Roasted beets and quinoa come together in these protein-packed Curried Beet & Quinoa Veggie Burgers – a hearty and flavorful alternative to the traditional burger!
My boyfriend, Kyle, and I tend to share a similar viewpoint on many topics. But food? Yeah, that’s not one of them. As an avid hunter, Kyle tends to be more of a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy and I’m… well… not.
So when you’re out to lunch at a local restaurant and your meat-loving boyfriend passes up a cheeseburger in favor of the house-made veggie burger, you take note (after he picks you up off the floor, that is).
Oh, and just in case that alone wasn’t enough to put a girl into shock… did I mention these burgers are made with beets? BEETS. As in, the gorgeous deep purple root vegetable that Kyle always claimed to attest. What???
Just when I thought I had that boy figured out… *Sigh*
Anyway, this little incident inspired me to try my hand at creating my own beet burger. So, after a bit of consulting with my good friend Google (and “taste-testing” a few more Northstar burgers.. you know, for the sake of research), I’m happy to report that I have come up with a recipe that I love nearly as much as the original! While it may not taste like an exact replica of the Northstar Burger, its flavor profile is pretty darn similar. And (mostly importantly), it’s boyfriend-approved! #WINNING
To make these burgers, start by roasting three large beets at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until tender. I chose to include roasted beets in this recipe for a few reasons:
1) I’m obsessed with the rich flavor of roasted vegetables and 2) my first attempt at a beet burger (using raw beets) ended abruptly after an unfortunate mishap involving a box grater and my thumb (RIP right thumb knuckle).
Roasted beets + food processor (or high-speed blender) = no box grater required(!!)
While the beets are roasting, sauté the onions and garlic on the stove and add to a large bowl, along with the mashed beans, cooked quinoa, ground walnuts, whisked egg (or flax egg) and remaining ingredients. Once the beets have finished cooking (and are cool enough to handle), pop them into the food processor and pulse for a few seconds to create a chunky puree. Add your beet puree to the bowl with the remainder of the ingredients and mix well to combine.
Form mixture into patties and place on a greased (or lined) baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours). This step is important and helps the burgers to stay together while cooking!
Bake or (or par-bake if freezing) according to directions below, add desired toppings, and enjoy these unBEETlievable veggie burgers! (Come on, you didn’t honestly think I would miss an opportunity for a food pun, did you?)
- 3 medium-large beets (about 1 cup cooked)
- 1-15oz can great northern beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- ¼ cup walnut pieces
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 large egg, whisked (or 1 flax egg*, if vegan)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp curry powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the stems off of the beets near the tip. Scrub beets well under cold water to clean and pat dry. Place each beet in aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil to coat. Wrap each beet loosely in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast beets for 45-50 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- While beets are roasting, add rinsed/drained beans to large bowl and roughly mash, leaving a little bit of texture. Meanwhile, add walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until ground. Add to bowl with beans.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions to skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic. Remove skillet from heat and add contents to bowl with bean mixture.
- Once beets are cool enough to handle, unwrap from foil and peel (the peels should come off easily). Roughly chop beets, place in food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Transfer beets to the bowl with the bean mixture, add cooked quinoa and stir well until combined.
- Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine.
- Form mixture into patties and place on greased or lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 1 hour (this helps burgers to stay together).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove burgers from fridge and lightly spray or brush tops with olive oil. Bake for a total of 35-45 minutes, gently flipping halfway through (until both sides are crisp).
- Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings (I chose white cheddar, kale, tomato, and dijon mustard) or on top of salad greens.
- * To make a flax egg, combine 1 tbsp flaxseed meal and 2 1/2 tbsp water in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Let rest for at least 5 minutes until thickened.
- Par-bake burgers at 400 for about 20 minutes. Allow burgers to cool before stacking between layers of parchment paper. Place in an airtight container or ziplock bag to freeze. When ready to cook, remove from freezer, and place on baking sheet. Bake (still frozen) at 400 degrees until crisp and heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
- Recipe adapted from a combination of Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers, Roasted Beet Brown Rice Chickpea Burgers, The Ultimate Veggie Burger