These Walnut Burgers are a meatless burger loaded with juicy mushrooms and delicious walnuts!
Summer is coming!
Winter is so, so hard for me, that I kind of like to look at it as just two seasons, winter and not winter. We are currently in not winter, which still kind of requires big sweaters when I’m sitting at a computer and gloves when I’m running in the woods. Still, I try to squeeze in some summery activities whenever possible. Things like eating dinner on the back deck, exploring the nearby nature preserve, and letting the kids wear shorts.
While my family is including more meat in our diets lately, I am still choosing to eat primarily vegetarian. But, I’m a little sick of thick, soft bean burgers when what I really want is something closer to the original. There is a hotel in a neighboring city here that is famous for their walnut burger. They serve it in pretty much every restaurant in a 25 mile radius and you can even buy them in the grocery store (for a very hefty price).
I order this walnut burger pretty much everywhere I go because it is a magical combination of ingredients that gives you a thin, firm patty. I wanted to recreate this at home and while I didn’t totally nail a direct comparison, what I came up with was a really delicious, juicy alternative to a bean burger.
Mushrooms give these walnut burgers lots of juicy goodness while the walnuts and breadcrumbs keep it together. Our local drive in serves their walnut burgers with just lettuce and honey mustard. I like to keep it simple with cheese, lettuce, and ketchup, but you can add any toppings that strike your fancy! Here are a few more ways to customize:
- Top with onion rings or fried cheese curds for some serious crunch
- Top with sliced or diced red onion, beefsteak tomato, and mayo
- Skip the bun and crumble onto a salad or in a tortilla
- Replace the panko with gluten free breadcrumbs for a gluten-free version
- I haven’t tested vegan egg options, but if you do share your results in the comments!
I know these walnut burgers are going to be showing up a lot around our house this summer! If you make them, be sure to leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo of it with #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
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- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Add the mushrooms and onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-8 minutes.
Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until powdery but not sticky. Add the mushroom mixture and process until well combined and there are no recognizable ingredients. If the mushrooms are still hot I usually open the feeding tube on the processor a bit to let steam out while I process.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture is well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can also prepare this mixture in the morning and let rest in the refrigerator until supper time.
Form the mixture into four thin patties. If you make them thick it will be hard to get them to cook through before the outside is done.
In a cast iron or non-stick pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the patties and allow to cook 2-3 minutes per side until a deep brown color. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and serve on buns with all your favorite burger fixings.