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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, Gruyere 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 Published December 2014

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