Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers
The phrase “quinoa burger” does not exactly instill confidence in a hungry, carnivorous individual, particularly when said individual has been confined to a couch for seven straight days and is craving comfort food.
Last Tuesday, Ben had hip surgery that left him mostly immobile (though that didn’t stop him from setting up this home office on our living room floor), so we’ve both been working from home, which we’ve concluded is not a good long-term solution for two specific reasons. One: I can’t stop myself from pestering him with a question once every 45 seconds; and two: multiple people in the house for three meals a day, every day results in far, far too many dishes, particularly when one of those people (ahem, Ben) uses a minimum of four forks, two plates, and a bowl at every one. It’s as if every time I step into the kitchen, our dirty silverware had babies.
I also realized that what I typically eat for lunch—avocado chickpea toast; giant salads; eggs of assorted preparations—isn’t exactly what a man with the appetite of a small grizzly craves at noon. While I certainly aided the recovery process by cooking a few of Ben’s favorites (pizza on this foolproof home whole wheat pizza crust being #1), by his fourth day home, both of our patience had worn thin, quinoa burgers were on the menu, and if Ben wanted something else, he was welcome to crutch his way to the grocery store, thank you very much.
I promise, I’m a selfless, loving wife. All Most of the time.
I’m not going to pretend that Ben was overtly enthused when I informed him that we’d be having Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers for lunch, but to both of our delight, he issued a full stamp of approval, and we ate the leftovers again the next day. Unlike the cardboard-flavored and textured quinoa burgers he had been expecting, these simple homemade veggie burgers are fresh and filled with vibrant flavors.
The base of the quinoa burgers is a thee-way combo of cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and oats, blended together in the food processor. The bean + whole grain trifecta is loaded with protein and fiber, meaning these quinoa burgers are poised to keep you full from lunch to dinner. (In the event you are in the market for a new food processor, I’ve owned and loved this one for nearly seven years, and it still runs like a champ.)
Once the base is blended, these quinoa burgers are ready to be amped up with your choice of ingredients. I took a little trip to the Mediterranean, folding in tangy sundried tomatoes, chunks of salty feta, and plenty of fresh basil and parsley. A few minutes of lightly pan frying in olive oil leaves the outsides of the quinoa burgers crispy and the insides soft but not at all mushy, a necessary balance I’ve struggled to find with other quinoa burger recipes I’ve tried.
Though the quinoa burger patties are nice on their own and will do well if you are in a hurry, an extra few minutes spent tossing together a quick topping of cherry tomatoes, olives, and herbs are well worth the bright pop and freshness they provide. Extra feta cheese is encouraged.
The next time I make these Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers, I plan to double the batch—the leftovers are smashing. Cooked quinoa burgers can be stored for three days in the refrigerator and easily reheated in the microwave; formed, uncooked quinoa burgers will last in the freezer for months. That’s twice the meals for half of the dishes—and if your dishes are as prolific as mine right now, any recipe that curbs supply is destined for the hall of dinner fame.
Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers
Stop buying veggie burgers and make this easy and delicious recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers from scratch! Fresh, healthy, and great leftover too.
Yield: 6 burgers
Total Time: 45 minutes
For the Burgers
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, millet, farro or similar grain
- 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (not olive oil packed)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1, 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus additional for serving
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- Olive oil, for cooking the burgers
- Whole wheat buns, for serving
For the Tomato Olive Topping
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover the pan and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the sundried tomatoes in a small boil and cover with very hot water. Let stand for at least 5 minutes to rehydrate, drain, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the quinoa, chickpeas, oats, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper. Process until the mixture is nicely ground and blended. Add the egg, then pulse a few times until the egg is combined with the chickpea mixture (it should look like thick, chunky hummus). Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, then gently fold in the drained sundried tomatoes, feta, parsley, and basil. Form the burgers into 6 patties. If not ready to cook immediately, place the patties in the refrigerator.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the topping ingredients: cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, basil, and vinegar. If desired, toast the buns in a toaster oven, a lightly oiled skillet, or in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Watch carefully so that they do not burn.
- When ready to cook the quinoa burgers, heat a large skillet over medium. Drizzle generously with olive oil, then cook the veggie burger patties on each side, until both sides are browned and the patties are cooked through, about 8 minutes total. Be careful as the oil may splatter. Serve on toasted buns, topped with the tomato olive mixture and additional feta cheese as desired.
Cooked leftover chickpea burgers will keep well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days. Uncooked patties can be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for two days or frozen for two months. Let thaw in the refrigerator prior to cooking.
More tasty bean burgers from here and there:
- Black Bean Beef Burgers with Blue Cheese and Onion Marmalade
- Jerk Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
- Tomato Basil Veggie Burgers from Oh My Veggies