If you’ve never thought much of veggie burgers, these Mushroom Pecan Burgers may change your opinion!
I first developed the original version of this recipe (for my first cookbook, The Everyday Vegan).
That was around 1999, when we thought the world might end with Y2K (remember that?), and vegan certainly wasn’t trendy with celebrities.
Quite the opposite, it was a word that, if known, conjured imaged of radical vegetarian extremists or hippies buying tofu out of water bins in patchouli-scented health food stores.
Back then, commercial veggie burgers were few and far between. So, I took to making my own!
Fast forward 20 years and we have quite a few vegan burgers to choose from when shopping.
But guess what? I still take to making my own.
Quite simply: they taste better!
Beyond taste, homemade burgers are
- (1) more affordable
- (2) usually healthier with more whole foods ingredients
- (3) adaptable to tastes and dietary needs (ex: reducing salt or substituting seeds for nuts)
These Mushroom Pecan Burgers were one of my first burger recipes. They were delicious, but a touch delicate. Better suited for a pita than layering in a burger bun.
For LTEV, I decided to rework the recipe to make them firmer, and also more savory. In addition, I tweaked the recipe to give a gluten-free and nut-free option.
Now, my husband loves a good vegan burger. Whenever we go out for vegan food, he looks for a burger first!
And these Mushroom Pecan Burgers are one of his all-time favorite recipes. They are hearty and so scrumptious with an irresistible umami flavor.
Which is why I highly recommend these burgers for Father’s Day. Try pairing with homefries – the special dad in your life will love it!
Oh! And if you have a nut allergy, I substitute pumpkin seeds here (these are my absolute favorite, especially for snacking). You can also use sunflower seeds, but I’m partial to pumpkin seeds here.
That’s it, kids! Enjoy…x Dreena
Mushroom Pecan Burgers, Take II
These burgers have an irresistible umami flavor profile, and great texture. Absolutely scrumptious!
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb brown cremini mushrooms (ends of stems trimmed), chopped (cremini have more flavor than white button mushrooms, but white mushrooms can also be used)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ cups diced onion
- couple pinches sea salt
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 – 2 1/2 tbso tahini
- 1 tbsp light miso ex: brown rice
- ½ tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 ¾ cups rolled oats use certified gluten-free for that option
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce optional, omit for wheat-free/gluten-free version
- ½ cup pecans lightly toasted (see note; can substitute pumpkin seeds)
In a large skillet (use largest you have) over high heat, add the balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, and pepper. Cook, stirring only occasionally, until the mushrooms have started to brown and shrink down (9 to 10 minutes). Push most of the mushrooms to the outer edges of the skillet (creating a well in the center), turn the heat down to medium or medium-low, and add the onion and salt. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic (adding the garlic later helps prevent it from burning). Stir the mushrooms into the onion mixture and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar to the pan, stir, and then remove from the heat. In a food processor, combine about three-quarters of the mushroom mixture with the tahini, miso, sage, oregano, tamari, oats, fresh parsley, and Worcestershire sauce (if using). Process until it just comes together. Add the pecans, pulse once or twice (to break up but not fully process), and then add the remaining mushroom mixture, pulsing once or twice just to incorporate. Remove the blade, and shape mounds of the mixture into patties with your hands (yielding six, or five larger patties). The patties can be refrigerated or cooked immediately. To cook, place on a nonstick skillet over medium or medium-high heat and cook the patties for 6 to 8 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes until a golden sear has formed on each side, working in batches, if necessary. (To oven-bake, place patties on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees, for roughly 10 minutes on one side, then flipping and baking another 10 minutes.) Serve up! Makes 5 to 6 patties.
- Serving Suggestions: Because these burgers take a little more prep than others, pair with the simplest of spuds, such as baked whole sweet or white potatoes. But if you’re up to just a little more prep, try Lemon Dijon Green Beans or Sunshine Fries with Rosemary and Coarse Sea Salt. A green salad will round out the meal and add freshness; try one loaded with raw veggies and drizzled with Walnut Mustard Vinaigrette.
- Toasting Nuts: To toast nuts, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees, and bake for 7 to 12 minutes, tossing once or twice through the baking process to distribute through evenly during cooking. Watch carefully as toasting times vary by nut, and they can turn from golden to burned in just seconds.
- For nut-free version, use pumpkin seeds. If using roasted (salted) pumpkin seeds, you may want to reduce salt. These are my favorite roasted pumpkin seeds, they are absolutely delicious!
food photos by Charlotte Singh