Walnut and Beet Pantry Burgers

I've been debating myself over these burgers for a while. Will other people like them or do I just like them? I'm gonna take a gamble and put them out there for all to see, but here are a few notes that I must disclose first.

These are not a meaty burger. They aren't the type of burgers that you serve your die-hard, meat-loving uncle Hank to try to lure him to the vegan side. In fact, uncle Hank might disown you if you trick him into eating these by telling him that they taste just like beef burgers. On the bright side, this may be an efficient way to cut ties with insufferable relatives.

You: Here, uncle Hank, have one of my vegan burgers. They taste just like meat!

Uncle Hank: *chomp, gag, spit* These taste like beets and walnuts! What have you done to me? Never speak to me again!

You: *smug smirk*

Bright side! Really though, these are definitely a veggie burger. They taste of health. They are soft because they don't have any wheat gluten or other heavy-duty binding ingredients, so they need to go in a soft burger bun or two slices of crust-free bread. No crusty ciabatta rolls for these things.

OK, I feel like I've disclosed all the important stuff now. Let's see'em.

Oh, but I do love them! They are so flavorful and, if you love walnuts like I do, these are the nuttiest burgers who ever nutted. These were inspired by the wonderful Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers from the PPK. They are pantry burgers because they are made with pantry staples and no fresh veg. Fresh ingredients are generally better, of course, but these are for those days when you have nothing left in the fridge and you don't feel like going grocery shopping because that would involve taking off your pj's and putting on pants, and today isn't a pants kind of day.

Walnut and Beet Pantry Burgers

Recipe Type: Entree

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 2 burgers


  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/4 cup canned sliced beets or mini beets

  • 1/2 cup canned black beans

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp fennel

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke

  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard

What To Do:

  1. Grind the walnuts in a food processor, pulsing until they are finely ground. They should be ground but not floury, and keep an eye on them or they will turn into walnut butter!

  2. Transfer the ground nuts to a mixing bowl.

  3. Pulse the beets in the food processor until finely chopped. Just short little pulses to keep the beets from blending into a puree.

  4. Transfer the beets to the mixing bowl with the walnuts.

  5. Pulse the beans in the food processor until most of them are broken up. It's best to end up with a lot of whole beans and a few broken up ones than to end up with black bean paste, so just pulse it a few times until some of your beans are broken up.

  6. Transfer the beans to the mixing bowl.

  7. Throw in 1/4 tsp of salt, all the spices, mustard, and liquid smoke and mix everything well with a large fork. Your burger mix should be fairly dry, but it should stick together if you try to form a patty. If it's not sticking together at all, stir in a little squirt of vegan mayo. It shouldn't be a very moist burger mix though.

  8. Give your burger mix a taste and add more salt and black pepper if needed. I like these quite salty, so I go with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

  9. Preheat a non-stick griddle over medium heat and drizzle about two tablespoons of oil on it. These are best when they are crusty, so this is no time to skimp on oil!

  10. Shape the burger mix into two patties and cook covered for five or six minutes. They are going to cook for a while, so lower the heat a little if your stove is a notorious burger burner.

  11. Flip the burgers, drizzle a bit more oil if needed, and immediately slap a slice of vegan cheese on top of each patty. Cover and cook for three or four more minutes or until browned on the bottom. They should be slightly charred around the edges.


The fennel and the liquid smoke are vital! Unless fennel makes you gag (you know who you are!) definitely keep it.

This brings us to the matter of the cheese. The cool folks at Galaxy Nutritional Foods sent me some of their vegan products to try. I don't accept products for review very often, but Mr. Wing-It and I are long time fans of their GO Veggie! cheese slices and I really wanted to try the rest of the GO Veggie! vegan line. Mr. Wing-It eats a GO Veggie! cheddar slice with his lunch every day, and whenever we're having burgers for dinner I melt a slice on each of our burgers too. I actually first blogged about the vegan slices way back in 2008 when I had just started this blog! Their vegan products come in purple packaging. The products that come in the blue and green packaging are not vegan. They are soy-free!

We both already knew we liked the cheddar and American style slices, and now we were able to try the GO Veggie! Pepper Jack slices that are nowhere to be found in our area. They are very tasty, and just like the cheddar and American slices, they melt like a dream when covered with a lid to create some steam inside your skillet/frying pan. Exhibit A:

We also tried the GO Veggie! Vegan Cream Cheese alternative. They are creamy and tangy and I'm kind of glad we can't get them in our area or I would be eating a whole tub a day. The Chive and Garlic cream cheese was my absolute favorite! I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. I didn't. But I could have. The Strawberry cream cheese has a strawberry-Greek-yogurt-cheesecake-thing going on. That one I could have eaten with a spoon! I didn't. But I could have. These do have soy in them.

Yeah, that's not a bagel. It's a half of a burger bun with a hole cut in the middle. What can I say? I had envisioned this shot but I didn't feel like making bagels. Consider it a belated April Fools' Day prank!

We also tried the Mozzarella-style shreds and Parmesan, but I have bombarded you with enough pictures today so I will save them for next time.

Awkward disclaimer thing: GO Veggie! sent us these products to try free of charge. The opinions expressed here are my own. Mmkay?


  1. As someone who ADORES walnuts, I'm all over these burgers :D

  2. Walnut lovers of the world, unite! :)

  3. I have all of these things in my pantry right now. I could make them right now for lunch. Except it is International Eat All The Hot Cross Buns Day and my tummy is a little bit sore now (don't worry, it will pass and then there will be more hot cross buns).

    Your faux bagel... I cannot love it enough.

  4. Stomachs should come with a built-in capacity extender for holidays, when one is expected to eat more than one's usual amount of foods. Wouldn't that be nice? Maybe it will be an evolutionary change eventually? No?

    Mr. Wing-It saw the picture and wondered when I had made bagels and why I didn't share! :D

  5. Drat I already processed all my walnuts into butter. I've always meant to make the PPK burger -I'll get more walnuts and give your recipe a go first. Always soft buns for burgers, I don't get why people use hard buns it just makes more of a mess? I also love that you cut your bread slices in to circles :)

  6. Burgers in hard buns make no sense! There's a time and a place for crusty bread - any time but burger time. The PPK burger is so good. They were the recipe that introduced me to fennel seeds in burgers. I almost skipped the fennel the first time I made them because I thought my taste buds would disapprove! Doh! I hope you love them too, whether you make these walnutty ones or the original.

    You noticed the bread circles! Yep. That way the patty fits perfectly in between the two slices. It's just OCD - Obsessive Circle Disorder :)

  7. Sneaky bagel hoarder. ;)
    Thankfully when I am travelling or eating out, my stomach does seem to extend in capacity so that I can cram in the maximum number of foods ever. Good stomach!

  8. Your stomach is so well trained! Mine doesn't expand on command, but if I'm having something special or exceptionally yummy I still keep shoveling food in there to show it who's boss.

  9. […] the cheese I used some more of the GO Veggie! products that I told you about last week. For this one I used the GO Veggie! mozzarella shreds and I also added a couple of tablespoons of […]


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