Mushroom Lamb Burger with Basil Avocado Pesto

By: Patricia Bannan

Mushroom Lamb Burger with Basil Avocado Pesto
CutleryServes: 5


  • 3 tablespoons walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 3/4 lb white or crimini mushrooms, diced small
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces lamb, ground
  • 8 ounces mushroom mixture
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for the pan)
  • 5 ounces fresh sliced mozzarella
  • 5 whole wheat buns
  • 5 tablespoons basil avocado pesto
  • 2/3 cup caramelized onions
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh baby arugula


Make the basil avocado pesto: To a small blender, add all the ingredients for the pesto; process until smooth. Remove from blender and place covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

In a medium bowl, mix mushrooms, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place mushrooms in a single layer on parchment lined baking trays, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes.

Allow mushrooms to cool, then in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process mushrooms until they are chopped fine with some texture remaining.

In a large bowl, mix the lamb, 8 ounces of the mushroom mixture, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and egg together. Form 5, 5-ounce patties and place on a parchment lined sheet pan, and place in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot and coats the entire pan, cook the patties for approximately 4 minutes on each side or until they are an internal temperature of 165°F. Turn off the heat, place one ounce of mozzarella on each burger and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve each patty on a whole wheat bun and top with 1 tablespoon basil avocado pesto, 2 tablespoons caramelized onions, and 1/4 cup fresh arugula.

Recipe adapted from a workshop at the Goldring School of Culinary Medicine at Tulane University.

Nutritional Information

Serves: 5

Per Serving: Calories 500; Total Fat 28 g; Sat Fat 7 g; Protein 35 g; Carb 33 g; Fiber 7 g; Cholesterol 105 mg; Sodium 510 mg