Quinoa has long been one of my favorite go-to ingredients because I love how versatile an ingredient it is. And it happens to be really good for you too. It’s one of the best grains you can choose because it’s full of protein, a good source of fiber and is high in magnesium and iron as well (and it’s also gluten-free). I love its slightly nutty flavor and the texture of it works really well in this recipe. The quinoa forms a great crust on the outside when it’s cooked in a little oil making it a really good option for a burger. Here, I like to pair it with some creamy avocado, alfalfa sprouts and a bit of crispy lettuce for some crunch, but you can add on any of your own favorite toppings. I like the color of the red quinoa for this recipe but you can certainly substitute with the regular version if you prefer.
1/4 cup red quinoa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 Hass avocado
Juice from 1/2 lime
Boston (or Bibb) lettuce, for serving
Alfalfa sprouts, for serving
Whole-wheat hamburger roll, split
1. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Grains will be translucent and germ ring will be visible when done. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. When cooled, transfer to bowl with quinoa.
3. Add 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs and enough egg to bind mixture together, about 3/4 of egg, and stir to combine (mixture must be pretty wet in order to hold together). Add more breadcrumbs if necessary.
4. Clean sauté pan and heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Cook burger until a good crust forms on bottom, about 5 minutes (leave burger alone until this happens or it will break apart when you flip it). Flip burger over and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Cut avocado in half, remove pit. Slice one half (save remaining half for another use) and place in a medium bowl. Gently mash until smooth and toss with lime juice. Spread on top half of bun; add lettuce and sprouts. Transfer burger to bottom bun and serve.