Quinoa and Cannellini Bean Burger

Beans make a great base for a vegetarian/vegan burger. With cannellini beans as the starting point, a selection of herbs and spices gives many layers to this tasty combination. Here, turmeric, thyme, fennel, and lemon complement each other beautifully. The Dijon mustard provides a bit of peppery zing! Like my other vegetarian burgers, I also recommend that you brown and crisp these up in a frying pan, and then transfer to the oven to finish the cooking process. Lately, I’ve been having my burgers without a bun and find sprouts or lettuce, a great way to serve them up. So, here’s another one for your picnic party. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 25 minutes to prep the beans and cook the quinoa

Cooking Time: 8-10 mins to fry, 10 mins to bake

Total Time: 55 minutes

Makes: 4 burgers


  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water to make a chia “egg”
  • 1/2 c dry quinoa, cooked (yield 1-1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 – 400g tin of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dry
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
2 green onions, green part only, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp oil for frying
  • Serve and garnish with alfalfa sprouts, fresh tomatoes, red onion, and your other favourite condiments. A bowl of crispy potato or veggie chips adds a lovely texture to this main.


  1. Into a small bowl, measure the chia seeds and water, give this a stir and allow to stand for about 10 minutes while it becomes mucilaginous and turns into a lovely, gooey chia egg.
  2. While the chia seeds are soaking up the water, measure 1/2 cup of dried quinoa into a small pot with 1 cup of water. Cover, bring to the boil, then turn down to gently simmer for about 12 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked. While the quinoa is cooking, place the oats and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse a couple of times until these are broken down a bit. Then, drain and rinse the beans, and place them in the food processor for another whizz around until the three are combined.
  3. Measure in the remaining ingredients: Dijon, turmeric, thyme, fennel seeds, onion, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and pulse this mixture until combined.
  4. By now, the chia egg, and quinoa should be ready. Place the chia egg in the food processor. Take the quinoa, and tip it onto a dinner plate, spreading it out so it has time to cool (about 5 minutes.)
  5. You can prep your condiments while the quinoa is cooling. When the quinoa has cooled, mix it together in the food processor. If you are finding the bowl of your processor is getting crowded, place everything into a large bowl and give it a good mix. As this is a vegan recipe, you can taste as you go. Visually divide this into four equal portions. Barely wet your hands if need be, and then form into four patties. If you find the mixture is too wet, add a couple of tablespoons of dry oats soak up the moisture. Place these on a parchment paper lined plate, ready for cooking.
  6. Heat your oven to 160C/325F, and line a baking sheet with parchment. Now, heat a medium-sized frying pan, add a touch of oil so the patties don’t stick, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, over a medium flame until the outside of the patty starts to brown and crisp up. Flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. (Depending on the size of your frying pan, these may have to be cooked in batches.) When cooked, transfer to the lined baking sheet, and continue to warm up in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with your favourite fresh veg and condiments, with a bun, or naked!

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