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Pecan and Bean Burgers

These burgers can be served on bread, mushrooms, or with a salad. Adding the pesto on top gives the burgers extra flavor and nutrients, and the pesto can be used in a variety of other ways too!
Prep Time20 mins
Course: Dinner
Keyword: black bean burger, chickpeas, gluten-free, pecan, pesto
Servings: 8
Author: Delia McCable, Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook 


Bean Burgers:

  • 2 2/3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or beans, or 2 cans (425 grams/15 ounces each), drained
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup pecans soaked in water for 2–3 hours, rinsed and drained well
  • 3-4 spring onions (shallots, scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme  
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or Italian herbs)
  • handful of parsley or basil, finely chopped  
  • tablespoons psyllium husks
  • few tablespoons chickpea (besan, gram), tapioca or arrowroot flour, or quinoa flakes, for coating burgers  
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Green Pesto:

  • 2 cups almonds  
  • 2 cups rocket (arugula), washed
  • 1 small bunch basil, washed and stems removed
  • 1 small bunch chives, washed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • rind and juice of 1 small lemon  
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt, to taste


Bean Burgers:

  • Preheat your oven to 160ºC/320ºF. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Combine the chickpeas or beans, carrot, onion, garlic and pecans in a food processor and pulse until they form a loose mixture with most of the ingredients in small chunks.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and toss in the spring onions, herbs and psyllium. Mix thoroughly.
  • Using a ½-cup measure, divide the mixture into equal quantities. Using your hands, shape them into flat patties, pressing down lightly and coating the patties in the flour or quinoa flakes.
  • Transfer the patties to the baking tray and bake for 30–40 minutes or until set. Serve with a variety of lettuce leaves, rocket (arugula), thinly sliced tomato, cucumber and red onions, green pesto (recipe to follow) or any of the variations below. 

Green Pesto:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but allowing some crunchiness to remain in the nuts.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.


Burger Variation
You can substitute lentils for the beans, but only add half the amount to the food processor and the other half after processing. 
Pesto Variations
Replace the almonds with Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamias or pumpkin seeds (pepitas).
Replace the basil leaves with fresh coriander (cilantro).
If you need some ‘instant’ tomato pesto, simply blend together ½ cup each of sun-dried tomatoes, cashew or macadamia nuts, 1 garlic clove and ¼ cup olive oil. If the tomatoes don’t contain salt, then add salt and pepper to taste.