Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

March 3rd, 2015

Recipe: Cauliflower Cheese Burgers

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook - Cauliflower burgers recipe

The burger craze doesn’t seem to have left a stone unturned. New York, London, Paris, Stockholm: every city I visit has any number of burger bars touting gourmet beef patties in soft brioche buns. Don’t get me wrong, I love a burger! But after seeing all that meat I find myself craving something a little lighter and fresher tasting. Wrap your hand round this cauliflower cheeseburger, take a big bite and let some of the burger juice dribble down your hand . . . just like the real deal!

Ingredients – Serves 6

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

For the burgers

1 very small head of cauliflower (approx. 200g), trimmed and separated into florets
140g tinned haricot beans (drained weight)
85g fresh breadcrumbs
140g mature Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
A sprinkling of grated nutmeg
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tablespoon roasted chopped hazelnuts
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg white
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 oak leaf lettuce (or other)
1 medium tomato, sliced

For the caramelized onion chutney (makes 250g)

50g butter
4 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
a pinch of sea salt
150ml red wine vinegar
2 tbsp raisins, finely chopped
2 tbsp soft brown sugar


Steam the cauliflower florets for 7– 8 minutes, or until tender. Take off the heat, drain and leave in the colander to cool.

In the meantime, start to make the red onion chutney. Put the butter in a frying pan on a low heat, then add the onions and salt. Fry for about 20 minutes, or until sticky and soft. Add the vinegar, raisins and sugar, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until glossy and reduced. Check the seasoning.

When the cauliflower is cool, put the haricot beans into a food processor and pulse, then add the cauliflower and pulse lightly. You don’t want to overwork it as the mixture will get sloppy. Place in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs. Grate 80g of the Cheddar and add to the bowl, along with the parsley, nutmeg, lemon zest and hazelnuts. Season with salt and pepper, and form the mix into 6 patties, around 6cm in diameter each, in the palms of your hands.

Lightly whisk the egg white in a bowl, and put the rest of the breadcrumbs on to a plate. Brush each patty all over with egg white and press into the crumbs, making sure they are well covered.

Put the oil into a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. When hot, cook the patties in batches for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, until nice and crisp and golden. Slice the remaining Cheddar and put a slice on top of each patty while in the pan to melt. Place each patty in a lettuce leaf, add a slice of tomato and serve with a generous spoonful of chutney.


Serve with toasted open pitta bread or brioche bun if you want a more ‘classic’ burger.

Get ahead

You can freeze these patties on a tray, before coating in the egg white and breadcrumbs. Then defrost, coat, and fry in a pan, as above.

If you liked this recipe, then head over to my new project Khoollect for more delicious dishes you can create at home.

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19 thoughts on “Recipe: Cauliflower Cheese Burgers

  1. Hello,

    just saw you make this on tv, love it!

    Just one thing – the recipe calls for egg white for the burger, but I’m pretty sure you used egg yolk to brush them?


    1. Hi Sibi it’s just to get the breadcrumbs to stick, so you could use either (or a whole beaten egg!) but I tend to use just egg white!

      Hope you enjoy the recipe.

      Best wishes

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Love the sound of this recipe but could I substitute chickpeas or maybe cooked potato instead of the haricot beans?

  3. Hi I am in the U.S. Saw this on cooking channel the other day but I can’t remeber what the haricot are? Is that a different kind of bean here in the States?

  4. Can’t wait to make these ! A few questions please. What are the non-metric equivalents for the breadcrumbs and cheese ? Also, what nut is a good replacement for the hazelnuts? Thanks so much.

  5. Hi Rachel,

    Love your show and these cauliflower cheese burgers were brilliant – will definitely make again and highly recommend them – even to non vegetarians 🙂

    About to try your Croque Madame Muffins – sure they will be just as good.

    Keep those recipes coming

    1. Aw thanks Barb. Enjoy the Croque Madame muffins. They seem to have been one of the most popular recipes in the book. I’d love to hear how they turn out for you. Rachel

  6. Hi Rachel! my name is Marvie from Philippines. I really love your show and your recipes too. your really beautiful esp when u smile! regards!

  7. Hi Rachel

    Love these cualiburgers btw. Daughter and i loving the shows. Nice easy calm way of cooking not diving all over a bloody kitchen looking for an extra pair of hands. And we esp love how real you keep it. Cracked egg open on worktop and just scooped it in as you would. Love this don’t change that kinda formatt xx

  8. Hi Rachel! Love your shows and had to try the cauliflower burger tonight and it was great. Made the chutney as well and it made a delicious accompaniment. We replaced the haricot beans with cannelli (?) beans and the hazelnuts with almonds and they were still just as yummy.

  9. We did this and the burgers tasted fine, but were very goopy on the inside and spilled out the sides of the romaine lettuce we ate them in. We watched this segment on your cooking show and seem to remember you added a whole egg to the burger mix. Did you do this and would the egg bind the mixture well enough to make a firm burger? We also noted you used English mustard to give it “attitude.” Thanks in advance for any input on using egg(s). Bob & Ellie Hood, Columbus, Wisconsin.

    1. Hi Bob and Ellie,
      Thanks for giving the cauliflower burgers a go. Sorry it ended up a bit sloppy. That can happen sometimes if your cauliflower hasn’t had enough time to cool (all the steam has to evaporate – spread on a tray if your colander is too small), need to really drain those beans well and don’t process too much in the blender (you don’t want to make it into a puree, it should be more on the textured side think couscous/rice). I only used an egg white to bind the mixture. All the best!

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