Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quinoa burgers

Quinoa burgers with tomato jam
Have you noticed how quinoa is freakin' everywhere lately?

It's the new new thing.

And apparently rightly so, given the recent bruhaha over arsenic levels in rice. Not to mention all the research that tells us a diet without a lot of white rice and pasta might help us all to be a little less ... well ... how shall we say ... fluffy?

So bring on the quinoa!

I like quinoa because it's not too grainy or health-food-storish, like bulgur (oy, I tried to like bulgur because Bittman says I should, but I just can't deal with it). I can almost pretend quinoa is pasta.


I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical when I tried this recipe for quinoa "burgers." My experience has been that grain-based veggie patties tend to fall apart when you try to flip them in a frying pan. Which is why, frankly, I didn't even buy burger buns when I made these; I just figured I'd call them "fritters" or "hash" and be done with it.

But --- ha cha cha! -- wouldn't you know it? They stayed in one piece! A real patty!

And they were seriously very delicious. I'm not a vegetarian (far from it -- I tend to refer to myself as a meatasaurus) but I do try to work some meatless meals into our dinner rotation. I often find them disappointing because they lack the "body" that I like in a protein-based meal.

But not this quinoa recipe. This one is a keeper!

Whether you eat these quinoa burgers fritter style on a plate, as is shown in my photos, or burger style on a bun (which is how I ate them as leftovers, with some cheese and guacamole -- WOW!), you'll want to complement them with at least a little avocado and tomato. Or, even better, whip up a little spicy-sweet tomato jam and mix it with some mayonnaise -- a really perfect condiment for these patties.

Also, feel free to play with the spices a bit, based on what you like best. 

I'm certain that these will even prove to be kid-friendly. As always, let me know if you try them!

Quinoa Burgers (slightly adapted from Eating Well Living Thin)

(Note: This recipe yielded 7 bun-sized patties for me.)

2 cups cooked quinoa (just cook quinoa according to package directions)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
3 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
olive oil

Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl and mix well.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Using a half-cup measuring cup, drop quinoa mixture by the cupful into the pan and cook each side for about 4-5 minutes, flipping each patty carefully with a wide spatula.

Serve patties on buns with traditional burger toppings or bunless, as fritters, with chopped tomato, avocado and tomato jam mayonnaise (see above).


  1. I am so trying this! It looks lovely! Will let you know if the little vikings go for it! :-)

  2. Ooh, I love quinoa and I love how it gets nice and crispy when you fry it in a little bit of oil. And with tomato jam? YES!

  3. Looks fantastic! Would have to give this a try. My boyfriend and I need to incorporate more low cholesterol foods in our diet.