Quinoa Burgers with Greek Yogurt Dressing

Can someone please tell me how it became June so quickly? It seems like just yesterday I was blending warm soups and baking macaroni and cheese, when suddenly it became summer. Oh my. Now that my lamenting is out of the way, let's focus on one of my new favorite dishes.

I love quinoa for it’s health benefits and quick cooking powers, but lately it’s been salad after salad. And while there’s nothing wrong with finding new ingredients to toss it with for a simple dinner, I did a little investigating and came across a fresh and satisfying way to prepare it.

Cooked quinoa is pureed with lots of healthy ingredients including white beans and carrots. It’s warmed up with cumin, then the patties are grilled and stuffed into warm pita bread with crunchy cucumbers and creamy yogurt dressing. It was so good, I ate it two nights in a row with no shame.


The original recipe used breadcrumbs to bind everything, which I forgot when it came time to make these. The patties held up fine without them, just be sure the mixture is chilled before forming them. Use the leftover quinoa mixture to make two large patties topped with a new batch of yogurt dressing, sans pita bread for a few less carbs, if you monitor that sort of thing.

Recipe adapted from Whole Living

Serves 2, plus generous leftovers

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt
Ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Pitas, each 6 inches (I used two whole pitas to feed both of us, stuffing two paties inside each half)
1/2 large English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally


In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil; add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside.

While the quinoa cooks, cut each pita in half and warm in the microwave for 20 seconds. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, salt and pepper to taste, half the scallions and juice from half a lemon. Stir together and test for seasonings.

In a food processor, pulse carrots until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, 3 remaining scallions, beans, egg and cumin. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pulse until combined and mostly smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add two turns of olive oil. Form mixture into 8 small patties (I used an ice cream scoop to make them uniform), about half an inch thick. Cook for three minutes per side, or until browned and the burgers are heated through. Set on paper towels to drain.

To serve, gently open each pita and spoon a little dressing in the bottom. Add two patties, a few cucumbers, and more dressing, as desired.