2 serrano peppers

  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

  • 3 Tbsp chili powder

  • 1 Tbsp cumin

  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder

  • 1 Tbsp Hatch chile powder (or use more chipotle)

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup masa harina

  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

  • 2 cups beefless broth (or veggie broth)

  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. To make the chili, roughly chop your onion, carrot and peppers. Add them to a food processor and blend until they are a veggie paste consistency.

  2. Whisk the beefless broth, masa harina and white vinegar in a bowl, set aside. Start with 1/2 cup masa harina and add another 1/4 cup if you want your chili to be thicker.

  3. In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add some oil. Once hot, add the plant based meat. Break up your meat and then add in your veggie puree. Stir to combine. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, hatch chili powder, and garlic. Stir to combine and cook for a minute, making sure not to burn the garlic.

  5. Add in the beefless broth, masa harina and vinegar mixture (you may want to give it a quick whisk if it's been sitting a while) and then stir to combine.

  6. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced to desired consistency.

  7. Taste and adjust for seasoning, add more masa harina if you think the chili is too thin.

  8. Once chili is where you like it, cover and keep warm on low.

  9. To make your burger, get a skillet heated up on medium heat, toast your buns. Then cook your burger patty for 3-4 minutes. Season as you like it!

  10. When your burger has a nice browning on one side, flip it, then add your vegan cheese slice, and then top with a healthy portion of the chili. Cover to melt the cheese.

  11. Once cheese is melted, you can either assemble the burger as shown in the photo above, or you can build it upside down like they do at Tommy's. Take your top bun, turn it upside down, then hit it with mustard, tomato (or pickles if you're weird like me and prefer the tomatoes and pickles switched) then pickles, onions, your chili cheeseburger, then spread more chili on the bottom bun, turn it over and dig in!

  12. ENJOY!⁣⁣

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