Crispy Mushroom Burger with White Cheddar and Avocado
It isn’t often that a meat-free burger stops us in our tracks, but this mushroom version did just that (and had us running back for more). Chopped mushrooms are bound with Parmesan and herbs, then coated in breadcrumbs and pan-fried until crisp. The result is a patty with tons of flavor and texture that doesn’t fall apart on the bun. We melt white Cheddar over top, cheeseburger-style, then layer on pesto-spiked avocado and lemony arugula. Simply put, this is one of our favorite burger recipes, with or without the meat.
Total cook time
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 2 lemons
- 1/4 ounce chives
- 1/4 ounce thyme
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 brioche buns
- 4 slices white Cheddar cheese
- 2 avocados
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 6 ounces baby arugula
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- canola oil
- olive oil
- 2 eggs
- kosher salt
- black pepper
Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel, place in a blender or food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped (see recipe tip). Rinse remaining produce. Quarter tomatoes lengthwise, then scoop out and discard seeds (see recipe tip). Halve lemons. Thinly slice chives. Strip and finely chop thyme leaves to yield .5 teaspoon, discarding stems (save remainder for another recipe, like roasted potatoes).
In a large bowl, combine Parmesan, breadcrumbs, mushrooms, thyme, 2 eggs, .75 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Using your hands, mix well, then form mushroom mixture into 4 equal patties, about .5-inch thick. Place on a plate and freeze until Step 4 (this will help them hold their shape in the pan).
While burgers chill, slice buns open horizontally, if they arrived whole, and place cut-side down in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Toast until light golden and warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Transfer buns to serving plates, reserving pan for the next step. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together juice of 1 lemon, .25 cup olive oil, .5 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to make salad dressing. Set aside.
Heat pan from buns over medium-high heat and add 3 tablespoons canola oil. When oil is shimmering, carefully add mushroom burgers, standing back in case hot oil splatters, and sear until browned on bottom, 3-4 minutes. Flip and top with white Cheddar, then cover pan and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until cheese is melted and burgers are golden and crisp, 3-4 minutes more.
While burgers cook, halve avocados and discard pits; carefully scoop out flesh into a medium bowl, discarding skins. Mash avocado with a fork until mostly smooth—this is a great task for a kitchen helper. Add pesto, half of chives, and juice of remaining lemon (or use less, as desired), and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
Pat arugula dry with paper towel, add to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Place crispy mushroom burgers on bun bottoms, spread over avocado mash, then top with tomatoes and a handful of arugula. Finish with bun tops. Sprinkle almonds and remaining chives over remaining arugula and serve with burgers. Dig in!
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.