California-Style Veggie Burgers

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins

Bulgur plays two integral roles in these vegetarian burgers: it's used to bolster the shiitake mushroom-and-pinto bean patties and to create a crunchy crust on the outside. Serve with your favorite toppings, or go full California-style by layering with avocado and sprouts.


  • 10 ounces baby spinach

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 ½ ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps finely chopped (1 cup)

  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 2 cloves)

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 ½ cups Cooked Bulgur

  • cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs

  • 6 slices Swiss cheese (optional)

  • 6 potato sandwich rolls, split and toasted

  • Dijonnaise, sliced avocado, sprouts, and pickles, for serving


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil over high heat. Stir in spinach; cover and cook until bright green and wilted, about 1 minute. Drain and squeeze dry. Chop.

  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil, then mushrooms, onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Stir in beans, then transfer to a large heatproof bowl; let cool slightly. Add cilantro, spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and lime juice; mash mixture together with a fork or potato masher, leaving some larger pieces. Stir in egg, 1 cup bulgur, and breadcrumbs. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

  3. Spread remaining 1/2 cup bulgur on a plate; season with salt and pepper. Form bean mixture into 1/2-cup patties (about 1/2 inch thick); press each side into bulgur to coat. Wipe skillet clean; return to medium heat. Swirl in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and add half of patties. Cook until a deep crust forms, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook until second sides are crisp and patties are heated through, about 8 minutes more. In last minute of cooking, add cheese and cover; cook until melted. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Repeat with remaining burgers. Spread each roll with Dijonnaise, then top with a patty, avocado, sprouts, and pickles; serve.

    california style veggie burger
    Louise Hagger
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