Whole Wheat Vegan Hamburger Buns (Healthy Dinner Rolls)

white surface with six crunchy whole wheat vegan hamburger buns next to a knife

Bread is life! But not all baked goods are created equal — skip the store-bought varieties and create these healthy whole wheat vegan burger buns instead to get the best out of both worlds.

Knowing what’s in your food is crucial to make conscious consumer choices. And baked goods, like bread, buns, muffins and more, are notorious for using refined flour, sugar, tons of salt and strange little add-ins — such as duck feathers.

Yup, the commonly used reducing agent called l-cysteine can be derived from animal or even human sources, including duck or goose feathers, swine bristles, hooves and human hair.

But vegan food is “yucky”, right? How about we just skip all of that and make our own plant-based buns at home.

Because this is just too simple not to try: affordable staple ingredients, one bowl and ten minutes of hands-on time.

Our beginner kitchen skill level recipe for vegan hamburger buns is almost more convenient than going to the store just to grab some ready-made dinner rolls!

Truth be told, it took us a while to perfect this recipe. Because we wouldn’t just go straight for the go-to dough ingredients all-purpose flour, sugar and oil. Sure, if you want to replicate the fluffy white buns you’re used to, go ahead and do that! 

But you’re probably here for some delicious vegan buns that come with the added bonus of loving you back.

Featuring only 7 basic ingredients, our whole wheat buns turn out delicious every single time we make them! And to save you from the trouble we went through, we’ll share with you all of the shortcuts that get you there.

freshly baked whole wheat vegan burger buns on a white table next to a knife and a towel

Are Buns or Bread Vegan?

As we just mentioned, baked goods can be a bit tricky when it comes to checking whether or not they are vegan. Typically, traditional bread or burger buns are plant-based and no animal products are needed to make them.

However, enriched or really soft baked goods are often made with eggs or dairy products. Another common non-vegan ingredient is honey.

Upon reading the label, you probably wouldn’t think that cryptic names like “l-cystein” or “mono- and di-saccharides” could be animal-derived! It’s up to you if you want to make 100% sure that the bread you buy is fully vegan, no doubt about it, or whether you want to disregard these grey areas.

Focusing on getting meat, dairy and eggs out of your diet is definitely more important in all regards.

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mixing whole wheat flour with the rest of the ingredients to create healthy vegan hamburger buns in a white bowl

Choosing Healthy Carb-Rich Foods

Carbs in general have been getting a bad rep lately, and bread or rolls in particular. However, they are an important part of a healthy diet and they should make up the largest part of your macronutrient ratio.

Choosing whole, unprocessed carbs over refined ones is the key to health! Foods like potatoes, legumes, fruit, oats or other whole grains are what keep us healthy, slim and happy.

You can find plenty of wholesome carbs in our recipes on the website, ranging from creamy vegan lasagna to sugar-free granola — just two great examples of how to enjoy healthy and balanced meals.

This experience and dedication to the wfpb diet helped us to figure out how to make yeast-free whole grain buns that don’t taste like cardboard or have a horrible texture. 

But how are we able to achieve soft, nutty and chewy vegan rolls without any oil, refined grains or additives? Keep on reading to find out exactly what we used to create these wonderfully healthy and tasty buns.

Whole Food Plant-Based Guide
raw burger buns lined up next to each other on some parchment paper on a baking sheet

The Best Whole Wheat Vegan Burger Buns

We don’t know about you but once you get used to eating whole grains, all the white flour stuff becomes really tasteless and boring.

These hearty seeded buns make for the perfect veggie burger experience — but we also love them with some peanut butter and jam!

By the way, when you get “whole grain” baked goods at the store, they might only consist of 10-25% wholemeal flour? Add to that copious amounts of salt, added sugar, oil and preservatives, and you might wonder how the heck this is supposed to be a health food.

Fear no more. We have the perfect recipe for you!

white table with a bowl of whole wheat flour next to smaller bowls with vegan yogurt, plant-based milk, applesauce and salt

Ingredients for Our Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

  • Whole Wheat Flour — if you don’t want to go “all whole grain” on your rolls, start with a 50/50 mixture of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.
  • Baking Soda + Powder — this is a yeast-free recipe but our vegan buns still need to rise, after all!
  • Soy Milk + Lemon Juice — creating some easy and delicious vegan buttermilk for better texture.
  • Soy Yogurt + Applesauce — keeping that moisture where it belongs while skipping the added oil!
  • Toppings — you can skip them entirely to make plain buns but we love some rolled oats or seeds sprinkled on top.

Pretty much all of these are in our kitchen year-round. This means that a large variety of delicious plant-based baked goods is never far away!

Let’s see how easy it is to make your own whole wheat dinner rolls.

Top 25 Vegan Staple Foods
woman in white shirt mixing plant-based milk into whole wheat batter

How to Make Vegan Hamburger Buns

Get a baking sheet, some parchment paper, a bowl and a spoon — we’ll whip up a batch of easy seeded vegan buns today!

This is basically a dump, mix, knead and roll kind of recipe. We highly recommend sifting the whole grain flour (we tried both wheat and spelt) because it really improves the final texture! But if that’s too fancy for you, just skip it.

Every single ingredient was carefully chosen so that those fluffy whole grain and oil-free buns turn out as perfect as it gets — try not to leave out any of the components if you can.

For example, the lemon juice teams up with the soy milk to create vegan buttermilk, which really adds to the texture. The applesauce is our oil replacement which keeps our seeded buns moist — and so on.

Once you measured everything out, add the dry ingredients to a bowl first and then all of the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon, then knead with your hands and form your little hamburger buns!

Place them next to each other on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, brush with applesauce to create a simple glaze and help your topping stick to the buns. Finally, sprinkle some seeds of choice on top, then bake for around 30 minutes until golden brown.

mixing and kneading dough to make whole wheat vegan hamburger buns

Tips for the Best Healthy Vegan Buns

Here are some insights into creating the perfect whole wheat seeded rolls as well as all the modifications we could think of.

freshly baked whole wheat rolls topped with oats and seeds

How Long Do Vegan Buns Last?

We usually eat these vegan hamburger buns over the course of 2-3 days, in which case they can be stored at room temperature in a food container or bread bag. The rolls will keep longer in the fridge, for about a week.

If you want to make a larger batch of these delicious whole wheat buns, simply double or triple the recipe and freeze the baked rolls for up to 2-3 months, thawing and reheating them at your convenience.

What to Serve With Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls?

Most of the time, we just spread some hummus or almond ricotta on our seeded buns and top them with fresh veggies. Hello, quick and easy lunch! 

Naturally, these hamburger buns are perfect to create actual veggie burgers but this is a bit more time-consuming — unless you have a batch of store-bought or homemade vegan burger patties in your freezer or fridge.

Any sandwich can be made with our whole wheat buns, from BLT to PBJ. You can also serve them with some veggie soup or stew, alongside a hearty bean chili or a simple green salad.

Easy & Healthy Veggie Burger Recipe
woman in white linen shirt and apron holding a bowl of freshly baked whole wheat burger buns

More Easy & Healthy Vegan Baked Goods

In the mood for some more baking? Our healthy vegan recipes range from savory to sweet, are easy to follow and completely whole food plant-based — no oil, no sugar, no problem. Try these next!

We hope you appreciate our tips around making the best vegan hamburger buns! Now, preheat your oven and get your ingredients ready so you can enjoy these crusty and seeded little fellers.

Have you ever made your own burger buns and did you try our recipe? Feel free to comment below and rate our recipe! You can also Pin the recipe for later or tag us on Instagram if you made them – we’d love to see your creations!

white surface with six crunchy whole wheat vegan hamburger buns next to a knife

Whole Wheat Vegan Burger Buns

Yield: 6 buns
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Our whole wheat burger buns are vegan, yeast-free, oil-free and so easy to make! Featuring only affordable whole food plant-based ingredients, the healthy dinner rolls require just one bowl and 10 minutes of prep time. Crusty, hearty and tender, they are easy to love and very versatile.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (240 g)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup almond milk (80 ml)
  • 3 tbsp soy yogurt
  • ⅓ cup water (80 ml)
  • 3 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt

Optional Toppings

  • Rolled oats
  • Black or white sesame
  • Pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Start by sifting your flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl.
  3. Add the water, almond milk, soy yogurt and lemon juice to the flour mix. Combine everything with a spoon, then knead with your hands for a few seconds, until a smooth but still sticky dough forms.
  4. Divide the whole wheat dough into 5-6 pieces, shape them into buns and line them on your prepared baking sheet, at about an inch distance.
  5. Brush the buns with apple sauce, and top with rolled oats, black sesame and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Then, remove from the oven and let the buns cool slightly before serving.
  7. Any leftover rolls can be stored in a bread bag or food container at room temperature for a couple of days. You can also keep them in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them individually for a few months!

Notes

  • We chose unsweetened yogurt, almond milk and applesauce in our recipe but if you only have sweetened versions of these, the buns will still turn out delicious.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make more buns in one go!
  • You can swap some of the whole wheat flour for spelt flour or regular all-purpose flour — we haven’t tried making gluten-free vegan buns.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 592mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.
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8 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Vegan Hamburger Buns (Healthy Dinner Rolls)”

  1. Hi. Could you please explain the function of the yogurt and if it’s necessary or if there is an alternative? (Silken tofu, perhaps, with vegan lactic acid powder?) I ask because I want to make these soon and don’t have any soy yogurt.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Beth,
      thanks for the comment! So, the yogurt is used to add texture and keep the moisture without using any oil. While I haven’t tried your replacement idea, I can imagine that it would work — even without the lactic acid powder perhaps.
      Please do let me know if you end up making the buns that way and how they turn out!
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  2. Hi again. So, I made the buns today (using the soft tofu instead of yogurt – that was the only change) and unfortunately, they turned out very hard on the outside and dense on the inside. Not dry, just dense. Any idea what I might have done wrong? (The applesauce goes on the outside, not the inside, right?)

    Reply
  3. Hey Beth,
    thanks for checking back in! Awww sorry that they turned out so dense — it kind of makes sense because silken tofu is denser than soy yogurt and I haven’t tried this swap before.
    Yup, the applesauce is used as a glaze on the outside. If you don’t have any vegan yogurt on hand, it might be best to just use some more plant-based milk or even sparkling water — also make sure that your baking powder is still good and pretty fresh.
    Best wishes,
    Alena

    Reply
  4. Hey there! I have just baked these bread-buns. The dough was very stiff, thus buns quite dry, dense and with strong soda flavour. I can’t say I didn’t like the taste, it is quite interesting. But definitely not a traditional burger-bun and something you have to get used to. 😁

    Reply

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