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Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red Onions

Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Is there such thing as burger-induced writer’s block? If so, I have it.

Which doesn’t make sense because these veggie burgers are nothing short of amazing and should inspire me to write epic poetry, let alone a simple blog post.

Alas, the words elude me. Like the thinking equivalent of talking with your mouth full. How about we just say these burgers left me speechless, and I’ll simply tell you about them instead. Straight to the point and without all the fluff. Also: without any meat.

Quinoa, shredded carrot, cheese and breadcrumbs form a surprisingly substantial patty, which is then topped with fresh tomato, arugula, tart pickled red onions and soft, creamy goat cheese.

I put goat cheese on everything.

Just in case you didn’t notice.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red Onions

Yield: 6 servings

Total Time: 1 hour


For Pickled Onions:

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt

For Burgers:

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup coarsely grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (freshly made from bread if you can)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Topping:

  • 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • handful fresh arugula
  • 6 large or 12 slider-sized burger buns, split and lightly toasted


For pickled onions, place onion slices in a medium bowl. Pour vinegar and warm water over onion. Stir in sugar and season with a pinch of salt; let stand for about 30 minutes or until slightly pickled. Drain and set aside. (Onions can be pickled up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered in the refrigerator.)

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa in boiling water until just tender, about 10 minutes (or according to your package instructions). Drain and spread on a baking sheet to cool.

In a bowl, combine eggs, carrot, cheese, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix in the cooled quinoa and bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Form quinoa into 1/2-inch-thick patties; you should get about 12 slider-sized patties or 6 larger ones. Place on a lightly oiled platter.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the patties and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until crisp, adding more oil as needed. Repeat with the remaining patties and oil.

To assemble, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of goat cheese onto the bottom of each burger bun, then top with burger patty, tomato slices, arugula, and pickled onions.

Burgers adapted from Food & Wine. Pickled onion recipe from Bon Appetit.

// All images and text ©
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40 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:11 am

    That is a great burger picture! I have a ton of quinoa at home, so I’m going to have to make this. I’ve always wanted to pickle onions too. And I’m totally fine with you putting goat cheese on everything. ;)


  2. 2
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:22 am

    How’d you know that I ate a quinoa veggie burger yesterday when I went out to lunch and have since been wanting to make one!? This one looks great!

    P.S. It was nice to meet you over the weekend! I had a ton of fun at food blog forum! <3


    • Posted On May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      SO nice to meet you as well! It was a blast, wasn’t it? :)

  3. 3
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Hello Lindsay,

    I have been waiting for someone to tell me about a great Quinoa Burger recipe … and here it is. Will definitely try it out, the goad cheese totally convinced me as well.



  4. 4
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:24 am

    These could not look any better!! Wow! I love them!


  5. 5
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

    These sound amazing, especially with the goat cheese!


  6. 6
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Mmm what a fabulous treat!! This looks lovely!!


  7. 7
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Looks great! I too, put goat cheese on and in everything! Last night’s dinner was goat cheese + chive scrambled eggs. Compared to the same dish that I paid for at a nice restaurant the other day, my version was far better.


  8. 8
    Kristen Paige Gathany
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

    This blog is my hero.


  9. 9
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I love quinoa! I’ve never had my quinoa burgers come out this nice looking.. they just kind of fall apart. Maybe it’s the carrot and the parmesan? I’m going to try it out. And you definitely can’t go wrong with goat cheese. Good idea.


    • Posted On May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      They definitely require more finesse than regular burgers, that’s for sure. I actually think the breadcrumbs and eggs are what ultimately hold it together. The ‘resting’ step is important to, and then just being super gentle when cooking and not moving them any more then necessary. Worth it in the end, though!

  10. 10
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Goats cheese and onions are two all of my all time favourite ingredients. Love this!


  11. 11
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 10:32 am

    The pickled onions look like they just MAKE this burger!


  12. 12
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 10:34 am

    For months I keep saying I’m going to jump on the quinoa bandwagon and I still haven’t!! I think seeing it in a burger is the one thing that will get me to jump on – because evertying is best in burger form!


  13. 13
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 10:34 am

    This looks yummy! Is there anything that else that can be used in place of the cheese? I can’t STAND how cheese tastes at all, in any shape or form.



    • Posted On May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      You could probably leave it out, I don’t think it serves as anything other than flavor in the patty. The egg/breadcrumbs are what give it structure.

  14. 14
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Pickled red onions are one of my favorite things ever. And goat cheese! I would love this!


  15. 15
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

    When I saw this on twitter, I thought, “how does she get them to stick together?” Ah, eggs. I prefer to make mine eggless, so they are, of course, quinoa-less. But I may try this with an egg substitute like the Vegg or ground chia instead!


  16. 16
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Wow, you make a healthy burger look delectable!


  17. 17
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve had quinoa in veggie burgers before and loved it. But what sold me is the goat cheese haha.


  18. 18
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I love quinoa and goat cheese! So making these!


  19. 19
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I love how you have a writer’s block and still manage to write such a lovely post. Those burgers look great, would make a nice Friday night meal!


  20. 20
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Goodness gracious is that a pretty burger! Never seen quinoa look so darn delicious!


  21. 21
    Posted On May 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Woo-hoo for meatless burgers! And that you worked carrots into the burger patties. I bet they’re so flavorful and loaded with great texture!


  22. 22
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Looks super yummi!


  23. 23
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 5:36 am

    We all have it from time to time, this strange blocade :) Your burger soungs perfect for a weekend breakfast.


  24. 24
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I agree with Martha, it definitely affects everyone at some point! All you had to do was mention goat cheese and I was sold though…


  25. 25
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I love vegetarian burgers! (maybe cause I am vegetarian?) But I have never tried Quinoa before :o have to try this, good alternative to Falafel I guess…


  26. 26
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Looks delicious, Lindsay! I love non-traditional burgers :)


  27. 27
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Lately I am on a quinoa rush and that burger sounds like something I would definitely try next!


  28. 28
    Posted On May 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    You had me at goat cheese and picked red onions with this fabulous Quinoa Veggie Burger! You are a goddess! xo


  29. 29
    Posted On May 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Not only does this look like a flavorful and hearty burger, but then you slather goat cheese on top! I can’t wait to try this.


  30. 30
    Posted On May 26, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Tried these burgers the other night, they’re pretty good but nothing can substitute a good hamburger!

    Would definitely make again, the patties are flavoursome and substantial but would definitely think of using sauteed mushrooms or tomatoes to top the burgers, as they’re not naturally juicy, it left the bun a little dry.


  31. 31
    Posted On May 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Oh, I would love to try this :) looks so tasty!


  32. 32
    Posted On May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Wow these sound wonderful. I love veggie burgers and am always trying to come up with new ways to make them. I’ll have to try these next time.


  33. 33
    Posted On May 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Love these, Lindsay! Just pinned to my quinoa board!


  34. 34
    Posted On May 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm



  35. 35
    Posted On July 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Instead of commenting on what I WANT to do, I am going to comment on the actual recipe you so kindly posted. Next month my family is starting a food challenge…100 days with no processed food. I am trying to find a good alternative to the MorningStar Black Bean burgers we keep in the freezer. This recipe was ideal because it utilized ingredients I already had in the pantry saving me a trip to the store. The burgers were easy to make and held together nicely. I was 1/4 cup short on quinoa so I added some black beans. I also added some spices to make them less bland. Overall, they were great. My 5 year old ate 2 of them. My 2 year old and 7 year old sons also gave them a thumbs up. The pickled onions were a nice touch. I will add this to the repertoire when we start our food challenge. Thanks for sharing.


  36. 36
    Posted On October 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Lindsay,
    I made exactly these quinoa-burgers and they were absolutely delicious. The greatest burger I have ever eaten (though I am not an expert on this topic I have to admit and hardly remember my last beef burger). The consistency of the quinoa-patties was perfect. And from now on, goat cheese will never be missing either.
    Thanks for the recipe!


  37. 37
    Posted On March 14, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    These look great. I am going to make them for a baby shower being thrown for my sister. Do you have any idea whether I can freeze them for transport? I appreciate your insight!


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