Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes

Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes

I’ve found a new love: cauliflower meat. It sounds funky, but it works. Cauliflower meat...

Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes

I’ve found a new love: cauliflower meat.

It sounds funky, but it works. Cauliflower meat is basically pulsed cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts along with some meat-like seasonings.

You won’t believe it! Now let me tell you how to make it.

Sometimes I’m really in the mood for a burger, but the thought of eating one doesn’t appeal to me – it can be messy and hard to eat. Plus, I’m a veggie girl, so I’m usually opting for a veggie burger- and then, I just wish it came with more toppings.

Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes

In fact, I’m usually more excited about the toppings than I am the patty itself. I like mine fully loaded- caramelized onions, tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, avocado, even a fried egg.

I love the complete bite (my husband calls it the “perfect bite”) – where all the flavors come together in your mouth – the bun, the patty, the toppings, the condiments.

SO, I had this idea to just throw it all in a salad-like bowl with spiralized potatoes in place of the fries/bun.


This bowl has it all – crispy potatoes, hamburger “meat,” lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce that coats every bite. This faux meat has a soft crunch thanks to the walnuts which lightly soften in the veggie mixture.

Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes

I made these bowls two ways – one with cheese and one without, with the dressing. To be honest, it’s a toss up. Whatever your preference is, go with that one – or make them both!

Don’t be intimidated by the prep, this dish comes together well – and saves even better! I had leftovers for lunch the next day. Bonus points if you top this with a fried egg.

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Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 9.48.04 AM

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Now you can watch a cooking video of this recipe:


Nutritional Information & Recipe

Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 10 points

*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.

With cheese:


Without cheese:WithoutCheese

Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 russet potato Blade D, noodles trimmed
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz button mushrooms sliced
  • 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2/3 cups chopped raw walnuts
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2.5 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup shredded American or Cheddar cheese optional
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 4 butter pickles sliced into rounds
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt or use vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or use 1 teaspoon of pickle juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
  • pepper to taste


  • Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add the potato noodles and season with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until wilted and browned, about 10 minutes. When done, set aside on a plate and tint with foil to keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the meat mixture. First, add the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside in a bowl and then add in the cauliflower and pulse until ground to meat-size crumbles, do not overpulse or else it would be like couscous. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and then add in the walnuts and pulse until ground, but not too much so that it’s a powder. Transfer to the bowl with the pulsed vegetables.
  • Once potatoes are done cooking, heat the remaining oil in the same skillet used to cook the potatoes back over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add the garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir well to coat the mixture. Add in the pulsed vegetables (cauliflower, mushrooms) and pulsed walnuts. Season with paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Stir well and then add the barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, and soy sauce. Stir again and let cook until browned and liquid has absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk well to combine. Taste and adjust to your preference.
  • Prepare the bowls: divide the potato noodles and hamburger meat mixture into four bowls. Top with lettuce, shredded cheese (if desired), pickles, and tomatoes.
  • Drizzle with dressing and serve.


Vegetarian Hamburger Bowls with Spiralized Potatoes


with love, Ali

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Recipe Rating


  • I don't see the recipe. Am I missing something?
  • Is there anything I can use to replace the walnuts? My daughter has a tree nut allergy but she is OK with peanuts and pine nuts. Any suggestions? The recipe looks great!
    • I would say pecans would be OK -- or try using lentils!
  • Looks like a great idea! Do you think it would work without the mushroom? I can't stand mushrooms or olives :) Not sure why. I don't like coconut flakes either. I think it must be a texture thing. Look forward to trying this and getting the cookbook!
    • I don't like mushrooms either! I was thinking maybe doing lentils instead or just leaving them out!
  • It's the first time I've heard of cauliflower meat! I'll try this tomorrow..this really looks my kind of dish :)
  • This dish looks amazing!!! I can't wait to try. Are you planning on putting out more meal plans? I loved the first meal plan you did and it made my week a breeze. I've already gone through it 3 times! Would love to see some more!
  • yes, can you tell us if we can use pecans or something other than walnuts? Thank you-
    • I think pecans would work just fine. I made this recipe with pecans vs. walnuts and it worked out just great! And would likely be just fine without mushrooms too!
    • I would say pecans would be OK -- or try using lentils!
  • The cauliflower "meat" sounds great. I love the vegan meat mixes that use nuts, but they always seem so heavy and high in calories. The cauliflower should lighten it up a bit. I'll definitely try this. Do you think I could turn it into chili meat by substituting chili powder for the other seasonings for the "meat"? A Chili Bowl sounds yummy with everything the same except the flavoring. Thanks for this.
    • Glad you'll try it! Yes, you can definitely add chili powder - and maybe some smoked paprika or cayenne to amp it up!
  • Ah, this is such an amazing way to deconstruct a classic comfort food--I definitely have to try this with a vegan dressing!
  • This was amazing!!!!! I didn't have mushrooms or walnuts on hand I used tempeh. Was one of the best dinners! I have enough for lunch tomorrow looking forward! Thanks for your recipes I love them, always a crowd pleaser and so quick to make!!
  • I made this last night and my husband asked me to put it in the "Make it again" fine. Instead of pickles, I added an avocado I needed to use. Super good.
  • File, not fine.
  • Made this tonight. Used Dark Soy Sauce and Worsteshire Sauce for the cauliflower mixture. Pickle juice and white wine vinegar for the sauce; swapped out sunflower seeds for the nuts. Turned out pretty well. It was a very filling meal.
  • Omg, SO good! Made with beef to save a little time (don't have a food processor) but the seasoning and "special sauce" was what made it so great. I've already planned out how I'll prep next time so it can all come together quickly after baby gets here and I head back to work. Thanks Ali!