We Got The Beet [Burger]

I like burgers.

I like them made with grass-fed beef, turkey, freekeh, black beans + butternut squash, sweet potato + chickpeas… and endless other ingredients that I haven’t posted yet. I’ve made more varieties of burgers than I can count- but I never even considered using beets as the main ingredient. That is, until I had the most delicious veggie burger ever in Charlottesville last week.

After that first bite of the “Kinda Vegan” burger at Citizen Burger Bar, the wheels started turning. I had to recreate this burger. All I knew is that it contained beets, quinoa and millet- and I would go from there. Well, my friends, yesterday was the day- the day that I cooked the tastiest veggie burger I’ve ever made.

Oh, and heads up vegan and gluten-free friends- this one’s for you!

I started by cooking the millet and quinoa, and then worked on preparing the beets. I had picked up some up at the Farmers Market last weekend and knew they would be perfect. I boiled them for a few minutes so that it would be easier to peel off the skin and ground them up in my mini-chopper (which is an attachment to my immersion blender).

Here’s the aftermath:

After throwing together a bunch of ingredients into my food processor, I started to shape the patties. I was really happy to see how well they binded together- that definitely doesn’t always happen with veggie burgers!

After a little bit of cooking, I had perfect little beet burger patties.

I am such a fan of multiple textures, and the sunflower seeds added a really nice crunch. In fact, the entire outside of the burger was a little crunchy, while the inside had the perfect amount of mushiness.

I dressed them up on a multi-grain bun with a little tomato and lettuce.

Isn’t that color amazing? I think beet is my new favorite color.

Beet burgers (makes 6 burgers)

1/4 c (uncooked) millet

1/4 c (uncooked) quinoa

1/2 of a small red onion (should equal 1/3 c when chopped)

1 clove garlic

2-4 T sunflower seeds (hulled)

4 medium-sized beets (should equal 1 1/2 cups when grated)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp dried parsley

1 T coconut oil

Pre-heat oven to 350˚.  Cook the quinoa and millet (3:1) and set in a small bowl to cool. Roast the red onion in the oven (or sautee in a pan) until it’s soft and translucent. Meanwhile, grate the beets and place into food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, you can mix the ingredients by hand). Add the millet, quinoa, onion, garlic clove and spices into the food processor and process for one minute. Transfer ingredients to a bowl and add the sunflower seeds and mix together well. Shape the mixture into 6 equal-sized patties. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Place the patties into the heated oil and cook for 1 minute, then flip over and cook for an additional minute on the other side. Remove the patties from the skillet and place onto a cookie sheet (spray with nonstick cooking spray or use a silicone baking mat) and cook in the oven for 10 additional minutes. Burgers should be crunchy on the outside and slightly soft inside.

These burgers are really good on a bun- or just by themselves! I mixed up a little Veganaise with dijon mustard to serve as a sauce, which was the perfect compliment. Greg had one burger with a bun and one without- and preferred the one without. Sometimes you don’t want to “ruin” a flavorful burger with a big hunk of bread (and you can just eat that bread on its own!)

I have three of these leftover- and that makes me happy. I’m thinking that a beet burger topped with a poached egg sounds good for lunch today…

What’s your favorite type of burger? Do you have a good recipe to share?


  1. Bookmarking this! I love beets, but I haven’t bought them in a while because I got a little sick of just juicing them. Your recipe sounds phenomenal. I’m thinking I need to buy some at the farmer’s market tomorrow!

  2. OH YUMM!! THis looks awesome. One problem–husband doesn’t like beets, but I DO. We shall see how this pans out…. ;)

    • They don’t taste like beets at all- which was the first thing my husband said! Just tell him they’re something else. :)

  3. looks great! i actually have a ton of beets growing in our garden right now so this is perfect!

  4. The best, eh? I may have to give these a shot! :) I like multiple textures too.

  5. I FLIPPING LOVE BEETS! had a whole discussion about them yesterday.

  6. Those are like…the prettiest burgers ever. But I don’t *love* beets. Do they taste really beet-y?

    • They don’t taste beet-y at all. My husband’s first reaction was “wow- these don’t taste like beets.” So there ya go. :)

  7. Grrrrrrrl you are stepping up your photography hard core! These are so fabulous. I seriously miss my porch from my apartment in Des Moines (3 years ago). Best lighting and backgrounds: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thechimes/3870276147/in/set-72157628208398947 … but I did get locked out there once and it wasn’t pretty (http://www.chimesdesign.com/blog/2009/08/08/near-life-threatening-experience/)

    Anyway, I’m going to convince my friend Kelly to try some damn beets and this might be how I do it. :) Beets are the BEST thing ever.

  8. I am so excited for this!!! Do you think it would work with any grain? I don’t have millet, but might just double the quinoa or use barley. Love the sunflower seeds too! It reminds me of the sunflower-beet pesto I made – love those nutty-earthy flavors together.

    How long did it take you get get all that beet color out of your hands?!

    (Side note: Do you guys have a Houston’s there? Their beet burger is delish and I think this one may be similar… which would ROCK.)

    • There’s not a Houston’s around Frederick- maybe in DC though? I’ll have to look it up!
      You could probably sub the millet for more quinoa- or brown rice even. Millet “mushes” together really well, which really helped bind the burger though. I really think that’s why it held together so well. If you can think of another “mushy” grain- that would probably be best!

  9. I made another beet burger earlier this year and it was out of this world. I love what you put into this one – I’m pinning it now for later cooking adventures. :)

  10. First off, the recipe looks delish- can’t wait to try it. Secondly, and more importantly… LOOK AT THOSE PHOTOS! You have totally stepped it up with these babies, amazing!

    • Thanks! I actually started using my DSLR again. I have been enchanted by the iPhone for the last few months (and lazy).
      Foodgawker still doesn’t like my photos!

  11. Oh my goodness. . .I am definitely going to be making these. They look awesome!! That bun also looks delicious. ;)

  12. The real question is – did you have ruby red lips after eating these? :) I think this is the perfect way to try my first beet. PLUS it has quinoa, which I could just live on. I agree, its all about the texture in veggie burgers. Love when there are some sunflower seeds in there.

    Great pics too!

    • Lol! No red lips. :)
      These are great- but don’t taste very “beet-y” at all. I love beets roasted, with a little olive oil, salt + pepper.

  13. I love when I find someone whose curiosity and ‘must recreate this’ attitude rivals mine! [Much less work for me. ;)] I think I might even skip the original and just ‘try this at home.’

  14. Yum! I had a similar burger at a small restaurant in Asheville, NC that was made of beets too; on the menu though it was labeled as a black bean burger, the only reason I know it had beets was because the waiter told me. They served theirs with avocado, and a carrot and radish slaw. Don’t know if that will get your wheels turning haha.

  15. I don’t know if I could get Danny to eat a beet burger, but you really make it look beautiful!!!

  16. i am loving your creative & delicious idea of a beet burger! brilliant, healthy, perfect for summer!

  17. Ooo, I love beet burgers! Made a bunch last summer–and of course misplaced the recipe since then. And now I have to check out your freekeh burger, I had a bag of it sitting around forever that I never knew what to do with. If only I’d known–burgers!

  18. Hi Lauren! I just came across your recipe from Heather at Kiss my broccoli. I knew immediately these are what I wanted to make with the beets we have! One question though {and maybe I’m being really unintelligent} but the directions say to add sunflower seeds and I don’t see them in the ingredients? Thanks, I can’t wait to try them!

    • Oh my goodness- thanks for pointing that out!! I will edit the recipe! :)
      I think it was about 2 T of sunflower seeds that I used, though you could certainly add more! (I think I remember not having many left and just using what I had). Hope you like the burgers! :)

  19. I just had the exact same burger in Charlottesville this week and I found this blog as I was searching for a recipe for it. Thanks so much for posting!!

  20. Trish Byers says:

    They were great, but I didn’t have a food processor and tried just mixing them by hand, as you suggested. NO GO! I added an egg and some mozzarella cheese, they were better but still were falling apart. I flipped them carefully, put in oven and was able to serve them as an entree’ (no bun). Everyone loved them. But had I not been a foodie and known what to do, it could have been quite a disaster. The company that ate them with me raved about the flavor & texture. Oh yea, I also amped up the garlic (4 small cloves), added nutritional yeast, nori flakes, and soy sauce…and used my first 4 beets from my garden. YUM!


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