So I’ve been on this major, MAJOR veggie burger kick. My Chunky Portabella Veggie burgers have been a viral success! It was only befitting that I give you another veggie burger that both vegetarians and carnivores would love! Let me introduce you to these lovely Chunky Portabella Parmesan Veggie Burgers! See marrying Mr. Fantabulous there was certain criteria I had to meet in the kitchen – know how to make Italian Gravy, Canolis, Struffoli and Chicken Parmesan. However there are days when I’m just not feeling meat. I love it but it doesn’t love me back at times so I had to find alternatives that when I made say Chicken Parmesan I didn’t have to stray and make a completely separate meal for me. This is one of those dishes.
See Mr. Fantabulous was craving chicken parmesan and I well, wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong it’s friggen awesome but I was kind of ‘chickend-out’ if you will. But I didn’t want to make something totally different for me. I was going to just make myself a veggie burger but then this hit me. Why not make an Italian version of my veggie burger and adapt it to be like chicken parm?
Since I wanted this more Italian style I opted to go with traditional seasonings and fillings – no black beans or chick peas but more shredded zucchini, lots of garlic and tons of fresh basil. I mean those are pretty much the Italian staple, right? Oh wait how could I forget the most important thing here… CHEESE! I gave this puppy a triple whammy when it came to it! Chunks of cheese and grated cheese in it plus melty cheese on top.
Now before I go on I know a few of you vegans are going to ask me how to make this vegan. This is where I’m going to need the help of the TKW Family here. I’m thinking tofu and vegan cheese in lieu of the eggs and dairy cheese. What do you think?
Now to cook these I made them the same way as I did the other veggie burgers. However to get that true ‘parmesan’ taste and result I popped the burgers on a pan, topped with some incredible marinara and cheese and baked just for a few; just until the cheese was all melty! I had these on the same pan as my chicken when I popped them in the oven that way we could actually eat dinner at the same time.
I could have put this on a bun, sure but I wasn’t in the mood for carbs so I opted for a simple bedding of all things… basil. OMG seriously it was INTENSE and amazing! The smell the basil gave off once the hot burger hit it was incredible!
As you can see, these burgers are super juicy but they keep their shape. However truth be told they didn’t keep the shape for long as I pretty much annihilated them with my fork trying to shovel it in as fast as possible! LOL Honestly I don’t know which one I loved more – these ones or the Chunky Portabella Veggie burgers. They are equally amazing and man, that’s a tough call. I say go with what you’re craving at the moment. For me, this totally hit the spot and I literally had it every day for 4 days. And trust me coming from someone that is NOT a fan of leftovers this was something I actually looked forward to having again and again!
Now I had (*HAD*) 5 extra burgers in the fridge for me to last the week.
Yeah, you can see where this is going. Well by day 2 I get a call from Mr. Fantabulous “Hey honey where are the burger buns? I’m heating up one of those hamburgers and can’t find a bun.” I said “I don’t have any buns for them. They are to be eaten on a bed of greens or in a lettuce wrap.” “Wait? Is this one of those funky non-meat things you’ve been eating? Damn it honey I’m hungry. Fine, I’ll eat it plain.” I said “Baby there is other food in the fridge for you to eat. Get that.”
“Honey are you there?”
“Lori, what’s in this burger? Are you sure there is no meat?” “Yes honey there’s no meat in it, why? Do you not like it?”
…silence followed by a deep sigh.
“No I actually really like it.. and I shouldn’t cause it’s not meat but damn this is good. Can I have another one?”
“Lori? Honey? Can I eat another one?”
…silence followed by deep sign.
So as you can see even my big Italian carnivore loved this. The thing is, he loved it a bit too much as I got no more of them since some cow ate them all! LOL
- 2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed
- 1 cup grated zucchini or 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
- 2 Tbl minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- 1/3 cup fresh parmesan, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups of fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 2 XL eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl plain bread crumbs (regular or gluten free)
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425F with a rack in the middle.
- Place foil on a baking sheet and spray with oil.
- Place the zucchini in a linen cloth and wring it out several times squeezing as much moisture out as you can. Discard the water.
- In a large bowl add in the mushrooms, zucchini, basil, 1/3 cup parmesan pieces, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Mix just until coated.
- Add in the eggs, 1/3 cup marinara sauce, 3/4 cup grated cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined and just holds a shape if pressed with a spoon. If it doesn’t add a Tbl or2 more of breadcrumbs.
- Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2-3 Tbl of oil – you want enough so the bottom of the pan is coated and it’s about 1/8” up.
- Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a 1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a Tbl more of bread crumbs.
- Place in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side.
- While the burgers are cooking place the remaining marinara sauce in a pan over medium heat to warm up.
- Put the burgers on the baking sheet lined with foil, spoon 2 Tbl of marinara over each and place the remaining cheese on top of them; evenly dividing up.
- Bake for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is just melted.