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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 as heck.

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

I’m not one of those carnivores that writes veggie burgers off (I love me some veggies and 99% of the time you’ll find my favorite masala veggie burgers from Trader Joes in my freezer as a go-to for easy lunches) but when the majority fall into one of those two categories, it’s pretty hard to choose them over a good ol’ beef burger.

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 well enough to label it as a burger.

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.

How To Make Cauliflower Burgers

While roasting the cauliflower first adds another 15-20 minutes to the whole ordeal, believe me when I say 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 cheese and spices.

Breaking it down into steps, this is how you make these cheddar cauliflower burgers:

  1. Roast the cauliflower
  2. Combine and process all the ingredients including cooled cauliflower in a food processor
  3. Form into burger patties and bake

It’s really not complicated at all. The food processor does all the heavy lifting, it’s just a bit more time intensive than a regular burger.

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.

You could even top these with fermented vegetables or homemade pickles for another tangy option.

Also try citrus pesto or zucchini pesto for more pesto possibilities!

And for serving, some jicama fries or perfectly crispy rosemary baked fries are great options!

If you want a colorful (and antioxidant packed!) healthier fry to go along with the vibrant colors of this cauliflower burger, try these crispy baked purple sweet potato fries.

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.

If you’re looking for more veggie burger love, try Christal’s portobello mushroom burgers – those caramelized onions on top look delish!

You can also try my eggplant hummus burgers for another out of the box veggie burger option.

Cheddar Cauliflower Burgers

Cheddar Cauliflower Burgers

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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


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


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.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 563mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 14g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

Karen Teeling

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Can you share any nutritional information you have on these burgers? Thanks


Friday 17th of November 2017

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.

Running to the Kitchen

Saturday 18th of November 2017

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


Monday 2nd of January 2017

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.

Running to the Kitchen

Monday 2nd of January 2017

That's amazing! So glad you all like them :)


Tuesday 26th of April 2016

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


Saturday 9th of April 2016

Wow! Looks amazing ... I am so on burgers mood lately :))

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