This pesto veggie burger is infused with basil flavor and all things pesto. These bean burgers are satisfying and delicious, especially when you add that tasty aioli on top and serve them with some Air Fryer French Fries!
You know I love a good veggie burger, including my black bean burgers and these tasty lentil burgers. Every now and then I like to serve a burger of a different color (and flavor). That’s what these pesto veggie burgers are all about!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using both chickpeas and cannellini beans creates the perfect texture for these veggie burgers (and makes a big batch, too)
- Adding fresh kale infuses these burgers with hints of green, earthy colors and nutrition
- A simple but flavorful aioli adds a creamy balance to these tasty burgers.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Beans — You’ll need a 15-ounce can of chickpeas and cannellini beans
- Nuts — I recommend using walnuts, but you can also use pinenuts for this recipe.
- Flour — You can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or gluten-free flour.
- Leeks — You can substitute green onions.
- Kale — This recipe calls for a few leaves of fresh kale.
- Nutritional yeast flakes — You can buy nutritional yeast flakes at health food stores or online.
- Basil — You’ll need fresh basil for this recipe.
- Flax egg — I recommend a flax egg or you can substitute a chia egg.
- Garlic — You’ll need a few cloves of fresh garlic.
- Vegan parmesan — You can use homemade vegan parmesan or buy some at the store.
- Sun-dried tomatoes — I prefer the kind packed in oil, but if you choose dried, follow the package directions to soak them in hot water.
- Vegan mayo — It’s easy to find Hellman’s Vegan Mayo these days, but there are other great brands.
What Basil is Best?
Basil is a culinary herb used in recipes to add a distinctive flavor and color. You can use either dried or fresh basil for many recipes. Two teaspoons of chopped fresh basil equal one teaspoon of dried because the flavors intensify as they dry.
How to Make Pesto Veggie Burger
- Reserve half of a cup of the cannelloni beans.
- Place the rest of the beans in a food processor with the nuts and pulse until combined.
- Pulse in the cornmeal, flour, leeks, kale, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, fresh basil, flax egg, and chopped garlic.
- Stir in the reserved cannelloni beans.
- Make patties by measuring out heaping half-cup measures of the mixture and form into a ball and then press into patties.
- Dredge patties through parmesan before placing them in a heated skillet.
- Cook patties for 3-5 minutes on both sides.
- Place cooked patties in the baking dish and cook for about 10 minutes in the heated oven.
- Prepare the Sun-dried Tomato Aioli (see more below) and spoon over the top of burgers.
Store burgers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. They can be frozen in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 2 months.
Serve these pesto veggie burgers with any of the following, either as toppings or on the side:
More Burgers & Sandwiches
I hope you love these Pesto Veggie Burgers as much as we do!
Pesto Veggie Burger
- 15 oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can of cannelloni beans rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts if pine nuts are not available
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup brown rice flour or flour of your choice
- ½ cup leeks chopped
- ¾ cup kale de-stemmed and chopped
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 flax egg 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 3 tbsps water
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- ¼ cup vegan parmesan
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes see note
- ½ cup vegan mayo I used Just Mayo
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Rinse and drain both cans of beans, reserving about a half of a cup of these cannelloni beans. Place the rest of the beans in a food processor. Add the pine nuts and pulse for several seconds, until the ingredients are well combined.
- Add the cornmeal, brown rice flour, chopped leeks, chopped kale, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, fresh basil, the flax egg, and chopped garlic. Pulse for several seconds until everything is combined.
- Add the reserved cannelloni beans and pulse for just a couple of seconds until they’re evenly disbursed throughout the mixture.
- Heat a toaster oven or your regular oven to 250F. Have a baking dish at the ready.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. Make patties by measuring out heaping half-cup measures of the mixture and form into a ball and then press into patties. Pour the vegan parmesan on a plate and dredge each patty (both sides) through the parmesan before placing them in the heated skillet. Sprinkle the top of each uncooked patty with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the patties are brown, and then flip and cook on the other side.
- Once both sides of the patties are cooked, place in the baking dish and cook for about 10 minutes in the heated oven.
- To prepare the Sun-dried Tomato Aioli: First of all, make sure you’re using sun-dried tomatoes that are tender. You can either use sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil or if it’s dried and a tougher texture, just soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes. When the tomatoes are ready, place them in a food processor, along with the mayo, garlic powder, and olive oil. Pulse for a few seconds, then use a spatula to push the ingredients down. You may need to repeat this step several times until the tomatoes are pulverized and the aioli has a nice orange-red hue. Store in a lidded container.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.