Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Burger Recipe

Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Burger Recipe Recipe

Yesterday, we hosted another dinner party. I opted for a fancy-looking vegetarian course by serving red-quinoa stuffed Portobello burgers and topped them with a slice of grilling cheese. The quinoa provided protein (it has, according to Wikipedia, a protein content per 100 calories higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet), the Portobello mushroom great texture and the Mediterranean grilling cheese subtle saltiness with a rich buttery taste. 

I love using grilling cheese. Since I didn't add any rich ingredients in the Portobello burger filling, I figured a thin slice of cheese wouldn't hurt. This particular cheese can withstand a tremendous amount of heat without melting and develops a delicious golden crust when grilled, so next time you're searching for a crisp topping for your dishes, this might be the one!


Yields: 10 servings

1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons caramelized yellow onions (see tips)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small carrot, peeled, cooked and diced
6 crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
4 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon paprika
⅓ cup green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter (or more oil)
10 Portobello mushrooms
6 ounces grilling cheese, sliced


Prepping the Portobello mushrooms:

Remove the stem from mushrooms. Using the edge of a spoon, scrape and remove the gills of the Portobello mushrooms. Wipe the inside clean using a paper towel (see tips).

For the quinoa:

Place the quinoa in a small saucepan. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for 15 minutes. Stir well and add ½ cup of water. Cook for another 5 minutes until the water evaporates. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Fluff with a fork. Let cool. Mix well.

Cooking the vegetables:

In a small pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the garlic and green onions. Cook until golden. Add paprika. Add the carrots and crimini mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Preparing the quinoa mixture:

Add the caramelized onions, vegetables and the eggs to the quinoa. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.


Using the same non-stick pan, heat the rest of the oil. 

Form the patties and fill the Portobello mushrooms with the quinoa patties, dividing among the 10 mushrooms. Tightly stuff them, by gently pressing the filling with your hand.

Place the whole mushrooms on the hot pan, filling side down. Cook until a nice crust is formed. Flip the Portobello mushrooms and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from the grill.

Heat the pan, adding a teaspoon of oil if necessary and grill the cheese slices until crisp. Garnish the burgers with the grilling cheese.

Serve warm with greens.

Bon appétit!


You could use other grains such as buckwheat or barley, instead of quinoa.

This recipe yields exactly 10 burgers (using an ice cream scoop).

How to caramelize onions: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Add thinly sliced onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. To save time, I often have already-caramelized onions on hand in the freezer. I suggest making them in advance in large batches. Just place about 1 tablespoon of tightly packed fried onions per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the flavor without getting freezer burn.

Removing the gills of Portobello mushrooms prevents the dish from turning dark once cooked. This step is only for the appearance of the dish and does not affect the taste.

Grilling Cheese Recipe with Picture
I used Yanni brand grilling cheese. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 25, 2014.


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