Pesto Veggie Burgers

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!

A veggie burger on a bun with a generous portion of sun-dried aioli.

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.

What You Need

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.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 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.
  • Cornmeal
  • 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.
  • Salt
  • 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.
  • Salt & pepper
  • 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.
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil

Ingredient Spotlight

Fresh basil waiting to be added to these Veggie Pesto Burgers

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 equals one teaspoon of dried, because the flavors intensify as they dry. However, for recipes like pesto, fresh basil is necessary. It’s an easy herb to grow in warm climates with lots of sun. If you buy it at the store, be prepared that it goes limp quickly in plastic bags. Be prepared to use it quickly.

How to Make Pesto Veggie Burger

  1. Reserve half of a cup of the cannelloni beans.
  2. Place the rest of the beans in a food processor with the nuts and pulse until combined.
    A food processor bowl holds beans, kale, basil, and flour.
  3. Pulse in the cornmeal, flour, leeks, kale, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, fresh basil, flax egg, and chopped garlic.
  4. Stir in the reserved cannelloni beans.
  5. Make patties by measuring out heaping half-cup measures of the mixture and form into a ball and then press into patties.
  6. Dredge patties through parmesan before placing them in a heated skillet.
  7. Cook patties for 3-5 minutes on both sides.
  8. Place cooked patties in the baking dish and cook for about 10 minutes in the heated oven.
  9. Prepare the Sun-dried Tomato Aioli (see more below) and spoon over the top of burgers.

Storage Tips

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.

A pesto veggie burger on a bun sits next to field greens.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these pesto veggie burgers with any of the following, either as toppings or on the side:

More Burgers & Sandwiches

Looking down on a Pesto Veggie Burger with Sun-dried Tomato aioli coming out of the sides. There are also field greens on the plate.

I hope you love these Pesto Veggie Burgers as much as we do!

Pesto Veggie Burgers are made with basil, chickpeas, pine nuts, and lots of other great, tasty ingredients!

Pesto Veggie Burger with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli

This flavorful Pesto Veggie Burger with sun-dried tomato aioli makes a great part of veggie-loving meals, especially when great tasting food is required.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 443kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1155IU | Vitamin C: 13.9mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 5.1mg

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.

7 Responses to Pesto Veggie Burgers

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyHema Reply

    Want to make these! Just a quick tip – you can substitute aquafaba 1 Tb for the flax egg, simply use the drain water from the chick peas.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Hema. Thanks for you comment and note. I prefer using the flax egg because the flax adds omega-3s which is a nutrient that vegans need to make sure they’re getting. That said, if the juice from your can of chickpeas works for ya, I say go for it!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJillian Reply

    5 stars
    This looks great! I’ll be trying it soon!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Yay! Let me know how it goes!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJennifer Harmon {Peppers and Peaches} Reply

    These look amazing! I am personally obsessed with pesto so making it into a burger is genius! Plus, I am growing basil at home….sounds like a match made in heaven. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySherry (BTLover2) Reply

    Hi Marly,

    Just wanted to let you know that I made these last night and OH BOY! Yum, yum, yum!! I did use walnuts (because I didn’t have pine nuts) and I didn’t have vegan parm so I just coated them in panko. Absolutely delicious! Raving reviews from my hubby too. Thank so much for the terrific recipe!

  5. These veggie burgers look fabulous! I also adore pesto, but didn’t try it for the longest time. No particular reason. I just never bothered. Now I know better! Also, I’m going to have the phrase, “tiptoed to the pesto” in my head all day! 🙂 Love it.

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