Pesto White Bean Veggie Burgers

Creamy white beans combine with pesto for these veggie burgers! They make a satisfying meal for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Top each patty with more pesto and dig in.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Chill time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the pesto:

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • A few grinds of fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

For the veggie burgers:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to shape burgers if needed
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

To serve:

  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • Small handful lettuce leaves


1 Make the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, add the olive oil, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and process until smooth. Scoop the pesto out into a small bowl, leaving about 2 tablespoons behind in the bowl of the food processor (you’ll come back to this in a moment).

Add the Greek yogurt to the small bowl of pesto (the sauce you’ve removed from the food processor) and stir to combine. Set aside.

Homemade Veggie Burger Recipe make the pesto

2 Cook the onion and garlic: In a medium sauté pan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute.

3 Blend the burger mixture: Returning to your food processor with the reserved pesto, add the white beans, cooked onion mixture, bread crumbs, egg, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper into the bowl.

Pulse until just combined—you want it to remain slightly chunky, not completely pureed, otherwise it won’t hold together as well.

4 Fold in the rice and parsley: Turn the bean mixture out into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the rice and parsley.

White Bean Veggie Burger make the burger

5 Chill the bean mixture: Cover bean mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

6 Shape the burgers: When you’re ready to cook the burgers, divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each into patties about 1-inch thick. If the mixture starts sticking to your hands, coat your palms with a little extra olive oil.

7 Cook the burgers: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Set patties into the skillet; don't crowd the skillet—cook in batches if needed. Cook about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown on both sides. Add a little more oil to the pan if the burgers begin to stick.

Stovetop Veggie Burger Recipe cook the burgers

8. Serve! Serve the burgers on buns, topped with lettuce, tomato, and creamy pesto sauce.

White Bean Burger Recipe serve the burger

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  • Christina

    So if someone is gluten-free — what can you substitute for bread crumbs? While there are probably gluten-free bread crumbs, I am wondering about an alternate even to that. Thanks!

    • Megan Gordon

      Hi, Christina! Thanks for the great question. Hmm, so my first answer is gluten-free bread crumbs as I haven’t tested it with anything else and I’d hate to lead you astray. In other recipes, I’ve used sweet potato to help with binding, but again, I haven’t tried it with these so I can’t say for sure. If you try either let me know what you think. Enjoy!

    • Daphne Delouya

      I’ve been using rice chex cereal, ground in a food processor, in place of breadcrumbs. The taste and texture are even better!

  • Lisa

    FYI you say to add pepper to the pesto, but pepper isn’t listed in the ingredients under the pesto. Also, there is a tsp of balsamic vinegar listed in the ingredients for the burger patties, but no instructions on when to add it in!
    That being said, I enjoyed these burgers (as did my boyfriend). It was very easy to shape the patties – the mixture had almost a dough consistency and we really liked the pesto flavor!


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Lisa! Good eye! Thanks for the heads up, and glad you guys liked the burgers!