Walnut Quinoa Burger with a Flavor Explosion

I love to try new veggie burger recipes and I found this one in an older EatingWell magazine. I think this might be my favorite one. Admittedly, it does require some extra steps but I think it’s worth it. The umami spread is truly a flavor explosion. By using 5 different umami flavors like dried mushrooms (although I used fresh mushrooms because I did not have dried), tamari (a type of soy sauce that’s naturally gluten-free), tomato paste, anchovy paste, and nutritional yeast, you create a sauce that is deeply rich and intensely savory. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of this spread leftover to add to scrambled eggs, roasted chicken, grilled fish, grain bowls, or as a sandwich spread.

These burgers are gluten-free (if using gluten-free rolls) and because they are packed with protein and fiber from the walnuts, quinoa, and chickpeas, they are incredibly satisfying.

Walnut Quinoa Burger with a Flavor Explosion


5-Way Umami Spread
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)
1/4 oz finely ground dried mushrooms
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Walnut Quinoa Burger

2/3 cup walnuts
1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, undrained
1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons 5-way Umami sauce
3 tablespoons dried instant mashed potatoes (or gluten-free bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons finely grated red beets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted (gluten-free, if needed)

Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles


To make 5-Way Umami Spread
1. Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently and reduce heat to medium, until very dark golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.
3. Stir in tomato paste, tamari, dried mushrooms, anchovy paste, and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water.
4. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 15-18 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a mini food processor and process until smooth.

To make Walnut Quinoa Burger
1. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Open the can of chickpeas, add 1 1/2 teaspoons chickpea liquid (aquafaba) from the can to a food processor. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add 1 cup of chickpeas to the food processor (reserve the rest for another use); pulse to a coarse mashed texture. Scrape into the bowl with the nuts and add quinoa, umami paste, bread crumbs, or dried instant mashed potatoes, beets, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
2. Shape the mixture into 6-8 patties. Heat a larger cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; when it is shimmering, add the patties. Cook, flipping once or twice, until very browned and crisp, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a rack and let cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve on toasted buns with optional toppings; lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and creamy umami sauce (see note below).

Note: For a creamy sauce for the burger, mix equal parts umami spread and mayonnaise or plain yogurt. Spread on toasted buns.

Adapted from a recipe found in EatingWell Magazine..


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