RecipeVegetarian Quinoa Burger

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 340
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Total Fat: 5 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 64 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 12 g
  • Total Sugar: 9 g
    • Natural Sugar: 8 g
    • Added Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 900 mg

Calling all vegetarians! Sing to the tune of, well, you know… “One plant-based patty, special sauce, lettuce-please, pickles, onion on a whole grain bun!”  Bottom line: whether you’re a meat-eater-or-plant-eater, you’ll love the bold flavor and countless layers of goodness in this vegetarian-style Big Mac. It delivers 14 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber, and real scrumptious satisfaction. It’ll be love at first (veggie burger) bite.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 6 servings

For the patties:
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
¼ teaspoon salt, plus ⅛ teaspoon divided
1 medium carrot, grated (about ½ cup)
1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 cup), squeeze with kitchen towel to remove excess water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1½ cups cooked red quinoa (½ cup dry)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg white, beaten
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

For the special sauce:
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons lite mayonnaise

For the burger:
6 romaine lettuce leaves
6 thin slices red onion
12 pickles slices or rounds
6 whole grain hamburger buns


Heat a large sauté pan coated in oil spray over medium heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with some salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and begins to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini and garlic. Sauté an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add soy sauce, stir into mixture and cook until liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, add chickpeas and mash with a fork or potato masherAdd to cooked vegetables, along with cooked quinoa, thyme, Dijon mustard and remaining salt. Fold the egg white into the mixture, and stir until everything is well combined. Add breadcrumbs and mix until the texture resembles a traditional meatloaf. Form into 6 patties (about ⅔ cup each, firmly packed).

Liberally coat a large skillet with oil spray and warm over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the patties on one side until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip them over and cook until the second side is browned, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Note: Take special care when flipping the patties, as they will be delicate. Mist with additional oil spray between flips and batches and I use a wide flat spatula so they do not break apart

To prepare special sauce, mix together the ketchup and mayonnaise in a small bowl.

To assemble each burger, place 1 patty, 1 lettuce leaf, sliced onion, pickles, and 1-2 tablespoons special sauce between a toasted whole grain bun. 

Note: If you are watching your salt intake, omit the pickles and the bun to bring it down to 530 mg. Enjoy your patty on a bed of leafy greens or wrapped in a large lettuce leaf, instead.

For more meatless recipes, try my Three Bean Veggie Chili and Triple Veggie Quinoa!