May 28, 2010

Baked Quinoa Burgers

Savory, chewy, protein-filled patties...

Think hashbrowns without the grease. Think hamburgers without the grill (a plus for those living where outdoor grills are verboten). Think summertime fare. Think about a zesty, flavor-filled lunch or dinner that fills you up because it isn't full of empty calories. Quinoa is good stuff

I created this recipe from my failed attempt at following another recipe for mini quinoa burgers. I misread some of the amounts and ended up with way more cooked quinoa than I was supposed to have (reminds me of a particular scene from I Love Lucy, only much less dramatic). So I decided to improvise, using all that quinoa and adding extra ingredients I pulled from the pantry, to make something more closely resembling the size of a hamburger.

Cool the quinoa: To cut down on the preparation time, you can cook the quinoa the day before you plan to make the burgers, and refrigerate it until you need it. Regardless of when you cook it, however, you will need to allow it some cooling time before you mix in the other ingredients. Since you'll be forming the patties by hand, the quinoa needs to be at least cool enough that you can touch it and, well, get it smeared all over your fingers, without that uncomfortable burning-skin sensation. I recommend cooking the quinoa first, then allowing it to cool while you cut up the scallions, preheat the oven, line and butter the cookie sheets, etc.

Cookie sheets: Both my cookie sheets won't fit side-by-side in my oven, so I had to bake the burgers in 2 batches. Many kudos to you if your cookie sheets are sized to fit on the same oven rack, side-by-side. One huge cookie sheet that would fit all 12 patties would, perhaps, be ideal ... 

Dill? I have a dill plant, so I used some of it in the recipe. You can buy dill in the grocery store, or you could use dried dill (use about 1/4 teaspoon). Alternatively, you could use fresh parsley or dried parsley.

Spices: I like the flavor that the chili powder adds to this dish, so I highly recommend it. You could mix it up, though, and use any other spicy spices that you like (cumin is a good option). There truly are a lot of flavors going on in those patties--from the spicy golden mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce......

Side ideas: Steamed corn or broccoli, salad, baked beans, tomato cucumber salad, corn on the cob.

Baked Quinoa Burgers
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes 
- Quinoa cooking: about 30 minutes
- Other prep: 1 hour
- Baking time: 45 minutes
Makes 12 Burgers

To make the quinoa:
  • 2 cups dry quinoa (about 6 cups cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups water or broth
To make the quinoa burgers:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce* (*omit for vegetarian version)
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4-5 scallions
  • 1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/4 teaspoon dry) dill or parsley, minced

1. Cook the quinoa, following this recipe.
2. Cool the cooked quinoa while preparing other ingredients.
3. Position oven rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil, then coat the foil lightly with butter.
5. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
6. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, oil, soy sauce, spicy golden mustard, and ketchup.
7. Thinly chop the scallions (discard wilted green parts and the root ends), mince the fresh dill, and set both aside.
8. Add cooled quinoa (cool enough to handle) to the large bowl.
9. Measure minced garlic, seasoned bread crumbs, quick oats, and chili powder, and add on top of quinoa. 10. Add the chopped scallions and minced dill.
11. With a large rubber spatula, mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
12. Measure out a 1/2 cup scoop of the mixture and form by hand into a patty that is 1/2" - 3/4" thick. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat to make 12 patties (6 patties on each pan).
13. Bake on middle oven rack (bake in two batches if both pans won't fit at the same time) for 25 minutes.
14. Turn patties over (being careful not to rip the foil), and bake for 20 more minutes.
15. Enjoy plain or on a sandwich roll--with ketchup and a slice of ripe tomato, if you like.



Brian said...

These are a huge favorite of mine btw. They're tied with Garbanzo Bean Burritos (and possibly a few of Abigail's other recipes) for #1.

Hesh said...

Instant family favorite. Mom loves these because she's allergic to wheat. Thanks!

abigail said...

That's great! Thanks for leaving a comment. :)