Loaded Veggie Quinoa Sliders

If you spend much time poking around in the food blog world, you may come away thinking that January is National Quinoa Month.  I've noticed that, in particular, there are a lot of veggie quinoa pattie recipes popping up.

Great idea, I thought.  What I tried to take away from all of these recipes was some sort of loaded veggie quinoa burger that was hearty, kid friendly and super tasty.  Most of all, I wanted a healthy veggie burger.  If you've ever looked at the ingredient list on frozen veggie burgers, you've probably wondered if they were the product of a university science class.

Like a lot of my recipes, especially the ones I scrap together on the weekends, there's a heavy influence from what is in our refrigerator that's hitting the use-by wall.  This time around it was red pepper and broccoli.  So they're in.  And what goes great with both of those ingredients?  Spinach.  Garlic too.  What I came up with was a pretty tasty veggie burger recipe that'll trump anything in the frozen food aisle.

Making the Sliders

For the vegetable mixture, I was pulling together leftovers to get about 1 cup of vegetables.  I put a sliced medium red pepper, a handful of steamed broccoli and some cooked spinach into a food processor and pulsed until it was well chopped.  Put the vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add the breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs

Basically, you want to get to about 1 cup of chopped veggies.

These have some serious next day appeal too as the garlic really popped when I had them as a snack.  The next time around I'll double up what I make so that I'll have some healthy lunch meals throughout the week.

Check out other great healthy quinoa recipes

Healthy and Delicious can co-exist in this hearty vegetable soup

A delicious breakfast skillet made with red quinoa

Make them on Sunday and have quick and delicious breakfasts all week

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Loaded Veggie Quinoa Sliders Recipe
A healthy snack or lunch that kids (and adults) will love
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12-16 sliders
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/3 cup Frozen Spinach
  • 1/3 cup Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/3 cup Red Pepper (Chopped)
  • 2 Large Eggs (more if it doesn't hold together)
  • 1 cup Toasted Breadcrumbs (I like Panko)
  • 2/3 cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Herbs (Basil, Cilantro or Parsley)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika (optional)
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions (typically about 20 minutes over a low simmer). Let this cool before you work it into the rest of the dish.
  2. Cook the frozen spinach and broccoli according to package instructions. Then drain them and place them in a food processor with the garlic and red pepper and pulse until they are chopped thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, gently beat the two eggs and then pour on top of the rest. Add some salt and pepper and mix it all really well. What you want is a sort of batter that you can press into patties that isn’t too wet and sticky, but also doesn’t fall apart. Add in more breadcrumbs as necessary to find this balance.
  4. Season with salt & pepper, optionally add the cayenne and paprika.  I think they give them some nice kick that isn't too spicy.  A splash of good quality soy sauce gives a touch of meatiness to them.
  5. When the burger mix is ready, take a handful and roll it into a round that’s a little larger than a golf ball but smaller than a racket ball. Place each onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and gently press into slider shape. Leave them thicker than you want the finished product to be as you’ll press them a bit more once they cook. Ideally you should refrigerate them for at least half an hour so they set nicely.
  6. Bring a large skillet up to medium high heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Place the sliders into the skillet and gently press them down. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned and crispy. Remember that you’re using raw eggs, so they need to be cooked all the way through.

That's it!  I kept it pretty simple and served them with a healthy amount of ketchup.  And they were delicious!  They were also a big hit with our 16-month old son.

Featured on: 
Oh My Veggies: 40 Vegetarian Quinoa Recipes, March 2013
Featured Recipe on Cooking Quinoa, April 2013
Acting Balanced: 25 fabulous Back-To-School lunch ideas, August 2013
Hello, Wonderful: 10 Yummy Ways for Kids to Try Quinoa, September 2014