Walnut Burger

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I first fell in love with the walnut burger when I tried one at Beans & Barley in Milwaukee, Wis. Sadly (oddly?) I’ve never seen a walnut burger at any restaurant I’ve been to since.  (Though … I don’t regularly nosh at health food restaurants so perhaps that’s the reason.) What’s a girl supposed to do when she’s craving a burger that’s served at a restaurant 2,000 miles away? Make her own version.


  • 3 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 T fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 T. dried parsley leaves
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4  hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, mayo, honey mustard (all optional)


  1. In a food processor, combine walnuts, garbanzo beans, bread crumbs, herbs, oil and vinegar and pulse until coarsely ground.
  2. In a small bowl whisk egg, add to food processor and pulse to incorporate egg. Divide into 4 equal-size parts; roll into balls, and flatten with the palm of your hand into 3/4-inch-thick patties.
  3. Place burgers in frying pan with olive oil. Cook covered over medium heat 4 minutes per side. If adding cheese, add at last two minutes.
  4. Serve hot on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, avocado and honey mustard or mayo.

I’ve been dying to try a walnut burger recipe forever. Tonight seemed like a good night because my dad just arrived in town, and I know he likes walnut burgers as well. I was working with limited capability in regard to kitchen electronics. My sister has the smallest food processor I’ve ever seen: 4 cups. The ingredients barely fit inside the processor and I couldn’t get all the ingredients to mix completely. So I added another egg and more olive oil. Still nothing. Then I took to scraping the mixture into a bowl and using a hand-held mixer. The hand mixer worked well to finally blend the ingredients, but the recipe seemed too sticky. So I added more walnuts until I thought the mixture was dry enough to stick together in the pan.

I found that when making walnut burgers one of the keys is making a thinner patty. I made one of the patties too thick and was afraid the middle wouldn’t cook through. So I stuck it in the oven. The second patty I made thinner and that seemed to work better. I used ciabatta rolls as buns (because both my dad and I love them), and I would not recommend using ciabatta rolls for walnut burgers. Walnut burgers are messy and fall apart easily. So you need a bun that’s softer and gives when you bite into it. Almost my entire burger slid out of my bun as I attempted to bite through the ciabatta roll.

The flavor of the burger was great. But I needed the patty to be more cohesive. Perhaps I should have had a stickier, wetter mixture that I had before I added the extra ground walnut. I served our burgers with mayo (reduced fat, made with olive oil), sliced beefsteak tomato, sliced avocado and fontina cheese.

I would be interested in trying this again when I have my large industrial sized food processor and perhaps a different recipe would work better.

Looking for other meatless burgers? Try:

Recipe rating:

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