Pesto burgers are wonderful for summer or cooked in a skillet all year round. If you have a lot of basil, as I did, making this easy recipe will serve you and your family well. Feel free to check out our pesto burger recipe and try it today.
Pesto is used a lot for pasta but can also be added to burgers for an added flavor.
This was inspired by my other burger recipes you can find below. I also made a mint parsley walnut pesto recipe for a refreshing summer pasta dinner.
I modified this recipe to use dairy-free parmigiana cheese, which turned out delicious. You got the flavor, but no dairy. YAY!
It is also gluten-free. But, if you want to add a thickener to make it less crumbly, you can add Gluten Free breadcrumbs.
Pesto Burger Ingredients
- 1 lb ground beef
- 5 cups of basil cleaned and squeezed dry
- ¼ cup olive oil or more
- 4 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup Dairy Free parmigiana cheese
- Toppings and additions: Tomatoes, Lettuce, Bun, and extra Pesto.
Dairy Free Pesto Burger Instructions
Below are the instructions on how to make this pesto burger recipe for dinner tonight.
Measure out all the ingredients. Measuring them out into bowls will make it easier when you are ready to blend them.
Then, clean the basil, and squeeze it dry to remove excess water. Add basil to a blender or food processor.
Next, add walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper, DF parmigiana, and lemon juice. Add the olive oil slowly until mixed. Scrape down the sides and mix again until turned into a loose paste. **You may need more olive oil.
In a large bowl, scoop out one quarter or one-half cup of the pesto and mix it with the ground beef. Make 4 burgers and place them on a plate. Store the rest in a container with a lid in the fridge for later.
Heat the large skillet until hot, and add the olive oil slowly. Then add the burgers to medium-high heat. This recipe makes 4 ¼ lb burgers.
Cook for 10 minutes, then gently turn for 10 minutes. They may crumble, so be careful.
Dairy free Beef Pesto Burger Reveal:
Here is the delicious burger! It was so juicy. The fresh pesto made the burger very tasty.
Hint: These burgers are heavy, so ensure you have seasoned cast iron or a nonstick pan. You can also place them on the grill.
This recipe is already dairy-free and gluten-free. But below are some other options.
- Less garlic - You can cut back the garlic to two cloves.
- Bun - You can use a gluten-free type bun for this recipe. You can also use a whole wheat bun with this recipe.
- Pine nuts - Pine nuts are traditionally used for basil pesto, so if you want to use them, you can. Only use ¼ cup of them and replace the walnuts.
- Real parmesan cheese - Feel free to substitute the Dairy Free cheese for a regular one if you do not need it to be dairy-free.
- Ground chicken (chicken pesto burgers) - to lighten this meal, you can use ground chicken instead of ground beef.
- Ground turkey (turkey pesto burgers) - You can change up the recipe and use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
- Mozzarella slices - Feel free to add slices of fresh mozzarella to the top of the burger.
- Less fat - you can use lean ground beef if you want.
Visit our other low-carb burger recipes below:
Below are some variations you can do with this pesto recipe.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes or hot sauce while making the burgers.
- Deluxe - add a few tomatoes to the burger when finished.
- No Bun - Add the pesto burger to a lettuce salad as I did in the reveal picture.
- Sliders - cut the mixed burger meat into eight parts to make sliders.
- Red onion - add caramelized onion to the burger as a topping.
- Pesto mayonnaise - Grab a few tablespoons and add ¼ cup of mayo and mix for a delicious topping to the burger.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Cast iron skillets are wonderful for burgers. But grills are also if you want to cook them with less fat. You can use a food processor or a high-powered blender that allows you to control how much power you need. The one below is the one I just got, and it is AMAZING. I even purchased it from Amazon (affiliate).
You can prep these ingredients in the morning and blend together the recipes in the afternoon before cooking them.
These recipes, after being combined with the burgers and formed, will freeze well in the freezer.
You can use the leftover pesto with a pasta dish the next night too. The pesto will last about 5-7 days in the refrigerator. It can make at least 2 - 3 different meals.
Some other things you can do with the excess pesto are:
- Mix with pasta.
- Add ground turkey to the pesto and make meatballs.
- Add ground chicken to pesto and make burgers.
Be sure to be conservative with the pesto in the burger. A little bit goes a long way.
Below are some safety tips:
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended.