Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Quinoa Burgers with Caramelized Onions

This is one of our favorite recipes at our house. My husband tells me everytime I make them that he would be perfectly happy eating one of these burgers everyday. I would too! As a non vegetarian who's sampled many "meatless" burgers, this easily ranks as my top pick. Have you ever tried to make your own meatless burgers before? I have. Many times. Sometimes they taste alright, but most of the time they're a sloppy mess. These burgers actually stay pretty firm, so there's no squirting out of the bun going on. (You know what I'm talking about...it's not pretty)

We first came upon this recipe when a friend of ours brought us dinner one night after my daughter was born. She called them quinoa sliders because we ate them on dinner sized rolls. I was skeptical at first but was blown away with how good they were. I believe I emailed her that night asking for the recipe. She used this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. 

(SIDE NOTE: if you haven't visited Mel's Kitchen Cafe, please do. I love her recipes. I have taken many of hers and made them vegetarian. I've only ever not liked one of her recipes, which was a frosting recipe, but I'm pretty sure I messed it up somehow!)

In true Jen fashion, I made a few slight changes to how I prepare them. First, I always cook my quinoa in vegetable stock. It gives it such lovely flavor. Second, I replace the fresh garlic with garlic powder. I know I know. You garlic purists out there are shaking your heads. But I tried them with the fresh garlic and I don't think the burgers cook long enough to cook the garlic all the way through. So garlic powder it is for me. Third, I added flour to my burgers. This helps them bind a little better and stay a bit firmer. Lastly, I NEVER have fresh parsley, so I use dried. There nothing I hate more than buying something for a recipe, using what I need, and then the rest just rots away in my fridge (I'm looking at you celery...).

But what really throws these burgers over the top for me are the caramelized onions. Oh there's nothing better than the sweet and savory flavor of onions that have been sauteed in butter until they turn brown. The key here is low and slow. Low heat, slow cooking. They're so good and so easy. We also love green beans with caramelized onions. Very yummy. Oh and in an ideal world, we like to top these burgers with avocado.

I usually serve the burgers with oven potato fries, but as you can see (from the pic) sometimes we switch it up and serve them with roasted veggies.


Quinoa Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Servings: 6-8

Note: I like to cook my onions while the quinoa is cooking so I can reuse the pan to cook the burgers.

For Quinoa Burgers:

1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder
1 TB dried parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs 

2-3 TB flour
1 TB olive oil

  • Put quinoa in saucepan with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer covered until liquid is absorbed. 
  • Put quinoa into a large bowl and let cool down to room temperature. I usually stick mine in the freezer for a bit to speed this process up. (you can also cook your quinoa ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to use it)
  • In a large bowl, add all ingredients to quinoa and mix until well combined. 
  • Next, add flour, 1 TB at a time, to the mixture and mix. Keep adding flour until the mixture is the right consistency to form burgers. The amount of flour you use will depend greatly on how moist your quinoa is. 
  • Form mixture into 6-8 patties and let rest on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties 5-7 minutes on each side or until a rich golden brown. 
For Caramelized Onions:
1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly
1 TB butter
sprinkle of salt.

  • In a nonstick skillet, melt 1 TB butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and a sprinkle of salt
  • Cook onions, stirring occasionally until they turn a dark brown
  • Top quinoa burger with caramelized onions and serve with your favorite burger toppings (lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, ketchup, mustard, etc.)

1 comment:

  1. I liked these so much, we're already planning on having them again next week. Thanks so much for the recipe!!!