Chorizo is one of those ingredients that I buy rarely, but a little goes a long way. For a cheaper or vegetarian burger, you can omit it completely and just add the garlic and paprika for a similar smoky, spicy taste.

Ingredients (makes 4 generous burgers):

3 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped, or pinch of dried
1 carrot, grated
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100g chorizo, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 free range egg
2 slices of bread
1 tbsp flour

To serve:
1 pitta bread and handful of spinach.

Pour one tablespoon of oil into a medium sauté or frying pan on a low heat.

Add the chopped onion, crushed garlic, grated carrot, chopped chilli, paprika and chorizo and sauté all together on a low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to disturb.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas, and mash them thoroughly in a mixing bowl or saucepan until soft and pulpy. Soak the bread in water, squeeze out with your hands, and mash into the chickpeas. When the onions have slightly softened, tip the contents of the pan into the chickpea and bread mixture, add the egg, and mix well to evenly distribute.

Test the consistency with a wooden spoon – if it sticks to the spoon and holds together well, it’s good to go. If it does not hold its shape well (in my experience, not all chickpeas are created equal!) then add a heaped tablespoon of flour to thicken.

Pour the remaining two tablespoons of oil back into the original pan – which will be streaked with spicy chorizo juices – don’t waste them! Shaping the mixture into six balls with lightly floured hands, flatten each into the pan. Cook for around 7 minutes on each side on a medium heat, or until golden and crispy.

Serve in a pitta bread with salad – or with vegetables and rice for a more filling meal.

Tips: This burger mix also makes great falafels, which can be shallow fried or baked in the oven for a healthier alternative.

The burgers can be frozen, uncooked, by laying on a baking tray and freezing uncovered. When frozen, they can be transferred to a freezer bag. The process of ‘open freezing’ keeps them separate and easy to use one at a time, without all sticking together.

Leftover chorizo will keep for up to a month in the fridge. Try a few slices simmered in a pan of canned chopped tomatoes with a chopped onion for an easy but delicious pasta sauce.

Jack Monroe.
Twitter: @MsJackMonroe


  1. I was just struck when reading this at how not so long ago I’d read your blog piece about you missing meals so your boy could eat. So happy for you Jack.

  2. Worth a look on the deli counters in supermarkets as well as being able to buy only what you need they can often have really good special offers on hams etc. especially when it gets to the end of the piece.

  3. You can get cheap tins of chick peas from Asian supermarkets (lucky for me one is next door to allotment!) or look in ethnic foods aisle of supermarkets where they come at around 37p or less if they are part of a multi buy.

  4. When are we going to see you on t.v. ? It would be great too watch someone who really understands what it’s like to be on a budget.

  5. I make a similar vegetarian burger. Instead of the chorizo I use a chopped red pepper and smoked paprika. I serve with mash and cider gravy.

    Check the Guardian website for comments – I didn’t think it was possible for so many people to get worked up by recipes!

  6. Hello from Down Under! Think this is a fabulous recipe – the chorizo and paprika both would add such a smoky flavour . . . to make it cheaper: it is so easy to cook one’s own chickpeas [and all beans] at even a lesser cost 🙂 ! Less unhealthy salt also!!

  7. Thanks Jack !!! Just made your Chickpea and Chorizo burgers for me and the kids tonight . Taste amazing!!!! I did mine with a homemade Caesar salad and pitta. Only needed to buy the chorizo!!!! 🙂 xxx

  8. This recipe doesn’t give a veggy alternative, it just says to omit the chorizo – which is HALF the weight of the main ingredients which means you’d feed HALF the people!!! There are products like Quorn Pepperoni which would do fine but which should have been mentioned if saying an alternative is supplied – too many cooks just say leave something out or off the plate instead of supplying an imaginative alternative.

  9. Hi Jack, I am a police officer but have just had to go on a career break to care for my children who have additional needs. I stumbled across your blog as I was looking for some cheap recipes as I am no longer earning and really need to cut back on my shopping bills. I just made these chorizo and chickpea burgers and they were amazing! Did them in pittas and made a mint and yoghurt sauce to go with them lots of salad and some spicy wedges on side and it was like a healthy take away! Fantastic recipe, thank you. I will definitely be trying some more of your recipes x

  10. Copied costings from Guardian website (hope that’s ok?):

    (Makes 4 generous burgers)
    98p a burger (including pitta and spinach)
    3 tbsp oil, 9p
    1 onion, finely chopped, 8p
    2 cloves garlic, crushed, 6p
    1 carrot, grated, 10p
    1 red chilli, finely chopped, or pinch of dried, 8p
    1 tsp paprika, 10p
    100g chorizo, finely chopped, £1.11
    400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 69p
    2 slices of bread, 5p
    1 free range egg, 28p
    1 tbsp flour, 3p
    To serve
    4 pitta breads, 24p
    4 handfuls of spinach, £1

    Looks great. Will try these as I’ve got a couple of tins of chickpeas in the cupboard.

  11. Made these for tea tonight, they were really tasty. Stuck to the pan a bit, but we’ll definitely be making them again.

  12. I should have gone with my instinct and not added the egg, I just ended up with a gloopy mix! I have added 4 heaped tbsp flour and still have to spoon.the mix straight into the flour to be able to work with it! Still the burgers are in the pan and promising to be a tasty lunch.

  13. Hi Jack

    Thank you for, yet again, another fantastic recipe!
    You mentioned making them into falafels (which I did) and baking them to be a bit healthier. Please could you recommend the best oven temperature and timings for baking them?
    Thanks xx

  14. Love chorizio 🙂 Need to use it in cooking more, mainly use the pre-sliced kind for cold lunches/sandwiches. I guess it makes sense it keeps for a month, being a traditional food preservation method.

    Love chickpeas too, so will try this 🙂

  15. Will give these a go. I find dried chickpeas that are soaked overnight and then used hold their shape much better when made into burgers and falafels xxx

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