Healthy Lunch Recipes

These Grilled Mushroom Halloumi Burgers Pack 29 Grams of Protein and All the Calcium You Need in a Day

Photo: Getty Images/ vaaseenaa
Do you instantly cringe at the thought of attending another barbecue because of the limited selection of non-vegetarian options? Do you feel like you’re instantly deemed the “picky” eater just for asking what other choices they have besides grilled hot dogs? Before you fake illness to get away with not having to attend one of these outdoor get-togethers you’ve started to loathe, we have the perfect and completely veggie-friendly barbecue food you’ve been secretly praying for every summer. Trust us: Patience is a virtue, and this was definitely worth the wait.

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians, please meet your new favorite grilled mushroom halloumi “burger” recipe that’s so good you’ll *almost* (emphasis on the almost) want to start hosting weekly barbecues yourself. Of course, nowadays, you can buy just about any type of plant-based burger patty at the store, but when your palette has had its fix of plant-based meat alternatives, this burger recipe will quickly become your new BFF.

The veggie “burger” is made with just two ingredients and features an optional—but mandatory, IMO—four-ingredient, garlic red pepper aioli you’ll want to lather on just about everything. Best of all, this easy recipe won’t make the grill master grunt with disapproval. On the contrary, it’s definitely BBQ-lover approved (and who knows, it might even turn some of the most traditionalist grillers onto veggie-burger lovers, too).

Why we’re *so* obsessed with this grilled mushroom halloumi burger recipe

Indeed, your summer cookouts just got a whole lot better thanks to this grilled mushroom halloumi burger recipe by The Veg Connection that takes only five minutes to prep. Just like a regular burger, this recipe features all of the essential components for a perfect sando: grilled cheese, a “burger” patty, and a rich and creamy sauce to top things off. But, unlike a burger you’d find at your local drive-thru, this one has a few unique ingredients that really set it apart.

For starters, this recipe calls for halloumi cheese, a Mediterranean-style cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s—and sometimes cow’s—milk that has a deliciously chewy texture and a high melting point that makes it ideal for grilling. Unlike other softer cheese like American or Swiss, halloumi won’t melt through the grates; it can take the heat, grill marks included.

Halloumi also has a mild flavor that’s not too overpowering, plus the perfect amount of tanginess and texture to give your burger that "it" factor. And more importantly, it’s loaded with all the calcium you need in a day to help support healthy bones. Per 100 grams of the cheese, you’ll get roughly about 900 milligrams of calcium, which is just shy of the 1,000 milligrams that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming daily. Oh, and did I forget to mention that this burger recipe has 29 grams of protein? Indeed, halloumi is packed with tons of protein, which is one more excuse to love cheese even more.

And, instead of using meat, this recipe calls for thick and juicy portobello mushrooms that will steal the show. Aside from being great for your gut and immune system, studies have shown that eating this good-for-you fungus can also help prevent cognitive decline. Plus, it has a noteworthy mineral makeup, including substantial amounts of potassium, phosphorous, copper, and selenium. I think this calls for a double-decker situation, no?

Grilled mushroom halloumi burger with garlic red pepper aioli recipe

halloumi burger
Photo: The Veg Connection

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients
500 grams halloumi cut into 4 pieces (120 grams-130 grams each)
3 portobello mushrooms (large)
1/2 cup mayonnaise + 1 Tbsp
1 red pepper in oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic

1. Cut the block of halloumi on the long edge into four slices of equal size. Remove the stem of the mushrooms to allow them to lay flat on the grill when the open side is down. Rub the portobello mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2. Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill mushrooms for about 12 minutes. Halloumi takes 5 minutes to grill on both sides. Avoid direct heat, and ensure that the grill bars are not far apart as the halloumi may fall between.

3. While the portobello mushrooms and halloumi are grilling, combine the mayonnaise, sliced red pepper, garlic, and the juice of half lemon in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4. Assemble the burger on a lightly toasted bun using the ingredients of your choice. I used lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Ready for more vegetarian-friendly grilling ideas? Try these delicious carrot dogs:

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