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Okay, I admit it right off. Crappy photo.

Since my photography skills (and cheap camera) often leave a lot to be desired, I’m going to ask you to use your imagination on this one. Imagine the above pre-baked quinoa burgers to be fully cooked, nicely browned, a touch crispy and served on a beautiful bed of lightly steamed baby spinach. Now imagine they are topped with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan cheese, slowly melting over the burgers. Accompanied by a glass of smooth and light-bodied Pinot Noir, slightly chilled.

Much better.

I took the photo seen above right before putting them in the oven. But once they were finished, all I wanted to do was eat and not fuss with food styling (I use that term loosely) or snapping pictures. They were delicious! Seriously delicious. And perfect served over a bed of spinach. I’ve been working on a gluten-free, veggie burger for some time now with several failures along the way, but this one is the clear winner. No doubt about it. I’ve made them 3 times since I took this photo and I’ve been over-the-top thrilled each time. These are keepers.

Melissa’s gluten-free sweet potato quinoa veggie burgers
what you need

1 cup cooked quinoa (I used organic red quinoa)
1 medium sweet potato, baked with flesh scooped out (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup raw shredded orange beets
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup white beans (I used canned Eden Organic Navy Beans*)
25 Mary’s Gone Crackers (I used the organic black pepper crackers)
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped black olives
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
olive oil for sautรฉing
what you do
1. Place crackers in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground (not a powder, but not chunky). Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic and celery. Add beans to saucepan, stir and cook for a couple more minutes. Lightly mash beans with a fork until they’re semi-crushed. Remove from heat.
3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. If the mixture is too moist, add some more ground crackers. If too dry, add some more smashed beans.
4. Form into “burger” patties and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Check after about 15 minutes and rotate pan to insure even browning.
5. Serve on a bed of lightly steamed spinach or use as a burger with a gluten-free bun.

The ingredients can be changed according to your preferences. Skip the olives and add chopped mushrooms. Use shredded carrots instead of beets, black beans instead of white. Be creative.

* Eden Organic beans are packed in cans that are BPA free.

Peace, love and gluten-free quinoa burgers!

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12 Responses to “gluten-free sweet potato quinoa burgers”

  1. Ha – you might want to check some of the past pictures on my blog to feel better…this one looks fine!
    And the recipe sounds heavenly. ALL my favorite ingredients (except chocolate chips – LOL.)

  2. Melissa – these look so incredible! I love that they are vegan. I make quinoa-salmon burgers but poor Tom feels left out when I make them. Now I can make these too – or some version of whatever-is-in-the fridge-now sort of thing. Looks like the quinoa, white beans, and sweet potato are key – plus the crackers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Renee says:

    Sounds yummy! I might have to try them, except for the beets…not sure how to work with them. And with only a half cup… guess I would give the rest of the beet to the chickens? It might be a first good and easy foray into the land of beets…

  4. Laurie says:

    This looks and sounds delicious and I look forward to trying it out. Usually do raw but this sounds too good to pass up. Thanks.

  5. Now that I’m a fan of green smoothies, veggie burgers no longer scare me. These sound delish! Now the only trick it to hide them from the guys so they’ll try them before passing judgement. I’m thinking calzone.

  6. Alta says:

    Oh wow these sound great! And don’t you love Mary’s Gone Crackers? They’re tasty! Nice to know I could use them as a “bread crumb” type thing too.

  7. Miles says:

    Nothing crappy about those little beauties!Two of my favourite ingredients in there. Never thought of doing that with them so nice one batman!

  8. Rebecca says:

    What a delicious looking recipe!!! Being a person who suffers with food allergies myself, I can relate with wanting (or needing) to change your diet in the healthiest way possible! I currently work for a company called Casa Oliver (, that sells many gluten-free, natural and organic foods… Specializing in those from Spain. And they are wonderful!!! We recently began carrying a line of Peruvian, gluten-free flours, which come in several unique flavors, and what a difference in my baking! You should really check them out… Reasonably priced, healthy, and truly gourmet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I think they look fine, dear! I didn’t have to do any imagining to know how good they’d taste, but I did enjoy your scenario thoroughly. I think I’ll have mine with a glass of Riesling though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I just picked up a bottle at Biltmore.) These remind me of some incredible lentil dal burgers I had recently. A gf girlfriend picked them up from Whole Foods.

    I laughed when I read the ingredients and saw you squeezed in your favorite beets. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not a fan of Mary’s crackers (too much like bird fare for me), but I do enjoy the gf Crunchmaster crackers, so I’ll use those instead. ๐Ÿ™‚



  10. Melissa says:

    Hey everyone โ€“ I got behind this past couple of weeks. Sorry for the “no reply” replies! I was being being “batgirl” (not batman, Miles). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you all. I appreciate and read every comment. Wish I had more time for playing blog-girl!

    Peace, love and GF veggie burgers!

  11. lo says:

    Oh, wow. I’m going back over posts that I’ve missed in the past few weeks… and I’m so glad! These look amazing. Always looking for new veg-head burgers that taste great and hold together well — and these look like just the ticket.

    We’re thinking of doing a gluten-free weekend coming up… and, if I have my druthers, these just might make the menu!

    • Melissa says:

      Lo — first off, what exactly are druthers? Second, I forget how much I enjoy you! Thank goodness for Twitter. I love running across your clever little tweets! Reminds me to go visit Burp! Love you guys! Oh, almost forgot — the veggie burgers. These are seriously good and took several failures before I was happy with them. I make a batch and eat them for 2 or 3 days in a row. You can make them ahead of time and just bake them in the oven until nice and golden brown.

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