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Quinoa Burger with Basil Cream Sauce: Your New Go-To Healthy Dinner

This hearty vegan burger is under 200 calories each.

Beef burgers, fish cakes, tuna croquettes, black bean burgers, turkey burgers, zucchini fritters—what is it about pressing foods into patty form that makes everything better? If you’re not careful, though, a big chunk of burger can get mega caloric in a jiffy. Even store-bought veggie burgers can be a not-so-nutritious option if it’s just a slab of processed soy.

This meatless burger by wellness chef Charles Chen solves all those problems. Chen is a chef, entrepreneur, and vivacious host of the online cooking show Kitchen Hustle, where “hustlers learn how to fuel their passions.” Throughout his childhood, Chen struggled with his health. As a teenager, he was prediabetic and a self-proclaimed couch potato who had no energy or motivation to make healthier choices. After hitting what he calls his “rock bottom moment,” he reclaimed his health, lost more than 100 pounds, and now helps others fuel their “bodies, mind, and spirit starting in the kitchen.”

This quinoa burger ain’t your typical cardboard-like veggie patty you find in the grocery store freezer section. It’s made with that famous superfood, quinoa, so it’s packed with healthy protein, and it includes flavorful, fiber-loaded veggies like sweet potato and kale. Um, it’s basically salad, right? Just in hearty burger form.

And you don’t skip on the condiments either. Chen recommends pairing this killer quinoa burger with a luscious basil avocado cream sauce. It’s rich, creamy, and flavorful—without any dairy. Swapping out the cream with avocado and coconut milk means you’re getting that luxurious creamy texture without the cholesterol. In other words, your tastebuds will think it’s indulgent, even though it’s healthy for your bod.

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp herb de provence mix
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 cup kale, destemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed butternut squash or sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp finely diced onion
  • 1 tbsp runny tahini paste
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch each of cayenne pepper, ground ginger, and cumin (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch each of sea salt and cayenne pepper
Instructions
• Preheat oven to 400°F. • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. • Mix the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes to thicken. • Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl, including the flax mixture and the cooked quinoa. Stir well until the mixture comes together. (Don't forget the flour because it helps bind the patties) • Shape mixture into 1/4-cup patties with wet hands. Pack tightly so they hold together better. Place on baking sheet. • Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully flip cakes, and bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden and firm. • Cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then enjoy!
Charles Chen

This video features Charles Chen. Charles Chen is a chef, host, and wellness expert based in Los Angeles and New York City.

Duration: 4:21. Last Updated On: Sept. 7, 2017, 8:19 p.m.
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh, . Review date: Sept. 5, 2017

Nutrition Information

Recipe Serves 4
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories
509
25% Complete
25%
Fat
22g
33% Complete
33%
Cholesterol
0mg
0% Complete
0%
Sodium
135mg
5% Complete
5%
Carbohydrates
60g
60% Complete
60%
Fiber
10g
40% Complete
40%
Sugar
3g
6% Complete
6%
Protein
17g
33% Complete
33%
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dietary Needs

Dairy Free
Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Gluten Free
Lower Sodium
Lower Sodium
Lower Sugar
Lower Sugar
Vegan
Vegan
Vegetarian
Vegetarian
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