Quinoa Burgers Topped with Beer Caramelized Onions & Cheddar

Quinoa Burgers Topped with Beer Caramelized Onions & Cheddar

My daughter is a huge fan of Pinterest and often will send me photos of dishes she wants me to try. Since my family loves Quinoa (nutritional benefits) these Quinoa Burgers caught her eye and she begged me to make them. 

After reviewing the recipe I too thought they sounded great, and having most ingredients on hand I decided I’d make them for dinner last night. The recipe called for Red Quinoa, but the store I went to didn’t have those, so I decided I’d just use the White Quinoa that I had at home.  Red Quinoa would have given the burgers on the bun a bit more contrast without changing the flavor, which I think would have looked more appealing.

In my classes and on my blog I always say “read the recipe from beginning to end at least 2 times before preparing a recipe.”  I did this, but my eyes apparently scanned over one word, “cooked” as in “cooked Quinoa.”  We all make mistakes and even though these turned out great I’ll be adding more beans (black beans this time) to the remaining Quinoa.

Reading a recipe can sometimes be tricky.  For instance let’s take these instructions which can be stated 2 different ways:

  1. 2 cups sifted flour
  2. 2 cups flour, sifted

The first way means to sift the flour then measure it.  While #2 means to measure 2 cups of flour, then sift it.

I overlooked the directions for this recipe which stated, “2 cups cooked Red Quinoa.”  Instead I cooked 2 cups of raw Quinoa which then doubles when cooked.

I’m telling you this because mistakes like this can make a HUGE difference in your recipe. Fortunately it didn’t really affect these burgers by much, but the proportions were a bit off.  With the remaining Quinoa I’m going to add black beans to add more bean flavor.  Also, next time I would add less chipotle chile powder – I think it would be too strong with the proper Quinoa proportions. However, that’s my taste, yours may be different.

I had never made a Quinoa burger before, but since we all love this Quinoa recipe, I think I’ll make it next time, omit the tomatoes, and use large slices as a garnish.  I will still add the cheese, Panko and egg (from the recipe below) which help to bind it together.

Overall I liked the process of the recipe below and flavor from Half Baked Harvest.  I did include my recipe for Sweet Potato Fries which Half Baked Harvest places on top of her burger.  We ended up eating ours on the side.

If you like Quinoa, and burgers, use this recipe as a guide to create your own Quinoa burgers.  They’re healthy and  filling.

Here’s the recipe……

Quinoa Burgers Topped with Beer Caramelized Onions & Cheddar


Quinoa Burgers

  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, mashed
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (I'd use 1/2 tsp. next time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup Monterrey jack & sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 whole grain buns
Sweet Potato Fries
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cut into thin 1/2-inch thick strips
  • Lawry's Seasoned Salt, generously sprinkled over top
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Non-stick cooking spray
Beer caramelized onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup beer


  1. In a bowl combine the quinoa, mashed cannellini beans, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to moisten the ingredients and then mix in the shredded cheese. Mix well again and form into 4 or 5 equal burger patties . Place on a plate and put in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Line a sheet pan with heavy duty foil and coat with non-stick spray. Place cut potatoes on pan, drizzled with Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. You want the sweet potatoes to be crispy, but not burnt.
  4. While the fries cook, caramelize the onions. Heat large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
  5. At this point you want to slowly add the beer, let it cook into the onions, add more and let it cook. Do this until entire cup of beer is gone or the onions are caramelized and beer has evaporated. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the quinoa burgers and cook until golden and crisp, about five minutes per side. During the last minute or so of cooking add the cheddar cheese, cover the pan and cook 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  7. To assemble the burgers, place each burger on a bun, top with equal amounts of caramelized onions and sweet potato fries.

Quinoa Burgers Topped with Beer Caramelized Onions & Cheddar


Adapted from: Half Baked Harvest

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  1. I’ve never had a quinoa burger. Sounds like a fun idea. Really good suggestion to be careful about reading recipes – it’s so easy to misread. I know I’ve done it! Good stuff – thanks.

  2. Beer caramelised onions? That is genius and I bet it adds a delicious kick to your awesome burgers! I really want to devour it 😀


  3. Beer caramelised onions sound very interesting. Quinoa gives it a healthy twist. Lovely post

  4. Love patties made with quinoa, Vicki. Your burger looks to die for!

  5. Yum, what a great idea making quinoa patties…I love the ingredients in the burger…indeed very healthy.
    Hope you are enjoying your week Vicki 😀

  6. Love the recipe for the quinoa patties and the onions and the sweet potato and shall try soonest, BUT without any bun ~ the common practice of serving both on the plate has always flabbergasted me: I very much approve of the usage of healthy carbohydrates, but why a double portion already for health reasons 🙂 ?

  7. Glad you caught the mistake before you added 4 cups of cooked quinoa to the burger. I’ve never had a quinoa burger and I sure love the flavors in this one. Between the beans and quinoa this is definitely a nutritional burger! Thanks for sharing Vicki!

  8. It’s true. It’s easily misunderstood when we are in the kitchen already trying to cook. I try to write recipes like 2 cups quinoa (before cooking) in most of my recipes, especially if other ingredients are raw and need everything to be cooked. Never had quinoa burger – how creative! And it sounds yummy!

  9. This does sound amazing Vicki, I can see why it caught your daughter’s eye. And you’re so right about recipes, sometimes being very confusing. I makes me feel better though that even a professional like you sometimes gets confused 🙂

  10. these burgers look wonderful – I’m trying to cook with less meat at the moment so these are perfect! and still look like they’re full of flavor –
    Mary x

  11. look amazing Vicki ! (my daugther is veggie) you think I can make with White quinoa?? thanks

  12. Sadly, I find myself making a mistake while cooking because I didn’t read the recipes carefully. I call it ‘crowded mind syndrome’ 🙂

    These would be wonderful to try for a meatless meal. The red quinoa would make the burgers look more like a real burger too. I don’t think I’ve seen the red quinoa – will take a look next time I shop.

  13. These sound so good to me…I think if I didn’t enjoy a good beef burger from time to time, I could definitely be a Vegetarian.

  14. Perfect for a meatless meal, which we’re trying to have more often. I have a big bag of quinoa too…serendipity!

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