Cheddar Cauliflower Burgers

These vegetarian cauliflower burgers are stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with pickled red cabbage and a zesty, refreshing cilantro pesto. 

Let’s be real, most veggie burgers are either full of anything but veggies (hello, processed soy weird unpronounceable ingredient lists) or nasty tasting AF. I’m not one of those carnivores that writes veggie burgers off (I love me some veggies!), but when the majority fall into one of those two categories, it’s pretty hard to choose them over a good ol’ beef burger.

These vegetarian cauliflower burgers are stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with pickled red cabbage and a zesty, refreshing cilantro pesto.

To make a decent veggie burger you have to be pretty dedicated to the cause. It’s a lot easier and much quicker to slap together some meat in your hands and form a hamburger than it is to get a bunch of (good) tasting real vegetables to stick together in patty form.

These Cheddar Cauliflower Burgers are a delicious spin on a vegetarian burger with pickled cabbage and a refreshing cilantro pesto.
(not ready to go all out veggie burger? give this hybrid bbq beef beet burger a try!)

This cheddar cauliflower burger was a 45 minute labor of love. While roasting the cauliflower first adds another 15-20 minutes to the whole ordeal, it’s worth it 10 times over in the flavor department. That roasted taste is what sets this cauliflower burger apart and goes so well with the sharp cheddar and spices. And since every burger is only as good as its toppings, the quick pickled red cabbage and cilantro pesto are musts. Their bright and tangy bite are the perfect offset to the savory roasted cauliflower, rice and cheese in the burger.

These vegetarian Cauliflower Burgers are stuffed with sharp cheddar cheese an rice for a delicious spin on a veggie burger.

I promise it’s a recipe even the staunchest of meat eaters will appreciate.

That said, there’s always a time and a place for a true to form, quality beef burger in my life (cooked medium rare of course, otherwise, no, just no) and I’m happy to be partnering up with Laura’s Lean Beef this month and their #60DayChallenge, a health and wellness initiative that’s motivating people across the country to keep track of things like daily steps, water intake, sleep and nutrition. Join the fun (there are weekly prizes like Fit Bits and Laura’s Lean Beef swag as well as a Big Green Egg smoker grand prize) by signing up to be a part of the challenge here.

Good news! Laura’s Lean Beef is also sponsoring a great giveaway below including product coupons, apron, cutting board and a grilling kit just in time for summer! Enter using the widget below the recipe. 18+ and U.S. only please. Giveaway ends Sunday, April 10th 11:59 EDT. GIVEAWAY ENDED 

Serves 4     adjust servings

Cheddar Cauliflower Burgers

Preparation 25 min Prep Time
Cook Time 20 min Cook Time
Total Time 45 mins Total Time

These vegetarian cauliflower burgers are stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with pickled red cabbage and a zesty, refreshing cilantro pesto.

Ingredients

For the burger

  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 buns

For the pickled cabbage

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • distilled white vinegar

For the pesto

  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • water to thin

Instructions

    For the burger

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread cauliflower florets out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes until just starting to turn golden brown around edges. Remove from oven and let cool.
    2. Add the cooled cauliflower to a food processor and pulse a few times until "riced". You don't want the cauliflower to turn mushy, just enough to be finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
    3. Add the rice, cheddar, breadcrumbs, egg, spices, salt and pepper to taste and stir until well combined.
    4. Form the mixture into 4 patties and place back on baking sheet. Return to oven and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping burgers half way through.
    5. Assemble the burgers on a bun by spreading pesto on the top and bottom of the bun and placing pickled cabbage on top of the burger.

    For the pickled cabbage

    1. Add the cabbage to a bowl, pour enough vinegar into bowl to just cover the top of the cabbage and let sit while you make the burgers.

    For the pesto

    1. Add all the ingredients except the water to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add water to the processor while running to thin out to desired consistency.

    14 Comments

    1. shelby

      I had to come right over to see how you made this burger! It looks delicious and I love that bun its nested between! I’m going to try this one soon!

      Reply
    2. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

      You are right – store bought veggie burgers aren’t all they claim to be – but these are so not! These not only sound totally amazing – so love your use of roasted cauli to make these! Pretty darn genius!

      Reply
    3. Kate | HappyForks.com

      I really like addition od red cabbage! It seems to be underestimated and a forgotten vegetable but still helps to reach spring with loads of colors on a plate and what not to many people realize, has similar to oranges vitamin C content.

      Reply
    4. Cassie

      Turkey, salmon or chicken patties are my favorite non-vegetarian types of burgers, but I love vegetarian burgers that are made with tofu, quinoa or chickpeas! These cauliflower burgers are just way too clever–I think roasting the cauliflower instead of just steaming them adds WAY more flavor like you said :D

      Reply
    5. Blythr

      My husband is a hunter and carnivore.
      He has askede to make these again!! They are fantastic! I just need to make more next time.

      Reply
    6. Kayla

      just made some of these tonight, they were absolutely delicious and everyone in my family loved them! even my 8 year old little brother who’s not that fond of vegetables.

      Reply
      1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

        So glad you all liked them! That’s a major compliment having 8 year old little brother approval ;)

        Reply

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