My Veggie Burger Experience

One of my favorite celebrity chefs, assuming I don't find out he is on the adverse side of the #metoo movement, is Bobby Flay. I have a poorly taken photo of him hanging in my pantry and there isn't a single recipe of his I've tasted I don't love. 

He recently came out with a new book called, Bobby Flay Fit. There are a lot of healthy recipes that include plant based ingredients, fish, lean meats and Bobby Flay's signature flavor combinations. At least once a week I try to eat meat free and his recipe for veggie burgers looked pretty tasty. 


There are a few things about this recipe I will comment on as we go through the steps.

#1: This is not a hard recipe, but read through each step carefully. There's a lot of cooking and chilling before the burgers are finally assembled and then cooked again. Many of the steps you can do one day and have the burgers prepped for a meal in under 10 minutes on another night. 


3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of honey

1/4 cup of sliced green onions

Kosher Salt and Black pepper

Mix all of these ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill until you are ready for burger assembly. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.



1-15.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup of loosely packed quinoa

Kosher Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons of canola oil, plus 1/2 cup for frying

1 pound of cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced about 1/4 inch thick

Scant 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup quinoa flour

The day before you want to make these burgers, unless you work on this step in the morning and cook the burgers at night, cook the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring this to a boil.

#2: Yes, this is a lot of salt and you wouldn't eat this quinoa as is. When you combine this quinoa with the other ingredients you will have a perfectly salted veggie burger.

Stir in the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread onto a large plate to cool for 10 minutes. Store in the refrigerator until completely cool.


#3: See what I mean about needing to read thoroughly and planning out this meal.

While the quinoa is cooking, work on the mushrooms. In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Toss in the sliced mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes without touching the pan. Then stir them and cook until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10 minutes. 


Add the barbeque sauce and a splash of water to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer and let cool to room temperature. Mix with the quinoa and refrigerate. 


#4: I used Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce for this recipe. Bobby Flay doesn't recommend a certain type. I am not sure I would use Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ for this recipe again. I would recommend maybe a smoky sauce, not so sweet. I might even nix the BBQ sauce all together and deglaze the mushrooms with red wine and a pinch of French Thyme.

While the mushrooms and quinoa are being refrigerated, make sure your chickpeas are rinsed and dried completely. Add them to a food processor and coarsely puree. You only need 1/2 cup of the chickpea puree. Then add the chickpea puree and cilantro to the quinoa-mushroom mixture. This should rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 


#5: WHY would he use only half the pureed chickpeas? Most people wouldn't know what to do with 1/2 cup of chickpeas once they used the other half for a recipe. This topic comes up a lot when I talk to people about cooking. The next time I make this I will just add the entire can of pureed chickpeas to the burger. I love the taste and texture of them and it wouldn't hurt this recipe at all. If you want to stick close to Bobby Flay's Recipe, then follow my blog and use up the rest of those mashed up chickpeas in my recipe for sun-dried Tomato Hummus. Coming soon to the blog.

After the 2 hours+ have passed or even an entire day, it's time to start cooking. In a small bowl, whisk together two eggs and add your quinoa flour to another bowl. Form the burger patties. Bobby flay says make 4 and that's what I did. 

#6: My guests and I agree the burgers were too big. I would make 6 patties from this recipe, instead of his suggested 4. 


Use a slotted spatula to dunk each burger into the eggs. Let the excess run off and then dredge in the flour. Return the patty to a plate and continue the process with the other burgers. 


Heat a large frying pan with 1/2 cup of canola oil over high heat until it begins to simmer. Fry the burgers for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the burgers for another two minutes. Transfer the burgers onto a plate lined with a paper towel.


Prepare your burger buns. I toasted my house made sesame seed buns under the broiler until golden and delicious. For the Sesame Seed Burger Bun Recipe, CLICK HERE. They freeze beautifully and you may never go back to store bought buns unless you are in a serious pinch. PROMISE!


Place a piece of lettuce, tomato, red onion and maybe some pickles onto your bun, top with the burger and a healthy dose of the Burger Sauce. We served our burgers with roasted rosemary potatoes.


#7: The burgers looked pretty in pictures and 2/4 of us liked the burger. I have to admit I am a born and bread meat eater. I wasn't overly "WOWED" by my first veggie burger experience, but I also didn't hate it. I would try the changes in the comments I made above before I lay this recipe to rest. 

#8: One last thing, if you happen to be coming off a spell of "bad for you foods" and need a little detoxing, I suggest this recipe!