Sep 9, 2014

pizza burger

Day 7. You knew it was coming. No Burger Extravaganza worth its salt would omit a Pizza Burger. Am I right, or am I right? This burger is a sausage-style patty, simmered in tomato sauce, smothered in vegan cheese and served between two pieces of fresh focaccia. Mmm, that's right.

The patty is made with tempeh and gluten and is baked before being simmered. The focaccia dough can sit overnight in the fridge to rise and your sauce can be cooked and stored for future use. As you can see, the burger, the sauce and the dough can all be made in advance.

Just as the previous burgers, these didn't last long, either. And although my family claims that they don't like tempeh, I beg to differ with them based on the empty plates.

Don't be afraid to make your own Focaccia Bread because it really is simple and easy. When you turn the dough out onto the baking sheet, be sure to poke the dough all over with your fingers. And I mean HOLES - deep holes all the way down through to the pan.

When the dough rises a final time, most of the holes will fill in, but you will still have the characteristic dips and valleys in the bread. I added a few slices of thinly cut tomatoes, but you can add a few slices of olives ...or nothing at all.

A few contest reminders before I share the recipe....

Vegan Heritage Press is giving away a copy of "Everyday Vegan Eats" (my cookbook). Enter to win HERE. Contest ends September 14.

Have you entered to win "Vegan without Borders," the soon-to-be-released cookbook by Robin Robertson? Contest ends September 14. Enter HERE.

And now for the Pizza Burger....

Pizza Burger on Focaccia Bread
Makes 6 burgers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, grated
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup vegetable broth
Tomato Sauce, recipe below
3/4 cup shredded vegan cheese
Focaccia bread, recipe below
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the fennel, chili flakes and oregano. Cook until the onion is beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tempeh, garlic and salt. Cook until tempeh is golden, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool the mixture completely.
2. Preheat the oven to 300-degrees F. Add the gluten and bread crumbs to the mixture. Mix well. Add the broth and knead until the gluten forms threads, about 3 minutes.
3. For the mixture into 6 burgers and arrange them on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flip and continue to bake them for another 30 minutes.
4. Warm the tomato sauce in a large skillet (if cooled) and add the burgers, coating them in the sauce. Cook until the burgers have softened, about 8 minutes.
5. Remove as much sauce as possible to a bowl and add the vegan cheese to the tops of the burgers. Cover and cook until the cheese melts.
6. Cut the focaccia into squares large enough for the burgers and top one focaccia with the cheeseburger and add another piece of focaccia on top. Serve.
Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Natural sugar, as needed
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the onion and carrot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, basil, oregano and salt and black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 1 minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper and sugar. Cool or use immediately. Sauce will keep for 3 days stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Focaccia Bread:
1 cup warm water
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Coarse salt
1. Combine the water, 2 tablespoons oil, yeast, rosemary, oregano and maple in a small bowl. Set aside to activate the yeast.
2. Combine the flours and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the yeast mixture and process until a dough is formed.
3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large bowl and add the dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 1 hour.
4. When doubled, knead the dough right inside the bowl until smooth and elastic. Cover again and allow to rise until doubled. This may be done overnight in the refrigerator.
5. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a baking sheet. Without deflating the dough too much, transfer the dough to the oiled sheet and flatten using your hands. With your fingers make holes in the dough, all the way through to the pan. Cover the pan with wrap and set aside to rise, about 30 minutes.
6. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the top of the dough and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan as soon as possible to keep crust crisp.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan FridaysWhat I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. 



  1. Um, yeah. You are apparently a genius. This looks like the best burger EVER.

  2. I need that in my life. Right now.

  3. Zsu!! Look at those burgers! Beautiful!

  4. This sounds fantastic. Pizza = amazing. Burger = amazing. Together? = Mind-blowing!

  5. Oh my goodness, that looks spectacularly good! I always like finding your recipes at the VVLP - my kind of flavours!

  6. a pizza.... AND a burger?!?! Girl, you're a magician!

  7. Wow! These burgers look super. I love that you used both tempeh and wheat gluten. I bet the texture is great.

  8. oh my these burgers looks siple gorgeous... yummmmm

  9. Oh wow, these look AMAZING! Definitely have to try making these sometime! :)

  10. Hi Zsu,
    I just hopped by from Virtual Vegan Potluck to experience your Pizza Burger recipe!
    What an amazing burger recipe! I love vegan burgers and I can’t wait to try this recipe. What a pleasure it is to explore your blog and your recipes. I am sharing this and following you on social media to stay in touch! All the best, Deborah

  11. I am definitely going to be making pizza sandwiches with focaccia bread.. this looks so cheesey and delicious!

  12. Looks super delicious. I'll have to try that soon. My mouth is watering just staring at those photos.
    Highly recommended Kiwi fruit Green & Gold information


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu