Pesto Veggie Burgers with Balsamic Aioli

Side view of a pesto veggie burger on a bun with toppings

We’ve done veggie burgers and pesto separately, but together? Our only regret is not trying it sooner! Herby, savory chickpea burgers join with sliced tomato, arugula, and a creamy, bright balsamic aioli for a major dose of YUM!

Just 30 minutes required for this satisfying plant-based main perfect for summer BBQs or a quick weeknight meal! Let us show you how it’s done!

Tomato, shallot, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, vegan mayo, buns, breadcrumbs, arugula, and chickpeas

These pesto chickpea patties begin with mashing chickpeas until there are only a few large pieces remaining. While the large pieces add texture, the mashed chickpeas are the “glue” that holds the burgers together. Pesto and breadcrumbs join the party and contribute additional binding powers!

Adding breadcrumbs to a bowl with mashed chickpeas and pesto

The remaining ingredients in the burgers include sautéed shallot and garlic for sweetness and optional red pepper flakes if you like a little heat!

Cooking pesto chickpea veggie burgers in a skillet

After cooking the patties until lightly browned on both sides, we let them cool while we make a balsamic aioli. It’s the fancy-sounding yet seriously simple burger topping (just mix mayo + balsamic vinegar 🤫) that adds an extra level of WOW! The final toppings (tomato + arugula) add fresh, bright notes that round it all out.

Hamburger bun topped with balsamic aioli, a pesto chickpea burger, tomato slice, and arugula

We can’t wait for you to try these pesto veggie burgers! They’re:

Quick & easy
Perfect for summer
& SO delicious!

Enjoy with your favorite burger sides such as potato chips, fries, sweet potatoes, grilled veggies, slaws, or salads.

More Veggie Burger Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Pressing down on the top of a pesto veggie burger

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 (Burgers)

Course Entree

Cuisine Gluten-Free (optional), Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 3 Days

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  • 1 ½ – 2 Tbsp avocado oil (DIVIDED // for cooking shallots/burgers)
  • 2 medium shallots, finely minced (2 shallots yield ~1/3 cup or 53 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought // vegan as needed — see notes for brand recommendations)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (homemade or store-bought // vegan/gluten-free as needed // we used Ian’s GF Panko)


  • Sliced tomato (~1 large tomato)
  • Arugula (or other greens of choice)
  • Hamburger buns (gluten-free/vegan as needed)
  • BURGERS: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes (optional). Sauté, stirring frequently, until shallot and garlic are soft and translucent — about 1-2 minutes.

  • Transfer garlic and shallot mixture to a mixing bowl. Then add drained chickpeas and use a fork or pastry cutter to mash/mix. A little texture is okay, but you only want a few large pieces of chickpeas remaining.

  • Add the pesto and breadcrumbs and mix until well combined. You want it to form into a moldable “dough.” Taste and adjust as needed, adding more pesto for herby flavor, breadcrumbs if too wet, or a pinch of salt for overall balance.

  • Divide into 4 even patties (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). To help form them, line a 1/2 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap and scoop out 1/2 cup amounts. Press to pack, then lift out and slightly flatten with hands.

  • Heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat. Once hot, add enough oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of your skillet, then add only as many burgers as will fit comfortably. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping gently and reducing heat if browning too quickly.

  • Let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving (they’ll firm up a bit during this time).

  • BALSAMIC AIOLI: While your burgers cool, combine the mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.

  • To serve, spread balsamic aioli on both sides of a toasted bun. Layer the bottom bun with the burger, sliced tomato, arugula, and top of the bun.

  • Leftover burgers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, though best when fresh. See notes for freezing.

*Store-bought dairy-free pestos we’ve tried and enjoyed: LeGrand Garden Pesto, Gotham Greens Pesto, and Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto.
*These burgers are sturdy and we think they would work well on a grill, but we haven’t tested it. Let us know in the comments if you try!
*To freeze, brown burgers on either side as instructed. Then cool, separate with layers of parchment paper, and seal in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2-3 weeks and reheat in a 375-degree F (190 C) oven on a bare or parchment-lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through and golden brown.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with whole wheat hamburger buns, all of the aioli, 1 slice tomato and 1/2 cup arugula per burger, and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 burger with bun and toppings Calories: 464 Carbohydrates: 46.5 g Protein: 14.9 g Fat: 25.2 g Saturated Fat: 2.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 630 mg Potassium: 486 mg Fiber: 9 g Sugar: 6.8 g Vitamin A: 260 IU Vitamin C: 12 mg Calcium: 168 mg Iron: 3 mg

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