Quinoa Veggie Burger

This vegetarian burger will appeal to meat eaters as well: toasted pecans, mushrooms, Cheddar cheese, fresh herbs, and red quinoa add a delightful flavor to the dish. Red quinoa gives the burgers the ideal color, but white quinoa is also excellent.  


1 cup water ½ cup red quinoa 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 cup diced onion 2 cups finely chopped cremini or white button mushrooms 1 teaspoon minced garlic ¾ teaspoon dried marjoram ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

1 large egg ⅔ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese ½ cup whole pecans, toasted and finely chopped (see Tip) ⅓ cup quick-cooking rolled oats 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce 8 small whole-wheat burger buns, toasted if desired


Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, marjoram and oregano; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Beat egg in a medium bowl. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, pecans, oats and soy sauce; stir to combine. Scoop scant 1/2-cup portions of the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into 8 patties, about 3 inches wide, leaving about 1 inch of space between each patty. 

(The mixture will be crumbly; patting it into burgers on the baking sheet makes it easier to work with. The burgers hold together very well once baked.) Bake the burgers until crispy, 28 to 30 minutes. Serve on buns with your favorite garnishes.

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