Most people I know are omnivores so when they want something substantial to put in a bun they simply go for the classic meat burger. I was brought up as a vegetarian and have never reconciled myself to the taste, and more particularly, the texture of meat. So when I want to eat a substantial sandwich I turn to veggie burgers, and I don’t want ones that are meaty and chewy. I want one that is flavorful, robust, and textured without being toothsome. So I am on a quest to develop a repertoire of veggie burger recipes that I can make, freeze, and then grab for easy nutritious meals when I haven’t had time to cook from scratch.
This particular recipe can be baked or fried (sautéed) but will not hold together on the grill. I will be experimenting with bread crumbs which are a usual ingredient for their ability to soak up moisture and stiffen patties. I didn’t want to have breadcrumbs in this particular recipe because I wanted to keep the proportion of beans to grains at a 2 to 1 ratio. The results are satisfying, flavorful, and just the perfect quick meal I was hoping for.
4 cups cooked kidney beans
2 cups cooked quinoa
3 large carrots diced small
1 large onion diced small
3 ribs celery diced small
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch cilantro (chopped well)
1-2 pickled (or fresh) jalapenos (finely minced)
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp salt
Makes 10 to 12 patties
Have your kidney beans and quinoa prepared ahead of time. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan (on medium high heat) and add the carrots, onion, and celery. Once they start lightly browning turn the heat down to med/low and stir frequently. When the onions get soft and sticky they’re done. (It should take about 25 minutes.)
In a food processor combine the kidney beans and quinoa and pulse several times. You want the beans to maintain texture but you want enough of them to be crushed that the beans and quinoa stick together. Put this in a large mixing bowl. Add the caramelized vegetables, cilantro, jalapenos, cumin, and salt and mix really well.
Form into patties. You can make them any size you like. I made mine palm sized and kept them fairly thick.
To cook: heat a tbsp of oil (any you choose) in a sauté pan and sauté patties on both sides until they develop a crispy brown crust.
To serve: I don’t eat my veggie burgers with buns when I eat them at home. I like to eat them with sliced avocado, some cheese melted on top, and some salsa. These have a slight spiciness (depending on how many jalapenos you used) so if you like really spicy food you can use a super spicy salsa or a hot pepper sauce drizzled on top. If you like your veggie burgers with a bun you can eat them with a bun as well with pickles, lettuce and tomato.
Recipe Notes: I use 2 jalapenos for mine because I don’t like really spicy food. There is a wide variation in spiciness when it comes to jalapenos so be cautious. I prefer them pickled because they have a little tangy taste to them. Veggie burgers freeze well. To freeze them: lay the formed patties on waxed paper on a baking sheet and freeze for several hours until they are hard, then put them in freezer bags. For longer term freezing I recommend using a vacuum sealer. Caramelizing vegetables takes time but in this recipe it adds an important dimension to the flavor so I don’t recommend skipping it.
This recipe is vegan: unless you melt cheese on it or top it with sour cream.
This recipe is gluten free: provided the quinoa you buy was not processed in a facility that also processes wheat and if you use fresh jalapenos instead of pickled ones.