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Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

“If six cooks follow the same recipe, the finished dish would vary six times.”  ~Theodora Fitzgibbon, Irish author and journalist~

Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil–from three ingredients, six cooks can invent six thousand recipes. My kitchen counter held a huge inviting garden tomato, and a fresh mozzarella ball waited patiently in the fridge, so I jumped on the caprese bandwagon with these caprese veggie patties with basil arugula pesto.layers of Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

If the tomatoes are red, your dish shows the colors of Italy’s flag. If your ripe and ready tomatoes are green, you’ll want to make Green Zebra tomato caprese salad

assembling Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

“Caprese” means in the style of Capri Italy, which for bloggers and chefs, any variation is game. Barbara at posted Caprese Panini last week. Heidi at writes more about the “summertime C word.” I’d just made a batch of arugula and basil pesto with our farm share loot. I had leftover quinoa and rice pilaf, which was perfect for veggie burger caprese twist.

Hot from the oven Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

Fresh basil pesto for Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

quinoa and rice pilaf for Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

heirloom tomato for Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto

Tomatoes. Use the best you can find—right from summer’s garden, or the farmer’s market.

Fresh mozzarella. The most extravagant and luscious would be burrata, though any fresh mozzarella cheese will do.

Basil. Make your own basil walnut pesto or buy it. Homemade pesto is best and you will love the spicy bite arugula brings to the table.

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Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto
Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

These are delicious. Makes 6 or 7 servings. Robbie snatched one right out of the skillet, so I had six left for the stacking for the photo. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings.
  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 2 cups Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf
  • 2 eggs , lightly beaten
  • Sea salt , as needed
  • extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Tomatoes , enough for 7 slices
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese , about 8 ounces
  • 1/3 cup Basil Arugula Pesto
  1. Toast the bread well. Let it cool at least 10 minutes. Using a food processor, grind the bread into crumbs. Mix in a bowl along with the pilaf and eggs. Season with salt if you decide it needs some.

  2. Heat a tablespoon of so of oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Form the rice mixture into seven patties using a 3-inch round cutter. Cook the patties until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes each side. Transfer to a serving dish.

  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread a small dollop of pesto on each pattie. Top with a slice of mozzarella, another dollop of pesto, followed by a slice of fresh tomato. Repeat: Pesto, mozzarella, pesto, tomato, pesto, mozzarella. Spread a final bit of pesto on the white mozzarella.

  4. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese melts nicely and the patties are heated through.
  5. Serve immediately.


  • Those look delicious! Reply · 12 September, 2013

  • Belen Genet

    Letty, I made this tonite! They were delicious! I made the recipe just a tad different because Tim and I can’t eat that much cheese in one sitting Reply · 22 July, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Belen! Love it–and I get it about the cheese. It’s so good too! Reply · 22 July, 2014

  • […] pesto recipes: Kale Salad with Sunflower Seed Pesto on Letty’s Kitchen Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto on Letty’s Kitchen Vegan Pistachio Kale Pesto on Edible […] Reply · 16 September, 2014

  • […] You might want to try this basil arugula pesto on quinoa patties. And here’s a recipe for green chile pesto. If you have plenty of garlic […] Reply · 15 June, 2015

  • […] You might also like this Garlic Scape and Mess o’ Greens Pesto. Or these Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto. […] Reply · 28 September, 2015

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