These flavor-packed white bean burgers are made with hearty cannellini beans, crunchy walnuts, and zesty basil pesto. They’re easy to make with just a handful of ingredients — perfect for everything from cookouts to weeknight dinners!
Normally when I make veggie burgers I like to throw in lots of spices and seasonings. They’re usually necessary for flavor, and I love a burger that’s full of flavor!
But sometimes I like a little shortcut. For example, sometimes a single ingredient can pack in lots of flavor. That’s where pesto comes in! Pesto is so intensely flavorful that you don’t need much else to make a delicious vegan burger.
Not all pesto is vegan. Traditional pesto includes Parmesan cheese, so be sure to watch out if you decide to go out and buy a jar of pesto to make these burgers.
One option is to make your own vegan pesto.
If you decide to use store-bought (which is totally understandable — it makes things so easy!), look for a vegan brand. Here is a handy list of vegan brands to consult. I usually buy Amore brand, as it’s available in most supermarkets in my area.
What You’ll Need
- Cannellini beans
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Lemon juice
- Burger buns and toppings
How to Make Pesto White Bean Burgers
Start by placing your walnuts into a food processor bowl and blending them until they’re finely chopped.
Now add your beans, pesto, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and scallions. Pulse the food processor until everything is finely chopped and well-mixed. Taste the mixture and season it with some salt.
Now test the mixture by grabbing some and pressing it together in your hands — if it holds together well, it’s ready. If it’s too crumbly, add some water and pulse the machine again.
Heat up some oil in a skillet and shape your burger mixture into patties. Cook them in batches, cooking as many patties as you can fit in the skillet at one time without crowding. They’ll need about 5 minutes per side, and are done when they’re browned and lightly crisped on the outside.
Stuff your patties into buns and pile on the toppings. I like to dress my burgers with some extra pesto, vegan mozzarella-style slices, and vegan mayo.
Pesto White Bean Burger Tips & FAQ
- Can these burgers be made gluten-free? Yup! You’ll need to use gluten-free buns and substitute something for the panko breadcrumbs. If you can find gluten-free vegan breadcrumbs, use them. If not, try blending up some rolled oats in the food processor.
- Leftovers and storage: Leftover patties can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Where can I get vegan pesto? If you’d like to use store-bought pesto, try Amore brand. It’s vegan and available at most supermarkets. You can also make your own.
- Handle your burgers carefully when cooking them. Vegan burgers are, by nature, more delicate than other types of burgers. I like to gently press on the top with a spatula while cooking, then use the spatula to pull the sides in. This helps pack the ingredients together and gives the patty a nice shape.
Pesto White Bean Burgers
These flavor-packed white bean burgers are made with hearty cannellini beans, crunchy walnuts, and zesty basil pesto. They're easy to make with just a handful of ingredients — perfect for everything from cookouts to weeknight dinners!
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 (14 ounce of 400 gram) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons vegan pesto (store-bought or homemade), or to taste, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 burger buns
- Toppings of choice, such as lettuce, tomato, vegan cheese, and vegan mayo
Place the walnuts into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Blend them until they're finely chopped.
Add the beans, panko breadcrumbs, pesto, scallions, and lemon juice. Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are finely chopped and well mixed.
Season the mixture with salt to taste, pulsing the machine once or twice to blend in the salt.
Test the mixture by pressing some together in your hands to see if it holds together. If not, add a splash of water.
Season the mixture with salt to taste and pulse the food processor a couple more times to mix it in.
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat.
Shape the burger mixture into 4 pattes. Place as many patties in the skillet as you can fit without crowding. Cook the rest in a subsequent batch.
Cook the patties for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned.
Stuff the patties into buns. Top with additional pesto and toppings of choice.
This recipe makes 4 very large patties. You can make 6 medium-size patties if you prefer.