Makes 6 burgers
Total time: 1 hour || Active time: 30 minutes
There are plenty of ideas out there for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, and those creations are some of my favorites in the world. But what if it’s the beginning of November and you don’t yet have any Thanksgiving leftovers? Well, how about I transport you to the day after Thanksgiving; except without all those dishes, without all the travel and without all of those classic “jokes” where your great-uncle twice removed tries to make you eat turkeys?
Enter the from-scratch Thanksgiving Burger. It’s an unholy carbfest: think stuffing that’s stuffed in a roll! Lentils provide that proteiny burgerness, mushrooms add that earthy umaminess and hazelnuts aren’t only deliciously festive here, but they add great texture, too. And of course, you’ve got to have cranberries. Here, they are dried and studded throughout the burger like ruby jewels, providing little bursts of tart sweetness. All of the stuffing stand-bys — your celery, sage and thyme — are accounted for, too. You’re basically eating a beautiful Bob Ross landscape of the prettiest autumn foliage you ever did see. But in burger form. And believe me, you will give thanks with every bite!
~Canned lentils work super great here. But if you don’t have any, make sure to account for the time it will take to boil some up.
~I used kale as my green, but it wasn’t completely untouched. I rubbed it with a little olive oil and salt. I think, though, that arugula (plain and unadultereated) would be a fantastic green to use instead.
~Mayo was my spread of choice for sure. I think ketchup would be too overpowering with these babies.
~I can see some food processors not doing the best job of chopping hazelnuts. If yours is such a machine, chop them by hand, using a clean kitchen towel over the cutting board and your chef’s knife. PS don’t bother peeling the hazelnuts. The skin doesn’t disturb anything here.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Small yellow onion, diced medium
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
4 cups baguette sliced into cubes
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup hazelnuts [see note above]
I cup cooked lentils (brown or green)
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
6 sourdough rolls
Kale [or your preferred greens, see note above]
Vegan mayo (storebought or homemade)
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan non-stick (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Saute onion in one tablespoon olive oil for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt, until translucent. Add mushroom, celery, garlic, black pepper, thyme and sage and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture.
Add baguette cubes, and drizzle in the other tablespoon of oil. Toss bread to coat in the mixture and cook for 5 minutes or so, tossing often, to lightly brown the bread.
Add the vegetable broth and use your spatula to really mush the bread up in the broth, so that it absorbs all the liquid and resembles stuffing. Let it cook about 3 more minutes, to sop up all the flavor.
While everything is cooking in the pan, place hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until they are chopped (not pureed.) Pieces should range from itty bitty to pea sized. Transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl. (No need to clean it out for the next step.)
Add the lentils to the food processor and puree until relatively smooth. Now add the bread mixture from the pan into the processor and pulse 10 to 15 times. You want the mixture to hold together, but there should still be mushroom and celery visible, it shouldn’t be a puree.
Transfer this to the mixing bowl with the hazelnuts. Add in the cranberries and salt. The cranberries like to stick together so make sure you separate them. Combine thoroughly, using your hands if need be, to form a firm but still malleable mixture. Taste for salt and pepper.
Let the mixture cool completely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so, just to help it firm up and let the flavors meld a bit.
Rinse out your cast iron, and preheat on medium-high. Roll the burgers into 6 equal sized tennis balls. Wash your hands often and keep them a little damp during this process for that the burgers don’t stick to your hands. Flatten into 1 1/2 inch thick patties.
Cook in a thin layer of oil for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with greens and mayo. Die of happiness!
Let me try it with the exact steps you have given me…. Thanks
Seriously unbelievable! I just made these, but instead of as a sandwich, i hooked it up with your mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. I went and ate two plates and then i died of happiness 🙂
Late to the party…I finally put ISA DOES IT aside long enough to make these. They were yummy! I deleted the oil and baked them at 375, 15 minutes for each side. We had them with mushroom gravy, etc. but they would also be good in buns. Of course I’m very fond of stuffing sandwiches for a post Thanksgiving indulgence………..
I think i found my vegan meatball base! Dead of happiness.
Wow! This was amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe!
Just saw this recipe. What a great idea. It looks delish!! I will try this next year.
My friend and I made these tonight and they turned out delicious and perfect!
Las Vegas Kitchen Appliance Parts
Howdy outstanding website! Does rnning a bllog such as this require a masskve amount work?
I’ve virtually noo knowledge of coding but I had been hoping to start my own log inn the
nesar future. Anyways, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
I know this is off subject however I just had
to ask. Kudos!
finally got around to making them and they were AMAZING!!!!
i subbed sunflower seeds for the hazelnuts (due to allergy) and also added apple to give even more fall-y-ness– sooo good!
A tip for anyone interested: I used an ice cream scoop to scoop out the mix (after overnight refrigeration) onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cooking spray and then used wax paper to smoosh them into patties! Worked out perfect and no messy club hand!!!
so good I can’t wait til lunch tomorrow for leftovers!!!
additional side note– I left the bowl on the table while I went to put the trays in the oven and caught my cat licking the sides… so additional approval from General Tso Kitten…
WOW! It looks so yummy! I will definitely try this one for thanksgiving! BTW – I found a great vegan wine at Whole Foods Market, it is called “Deccolio Prosecco” and it will be great aperitif to the holiday dinner.
I made these last night and they were the bomb.com. I thought I had dried thyme but alas, I did not so I added some fresh rosemary and a little extra sage. Also, I made a quick cranberry vegan mayo. This is a fantastic recipe.
JoAnne in Denver
Just made these tonight. They were delicious but mushy. Mine stayed together just fine to cook as burgers but I was hoping for a more well done center for my omni husband ( outside had a nice crust!). Would baking them first help the inside cook up better?
I. Can’t. Even.
My Word! These are amazing! Absolutely friggin amazing!!!
Made these patties for Christmas dinner and they have now been renamed Christmas Cutlets in our house. Delicious!
I made these, minus the celery (just didn’t have any), yesterday and they were AMAZING. Will be making them time and time again!
This looks and sounds incredible. I am making these for Thanksgiving for those of us who are not meat eaters, but I have a couple questions: can these be made ahead, frozen, then thawed and cooked. Also has any one tried baking these? Any one made this into a baked loaf?
Can you bake these?
I’m making them right now for my mom and I! No meat in this diet. Serving with a Caesr salad and baked herb potatoes! Thanks for such a great recipe, i’ve made it dozens of times! You’re a gem!
Loathe mushrooms and am always looking for a substitute vegetable. Think I could just leave them out of this yummy-sounding recipe?
This is my go to thanksgiving dinner recipe! I bake it as a loaf in a 350 oven for an hour. It’s perfect sliced and served with all the trimmings.
Where is the recipe?
The recipe is missing 🙁 I wanted to make it this week too!
I want to make this too, and the recipe is gone 🙁 I need this food, please be a hero and help a lady out in these troubling times. <3
Lovely and plenty of young celery free through the regrowimg – free!
For all of my fellow mushroom-haters: We made these years ago and I just stumbled on my recipe notes. I subbed shredded sweet potatoes for the mushrooms – worked like a charm!