Christmas Lima Bean and Broccoli Stem Burger?!

First of all…what in the world is a Christmas lima bean?

Christmas lima beans, also known as Pope’s beans, are a large, creamy, flat bean originated from Peru. In their fresh/dried form, they stand out because of their stunning white and maroon marbling.

The beauty of these beans speaks for itself!

I chose not to soak these beans after discussion with the farmer. To cook, I covered these with an inch of water and brought the pot to a boil. I left the boil for 10 minutes, then I let them simmer for 45 minutes. I salted the pot, simmered for 15 minutes, then took them off the heat and added a splash of vinegar.

The result was a tender skin with a delicious, creamy center! Lima beans go well with herbs like rosemary, sage, basil, and thyme, but these tasted amazing with just a touch of salt!

I was impressed at how the marbling remained on the beans after they were cooked. The only other speckled/marbled bean I have worked with is a pinto, and they completely lose their beautiful color when cooked.

The maroon color spreads through the skin a bit, but the familiar marbling transforms and remains!

Where can I get Christmas lima beans?

I think I lucked out finding these at Urban Harvest Farmers Market. If I see these again, I will buy and freeze them for a rainy day.

I was, however, able to find some on the Rancho Gordo website. They have a ton of cool heirloom beans, and I will definitely be ordering some from them for future burger creations!

Alternatively, you could use “regular” lima beans for this burger. The taste may be slightly different, but you will not be too far off.

It is time to put some respect on broccoli stems.

A few months ago, I was in the grocery store, and I noticed an interesting behavior in the produce aisle. Someone picked up a head of broccoli, snapped the stem at the base of the florets, discarded the stem, and scampered away before an employee saw her. I laughed first, then I felt sad for the discarded broccoli stem!

With a little love, broccoli stems are a glorious food. The stems have more fiber, calcium, iron, and Vitamin C, than the florets.

When the first sustainable broccoli hit the market tents last week, I bought some to add to rice bowls. I started by thinly slicing the stems, and I pan fried them in olive oil. Their flavor was aromatic and savory!

So, how do I use broccoli stem to make a plant-based burger?!

I started by thinly slicing 15-20 pieces of stem. I used a mandolin to get a nice even cut. I pan-fried these in olive oil until they were golden-brown, and they were a delicious, crunchy texture element for a burger topping!

I then took the rest of the stem and chopped it into fine pieces using a food processor. This provides a bulk, green, nutrition packed filling for the burger. It helps to hold the beans in the patty together!

I took a Chopped-style approach to the rest of this burger, and it came out so much better than expected…

I incorporated some day-old rice, shallots, and cranberry sauce into this burger. I normally would use rice or another grain to provide more bulk to a patty, and I would use shallots or onions for some umami, but the cranberry sauce was a wild card. It actually provided a nice subtle tartness to complement the slightly bitter broccoli stem well!

I used thyme, basil, and a touch of cayenne pepper to bring all of these flavors together. Herbs are the ultimate harmonizer!

Burger #2 always comes out a bit different!

I typically make a burger the day after I film that I use for picture purposes. I wanted to taste a bit more cranberry, so I made an aioli with broccoli leaf, garlic, and cranberry sauce! Would you be willing to try a creamy red sauce on a burger? It is unlike anything I have ever seen on a burger, but it was really delicious!

The future Bloom Kitchen broccoli burger plate!

Check out the video and recipe for some gems!

There are more details included in the video and recipe. If you enjoy, please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Christmas Lima Bean and Broccoli Stem Burger

I used Christmas lima beans, broccoli stem two ways, and cranberry sauce to put together a creative, cohesive burger!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4 burgers
Cost: $12


  • Cast iron skillet
  • Food processor
  • Mandolin


  • 1 cup cooked Christmas lima beans or lima beans
  • 1 broccoli stem 4-6 inches
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce optional
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 tbsp salt unrefined
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour

Burger Toppings

  • 4 burger buns
  • 1/4 cup Vegenaise or mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 broccoli leaf optional
  • 1/4 Meyer lemon or lemon
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 head crunchy lettuce


  • Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut about 20-30 thin slices of broccoli stem to use for burger topping.

Burger Patty

  • Dice shallot and sauté in olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until semi-translucent.
  • Roughly dice broccoli stem and pulse in food processor until bits are 1/4" and smaller.
  • Gently pulse cooked Christmas lima beans in food processor, until there are only about 25 percent full beans left.
  • Combine beans, rice, broccoli stem, shallots, cranberry sauce, and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
    Add brown rice flour and mix to combine. If patties are too moist and loose, add more flour as necessary.
    Form patties to your desired size and shape.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, and sear on first side for 4 minutes.
    Heat oven to 400 ºF.
  • Sear on second side for 4 minutes. Flip, and put entire skillet in oven for 4 minutes.
  • Flip burger after 4 minutes and return to oven. Remove skillet, and place burger to side to finish toppings.

Assemble Burger

  • In hot skillet, add olive oil. Pan-fry thinly sliced broccoli stem for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden-brown.
  • Slice tomato, tear and clean lettuce. Toast burger bun.
  • To make aioli:
    Finely chop broccoli leaf. Finely mince garlic.
    Combine Vegenaise, Meyer lemon juice, broccoli leaf, and garlic. Optionally, add a touch of cranberry sauce for a more tart topping.
  • Assemble burger: bottom bun, aioli, lettuce, burger patty, tomato, fried broccoli stem, lettuce, aioli, top bun!

Published by Chester Chambers

MIT grad with a mission to make the best veggie burger in the world

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