Zucchini Quinoa Burgers

By • August 8, 2012 • 40 Comments

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Author Notes: These delicious, seasonal burgers may seem time intensive at first, but fear not: once you have your quinoa and chickpeas cooked, they're really a snap, and they showcase the flavor potential of veggie burgers perfectly. If you need to, you can go ahead and used canned, organic beans. They make the process a whole lot faster! I'm partial to the Eden organic brand, which is BPA free, myself. Gena Hamshaw

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, julienned on a mandolin or grated on the largest setting of a box grater
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1/2 heaping cup dry)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup dry)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  1. To prepare chickpeas, soak beans overnight. In the morning, rinse them and discard soak water. Place beans in a pot with enough water to submerge them by several inches. Heat to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 min to an hour, or until beans are tender. Drain and store in the fridge for up to three days.
  2. To prepare quinoa, rinse quinoa in a sieve. Add to a small pot and add 2/3 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, with a lid slightly ajar on the pot, until the water is absorbed and you can see the thin “ribs” of the quinoa becoming detached from the grain. Fluff, cover, and let sit for a few moments. Store in the fridge for up to three or four days.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add zucchini, and continue to saute until zucchini is cooked through and onion is translucent. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Grind pumpkin seeds, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor till they’re broken into a fine meal.
  5. Add quinoa, chickpeas, the dijon mustard, lemon, dill, paprika, and oregano to the mixture. Pulse to combine a few times. Then, run the motor to continue mixing the mixture. You may need to stop it a few times so that you can scrape the sides of the processor and start the motor again. You want the beans to be broken down and for the mixture to hold together well, but you don’t want to process so extensively that the mix has no more texture. If you need to add a little water to the mixture, that’s totally OK.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the zucchini, onion, and garlic. Mix with hands (as if you were making meatloaf). When everything is incorporated, season once more with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Shape mixture into six patties with hands. Heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a sautee pan on medium heat. Cook burgers for five minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Alternately, you can bake them at an oven set to 375 degrees for twenty-five minutes, flipping once halfway through. Serve.
Jump to Comments (40)

Comments (40) Questions (4)

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3 months ago josephine wixon

These burgers definitely need a binder. I made them today and they fell apart i couldn't even pick them up to put in the bun. I made them thin, i made them thick, i put them in frig, i used a lot of oil and i used a little oil and i tried just spraying the pan no matter what i did they fell apart and when i ate them they were like mush in the bread but the taste wasn't too bad and i love the concept of beans and quinoa burger so i think its back to the drawing board and tweak the recipe. Thanks for the idea

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5 months ago koc

Fantastic! Great flavor plus nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand and family preferences; sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin, fresh basil instead of dill, spicy brown mustard instead of dijon. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

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5 months ago Indira @ illcookyouwash

Just made them exactly as recipe stated and about to put in oven. Wish me luck!

Stringio

7 months ago Diana

Used tahini instead of mustard, no oregano, little extra lemon juice. Very wet batter. Hoping chilling will make it easier to form patties. Next time I won't add ny water...the zuc seems to add enough!

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about 1 year ago SMinNYC

Can I make the mixture ahead of time and put it in the fridge? How long will it last for? (Note: I don't use a microwave, so freezing and thawing is difficult).

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over 1 year ago Martha

On a beautiful late afternoon day in New England - kids at the beach, dog napping, summer breeze coming from our garden - making these burgers was profoundly enjoyable. We harvest two zukes a day, so it has been fun experimenting with such multi-layered delicious recipes. I didn't this would top the vegan chocolate zucchini cupcakes, but it did! Lost in the moment and not the recipe, my mixture came out watery. Added more red quinoa and baked them on parchment paper in the oven - holy yum is all I can say. I'm willing the kids home so i dont eat another:(Thanks Gena!!!

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over 1 year ago Whats4Dinner

Um, vegan chocolate zucchini cupcakes???? Is this from here?

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over 1 year ago Janet Paula Lieber

I made these but didn't appreciate the mustard very much. Is there a substitute for mustard that I can use. Another question: is the 2/3 cup of water, listed in the ingredients, used to cook the quinoa or is it meant to be added to the mixture later on.

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over 1 year ago insecureepicure

I made them tonight with black beans instead of chick peas. My daughter's friends were waiting for her, and they are not adventerous, and they finished them off. I would call them a success. Thank you!!

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over 1 year ago darby

substituted the zucchini with eggplant, the chick peas for white beans and added lentils-phenominal!

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over 1 year ago Rachel Naomi

I added a cup of nutritional yeast to help it stick better. They were really good with avocado slices.

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over 1 year ago ASN1028

Delicious! Omitted the oregano and paprika and these were still really flavorful. The dijon mustard added a really fantastic zing. We'll definitely make these again!

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almost 2 years ago Alison L

A friend made this recipe and the burgers fell apart. What would account for this...too much water or not enough? Any suggestions to help them hold together better? Thanks! (I'm looking forward to making these myself sometime soon!)

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over 1 year ago Gena Hamshaw

Alison, try a tiny bit more quinoa. I'm so sorry -- there is a bit of a learning curve with these guys :)

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almost 2 years ago christinemayre

I think Id do without the bread, otherwise this sounds really good!

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about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made these tonight using cranberry beans and black quinoa; I don"t care for dill much or for paprika, at all, so I used fresh basil and parsley, in addition to the fresh oregano. Outstanding!! ;o)

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over 1 year ago Gena Hamshaw

Hooray!

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about 2 years ago Hannamania

Wow! Made these tonight with several substitutions and omissions because I used what I had on hand. I didn't have an onion, I used cashews instead of sunflower seeds, used lentils instead of chickpeas, and spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon. The patties turned out crispy on the outside, sof on the inside and so delicious! Not a traditional burger feel, but very satisfying.

Stringio

about 2 years ago cristinachevalier

I just made my first veggie burger and Ii was delish!!! I love this recipe.

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about 2 years ago cook4fun

Just made these delicious burgers for dinner tonight with a few substitutions based on the herbs in our garden (parsley, rosemary, thyme) and the black rice my husband already had cooking on the stove. Only used 1/3 cup water and the patties stayed together quite well. I got eight 1/2 cup patties from the mixture, and they seemed the perfect size. And I baked them. Love that there are enough left over for another meal. Thank you, Gena, for this tasty recipe.

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about 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Thank YOU! So glad you enjoyed.

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over 2 years ago lillianstrange

My patties fell apart :( I have no one to blame but myself because I forgot to add the water! However, they tasted great despite the mistake. My cousin and I are in our 3rd week of meatless mondays, and when he tasted the patty he said he didn't know that vegan food could taste this good! Thanks for the recipe. I will defintely make them again, but with water!

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over 2 years ago lpcooks

If I wanted to freeze some, at what stage should I do it? And would you just defrost them before cooking?

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over 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

I'd cook, then freeze. Then defrost and heat them up again.

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over 2 years ago TheFitCookie

These turned out yummy! I used black beans, sunflower seeds, and misqute seasoning. These didn't hold together as well as I would have liked, but I suspect it is because I used black beans instead of chickpeas and added a tiny bit of water. Very yummy! Thanks for the recipe : )

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over 2 years ago TheFitCookie

oops, typo: "mesquite". I only used 1-2 Tablespoons water in this, but I probably could have skipped the water altogether and added some chia or flax meal to help it stick together better.

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over 2 years ago terri lee

This recipe tasted great, but the "burgers" came out too moist to hold together. Next time I will use a little less water. Will definitely try again!

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over 2 years ago Suzanne EL-Moursi

This looks so good and healthy!

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over 2 years ago Serena Palumbo

Great burger recipe - I will definitely give it a try for my Meatless Monday.

Check out my video on how to cook quinoa here: http://serenapalumbo.com...

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over 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Nice video! Thanks!

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over 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Nice video! Thanks!

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over 2 years ago BonnieKeyser

These were delicious! I just happened to have some pumpkin seeds on hand and fresh dill.
I was concerned about the stringiness of the zucchini, but everything worked great.
Thanks!

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over 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Fantastic! I'm so glad you liked them.

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over 2 years ago Sarag

Off to get pepitas. This recipe looks great. I remember those grill- marked patties with the fondness that comes with nostalgia for old times., more than actual enthusiasm for the taste-experience. Through the years I have tried many veggie burger recipes with varying degrees of satisfaction: Moosewood recipes, Cabbagetown recipes, friends' attempts and several of my own. A diagnosis of celiac disease led to my greatest breakthrough: like you have here, my opinion is that ground nuts and smashed beans are the trick, both for binding and flavor.
flavor enhancement.

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over 2 years ago Emily S

These look delicious and I'm going to make some soon. Any idea if they will freeze well?

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over 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Emily,

I'll confess I haven't frozen this recipe yet, but it's incredibly similar to other veggie burgers that I have frozen. The texture is usually *slightly* more dry, but not a lot, and you shouldn't have a problem. Just be sure to use a suitable freezing container. Good luck!!!

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over 2 years ago SpaCook

Would canned chickpeas work if I have time constraints? Or does that compromise on texture too much?

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over 2 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Not at all! In fact, canned beans are my shortcut of choice when it comes to veggie burgers. I like to use the Eden brand; it's BPA free!

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over 2 years ago SpaCook

They were wonderful. Though I may make one tiny adjustment and salt and drain the zucchinin the next time I make them. I found them just a wee bit too moist.

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over 2 years ago susan g

In the quest for the 'best burger' -- you're next!