If anyone can convince a meat lover that plant-based is better, it's Chef Chloe Coscarelli—and this insanely good vegan burger.

By By Allison Duncan
March 01, 2018
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Photo: Christina Holmes, Reprinted from Chloe Flavor

When lifelong vegetarian and vegan Chloe Coscarelli decided to become a vegan chef, she dreamed of changing the way the world ate. She has since become an award-winning chef and bestselling cookbook author, revolutionizing the way vegans cook and eat with exciting, plant-based recipes that are full of flavor.

In the pre-kale days, veggie burgers were frozen, tasteless patties loathed by much of the general public. Veggie burgers have since improved (just peep all these new meat alternatives you can buy), but still leave many meat-lovers a bit apprehensive.

These pesto beet burgers from Coscarelli's upcoming cookbook Chloe Flavor (out March 6), though, are true game-changers: "Beet burgers are all the rage these days because the pink, beety juices tint the patty to a hue that resembles rare meat," says Coscarelli. "I know, some of you might find that comparison far from appealing, but if it ropes in carnivores for a vegan lunch, I'm all for it! Pink and green is one of my favorite color combos, so I like slathering this burger with a bright green pesto sauce."

We're here for that. (And if you're here for more recipes from Coscarelli, try these Vegan Chipotle-Mango Tacos, Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl, and other vegan versions of your fave comfort foods.)

Chloe Coscarelli's Vegan Beet Burgers with Pesto

Makes: 4 to 6

Total time: 1 hour

Patty Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium beets (about 5 ounces each), peeled and grated
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 ounces fresh basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients to Assemble

  • 8 whole-grain buns, toasted
  • Arugula
  • Pickled red onion


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and beets, and cook for about 5 minutes more to soften the raw beets, stirring often. Transfer to a food processor; set the skillet aside (no need to wash it).
  2. Add the brown rice, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Pulse until the ingredients just come together, about 20 pulses. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into patties with the palms of your hands.
  3. Lightly grease the same skillet you used for the onion, and heat over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, working in batches, add the patties and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned. Add more oil to the pan as needed between batches.
  4. Make the pesto: In a blender, combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, salt, oil, and water and blend for about 2 minutes, until very smooth. Add the basil and blend again until well combined.
  5. To assemble, on each bun, layer the pesto, a burger patty, arugula, pickled onions, and more pesto.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: The patties can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Cook directly from refrigerated or frozen.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs and serve on gluten-free buns.

Reprinted from Chloe Flavor.