Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, Amber’s mouthwatering Mediterranean quinoa burgers are a worthy reason to fire up the grill.

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Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce


  • Author: Amber Hanson

Description

This was inspired by a falafel recipe. Starting with dry beans gives these burgers the right texture, so they aren’t as wet or soft as bean-based burgers that start with canned beans. Unlike falafel, these burgers have quinoa added, which is one of the only plant foods that provides a complete source of protein. My favorite way to eat them is wrapped in lettuce leaves with tomato, onions, and a dollop of cucumber yogurt sauce.

Don’t get me wrong: I love a good beef burger, but I also like variety in my meals. Plus, I have friends and clients who prefer a vegetarian style of eating; this burger is perfect for them. And it is made without all the junky additives found in so many of the store-bought options.

It does take a bit of time to prepare (soaking beans for eight hours!) but it makes a large batch and the uncooked patties freeze well. You can cook them from frozen by just dropping the temperature a little bit (or by moving them to indirect heat after getting grill marks on the outside) and giving them a little extra time to heat through. Frozen or fresh, these veggies burgers can also be cooked in a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.


Ingredients

Serves: 10

Burger Patties:

  • 1 lb. dry garbanzo beans
  • Enough water to cover the beans
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (about 1 ½ cups dry)
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 Tbsp. garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ ea. English cucumber, shredded and squeezed dry
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ tsp. finely minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

Place beans in a large bowl. Cover with cool water 2-3 inches above beans. Allow to sit at room temperature at least eight hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, combine all cucumber yogurt sauce ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans, quinoa, onion, egg, parsley, cilantro, flour, salt, cumin, garlic, baking soda, pepper, and cayenne. Pulse until mixture reaches a consistency that will hold together but isn’t completely smooth.* (see note below)

Form the mixture into 10 burger patties (about 6-oz each). Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Pre-heat your grill to 350° F for direct heat.

Lightly oil the grill grates or spray with avocado oil spray. Cook patties about five minutes on each side.

Serve in a lettuce wrap (or bun, if that is your thing!) topped with tomato, onion, and cucumber yogurt sauce.

* If you don’t have a large-capacity food processor, this step is best accomplished in steps. I like to start by pulsing the beans until they are small uniform pieces. Then I mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and work in batches in the food processor to get to that almost-smooth texture that holds together.