Pesto Patties (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

We’ve enjoyed a couple of very busy weeks lately, visiting Kansas City, MO, for a long weekend (where the Midwestern Gentleman ran his fourth ultra-marathon of the season), indulging in a delicious — if non-traditional — Thanksgiving dinner with my boss and her partner (roasted lamb stood in for turkey), celebrating a friend’s birthday with a sushi extravaganza, and testing recipes for some homemade Christmas presents.  The holidays really do fill me with the proverbial good cheer, as long as I remember to check in every once in a while with my mental state and my physical being.  It’s easy to get run down by the hustle and bustle this time of year, so I remind myself frequently to slow down, sip a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of dairy-free nog, and stay stress-free.  Eating right continues to be just as important amid all the festivities, so I try to make sure I have the fixings for lots of easy meals on hand.  That way, I don’t give in to temptations that will derail my anti-inflammatory eating plan.


We almost always have a jar of chunky, homemade, dairy-free pesto in the refrigerator.  Pesto is a great improvisational tool for adding anti-inflammatory oomph and strong flavor to a dish.  I created these tasty little pesto bean patties while trying to come up with a quick, satisfying entree for a weeknight dinner.  They can be served as a side dish, a burger-like entree (we like them best topped with sauteed greens), or a gluten-free, nutritious base for Eggs Benedict.  They keep well in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Pesto Patties

2 cups white beans, cooked or canned, rinsed

2/3 cup winter squash, cooked and mashed

2/3 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs, plus more for coating

1 cup chunky pesto (recipe below)

1 egg

Coarsely mash the white beans (or puree for a smoother texture).  Stir in the remaining ingredients. Scoop the mixture into baseball-sized balls, then dip in breadcrumbs.  Form the mixture into patties about 1/2″ thick and 3 to 4″ in diameter.


Heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and cook patties, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.  Makes 6 patties.


Chunky Mixed Herb Pesto (Dairy-Free)

4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup whole almonds, pistachios, or walnuts

1/3 cup or more olive oil

1 cup mixed fresh herbs*

salt and black pepper to taste

*Sweet basil is the traditional pesto herb, but we like homemade pesto even better with a mixture of fresh herbs, and sometimes even some baby spinach mixed in.  Consider a mixture of any of the following: any basil variety, Italian parsley, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, baby spinach, arugula.  Adding in a bit of the following herbs will add interest, but use them sparingly so their aggressive flavors don’t take over the pesto: mint, rosemary, sage.  Infused olive oils can also change up the flavor of homemade pesto; tangerine olive oil is one of our favorites.

Coarsely grind the nuts and garlic together in a food processor.  Add the herbs and the olive oil and process until a chunky sauce forms.  Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.  For a smoother pesto, just continue pureeing.  Pour into a jar, add just enough olive oil to cover.  Seal jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Makes about 1 cup pesto.


Pesto patties

This entry was posted in alliums (garlic/onions), Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Appetizers, Dairy-free, Entrees, Gluten-free, greens, herbs, monounsaturated oils, nuts, pumpkin/squash/gourds, Recipes, Snacks. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pesto Patties (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

  1. I love it! Creative, gluten-free, looks pretty easy, and vegetarian, a good weeknight dinner for a busy day. I also often make pesto without the cheese, it’s still quite good without it. I use walnuts or pine nuts– the pine nuts are not so pricey when you get them, like I do, at Costco.

    • Yankeepants says:

      I never thought of looking for pine nuts at Costco — thanks for the tip, Mary. The Gent is allergic to walnuts, so whenever I have a recipe that uses them, I usually substitute pecans instead.

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