This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
These meatless cauliflower burgers are hearty vegetarian burgers you can enjoy year-round. Cauliflower and quinoa patties are pan-seared until crispy, then tucked into a bun with creamy zucchini coleslaw, ranch dressing, and peppery arugula. You can easily make them ahead of time, and the leftovers taste great for lunch the next day!
These healthy cauliflower burgers are yet another example of how versatile cauliflower can be! Crispy golden cauliflower and quinoa patties are tucked into a soft burger bun and then piled high with zucchini coleslaw. We love them because they're delicious, but they're also perfect for vegetarians and they're easy to make gluten-free!
Are these cauliflower burgers healthy?
Yes, we think so! These cauliflower burgers are much healthier (and tastier) than most store-bought alternatives. They're full of fresh ingredients and plant-based fiber, and they're high in protein. They're light yet filling and oh-so satisfying.
Unlike other veggie burger recipes out there, these flavorful cauliflower burgers are loaded with fiber and wholesome ingredients!
- Panko: panko breadcrumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs that are lighter and crunchier than traditional breadcrumbs. They're sold in a bag or box and can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores. They add great texture and we use them in place of flour as a binder to help keep everything together.
- Ranch dressing: any store-bought ranch dressing will work, or try our easy cilantro lime ranch dressing or avocado ranch dressing.
Other ingredients you'll need are a large head of cauliflower, olive oil, quinoa, cheddar cheese, eggs, sea salt, and black pepper. You'll also need fresh burger buns and some arugula or spinach for serving.
How to make cauliflower burgers
These healthy cauliflower burgers use roasted cauliflower and cooked quinoa as a base. They're a cinch to make with just a little bit of prep time.
- Start by roasting the cauliflower until tender. You can use both the florets and the stems! Then, pulse the cooked cauliflower in a food processor, or chop it finely with a knife.
- Stir all the burger ingredients together in a bowl, form into 12 patties, then let the patties chill in the fridge. This helps them stick together, so don't skip this step!
- Make the zucchini coleslaw by slicing the zucchini and cabbage thinly and tossing it with the dressing and black pepper.
- Pan-fry the cauliflower patties until they're golden brown on both sides. Then build your burger by spreading some ranch dressing on each bun, layering on a burger patty, zucchini coleslaw, and some arugula. Dig in!
The easy 4-ingredient zucchini coleslaw adds flavor and crunch to these already delicious burgers. You just need zucchini, red cabbage, ranch dressing, and a generous pinch of black pepper.
To slice the zucchini and cabbage nice and thin, we recommend using a mandolin, but a sharp knife works, too.
What to serve with cauliflower burgers
We love to keep things classic and serve these cauliflower burgers with a side of fries like our shoestring fries, spicy sweet potato fries, or crispy carrot fries. They also pair well with a big salad like our kale apple salad or a bowl of your favorite soup!
If you like a little heat, try them with our spicy chipotle mayo sauce.
Can I grill these burgers?
You may be able to grill them depending on your grill but we recommend using a pan to be safe and so they don't fall apart. If it's too hot to cook indoors, make sure to use a grill mat on your BBQ when you cook these!
Can I bake them in the oven?
You can, but they won't be as crispy. Bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
Can I freeze these burgers?
Yep! The key is to freeze them before cooking them by placing them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until they're frozen (so they don't stick together). Then transfer them to an airtight container or reusable bag. Allow them to thaw in the fridge before cooking them.
Are these burgers gluten-free?
These burgers are easy to make gluten-free by using gluten-free panko bread crumbs and swapping regular burger buns for gluten-free ones.
How do I store the leftovers?
Store leftover zucchini coleslaw and burgers in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. The burgers are the crispiest straight out of the pan but will still taste delicious the next day.
Can I use bagged cauliflower rice?
Yep, you sure can! You can roast it right out of the bag for a quick and convenient option, and there's no need to chop it after.
- 1 large cauliflower (about 2 lb)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup panko (sub gluten-free, if needed)
- ¾ cup ranch dressing
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Oil (for cooking)
- 1 medium zucchini
- ½ cup finely shredded purple cabbage (use your mandolin if you have one)
- ¼ cup ranch dressing
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Ranch dressing
- Arugula or spinach
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the cauliflower into florets, place them on the baking sheet, and drizzle with the oil. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway, until the cauliflower is soft. Let stand to cool for a few minutes.1 large cauliflower, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a small pot over high heat bring the quinoa and 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft. Remove the lid and set it aside.1 cup uncooked quinoa
- When the cauliflower is cooked and has cooled slightly, add it to your food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl.
- Add all the other cauliflower burger ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Form into 12 patties, a generous ½ cup each. Place the patties on the baking sheet you used to cook the cauliflower. (fewer dishes!) and chill in your fridge for 30 minutes.1 cup panko, ¾ cup ranch dressing, ½ cup grated cheddar cheese, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Either spiral the zucchini using your spiralizer or slice it into very thin rounds. Toss the zucchini with the cabbage and ranch dressing.1 medium zucchini, ½ cup finely shredded purple cabbage, ¼ cup ranch dressing, Black pepper
- Heat a splash of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the burger patties and pan fry until golden on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining burger patties.
- Generously spread your burger buns with ranch dressing and then stack them with a burger patty, some arugula, and top with the zucchini slaw.Ranch dressing, Arugula or spinach, Buns
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.