This blended burger is a healthier, more earth-friendly way to enjoy your summer burger. It combines ground beef with quinoa and mushrooms to bring more plants to your plate without giving up the meat. Mushrooms bring that umami flavor that you crave while the quinoa gives a little extra protein and fiber.
As we head into Memorial Day weekend and kick off the unofficial start to summer, my mind automatically goes to all things grilled. And beach. And sunshine. And ice cream. But we’re here today to talk about burgers. While summer barbecues with friends may be on hold or look a little different this summer, we can still enjoy some of our favorite flavors of summer!
Benefits of blending
it’s good for your health: eat more plants while cutting red meat intake
Blending beef or any other meet with plants (vegetables, whole grains, or beans) is an easy way to boost your nutrient intake while also cutting back on red meat. You still get that juicy meaty flavor and texture that an all veggie burger just can’t deliver, but While I am a firm believer that all foods can fit into a healthy diet, research links diets filled with plants to better overall health, lower risk of many chronic diseases, and improved brain health as we age, among other benefits. Diets filled with red and processed meats are linked to poor health outcomes.
it’s good for the planet
Eating more plants and less meat is one of the simplest, yet most effective things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Learn more about how what you eat effects the planet.
it saves you money
Blending stretches beef further, making 6 (slightly larger) burgers instead of 4 with 1 lb of beef. We prefer to purchase organic, grass-fed beef for both health and environmental reasons, and that comes with a higher price tag. Blending brings the cost of the burger down by 30-35% since quinoa and mushrooms are both relatively inexpensive.
blending pleases the meat eaters in your life
I don’t think I ever made a beef burger until I met my husband. I’d eat my once-yearly burger at someone else’s house, usually at a barbecue. But when my meat-loving husband and I moved to our house and started grilling more nights than not in the summer, I found myself gilling beef burgers all of a sudden.
While he’s grown to appreciate — and even request — vegetarian meals (including our favorite sweet potato black bean burgers from Cookie + Kate), I’ve also learned to adjust our meals so that he can enjoy the meat he craves, and I can still get all the veggies I want without cooking multiple meals.
When I asked him if this recipe was ready for the blog the other night, he responded “is there something healthy about these?” That’s all I needed to hear.
How to make the perfect blended burger
Strike the right meat:plant ratio
Blending burgers as well as meatballs requires the right ratio of ingredients because they need to be able to stick together when you cook it. I’ve pushed this burger as far as possible on the plant spectrum to create a 60:40 beef to mushroom/quinoa ratio. That is, without the use of an additional binder like an egg or flax egg. Since I like to keep recipes as simple as possible, I stopped there (for now, at least).
Also, don’t go too lean on the beef. You need a little fat to keep the burger formed as well. I recommend between 85-93% lean. Remember, you’re already cutting 40% of the saturated fat from the burger by using quinoa and mushrooms.
dice and cook your mushrooms
It’s important to dice the mushrooms small so they blend with the beef and quinoa well. Sautéing the mushrooms brings out that meaty umami flavor that is similar to meat. If you’re into the science of it all, this is due to something called the maillard reaction.
Cooking the mushrooms also reduces the water content, which helps keep the burgers formed when you cook them.
Add your perfect burger flavors
I keep it pretty simple in this recipe with some fresh garlic, onion powder, worcesteshire sauce, salt and a lot of black pepper. But you can use this basic recipe and add your favorite flavors as you like!
Chill for a couple of hours
I know, I know. Recipes that require chill time aren’t exactly the most convenient, but you’ll find they hold together better and make cooking easier if you chill them for at least 4 hours. They are fine in the refrigerator up to 24 hours uncooked, so prep them a day ahead if you aren’t going to be home in the afternoon to prep them. Since this recipe makes 6 burgers, I often freeze some of the raw burgers for a future dinner.
Want more plant-forward grill recipes?
Try one of these:
Did you make this mushroom quinoa blended burger?
Leave a comment letting me know what you thought about it and rate it in the recipe card below! Save it to your Pinterest board so you can find it later, and don’t forget to share a picture of your creation on instagram and tag me (@sarahgoldnutrition). I love seeing what you’re up to!
- 10 oz raw button, cremini, or baby bella mushrooms
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef (85 or 93% lean)
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 burger buns
- For serving: avocado slices, sliced tomato, lettuce, onions, ketchup, and mustard or your other favorite condiments.
- Dice mushrooms and saute in olive oil until soft and they are dark brown, about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooking. Remove from heat.
- Place ground beef, quinoa, minced garlic, onion powder, worcesteshire sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When the mushrooms are cool enough to handle add them to the bowl. Mix until ingredients are blended.
- Form 6 patties and place on a plate or sheetpan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 24. If chilling overnight, put in an airtight container.
- When it's time to cook them, heat grill or stove to medium high and cook until your desired doneness, approximately 5 minutes per side for medium.
- Serve with your favorite toppings and condiments.
The chill time is important to keep the burgers well formed when cooking. You can leave them in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. If you plan to leave them overnight, I recommend putting them in an airtight container.