Sweet-Smoky Baked Quinoa Burgers
These hearty, meatless burgers are made with a combination of quinoa, black beans and carrots and flavored with smoky chipotle peppers, cumin and lime juice. Served with lettuce and tomato on whole grain buns, they make a healthy, flavorful alternative to beef.
- 4 to 5 medium carrots (about 1 cup cooked and mashed)
- 1 can (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil
- Quick Cilantro Mayo (see recipe below)
- Peel and trim the carrots and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until carrots are tender when pierced with a knife.
- While the carrots cook, place the black beans in a mixing bowl and coarsely mash them with a potato masher. Drain the carrots, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water, then add them to the beans and mash together. Set aside.
- Return the 3/4 cup of carrot cooking liquid to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, 10 minutes. Add to the bean and carrot mixture and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the bread crumbs, garlic, chipotle in adobo sauce, scallions, cumin, lime juice and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Combine thoroughly. Taste the mixture at this point, then add a pinch of salt if needed and optionally, more chipotle to taste. Last, add the egg and combine thoroughly. If the mixture seems very loose, refrigerate for 30 minutes before continuing.
- Because of the nature of the ingredients, these burgers can crumble rather easily so you'll want to handle them more gently than you would a burger made with meat.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Coat a 1/2-cup measure with nonstick spray and fill with the quinoa mixture. Turn out onto the parchment lined sheet and repeat the process with the remaining burger mixture (you should get 6 burgers total).
- Using the back of a spatula, gently flatten the burgers to a 1/2-inch thickness. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully flip the burgers over. Brush them lightly with vegetable oil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until they feel firm to the touch.
- Serve on whole grain buns with lettuce, sliced tomato and topped with Quick Cilantro Mayo (see below).
How To Make Cilantro Mayo:
Place 1/2 cup mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of cumin. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to develop.