Recently, I realized I had never made a vegan burger with cannellini beans so that’s what I set out to do. Cannellini beans are great because they are mild in flavor which lets you decide on the flavor profile you want to make with seasonings. I chose to make Italian-style burgers. I wanted the burgers to be relatively healthy so I added veggies to the mix as well as oats. Chickpea flour is my go-to flour for binding and it keeps the burgers gluten-free. I chose Italian seasonings such as garlic, oregano and lots of fresh parsley. Since cannellini beans are so mild, I added chile powder and paprika for heat and then I stuffed them full of vegan mozzarella so you'd get a gooey, cheesy surprise with every bite.

Mozzarella Stuffed Cannellini Burgers With Spinach Pesto [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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For the pesto:
  • 4 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs. vegan grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
For the burgers:
  • 2 Tbs. ground flax seed + ⅓ cup warm water
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained
  • ¾ cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup chickpea flour + more for coating
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Gluten-free rolls or buns
  • Spinach


To make the pesto:
  1. Place the spinach, garlic, grated parmesan and lemon juice in a food processor. Process while streaming the olive oil in until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the burgers:
  1. In a mug, combine the flax seed and warm water and mix. Let sit for 10 minutes until you have a flax gel.
  2. In a food processor, combine one can of beans, the oats, flax gel, carrots, onion, mozzarella and garlic and process until combined but chunky.
  3. Add the herbs and spices and pulse a few times to mix them in.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the second can of beans.
  5. Mash them with a fork and stir them into the burger mixture so it has different textures.
  6. Add flour until the mixture is not too wet or too dry and feels like it will hold together.
  7. Test for any seasoning adjustments. Let the burger mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Form burger patties and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Pour out some flour on a plate and heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the patties lightly with flour, shake off any excess and place them carefully in the pan.
  10. Do not overcrowd the pan; cook the burgers in batches.
  11. Cook until golden on one side, about 4 minutes, and carefully flip the burgers with an offset spatula or 2 forks. Cook until the second side is golden brown.
  12. Place fresh spinach on buns and top with burgers.
  13. Spoon some pesto on each burger before placing on the burger tops.

Nutritional Information

Per One Sandwich (without added oil from frying): Calories: 505 | Carbs: 78 g | Fat: 15 g | Protein: 14 g | Sodium: 606 mg | Sugar: 9 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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