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How to Make the SoCal Burger Recipe

Love a tasty LA taco? Then you’ll love this burger recipe.

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LA in the summer conjures up images of food trucks dishing out tacos topped with crisp summer vegetable pickles, fast food at the beach that feels like slow home cooking. This Lightlife Burger is rubbed with carne asada spices, served on a fluffy potato bun, and topped with avocado, salsa, and moderately spicy pickled carrots, onions, radishes, and jalapeno slices.

Serves 4


4 Lightlife Plant-Based Burgers

4 tablespoons carne asada spice rub, recipe below

1–2 teaspoons olive oil

4 potato buns

2–3 tablespoons salsa

1 avocado, sliced

1 cup quick Mexican pickled vegetables, recipe below


  1. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of the carne asada spice rub on each side of each Lightlife Burger. Rub gently to press into the patty.
  2. Heat a heavy-bottom skillet over high heat. Brush the pan lightly with olive oil. Add the burger and cook 3 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes on the other side.
  3. While the burgers are cooking, toast the buns.
  4. Remove burger patties from the pan and place on bottom buns. Spoon salsa on each patty. Top each with 2–3 slices of avocado and 2–3 tablespoons of the pickles. Top each burger with the top bun.

Carne Asada Rub

Makes ¼ cup or enough for 4 burgers


4 teaspoons garlic powder or granulated garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. (Tip: Triple or quadruple this spice rub recipe and store the remainder in a glass jar in your pantry up to 6 months.)

Quick Mexican Pickled Vegetables

Makes 1 quart


½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 ½ cups white distilled vinegar

½ cup water

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon peppercorns

½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1 bay leaf

4–5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices, about 1 cup

6–8 radishes, cut into ⅛-inch slices, about 1 cup

½ large white onion, quartered and sliced thin

1–2 large jalapenos, sliced, about ¼–½ cup, depending on your preferred spice level


  1. Bring vinegars, water, sugar, and salt to a boil and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Place peppercorns, oregano, and bay leaf into a quart-size glass jar.
  3. In a bowl or on a cutting board, mix together the sliced vegetables, then transfer to the jar.
  4. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables, pushing them down to make room for more liquid. Submerge all vegetables in liquid. Put the lid on the jar and turn it upside down a few times to evenly disperse liquid, spices, and vegetables.
  5. Press the vegetables down once more to ensure they are submerged. Replace the lid and refrigerate.
  6. You can enjoy after 2 hours, but for best results, refrigerate overnight or for 24 to 48 hours before eating.
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