I’ve been on the hunt for a veggie burger recipe that wouldn’t fall apart for a long time now — past renditions have ended up crumbling or lacking taste, but this version turned out beautifully (though I’m of the mindset that pretty much anything with roasted red peppers will suffice, so you may just have to try making them yourself to see!). You can also put them on the grill on aluminum foil for that great summer smokiness, or bake them if you want to forgo the inevitable oil splatter burn incident (again, that might just be me). If you need any more reason to whip up these bad boys, just take it from a lifelong vegetarian — they’re good.
White Bean, Quinoa, and Roasted Red Pepper Burgers with Red Pepper Aioli
(adapted from How Sweet It Is)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole wheat buns, toasted
Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
1/4 cup minced roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, basil, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
In a large bowl, add beans and mash coarsely with a fork. Stir in quinoa, garlic, and roasted red peppers, mixing well to combine. Add in bread crumb mixture and egg, mixing well to moisten. Once combined, add in the flour and mix well. Form into four equally sized balls.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Press each quinoa ball into a large patty, being careful to press the sides together so they don’t fall apart while cooking. You can also put the patties in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to ensure they’re nice and firm when you put them in the skillet. Add to skillet and cook until golden and crisp on each side, about five minutes. Be careful as the oil can get very hot and splatter. You can also use vegetable oil, which has a higher smoke point.
Note: if you use red peppers jarred in oil or water, be sure to soak up most of the liquid with paper towels before and after chopping!
And for the aioli, simply take all of your ingredients and either stir together or give a whirl in the food processor if you’d like a smoother consistency (I left mine chunky).