Back in the day, when my friends and I would spend inordinate amounts of time hanging out at Olympic Star restaurant discussing life, love, and the pursuit of happiness (or something like that), I ate pizza burgers. Lots of pizza burgers.
Now, at Olympic Star, a pizza burger was nothing more than an overcooked hamburger slathered in their one-size-fits-all marinara (you know, the same meat sauce that went with the spaghetti and the lasagna and anything else that was served with a red meat sauce), with a slice of some sort of white cheese on a cheap burger bun.
I can’t even say it tasted all that good (it really was some un-magnificent meat), but it tasted unique, and it was messy, and it was cheap. To a teenage palate, that works.
I’m a bit more picky these days. I prefer to eat food that tastes good, and I prefer to eat food that didn’t moo before it ended up on my plate. I’m still a big fan of a big, messy burger that tastes kind of like pizza, though.
Enter: another recipe from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet. If you like burgers, this really is a fun cookbook. I have now made 5 or 6 burgers out of this book (and one of the bun recipes, too), and they’ve all been stellar. This time, I tried out the Pizza Burger recipe.
The premise here is that the burger is flavored to taste like pepperoni pizza. I did not have any anise seed, which might have been a critical pepperoni-flavor-component; I’m not sure. I don’t know what anise seed tastes like. I also knew from previous experience that the recipes in this book tend to pack a punch on the spicy side, so I decided to dial the spicy components way back.
The result was a veggie burger with a mild kick and enough pizza flavor to warrant the name Pizza Burger (though maybe not specifically Pepperoni Pizza Burger).
Here’s how it went:
So Delicious mint chocolate coconut milk
Hello there, tasty holiday beverage! (Hey, we all need inspiration sometimes).
Cooking up some pizza veggie burgers
Welcome back, Favorite Cow Towel!
Pizza burgers, ready to go into the oven
I love my little plastic burger press. These burgers are ready to bake!
Pizza burger on whole wheat kaiser roll
It’s a burger, baby.
The recipe (as I made it):
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 30
Keywords: bake sandwich burger vegetarian vegan
Adapted from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 cup TVP
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus scant 1/4 cup (divided)
- 7 oz (half can) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
- 1/3 cup non-dairy sour cream (such as, Tofutti)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the pepper, paprika, salt, red pepper flakes, sugar, basil, garlic powder, TVP, water, liquid smoke, and 2 tbsp olive oil.
Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Then, let cool for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes, flour, remaining olive oil, and sour cream.
Mix together for several minutes until mixture thickens and is well incorporated.
Form into 4-6 burger patties.
Place patties on a baking sheet (lined with parchment, if desired).
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.