Zucchini Quinoa Burgers

August  8, 2012
1 Ratings
Photo by Karen Mordechai
  • Serves 6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Janet Whitbeck
    Janet Whitbeck
  • StreetSong
  • Laura415
  • Lexi
  • Jen Bonter
    Jen Bonter

52 Reviews

lea January 31, 2020
I made a deconstructed burger version of this. Just sauteed the onion garlic and shredded zucchini, and mixed it with cooked quinoa and chickpeas and threw in the pumpkin seeds and added the mustard, herbs and lemon juice. It came out really tasty and pretty! I could really see using a raw shredded carrot instead of the zucchini for more of a salad situation. So if you're not up for hassle of the whole recipe don't let it stop you from enjoying the really delicious flavor profile that Gena originally posted :)
Gabriella August 24, 2019
I made these yesterday and they came out delicious! I added more quinoa and dill and swapped parsley for oregano. I baked them in the oven and let them cool and they kept their form. I refrigerated them and they were even firmer and the flavor was even better the next day.
Naomi B. January 24, 2019
I made these yesterday and these were amazing! This was absolutely delicious. I may have blended the mixture in the blender a little too much, but i didn't mind the texture. It kind of reminded me of a crab cake texture, which I loved. I didn't experience any dryness that others commented about. I did add about 2 Tbsp of Chickpea water, which may have helped. Thank you for a great recipe!
Janet W. August 3, 2016
Any ideas to replace the pumpkin seeds , maybe flax seed ?
Kelly June 28, 2019
1/2 cup of flax?
StreetSong July 24, 2016
My husband and I tried these last night and loved them! We pan-fried them in a hot cast iron pan, and although they're a little fragile to handle, they came out perfectly. Make sure they have browned and formed a crust on the bottom before flipping them. Omitted oregano, used about 1-1/2 tsp. dried dill (didn't have fresh on hand), toasted the pumpkin seeds before grinding and added an ear of cooked corn cut off the cob. As with all Gena recipes I have tried, this was really delicious. I'm making round two today!
Laura415 July 2, 2016
Looking forward to making this burger when my garden starts dropping squash. I think it will work with yellow squash too. I may salt the shredded squash and squeeze out excess water which could possibly have something to do with the patties not holding together. If I have trouble I'll be adding an egg to bind the mixture even though it's not vegan.
Lexi October 6, 2015
We love this recipe! However, having tried both the oven bake and stove top fry, we would definitely go for the oven bake, which is far superior ;-)
Jen B. September 15, 2015
Came out crumbly and mushy on the stove top, trying the oven next. It needs something to help it stick together.
AJD8129 August 28, 2015
A good binder for this recipe is the 'juice' from the chickpea can - I added 2tbs of it to the rest of the mixture in the food processor and they held together well. Still should expect to be the consistency of falafel - not super firm. Also used cilantro instead of the other herbs and lime juice instead of lemon. Yum.
Juliana V. August 15, 2015
I loved this recipe! Super easy to make and very flavorful. I will definitely make it again ;)
beckgjekaj March 4, 2015
Do you have any serving suggestions? (toppings, breads, etc.?)
josephine W. September 4, 2014
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
koc July 29, 2014
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.
Indira @. July 15, 2014
Just made them exactly as recipe stated and about to put in oven. Wish me luck!
Diana May 18, 2014
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!
SMinNYC November 13, 2013
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).
Martha August 12, 2013
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!!!
Whats4Dinner August 25, 2013
Um, vegan chocolate zucchini cupcakes???? Is this from here?
Janet P. August 12, 2013
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.
insecureepicure August 5, 2013
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!!
darby July 31, 2013
substituted the zucchini with eggplant, the chick peas for white beans and added lentils-phenominal!