Pesto Veggie Burgers with Balsamic Aioli

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Side view of a pesto veggie burger on a bun with toppings

We’ve done veggie burgers and pesto separately, but together? Our only regret is not trying it sooner! Herby, savory chickpea burgers join with sliced tomato, arugula, and a creamy, bright balsamic aioli for a major dose of YUM!

Just 30 minutes required for this satisfying plant-based main perfect for summer BBQs or a quick weeknight meal! Let us show you how it’s done!

Tomato, shallot, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, vegan mayo, buns, breadcrumbs, arugula, and chickpeas

These pesto chickpea patties begin with mashing chickpeas until there are only a few large pieces remaining. While the large pieces add texture, the mashed chickpeas are the “glue” that holds the burgers together. Pesto and breadcrumbs join the party and contribute additional binding powers!

Adding breadcrumbs to a bowl with mashed chickpeas and pesto

The remaining ingredients in the burgers include sautéed shallot and garlic for sweetness and optional red pepper flakes if you like a little heat!

Cooking pesto chickpea veggie burgers in a skillet

After cooking the patties until lightly browned on both sides, we let them cool while we make a balsamic aioli. It’s the fancy-sounding yet seriously simple burger topping (just mix mayo + balsamic vinegar 🤫) that adds an extra level of WOW! The final toppings (tomato + arugula) add fresh, bright notes that round it all out.

Hamburger bun topped with balsamic aioli, a pesto chickpea burger, tomato slice, and arugula

We can’t wait for you to try these pesto veggie burgers! They’re:

Quick & easy
Perfect for summer
& SO delicious!

Enjoy with your favorite burger sides such as potato chips, fries, sweet potatoes, grilled veggies, slaws, or salads.

More Veggie Burger Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Pressing down on the top of a pesto veggie burger

Pesto Veggie Burgers with Balsamic Aioli

Herby, savory, quick and easy pesto veggie burgers made with chickpeas! SO satisfying and perfect for BBQs or a quick weeknight meal. Just 30 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Side view of a pesto veggie burger on a bun with tomato, arugula, and balsamic aioli
4.12 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Burgers)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free (optional), Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3 Days



  • 1 ½ – 2 Tbsp avocado oil (DIVIDED // for cooking shallots/burgers)
  • 2 medium shallots, finely minced (2 shallots yield ~1/3 cup or 53 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought // vegan as needed — see notes for brand recommendations)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (homemade or store-bought // vegan/gluten-free as needed // we used Ian’s GF Panko)



  • Sliced tomato (~1 large tomato)
  • Arugula (or other greens of choice)
  • Hamburger buns (gluten-free/vegan as needed)


  • BURGERS: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes (optional). Sauté, stirring frequently, until shallot and garlic are soft and translucent — about 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer garlic and shallot mixture to a mixing bowl. Then add drained chickpeas and use a fork or pastry cutter to mash/mix. A little texture is okay, but you only want a few large pieces of chickpeas remaining.
  • Add the pesto and breadcrumbs and mix until well combined. You want it to form into a moldable “dough.” Taste and adjust as needed, adding more pesto for herby flavor, breadcrumbs if too wet, or a pinch of salt for overall balance.
  • Divide into 4 even patties (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). To help form them, line a 1/2 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap and scoop out 1/2 cup amounts. Press to pack, then lift out and slightly flatten with hands.
  • Heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat. Once hot, add enough oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of your skillet, then add only as many burgers as will fit comfortably. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping gently and reducing heat if browning too quickly.
  • Let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving (they’ll firm up a bit during this time).
  • BALSAMIC AIOLI: While your burgers cool, combine the mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
  • To serve, spread balsamic aioli on both sides of a toasted bun. Layer the bottom bun with the burger, sliced tomato, arugula, and top of the bun.
  • Leftover burgers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, though best when fresh. See notes for freezing.


*Store-bought dairy-free pestos we’ve tried and enjoyed: LeGrand Garden Pesto, Gotham Greens Pesto, and Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto.
*These burgers are sturdy and we think they would work well on a grill, but we haven’t tested it. Let us know in the comments if you try!
*To freeze, brown burgers on either side as instructed. Then cool, separate with layers of parchment paper, and seal in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2-3 weeks and reheat in a 375-degree F (190 C) oven on a bare or parchment-lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through and golden brown.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with whole wheat hamburger buns, all of the aioli, 1 slice tomato and 1/2 cup arugula per burger, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 burger with bun and toppings Calories: 464 Carbohydrates: 46.5 g Protein: 14.9 g Fat: 25.2 g Saturated Fat: 2.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 630 mg Potassium: 486 mg Fiber: 9 g Sugar: 6.8 g Vitamin A: 260 IU Vitamin C: 12 mg Calcium: 168 mg Iron: 3 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Rachel says

    Used 1/2 cup of oat flour instead of bread crumbs and formed the patties then baked at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. They stayed together well with this method if anyone doesn’t have bread crumbs or the patience for stove top haha. Used Trader Joe’s vegan pesto. Thanks Minimalist baker!

  2. Samara says

    I have a bunch of gluten free flours in my house (AP, Cassava, Tapioca, Almond) – could i sub some of this instead of breadcrumbs.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Samara, we think almond flour + all-purpose could work, though they may not hold together as well. We wouldn’t recommend going too heavy on the all-purpose as it could make the burgers gummy. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  3. Dmc says

    Quick and easy but not a good veggie burger. Tends to smoke a lot when cooking and is just too much bread crumbs (I followed the recipe). There are better burger recipes out there that take a little more time and are worth it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this one. Turning down the heat should prevent the oil from smoking. Would you mind sharing what type of breadcrumbs you were using?

  4. Blake Spencer says

    This looks delicious and I would like to make it. I’m wondering if you can recommend a good gluten free burger bun. I am not vegan so eggs are ok. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Blake, we have a recipe for gluten-free buns here if you’re up for making them from scratch! For store-bought, we haven’t found one we love, but Udi’s would be an option.

  5. Megan Parhm says

    I had been eyeing this recipe but day of realized I didn’t have my can of chickpeas. I used blackheads and followed the directions with exception of eyeballing the red pepper flakes. It needed a touch more pesto and breadcrumbs. I added vegan parmesan melted on top and mustard when dressing at end. DELICIOUS and SUPER QUICK AND EASY (which means a lot as I have a 4yo, 2yo and 1 month baby). Thanks for this one!

  6. Behan says

    New favorite meatless burger recipe. WOW. I made a few mods:
    – Skipped the shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes saute.
    – Didn’t use any shallots at all! Put some garlic puree and shakes of finer pepper flakes directly into the bowl to mix.
    – Did not have pesto: blended basil with olive oil and added some salt.

    Our version was served with homemade chipotle “mayo” (immersion blender with two whole chipotles + about 1/2 cup of your fave mayonnaise) and rocked my world!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Behan! That chipotle mayo sounds SO delicious. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  7. Kerry McInnes says

    These are so simple and so flavourful. I added a bit of ground flax seed and reduced the breadcrumbs accordingly. I also added a splash of soy and Worcestershire sauce. I served with broiled eggplant slices which paired really nicely. It could be do to my modifications but the first batch I did crumbled quite a bit in the pan. The second batch I did I was much more careful to shape before pan frying and then not pressing down with spatula in the pan and they crumbled much less.

  8. Batsheva says

    These burgers are very easy to made and really flavorful. I used the homemade pesto recipe in the link. My only criticism is that though they become crispy on the outside, they remain mushy on the instide so makes them hard to eat in a bun or just a sandwich. Any suggestions on how to toughen them up would be appreciated

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for the feedback, Batsheva! You could try more breadcrumbs or omitting the water in the homemade pesto. Hope that helps for next time!

      • BatSheva says

        Thanks. I did add more breadcrumbs which didn’t help but I’ll try omitting the water in the pesto next time. Definitely worth making again.

  9. Cbo says

    Very easy to make and yummy. The balsamic mayonnaise was a big hit and so easy. Our burgers crumbled though, so we added a more bread crumbs (regular Panko), which helped a little to glue them together. Other suggestions to help them stick together?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience! We’re glad you enjoyed the flavor! Mashing the chickpeas more should help them stick together better.

  10. Karen says

    YUM! Thank you, MB- your zucchini fritters are a favorite of mine, so, since I am a huge pesto maker I was excited to try these. (I am fortunate to live near am incredible farmers market so am quite spoiled for access to local and organic ingredients, which I freeze to last all winter.)
    I made these exactly as you said, except used a bunch of very baby onions since shallots aren’t ready. I was surprised they came together nicely without a binding agent. I ended up with 3 1/2 cup size burgers and a smaller one.
    Two things for my next batch to freeze: I will use an egg (since I do eat those) and use half the amount of bread crumbs, to start. They were a little crumbly, although, firmed up a little more as you said during cooling. But although I could taste my pesto the bread crumbs were just as noticeable. Maybe it depends on the brand.
    The vegan mayo/balsamic is a great idea!
    Thanks, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience and recommendations, Karen! Super helpful! xoxo

  11. Paul says

    Hi Folks
    I really appreciate your efforts, regular emails and website. Your recipes have been a great help, on my quest to follow a largely Vegan diet.

    My daughter introduced me to your website/offerings a number of years. I have become a committed follower.

    There is one thing about your emails that I find frustratingly annoying. Am I alone in this? Every email I open I get a pop up related to the offer to download a “recipe book”. Does this have to be a “pop up”? Please see if you can find a better way to present this offering.


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Paul, thank you for your kind words and we’re so glad our recipes have been helpful! Is this issue happening when you click over to the website or directly in the email? It should only be on the website and it’s supposed to be remembering you and not showing the pop up again. We’ll look into it!

    • Paul says

      Originally tried to respond to your email, came back undeliverable; hence copied my response below (hope this is helpful).

      “Hi Folks

      Not sure I can answer you question directly (not good on techy stuff).

      Perhaps if I explain the the steps following receipt of your email, that will provide the information you need

      MB email arrives in my mail box
      Open email
      Click on the picture to open the recipe details
      Pop-up message opens
      Close the pop-up message
      Typically, click next on “jump to recipe”
      Hopefully this helps you determine whether things are operating as planned.

      From my perspective, I wonder why I get the pop-up offer when I’m already signed up with you folks.

      Sorry to be a cranky old fart!!!!!! :p

      You folks do an amazing job

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        No worries, Paul! Thank you for this additional info. We’ll look into why it’s giving you a pop-up when you’re already signed up. It’s not supposed to do that!

  12. Nadine Ridley says

    I love your recipes and really appreciate all the effort you put into them! Thoughts on subbing white beans for chickpeas? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nadine, we think the flavor would be nice, but they will likely be more tender/wet and may benefit from adding more breadcrumbs. Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! We’d recommend spraying with oil to encourage some crispiness on the edges. Let us know if you try it!