How-to Make Vegetarian Quinoa Burgers

vegetarian quinoa burgerWhat is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a wheat-free, gluten-free grain and can be consumed by anyone that suffers from celiac disease.  Although I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, I know I feel a lot better and have fewer digestive complaints when I limit the amount of wheat products in my diet.

I have a box of Ancient Harvest brand quinoa pasta in my pantry. According to Ancient Harvest, “quinoa stands alone as a complete protein grain. It supplies all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern.”

My daughter, who’s 19, followed a vegetarian diet from the ages of 13 to 16. Although I’m not vegetarian,  as an amateur athlete and foodie, I supported her decision to be meat-free during those three years. I was always looking for new recipes I could make for her that the entire family could enjoy. We have a chain of burger restaurants in south Florida, BurgerFi, that makes a delicious quinoa burger for their vegetarian patrons. My daughter and I really enjoy BurgerFi’s veggie burger so I thought I would try to make my own version of a quinoa burger.

Where to Find Quinoa?

Besides quinoa pasta varieties, you can also buy quinoa in its raw state. You can find quinoa at most grocery stores, in either the rice or pasta aisle. I found red and white varieties of organic quinoa at the 4th Generation Market in Boca Raton, Florida. But you should be able to find it just about anywhere these days; Publix, Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods.

If you use the white variety of quinoa, you will end up with something that looks similar to a turkey burger. If you use the red variety of quinoa, you will end up with something that looks similar to a traditional beef burger.

Before you can make quinoa burgers, you have to cook your quinoa.The quinoa I purchased didn’t come with directions on how to cook it so I searched a couple of recipe sites on the Internet. I wasn’t sure if my quinoa was pre-rinsed or not so I just assumed it wasn’t. I placed the quinoa in a pan and covered it with water and let the quinoa soak a minimum of 5 minutes then used a fine mesh strainer to drain off the water.

NOTE: I have another recipe for a quinoa burger that uses sautéed spinach, kale and collard greens. I’ll write that up as a future article for the Creative Cottage.

Take care,
Lynn Smythe, Founder The Creative Cottage

quinoa burger
Vegetarian Quinoa Burgers
Print Recipe
Learn how-to make a vegetarian burger using quinoa.
Servings Prep Time
10 burgers 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
10-15 minutes 1-2 hours
Servings Prep Time
10 burgers 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
10-15 minutes 1-2 hours
quinoa burger
Vegetarian Quinoa Burgers
Print Recipe
Learn how-to make a vegetarian burger using quinoa.
Servings Prep Time
10 burgers 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
10-15 minutes 1-2 hours
Servings Prep Time
10 burgers 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
10-15 minutes 1-2 hours
Ingredients
Prepare the Quinoa
Make the Quinoa Burgers
Servings: burgers
Instructions
Cook Quinoa
  1. Placed the quinoa in a pan and cover it with water and let it soak a minimum of 5 minutes then used a fine mesh strainer to drain off the water.
    raw quinoa
  2. Place the rinsed quinoa back in the pan along with the 2 cups of water and the salt.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer the quinoa until all water has been absorbed.
Quinoa Burgers
  1. Place the cooked quinoa in the refrigerator, for approximately one hour, to cool down.
  2. Remove the cooled down quinoa from the refrigerator and stir in all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Placed 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and placed the pan over medium high heat. Form patties with the quinoa burger mixture and cook them until medium brown and crispy on both sides.
  4. You can eat the quinoa burger as is, or dress it up like you would a hamburger by placing it on a bun with lettuce, tomato and onion.
    quinoa burger
Recipe Notes

Recipe Variations

Gluten free quinoa burger

  • Substitute 1/2 cup crushed rice Chex cereal for the breadcrumbs.
  • Serve the burger without a bun.
  • Substitute lettuce cups for a bun.

Dairy-free quinoa burger

  • eliminate the mozzarella.
  • substitute silken tofu for the cream cheese.

Vegan quinoa burger

  • eliminate the mozzarella.
  • substitute silken tofu for the cream cheese.

Ingredient Substitutions

  1. Any shredded cheese, such as cheddar, colby or Monterrey jack,  can be used in place of the mozzarella.
  2. Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese or even silken tofu can be substituted for the cream cheese.
  3. Instead of cooking the quinoa in plain water, which has salt added to it, cook the quinoa in vegetable broth. If you aren't vegan or vegetarian, you can cook the quinoa in chicken broth if desired.
  4. Green onions, or even shallots, can be substituted for the onion.

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