Entrees,  Recipes,  Sandwiches

Veggie burgers for the carnivore in your life

No offense, Morningstar, but your veggie burgers don’t hold a candle to these babies. While I can’t say they’ll satisfy cravings for a big, juicy hunk of ground beef (but let’s be honest, what veggie burger will?), they’re a ridiculously addictive, filling and flavorful meal option that anyone—even the most meat-and-potato midwesterners in your life—will thoroughly enjoy. Chockfull of fiber and veggies, they’re healthy to boot.

I first encountered these at Atwood Cafe in downtown Chicago—and since spent a few random afternoons reminiscing and searching Google for the recipe. Recently, when the food memory popped into my consciousness, a search yielded the recipe. FINALLY.

They’re as delicious as I remember them, albeit a bit tricky to keep in patty form when cooking. As much as you may be tempted (and I was), don’t try and grill these—unless you do it in a skillet of some sort that sits on the grill.

Cremini burgers with goat cheese and fig aioli (adapted from Atwood Cafe’s recipe)
Prep time: 5 hours
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 5 hours 12 mins
Serves: 6-8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (slightly overcooked and sticky)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • goat cheese for topping
  • green onions for topping
  • whole wheat buns
    Fig aioli:

  • 4 tbsp fig jam or preserves
  • 1/3 cup mayonaise

  1. Cook the rice per the instructions, except stir frequently to build up the starches and make the rice stickier.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until tender.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and the liquid is evaporated.
  4. Stir in the brown rice and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in a bowl with oats, cheese, thyme, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  6. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until firm, 3 to 4 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip this step and make the patties immediately, but you’ll still have to refrigerate them for at least an hour or two to solidify them a bit. Otherwise, form patties after 3 to 4 hours and then refrigerate again, covered, for one hour.
  7. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Cook burgers, turning carefully with a spatula, until nicely browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
  8. Mix fig jam and mayo for fig aioli. Spread on toasted buns.
  9. Arrange burgers on buns, top with goat cheese and chopped green onions.

If you like risotto and mushrooms, you’ll LOVE these. And don’t skimp on the toppings—they really put them over the edge.


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