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Crispy Quinoa Burgers with Gruyère and Caramelized Onions

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients—these burgers are simple to make and are delicious. Sharp cheddar, Gruyère and caramelized onions lend a ton of flavor, while quinoa adds a hearty touch.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided in half
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • One 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup packed sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese—4 thick slices, each cut in half
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Butter for buns
  • Mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, relish, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the quinoa and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl mash the kidney beans with your hands, a fork or a potato masher. Mix in the cooked quinoa, grated cheddar, minced onion, garlic, chipotle powder, remaining salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a well-seasoned cast iron pan or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the quinoa patties and give the pan a shake to make sure the patties don’t stick. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes, or until the patties are brown and crispy. Carefully flip the patties over and cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Divide the Gruyère cheese between the patties, cover the pan, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the heat.
  6. If desired, butter both sides of each bun and toast for about 4 minutes in your oven at 350°.
  7. Top each burger with caramelized onion and serve with all your favorite hamburger condiments.

Make Ahead

The patties can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in your fridge between layers of parchment paper or frozen for up to one month.

Contributed By Photo © Kristen Stevens

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