Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Cannellini Burgers with Spinach Pesto

Cannellini Pesto Burgers (22)

Over the years I have made a lot of vegan burgers. I have Kidney Bean-Walnut Burgers, Black-Eyed Pea Burgers, Buffalo Lentil Burgers, Chickpea Burgers, Hoisin Black Bean Burgers, Moussaka Burgers, Eggplant Burgers, Trudy’s “Beefy” Burgers, QBC (Quinoa, Broccoli and Chickpea) Burgers, Roasted Beet Burgers, and Green Chile Queso Beast Burgers.

burger collage

I’ve written articles here and on One Green Planet about how to make flavorful vegan burgers that don’t fall apart.

Then I realized I had never made a vegan burger with cannellini beans so that’s what I set out to do. Cannellini beans are great because they are mild in flavor which lets you decide on the flavor profile you want to make with seasonings. I chose to make Italian-style burgers.

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I wanted the burgers to be relatively healthy so I added veggies to the mix as well as oats. Chickpea flour is my go-to flour for binding and it keeps the burgers gluten-free. I chose Italian seasonings such as garlic, oregano and lots of fresh parsley. Since cannellini beans are so mild, I added chile powder and paprika for heat.

Instead of covering the burgers with cheese, I chose to stuff them with vegan mozzarella instead. That way you can still see how pretty the burgers are and you get hot, melty cheesy goodness in every bite.

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I used Daiya Mozzarella Shreds which is my go-to vegan cheese shreds.

US-Shreds-Mozzarella_1

I remember when I first became vegan and the choices of vegan cheeses weren’t that great. That’s sure changed, hasn’t it? Daiya was one of the first vegan cheeses to change the game and give us hope that vegan cheese could be delicious and melt. I make sure there is always some Daiya cheese in my freezer because it’s the vegan cheese in most of my cheesy recipes.

Rather than top these burgers with ketchup which would be a crime, I continued the Italian theme and made a rich spinach pesto. I didn’t have any nuts and I didn’t miss them. The pesto was bright, verdant and delicious – the perfect topping for my burgers.

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We put our burgers on buns and had them with some perfect oven-baked fries (have I given you that recipe yet?) for an amazing dinner. The burgers were crunchy on the outside, melty, ooey-gooey on the inside from the cheese and you could see and taste the fresh parsley and Italian spices. The pesto was an added burst of flavor that was so much better than ordinary condiments.

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So now I have a cannellini burger in my arsenal. What kind of burger should be next? Enjoy!

Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Cannellini Burgers with Spinach Pesto

GF

Makes 8 burgers

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For the pesto:­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

4 cups of fresh spinach

3 cloves garlic

2 Tbs. vegan grated parmesan

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

 

For the burgers­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­:

2 Tbs. ground flax seed + 1/3 cup warm water

2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained

¾ cup gluten-free oats

2 small carrots, chopped

½ red onion, chopped

1 cup Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Shreds

2 garlic cloves

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. chile powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

½ cup chickpea flour + more for coating

Vegetable oil for frying

Gluten-free rolls or buns

Spinach

 

To make the pesto: Place the spinach, garlic, grated parmesan and lemon juice in a food processor. Process while streaming the olive oil in until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To make the burgers: In a mug, combine the flax seed and warm water and mix. Let sit for 10 minutes until you have a flax gel.

In a food processor, combine one can of beans, the oats, flax gel, carrots, onion, mozzarella and garlic and process until combined but chunky. Add the herbs and spices and pulse a few times to mix them in.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the second can of beans. Mash them with a fork and stir them into the burger mixture so it has different textures. Add flour until the mixture is not too wet or too dry and feels like it will hold together. Test for any seasoning adjustments. Let the burger mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Form burger patties and let them rest for 5 minutes. Pour out some flour on a plate and heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the patties lightly with flour, shake off any excess and place them carefully in the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan; cook the burgers in batches.

Cook until golden on one side, about 4 minutes, and carefully flip the burgers with an offset spatula or 2 forks. Cook until the second side is golden brown.

Place fresh spinach on buns and top with burgers. Spoon some pesto on each burger before placing on the burger tops.

Cannellini Pesto Burgers (4)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. 

Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Cannellini Burgers with Spinach Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Burgers
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • For the pesto
  • 4 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs. vegan grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • For the burgers
  • 2 Tbs. ground flax seed + ⅓ cup warm water
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained
  • ¾ cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup chickpea flour + more for coating
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Gluten-free rolls or buns
  • Spinach
Instructions
  1. To make the pesto:
  2. Place the spinach, garlic, grated parmesan and lemon juice in a food processor. Process while streaming the olive oil in until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. To make the burgers:
  4. In a mug, combine the flax seed and warm water and mix. Let sit for 10 minutes until you have a flax gel.
  5. In a food processor, combine one can of beans, the oats, flax gel, carrots, onion, mozzarella and garlic and process until combined but chunky.
  6. Add the herbs and spices and pulse a few times to mix them in.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the second can of beans.
  8. Mash them with a fork and stir them into the burger mixture so it has different textures.
  9. Add flour until the mixture is not too wet or too dry and feels like it will hold together.
  10. Test for any seasoning adjustments. Let the burger mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  11. Form burger patties and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Pour out some flour on a plate and heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the patties lightly with flour, shake off any excess and place them carefully in the pan.
  13. Do not overcrowd the pan; cook the burgers in batches.
  14. Cook until golden on one side, about 4 minutes, and carefully flip the burgers with an offset spatula or 2 forks. Cook until the second side is golden brown.
  15. Place fresh spinach on buns and top with burgers.
  16. Spoon some pesto on each burger before placing on the burger tops.

 

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2 Responses to Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Cannellini Burgers with Spinach Pesto

  1. Marina April 20, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    EXCELLENT recipe, thanks! I made these using Italian parsley and Daiya Mozzarella shreds, and substituted white onion for the red. I’m curious as to how many burgers you figure this recipe makes? I got 9 burgers, each weighing 4.2 ounces. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Rhea April 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Marina! I’m so glad you liked them. I think I got 6 or 7 burgers. I tend to make them big. xoxo


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