Ultimate Quinoa Veggie Cheeseburgers
We lugged our massive BBQ grill out of the storage shed a few weeks ago, and we’ve been grilling just about everything in sight since, from sticky, sweet BBQ chicken, to local salmon filets, fresh veggies, the first stone fruit to pop up in the market, and of course tons of burgers.
I love nothing more than cooking and eating outside, especially on long, warm summer days, when the sun doesn’t begin to set until nine or later this far north. Lately, we’ve made an almost daily habit of spending our evenings out on the back patio, enjoying a cocktail or beer and soaking up the warm weather while cooking casual weeknight dinners on the grill. Living in all-too-often gloomy, coastal Washington, it’s practically criminal to waste a single warm and sunny day, and the glut of sunshine feels downright glorious.
One of our favorite al fresco recipes are these quinoa veggie burgers. Make that veggie cheeseburgers, because, in this house, a burger is not a burger without a big slice – or two – of delicious, melted cheese.
When I first proposed these veggie burgers – a hearty, flavorful quinoa and white bean patty, topped with Sargento® Natural Cheese Slices, a smokey burger spread, buttery avocado slices, lettuce, and crispy homemade dill pickles – my carnivorous hubby was skeptical.
But when he promptly polished off one – then two – cheeseburgers in one sitting, and asked if there were more, I knew that I was onto something. That meat-loving man is always my best barometer of vegetarian recipes.
The base of my veggie cheeseburgers begins with nutty, flavorful quinoa and beans. Any type of quinoa (red, white, black) will work here, as will most types of beans. I’ve had the most success with either white beans (navy or cannellini) and black beans, but I would think chickpeas or other heirloom bean varieties would do nicely as well.
Crispy panko breadcrumbs and lots of smokey, earthy spices – garlic, cumin, chili – are added to the mix, as well as an egg to bind it all together. Then, to make these burgers extra cheesy and delicious, I add in a cup of Sargento Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese. There’s always room for a little extra cheese, am I right? The patties are popped in the fridge to chill for a bit, before making their way to a hot skillet.
While these veggie burgers hold together well and are easy to flip, I still like to cook these in a lightly-oiled skillet, which I often place right on the grill outside. It’s a one stop shop for toasting/grilling the buns, and makes things super easy if grilling for a party, when you might have other traditional burgers cooking on the grill alongside at the same time.
Now, these burgers would of course not be complete without really good, natural cheese.
I use several different varieties of Sargento 100% real, natural cheese slices (Swiss, Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack are my faves), which are cut right off the block and melt beautifully atop these burgers.
The remaining toppings are kept uncomplicated: a great, smoky, tangy sauce slathered on toasted whole grain buns, big leaves of butter lettuce, a few slices of avo, and some zesty homemade dill pickles. The result? My ultimate veggie cheeseburger.
I assure you that even the most ardent carnivore will make quick work of these…
You can also find this and more cheesy Summer recipes over on AOL.
Quinoa Veggie Burger Patties
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup cooked beans (navy, cannellini, black beans etc.)
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- olive oil, for the pan
- 6–12 slices Sargento Natural Cheese Slices Sharp Cheddar, Swiss or Pepper Jack
- 6 whole grain hamburger buns, split
- veggie burger spread (recipe follows)
- lettuce leaves, sliced avocado, tomato, red onion, dill pickles etc.
Veggie Burger Spread
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2–3 tsp sriracha (or hot sauce of choice)
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- pinch freshly-ground black pepper
- Make the veggie burger patties: In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, or using the back of a large spoon, pulse/mash together the beans until a smooth paste forms. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the bean mash, cooked quinoa, panko, and spices until well-combined.
- Use your hands to mix in the egg, until completely combined. Add the grated cheese and mix well again. Divide the mixture equally into sixths, then shape into 6 round patties, about 1/2-inch thick. Place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in the refrigerator to chill, for at least 15 minutes, or up to a day ahead.
- Make the burger spread: Stir together the mayo, mustard, Sriracha, capers, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. May be made up to a week in advance.
- Cook the patties: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add just enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Working in batches (as needed), saute the patties, 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Wait to flip the first time until a good sear has formed, around the 4-minute mark.
- Place one or two slices of cheese on top of each patty, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover (I use an extra-large, clear skillet lid), and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Assemble the burgers: Grill or lightly toast the hamburger buns. Spread the burger sauce over bottom buns, top with lettuce, veggie patties, and any desired toppings. Serve immediately.
Compensation for this post was provided by Sargento Foods via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sargento Foods or AOL. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!