What’s For Lunch? Vegan Burger + Pinot Noir

Greetings and happy holiday season, everyone! Before we all get going on cooking a holiday meal, we need to have some lunch. Today I decided that a home made burger sounded really great, and with mushrooms as a base, I chose to pair it with a Pacific Northwest Pinot Noir.

Finding a really great plant based burger can be hard to do. Many of them are bland, dry, fall apart easily, or feel like biting into a blob of mush. For my burger, I started by roughly chopping Portobello mushrooms and giving them a light saute in homemade vegan butter. By keeping the chop a little rough on the mushrooms, my hope was that it would provide a nice “bitey” feel when being eaten. Next I took black beans and gently mashed some of them, leaving some whole, again for a good bite. After adding some healthy flax seed meal and various spices, off to the oven they went for an hour.


For the hamburger buns, I made a simple yeast bun. Being a bread purist, it has four ingredients: flour, water, yeast and salt. They have a soft spongy crumb, and when lightly toasted they get a delectable crunch on the edges. The bonus of home made is there are no weird preservatives or ingredients. The warm yeasty smell and taste only make lunch all the more yummy!

To assemble, I melted some (homemade) vegan smoked Gouda on the bun, and kept the fixings classic. To be trendy and take it up a notch, it would be easy to dress the burger with a red Chimichurri sauce and micro greens.

Now for the wine! I chose the Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir from Samuel Robert Winery, Willamette Valley 2015 vintage. For you point lovers, it was rated by WE at 89.


It is easy for lighter plant based cuisine to be overpowered by wine, so I felt that a Pinot would be perfect! I was not disappointed and lunch turned out to be excellent and enhanced by the wine! The cherry fruit was well balanced by tight tannins, and the overall mouth feel was light and silky.

So, now having been fortified, off to the kitchen for holiday cooking! The full burger recipe is posted below.  Cheers!


  • 8 oz portobello mushrooms
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 T flax seed meal, in enough water to make it a slurry (think egg like)
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 2t liquid smoke
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • fresh ground pepper
  • pinch of Cayenne if desired
  • vegetable broth

Clean and slice mushrooms, and gently saute over low medium heat in some buttery spread and sprinkle with salt and pepper, until just softened. Transfer to mixing bowl, including the oil they cooked in.

Mash half or so of the beans, leaving some whole. you can puree some of the mushrooms if desired or leave in slices. I chopped them up while they cooked so they were in little chunks.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix, adding vegetable broth for moisture as needed. You should have a thick paste that holds a shape. Salt and pepper to taste.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form burgers in to six patties, or to the size you desire. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, checking them at 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check for them being done.

You can eat them right out of the oven, or later, heat a pan with a little oil and fry until nicely browned and crisp on both sides. (which I prefer).

Store on parchment paper in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

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