Walnut Burgers

Although there are lots of veggie burgers out there that hit the spot (if not Boca), perhaps my favorite is a walnut burger that we first tried at a local diner, Monty's Blue Plate, when we moved to Madison, and have been enjoying ever since.

After heading to this diner again and again just to eat these burgers, we learned that they're actually made by the Trempeleau Hotel in western Wisconsin, and that the hotel sells these burgers, frozen, through various outlets in Wisconsin, including our very own co-op! Since this awesome discovery, we've been buying them and cooking them ourselves at home. I recently just found that you can also buy them online, here! So, if and when we move from Madison, we won't have to despair for too long.

What would be even cooler, of course, is if we could figure out how to make these babies ourselves at home. Considering the ingredients (walnuts, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, organic tamari, organic eggs, canola oil, herbs and spices), my guess is that these burgers are way fattier than food we usually make, but it's totally worth it.

There are lots of walnut burger recipes out there, but I haven't found any just yet that have a list of ingredients resembling our favorite version (although there's one here, in the ninth comment, that looks similar--if anyone tries it, let me know!)

Perhaps that will be a project for the summer? Come up with a perfect walnut burger recipe? Yes!

Read more about these famed walnut burgers on a whole website devoted to them: www.walnutburger.com.


  1. How do these stack up to the Harmony Bar's? They make theirs in-house and are my favorite burgers (veggie or otherwise) in the city.

  2. Although I'll admit I've only had the Harmony walnut burger once before (because it's come so highly recommended by so many trustworthy folks!), I didn't like it quite as much as the Trempeleau version. We should have a walnut burger tasting night, where we go both places and compare!

  3. So-- I sort of made the 9th comment recipe, and it turned out great. I changed it a little, because I did not want to use 5 eggs. Also, I had wheat germ and no bread crumbs, so I substituted that. I just used 2 eggs with that recipes and adjusted the dry ingredients to a workable dough. It was still pretty soft, so I don't know how 5 eggs would have even worked! Anyway, it's a winner. I haven't had the Trempeleau walnut burgers for awhile, but this was pretty close. Thanks!!

  4. Megan--awesome! I'm glad to hear you tried those out. I've thought of them a time or two, but haven't gotten around to making my own. I'll have to do that soon. Did you just ignore the part about the tomato sauce, since these are burgers rather than meatballs?

  5. Yes, we just fried them. Actually, I think we're going to make them again tonight.

  6. Hi it's Petra again ~ I have gotten a few emails asking for my recipe, so here it is!
    My recipe is called "Fantasy Meatballs" and is from this book: http://www.amazon.com/Meatless-Cooking-Companys-Jean-Pare/dp/1895455235 Book: "Company's Coming - Meatless Cooking" by Jean PareI also attached a photo I took of the picture of this recipe from the cookbook.Below the recipe, I have added my own shortcuts and a variation I have used. Enjoy!

    Fantasy Meatballs (meatless)
    5 large eggs
    1 cup creamed cottage cheese
    1 tsp sweet dried basil
    ¾ tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper
    ¾ cup chopped onion
    1 cup grated mozzerella cheese
    2 cups dried bread crumbs
    1 cup ground walnuts
    1 tsp parsley flakes
    1 ¼ tsp. poultry seasoning

    7.5 oz. tomato sauce
    1 cup water
    ½ tsp. granulated sugar

    Beat eggs in mixing bowl until smooth. Add cottage cheese, basil,salt and pepper. Beat to mix.

    Add next 6 ingredients. Stir. Let stand 10 min. shape into 1 ½ inch balls and arrange in an ungreased 9x13 inch pan in single layer.

    Stir tomato sauce, water and sugar together in small bowl. Pour over balls. Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes.

    Makes about 3 dozen; serves 8.

    1 serving contains: 313 calories; 14.4 grams fat, 18 grams protein, 2 grams fiber.

    My own shortcuts:

    Instead of plain breadcrumbs, I buy the "Italian Seasoned" breadcrumbs in the supermarket and then I leave out the spices in the recipe, since the seasoned breadcrumbs contain plenty of spices already. Also, I just use 1 whole (chopped) medium onion, rather than measuring ¾ cup. And lastly, instead of using the sauce in the recipe, I take a shortcut and use store-bought marinara sauce. The recipe is still excellent with those changes.

    Hors D'oeurves variation:

    I once used the recipe (minus the sauce) as a filling for mushroom caps. I chopped the mushroom stems and added them to the filling. Then, I filled the caps with the raw filling and baked them in the oven as specified. Finally, I topped each one with a small dollop of sour cream. Delicious!


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