Blended burgers incorporate finely chopped mushrooms into the meat as a method to retain moisture, add umami flavor and extra nutrition. The fresh vegetable toppings and lemon caper basil aioli make this combination impossible to resist.
What are your top three favorite summer meals? For me it’s a BLT, summer rolls, and a really good burger. Which is exactly what these fresh California-style sliders are. Just a solid, homemade burger!
They’re great for three main reasons:
- Mushrooms. Not on top the burger but INSIDE the burger. That’s right, these have a full eight ounces of finely chopped mushrooms mixed in with the beef. In the culinary world this is referred to as a blended burger and it’s fairly trendy. I’ve even seen them on restaurant menus! It adds vegetables, great flavor and moisture to the patties.
- The toppings. As the name suggests, the toppings are fresh and flavorful and compliment each other so well. These are definitely more laborious than my typical recipes because of the prep work, but trust me. This is one time when it really counts.
- Pretzel buns. Move over bland, wheat buns. The pretzel bun is where it’s at! Even better, they come in slider size which is what we’re going with here.
I mentioned these were more time-consuming than most of my other recipes. This is 100% related to the toppings including:
- lemon basil caper aioli, which is essentially mayo but elevated. I took it up a notch with briney capers, fresh basil chiffonade and lemon juice & zest. You’ll want to use any leftovers on everything!
- quick-pickled jalapeños are done in 30 minutes and add just the right amount of kick.
- caramelized onions because is there a more superior burger topping?
- finely shredded purple cabbage (I use a mandolin). It’s that something raw, crunchy and fresh that we need here and more unique than lettuce.
The nice part about these: you can prep any or all of the toppings ahead of time and I would highly recommend it. The flavorful vegetable add-ons are what make this plant-forward blended burger above average, so resist the urge to skip any of them.
How to Make a Blended Burger
Wondering how to squeeze all of those mushrooms into the burgers without biting into huge chunks? The trick is using a food processor to finely chop them. You then transfer the mushrooms to a skillet with a little bit of oil to lightly cook and remove some of the moisture. Then they get mixed right in with the beef.
I’m a big fan of “cutting” meat with vegetables because typically you can’t even taste a difference (or if you can, it’s a positive difference), it’s a great way to increase fiber/nutrition and it’s less expensive. Being a huge fan of mushrooms, of course I was all in when I learned about this technique. Even though we’re using beef here, I still consider this recipe to be plant-forward thanks to the smaller portion size and heavy dose of vegetable toppings.
Summer is winding down quick but there’s still time to make an epic burger, right? Take the time to go all out on toppings and really savor this beauty.
So, would you give blended burgers a try?
Complete Your Summer Menu:
Fresh California Style Sliders (Blended Burger)
Blended burgers incorporate finely chopped mushrooms into the meat as a method to retain moisture, add umami flavor and extra nutrition. The fresh vegetable toppings and lemon caper basil aioli make this slider impossible to resist.
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 sliders 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: American
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz white button mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 4 oz medium cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
- 8 slider buns
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 jalapeños
- 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 lemon (juice & zest)
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 2 Tbsp basil ribbons
- Avocado slices
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. While you wait, add clean de-stemmed mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for 3-5 minutes until slightly browned. Move them to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool. Wipe the skillet clean.
- Use the same skillet to make the caramelized onions. Turn down heat to medium-low. Add onions, butter and 1/4 tsp salt then cook until browned (about 30 minutes) stirring often to prevent sticking/burning.
- Meanwhile, add jalapeños, vinegar, water and 1 tsp salt to a 16 ounce jar. Cover tightly and shake well. Let sit at room temperature.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Add ground beef to the bowl with the chopped mushrooms and mix with your hands until well-combined. Form into eight equal slider-sized patties (use your thumb to make a small indent in the middle of each). Transfer to grill and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, flip, season the second side and finish cooking (burgers should reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees). Top with cheddar cheese in the last 1-2 minutes.
- While the burgers are cooking, make the aioli by combining mayo, lemon juice and zest, capers and basil in a small dish.
- Build your burgers in this order: bun, aioli, burger patty, caramelized onions, avocado slices, cabbage, jalapeños, top bun.
- The equipment section above includes affiliate links to things I use often in my kitchen and recommend.
- Nutrition information is calculated for the entire ingredients list, so assumes you use all of the sauce, toppings, etc. Numbers will differ based on how much of these things you actually use.
- Serving Size: 1 slider
- Calories: 425 calories
- Fat: 30 grams
- Carbohydrates: 21 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 19 grams
Keywords: blended burger, mushroom burger, sliders, summer recipes, grilling
Want More Plant-Forward Recipes?
Join my VIP list and I'll send you five reader favorites! Healthy, flavor-packed recipes. What's not to love about that?