This recipe is my favorite right now. I don’t know when I will get enough of it. This ‘meat’, with nuts and vegetables as its star ingredients is so satisfying and fulfilling, even for carnivores. I promise you, any meat eaters in the family will not feel cheated with this meat substitution. You can readily find veggie burgers filled with soy, corn, beans and other vegetables. There is nothing wrong with that variety, but they never ‘fit the bill’ for me. I discovered a nut burger at a natural foods drive-in, near my home. Well, it was actually a nutty taco… my husband had the nut burger. Not only was I floored by how good the nut ‘meat’ was, I was also pleasantly surprised when my hamburger-loving husband thoroughly enjoyed his as well. We don’t live so close to the restaurant anymore, and I have to admit, it is a long wait for their food, so it’s not so convenient to eat there often. I have been searching for a similar recipe for years. I recently decided to combine a few different recipes that I found while searching, and ventured to give my version a try. I can really only say, WOW! I am so happy with the result. I have made burgers, tacos, mini-appetizer tacos, and meatballs with this recipe, and I will continue to use it in many other meals. This recipe also makes A LOT (6-12 burgers, depending on size), and I freeze 2/3 of the batch every time I prepare it. What will you do with the nutmeat?
Because I enjoy using this ‘meat’ in my recipes so much, I decided to break this into two posts. Tomorrow, I will post the nutty tacos. There is not much different in that recipe. In fact, the only thing that would change would be your choice of seasonings for the ‘meat’, and of course, the way you assemble your meal with bread, condiments, etc. Images of prep below. Scroll down for recipe.↓
Use the leftover pulp, from
juicing about 8 carrots.↓
Blend nuts separately from veggies. Combine and mix together. Will be the consistency of raw meat.↓
Form into patties.↓
Fry patties in a little heated olive oil.↓
Top with cheese (vegan or otherwise)
I mentioned, last week, that I made some nutmeat into meatballs and added it to my Pomegranate and Walnut stew. It turned out so good!
See that recipe here.↓
This also makes great Nutty Tacos!↓
…And, tasty Loaded Baked Potato Bites!↓
Ingredients for Nutmeat
- 1 cup carrot pulp (leftover after juicing about 8 carrots)
- 1 cup shelled raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup shelled raw almonds
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. cilantro or parsley
- 2 large eggs* see vegan in notes
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce gluten free if needed
- 1/8 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. mild chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil for frying burgers
- **Juice approximately 8 carrots. Drink the juice and reserve 1 cup pulp.
- Place walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a food processor or blender and pulse until you have a medium fine meal consistency ***(it's nice to have pieces of nuts to chew on, see notes). Remove to a large mixing bowl.
- Place onion, celery, garlic and cilantro (parsley) in food processor and pulse until you have nearly a puree. Remove to same large mixing bowl as nut mixture.
- Add to the large bowl, reserved carrot pulp, soy sauce, eggs, curry powder, dry mustard powder, poultry seasoning, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well incorporated. Will feel like raw meat.
- Form into 12 small patties or 6 large.****
- Fry in a pan over medium heat until brown on each side.
- Top with regular or vegan cheese, if desired.
- Assemble burger however you wish.
*If not using eggs, replace with 2 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp. water. (Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes to thicken).
** If you don't have a juicer, you can just chop the carrots, and add them to the onion, celery, cilantro, and garlic before pureeing.
***The best texture is for there to be little bits of nuts and veggies in the burger. Although, the ability to bind this mixture counts on pureed veggies and almost butter-like processed nuts. Here is a tip-
1-Blend nuts (veggies) just a little, then pull a few spoonfuls out and reserve in a small bowl.
2-Continue to blend the nuts (veggies) until almost butter-like (veggies would be pureed).
3-Add the bits of nuts and veggies back into the final mixture.
****At this point, you can also take a wooden spoon and crumble up the nutmeat if making tacos, or other recipes requiring crumbled meat.
Hi Ginger, Great website. I was looking for a recipe of the nut burger and couldnt find it. It says [yumprint-recipe id=’24’]. Can you please tell how I can access this? BTW, was sunflower drive thru the inspiration for your burger recipe?
Thank you so much for visiting! I am so sorry you were experiencing troubles with the recipe. I think I have fixed the problem, and the recipe should appear now. Yes, the drive-in was my inspiration. I had scoured the web for a recipe similar to theirs for a long time. I finally took a few different recipes that I had come across and came up with this. BTW, I am sorry if you are experiencing rough browsing and confusing content on my site right now, it is currently under maintenance, but should be functioning normally soon. Please visit again and often! 😉
Your recipe looks great! If as one commenter said…your inspiration…I spoke with one of the owners of this particular place and their “secret” ingredient is FRESH sage! Terrific!
That is a great tid-bit of information. 😉 Maybe I shall try adding the fresh sage next time I make it. Thank you so much for visiting! Cheers!
See, this is why reading comments matters. I haven’t been there in 30 years. Thank you for this.
Thank you for visiting my site!
Yes Sunflower has the best nut burgers and tacos, thanks for this recipe.
Ginger, thanks for the recipe. I didn’t see “vegan” in the notes for the eggs. Could you please help with that. Thanks
So sorry! My blog is not closely monitored and all my notifications from comments have landed in a spam folder for a year! Ha! It’s at the bottom, first asterisk: *If not using eggs, replace with 2 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp. water. (Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes to thicken).
Thank you for the recipe, I love these burgers and the Sunflower Burgers and all, especially their berry yogurt smoothie!!
So sorry! My blog is not closely monitored and all my notifications from comments have landed in a spam folder for a year! Ha! Yes! Their smoothies are sooo good. Pineapple is my favorite.
This is great! I’ve been wanting to make a nut meat similar to Sunflower Drive-In’s for years! The Nutty Taco is my favorite. Can you recommend how to prepare it as taco “meat”? In other words, do you think I should brown it (in oil?) as if it were ground beef? Sunflower’s taco “meat” IS a bit browned looking. Also, I don’t have a juicer. Do you think I could add shredded carrots? Thanks!
Thank you so much for visiting!
I brown the taco ‘meat’ in just a little bit of oil. I simply smoosh/chop it with a wooden spoon as I would ground meat. It doesn’t need to cook long, mainly just to get a little brown and heated through. Another suggestion would be, begin in a hot pan with a bit of oil, add some fresh chopped onion and bell pepper and begin to caramelize the veggies just a bit. As soon as the veggies begin to soften, add the ‘meat’ to brown and heat it thoroughly. You might also top it with a little shredded cheddar (or vegan cheese) near the end, to begin it melting.
I think that simply adding 1 cup chopped or shredded carrots with the other veggies, while processing them in the blender/food processor, will work perfectly fine.
How would you make the falafal?
I don’t have a falafel recipe. Are you referring to the picture of the “meat”balls over rice? That dish is actually a Pomegranate Walnut and Meatball Stew. It is a Persian dish that normally uses ground beef meatballs, chicken, or lamb. I decided to try substituting the ground beef with my “Nut meat” recipe and I was really happy with the result.
It’s funny you mention felafel though, because I have been wanting to try making some for quite a while. 🙂
Thanks, Ginger. I am going to make this. Thanks for showing different ways to prepare the nut meat. Looks delicious.
I would love to hear other suggestions on creative ways to use this. I will post the ideas here!
Has anyone tried freezing the nut meat raw or cooked? I was wondering if it’s best to cook the patties first then freeze. I also would like to bake them instead.
I know for sure that freezing the raw mix works well. I imagine that cooking it first would be ok before freezing as well. Baking them could work out, but you want to keep a very close eye on them. With nuts being the main ingredient, it will burn very quickly.
I have been to Sunflower drive-in twice and loved it so I went in search of a recipe and found yours. I made up the recipe with a couple of alterations tonight. I didn’t have poultry seasoning so I used chicken bullion powder, and I didn’t have cilantro so I used fresh basil. It turned out very good. Also I don’t have a juicer so I just pureed the carrots. I got 11 patties from the mixture. Do you have an estimate of what the calorie count would be for one pattie?
I’m so glad you found this recipe and that it turned out well. It peaked my curiosity when you asked about the calorie count. I was also curious about the carbs, so I used Sparkpeople’s Recipe Nutrition Calculator, and the results are HERE! *Note that I used 8 servings in this calculation. If you made 11 patties, the calories are even lower. Thank you for commenting!
Hi Ginger! I just LOVE this recipe! It’s a godsend. I do have a question! I have a friend with an allergy to cashews and I was wondering what you’d recommend as far as tweaking the recipe for them. Could I just omit the cashews and add more of the other nuts? Or would another nut work better? Thanks!
I think the recipe would be perfectly fine if you simply omitted the cashews, and increased the measurements of the other nuts. However, if you wanted to use a nut in its place, some that would come to mind would be Brazil, hazelnut, or macadamia. Those are all a bit pricey though. Regardless of what you decide, I can’t imagine it affecting the flavor much at all. Once you’ve tried your tweaked recipe, let me know what you did and whether you liked the outcome. 🙂
Can these be cooked on a charcoal grill?
I would think so. However, be careful as you grill them, because they can fall apart easily. It’s possible that adding another egg to the mixture could help bind them, but I’m not certain. That does sound very tasty though! If you have success on the grill, please comment again to let us all know how it went!
my mixture is very wet. would you suggest more ground nuts?
It sounds like the ratio contained too many vegetables. I would think that adding more nuts should help.
I was sceptical but they turned out delicious. Will make the again and again. Thank you for all the careful directions.
Thank you for reporting in! Glad you liked them!
I loved the flavor and will definitely be making them again. Do you have a suggestion about binding better?
Glad you liked them! My first suggestion would be to add another egg to the recipe. If that still doesn’t do the trick, try some of the suggestions I found here: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/tricks-for-making-veggie-burgers-that-wont-fall-apart/
Are you referring to Sunflower Drive In that’s in Fair Oaks, CA? I love their nutmeat and am excited to try your recipe!
So sorry! My blog is not closely monitored and all my notifications from comments have landed in a spam folder for a year! Ha! Yes! The one in Fair Oaks. There is much more to perfect for this to taste like theirs. Spices could be altered, and the way they grill it up with added ingredients, such as chopped onion and bell pepper. With some modifications, I’m sure you’ll be happy with the result. 🙂