This quinoa veggie burger recipe is a meat-lover's burger: toasted pecans, mushrooms, Cheddar cheese, fresh herbs and red quinoa pack this vegetarian burger full of delicious flavor. It's one of the new tasty quinoa recipes I liked from the last issue of EatingWell Magazine, so I was happy when my husband surprised me by saying, "Let's make these quinoa veggie burgers." (He's mostly a don't-fence-me-in creator in the kitchen, but he was so inspired by that delicious-looking photo that he was willing to follow a recipe for a change.)
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These quinoa veggie burgers are worth following a recipe for. Not only are they simple to put together, but you can make your time in the kitchen go even further by freezing part of the batch you make for a future meal. And if you can find red quinoa, they will be especially beautiful. The quinoa takes just 15 minutes, unattended, to cook; while it cooks and cools you sauté onion, mushrooms, garlic and herbs, which makes your kitchen smell wonderful. Mix that with the quinoa, some Cheddar, toasted pecans, oats and an egg to bind it all together. Form the patties on a baking sheet and while they bake you have time to take all your favorite burger fixings out to the picnic table or wherever you're enjoying the sunset from these days. Then it's time to dig in and enjoy!
Quinoa Veggie Burger
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Makes: 8 burgers
Active time: 45 minutes | Total: 1 1/2 hours
To make ahead: Individually wrap and freeze cooked burgers for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a skillet with a little oil.
Red quinoa, which you can generally find in stores where white quinoa is sold, gives the quinoa veggie burgers the perfect color. If you can only find white quinoa, that's fine too. These quinoa veggie burger patties hold together well for freezing, making for a quick and easy meal. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. Serve with your favorite burger garnishes.
1 cup water
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cups finely chopped cremini or white button mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large egg
2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whole pecans, toasted and finely chopped (see Tip)
1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
8 small whole-wheat burger buns, toasted if desired
1. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, marjoram and oregano; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
4. Beat egg in a medium bowl. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, pecans, oats and soy sauce; stir to combine. Scoop scant 1/2-cup portions of the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into 8 patties, about 3 inches wide, leaving about 1 inch of space between each patty. (The mixture will be crumbly; patting it into burgers on the baking sheet makes it easier to work with. The burgers hold together very well once baked.)
5. Bake the burgers until crispy, 28 to 30 minutes. Serve on buns with your favorite garnishes.
(Adapted from "Quinoa Revolution" by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Per serving (with bun): 280 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 29 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrate; 4 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 6 g fiber; 320 mg sodium; 353 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Magnesium (19% daily value), Calcium (16% dv), Zinc (15% dv).
Tip: For the best flavor, toast nuts before adding to recipes. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. For chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
What's your go-to veggie burger?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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