This amazing Quinoa Burger is knock-your-socks-off awesome, built on a base of quinoa, brown rice and spinach. It’s protein packed, easy to cook on the grill or in a skillet, and a welcome change from traditional black bean or mushroom burgers.
Far from yesteryear’s blandness, today’s meat-free dishes are full of wonderful new textures and flavors! You’ll quickly have new converts not only with this delicious burger but with our Southwest Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, Black Bean Quesadillas, and Veggie Wraps!
I first ran into the idea of a Quinoa Burger at a dine-in theatre with my sister. We were looking to order something that wasn’t a million calories, and settled on the quinoa burger. My expectations were low until, BAM: my first bite was instant love!! The burger was so good that I found the AMC theatre menu online to find out all I could about it, and then set to recreate it. I particularly love how it’s different from a black bean burger and is instead made from quinoa, brown rice and chopped veggies. I used egg, plain greek yogurt and bread crumbs as the binders. I’m proud to say my creation is even better than the inspiration! I know you will love it too!
How to make Quinoa Burgers:
Combine: quinoa, brown rice, chopped spinach and red bell pepper, eggs, panko bread crumbs and spices in a large mixing bowl.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Shape into patties on a cookie sheet using a ½ cup measuring cup.
Crisp golden brown in a large skillet on the stove top. (See Expert Tips below for grilling instructions).
Serve: on a whole wheat bun or lettuce wrap.
Crown with scrumptious toppings like provolone, spicy arugula, a slice of juicy beef-steak tomato, ripe avocado, red onion, and sriracha mayo or our delicious homemade Thousand Island dressing.
Expert Tips for Perfect Veggie Burgers:
- Substitutions: If you don’t have spinach or red bell pepper you could leave them out, or try another diced veggie such as carrots, beets, kale or squash. You can also substitute the Panko bread crumbs with rolled oats.
- How to make sure they stick together: Ensure that the veggie burgers don’t fall apart by straining any excess liquid from the diced peppers (or any other veggie substitutions you add, like onions or shredded carrot) prior to adding the quinoa and brown rice. The egg and breadcrumbs will then work as the binder to hold the patties together. I’d also suggest freezing the patties for 20-30 minutes before grilling.
- If grilling, make sure the grill is well greased. To prevent the quinoa burgers from sticking to the grill when you flip them, be sure to use cooking spray or oil your grill with a brush before cooking them.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To make ahead: Make the quinoa burger patties and store them, uncooked and covered, in the fridge up to 2 days ahead of time.
To freeze: These quinoa burgers freeze really well! Just lay the uncooked patties flat inside a resealable freezer bag. Place a piece of parchment paper between them if you stack them. Grill veggie burgers from frozen or thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup dry)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves , packed then finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper , finely diced
- 2 large eggs , slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (or rolled oats)
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- Add all burger ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir very well to combine. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper, or other spices, to your liking, if needed.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Line a large tray with parchment paper. Spoon burger mixture into a 1/2 cup measuring cup and pack it in with the back of a spoon.
- Invert mixture onto parchment paper. Use your hands to gently press down and mold the sides of the mixture to form a patty. Repeat with remaining mixture—it should make about 5 patties.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil to the pan or spray really well with non-stick cooking spray.
- Once hot, add patties. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden on the bottom.
- Very carefully flip them to the other side and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on that side.
- Serve burgers on a whole wheat bun or lettuce wrap. Top with provolone cheese, arugula, tomato, avocado, onion, and desired sauce.
Nutritional information does not include bun or toppings.
Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.
*I originally shared this recipe April 2017. Updated June 2020 with process photos and additional tips.