This Tempeh Wild Rice Pesto Burger Recipe made with Lightlife, makes for an incredibly hearty and healthy vegetarian meal. It’s packed with fresh, aromatic flavors and it’s subtly sweet from a touch of agave nectar. On our first date, my now-husband told me he was a vegetarian. (GASP!)
I am someone who’s extremely passionate about food — all food – and I wondered if his dietary choice would be a deal breaker! I know that sounds shallow — please don’t judge me!
He then said that he eats fish, dairy products, and eggs (a “Pesco” Vegetarian, if you will). Phew! I really, really liked him, and that kind of vegetarian I could live with. 😉
Well, turns out my husband is super into good food, just not meat and poultry.
I always want him to have as good a meal as everyone else at our dinner parties, BBQ’s, etc. So while I think it doesn’t get much better than a delicious brisket that cooks all day, that makes the house smell amazingly wonderful — I sometimes experiment cooking with “alternative proteins” for my husband. We’ve always eaten a lot of tofu, but I’ve only recently started experimenting with tempeh . . . and it can be pretty good!
What exactly is tempeh?
Tempeh is made from whole fermented soybeans that are packed into a cake that’s easy to slice and cook with. I really like Lightlife tempeh, specifically the one that’s combined with wild rice, which is exactly why I decided to make this Tempeh Wild Rice Pesto Burger recipe for my husband to try.
The wild rice in the Lightlife tempeh adds a lovely nutty, earth flavor, which is really tasty when mixed into the tempeh. So I’m very happy to report that this tempeh “burger” is superb and is an absolutely perfect for vegetarian guests at your next food gathering! This weekend, maybe?
You can serve it along side the Smoky Chipotle Parmesan French Fries that we made the other day. All your guests would love that.
(And for your non-vegetarian guests, I’ll be sharing some divine recipes with meat very soon.)
In this recipe I use basil, but if you prefer something heartier like kale, you can substitute the basil, almonds, cheese, garlic and extra virgin olive oil with about a half cup of my Kale Spinach Pesto!
Oh, and did you notice I don’t use any bread crumbs in these? They’re 100% gluten-free!
Whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or if you eat it all — I hope you enjoy this Tempeh Wild Rice Pesto Burger recipe!
This is not a sponsored post. Lightlife sent me tempeh for recipe testing, and as always, all opinions are my own.
Tempeh Wild Rice Pesto Burger Recipe
This Tempeh Wild Rice Pesto Burger Recipe made with Lightlife, makes for an incredibly hearty and healthy vegetarian meal.
- 2 (8-ounce) packages your favorite tempeh preferable with wild rice
- 2 cups basil leaves loosely packed
- 1/4 cup roasted almond slivers
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 4 small cloves garlic
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large egg
- olive oil for the pan
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the tempeh, basil leaves, almonds, cheese, and garlic to a food processor, with the blade attachment. Pureé until there's a fine crumble, then gradually add in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and agave nectar. Once everything is combined, add the egg, blend until relatively smooth, and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
With any burger, it's important to do a "seasoning test" before making all of them. Heat a bit of olive oil in your sauté pan, and once it's hot, place a very small amount (about 1 tablespoon or less) of the tempeh mixture in the pan. Sauté until it's cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Now, taste! Does it need more salt and pepper? Adjust the seasonings, and then shape the mixture into 6 evenly-sized "burgers" -- each one should be about 1/2-inch thick. Place them on parchment paper as you work, so it's easy to pick them up when you're ready to cook.
Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the "burgers" to the pan. You should hear a sizzling sound when they hit the oil -- if you don't, wait until you do! Cook until nicely browned, and they are cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.