When I was in high school, we had a Panera Bread open a few towns away. The first time I went, I ordered the broccoli cheddar soup with a big piece (sometimes two…shh!) of crusty baguette on the side. I was hooked. It was like crack in soup form. I needed to have that soup! Seriously, every time after that I always ordered the broccoli cheddar soup with baguette on the side.
Probably because it was thick, creamy and super cheesy. And like a bajillion calories and five hundred grams of fat. Totally unhealthy. But I was in high school with a speedy metabolism (or so I thought…), so that stuff didn’t matter to me. I just wanted that soup!
But now that I avoid gluten and dairy, and actually pay attention to the nutritional content of my food, soups like my beloved broccoli-cheddar are so out of the picture. And as much as I try to recreate a non-dairy version, they never come out the same. There’s something special about cheddar cheese. For reals. And there’s no such thing as a dairy-free alternative.
So rather than try and recreate that luscious soup I fondly remember from high school – probably one of the only fond memories in fact 😉 – I wanted to show you how to bring those same flavors to one of our favorite things to make around here:
Quinoa burgers are such a simple meal, but what makes them so special is that there are literally one hundred million ways we can make them (and don’t worry I plan to show you all one hundred million, you’ll just still have to be here when I’m 80 years old). You can use:
- Ground meat – like my Cilantro-Quinoa Turkey Burgers or my Herbed Quinoa Turkey Burgers
- Beans – like this Vegan Quinoa Burger recipe
- Squash – like my recent Spaghetti Squash Quinoa Burgers
- Potato – hello, Sweet Potato Salmon Burgers
- Fish – these salmon quinoa burgers are equally as delish! We’re gonna try crab next!
- And so on…
Think of each of those categories, and then the kinds of flavorings you can do with the ingredient you choose, and then the toppings you can add, and then…. Okay, you get it. We could talk about this forever.
And just know, I am seriously planning to show you a hundred million quinoa burger recipes. I hope you’re excited 🙂
These particular burgers have definitely sailed into my top three of all time. And not just due to my love of the broccoli-cheese combo. It’s because they have the most amazing texture, taste like the real deal and are loaded with good-for-you ingredients.
Our base is quinoa and beans, both all-star, plant-based proteins. Then we’ve got the antioxidant powers of broccoli, and the vegan cheesy flavor of nutritional yeast.
I know broccoli can be a touchy subject, especially in a household of kids (watch this video and you’ll see what I mean – it’s the typical kid reaction) Personally, I freaking love broccoli, but these burgers will convince even the pickiest of eaters.
They’re tender, light and make the perfect dinner or lunch. You could also make them into little balls and use them as an appetizer at your next party. They’d be delicious dipped in my vegan alfredo sauce!
Either way, you’re going to love them.
ps – would you be interested in getting a full quinoa burger tutorial? I’m thinking of putting together a post that outlines how to make the ultimate quinoa burger (kind of like this green smoothie guide). What do you think?
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup broccoli stems (or more florets)
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (dijon will also work)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 4 - 6 tablespoons quinoa flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil for cooking (optional, see notes below)
- Steam broccoli until tender, either using a steamer basket or just in a small pan with a little water in the bottom. Drain and let cool until cool enough to handle.
- Once cool, add broccoli to a food processor and pulse until chopped into very small pieces, 10 - 15 pulses. Add chickpeas, quinoa and mustard and pulse until a dough starts to form.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl, add in remaining ingredients (starting with 4 tablespoons quinoa flour) and knead by hand until dough can be formed into patties, adding more quinoa flour as needed.
- Form dough into patties and place on a parchment lined sheet / plate. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Cooking options:
- 1) Heat oil over medium high heat. To test if it's ready, sprinkle a little water on the pan. If water immediately sizzles, the pan is ready. Add burgers to pan, cooking until browned on both sides, 2 - 3 minutes per side. Place on wire rack to cool while finish cooking.
- 2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, add patties and bake on the center rack for 20 - 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until burgers are crispy.
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