Mediterranean Veggie Burgers | Vegetarian Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Eureka! We’ve found the secret “glue” that holds homemade veggie burgers together on an outdoor grill: purée the ingredients with overcooked pasta. A couple of other tips for success: be sure to pat the beans dry before you add them to the patty mixture, and use a stainless steel grill topper for a more stable grilling surface. Serve these mouthwatering miracles with your favorite burger buns and toppings.



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4 oz. rigatoni
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½ cup red quinoa
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7 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
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1 ½ tsp. olive oil
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¾ cup chopped onion
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9 cloves garlic, finely chopped
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1 ½ cups cooked white beans, or 1 15-oz. can white beans, rinsed, drained, and thoroughly patted dry
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½ cup steamed broccoli
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¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. finely shredded green cabbage
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3 Tbs. finely chopped red bell pepper
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2 Tbs. Tomato Sauce
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6 kalamata olives, sliced
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2 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
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2 Tbs. canola oil for oiling patties and grill topper


1. Cook rigatoni in large pot of boiling salted water 19 minutes, or until very soft. Drain, measure out 1 1/2 cups very tightly packed rigatoni, and set aside.

2. Bring quinoa and broth to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 13 minutes, or until slightly undercooked; some of the white germ will have opened, but much of the quinoa will still have a slight bite. Drain, and set aside.

3. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 1 minute. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Set aside.

4. Process rigatoni and white beans in food processor 1 minute, or until smooth and paste-like (it’s OK if there are a few small bits of pasta still intact). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup quinoa, broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, tomato sauce, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and onion-garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Mash to combine. Form 6 1/2-cup-sized patties. Brush tops of each patty with canola oil.

5. Heat grill to high heat. Brush grill topper with canola oil. Place each patty oiled-side down on grill topper. Set grill topper on grill, close grill cover, and cook 6 to 7 minutes. Brush each patty again with oil, and carefully flip. Close grill, and grill 3 to 4 minutes more.

Nutrition Information: 

10 g
Total Fat: 
9 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
41 g
0 mg
257 mg
6 g
3 g
Makes 6 burgers

Comments on this Recipe

Worst veggie burger recipe. Not only did they fall apart on the grill, they didn't even bake/broil no matter the temperature!! Even after 30 minutes I tried to rescue then by pan frying to no avail. Wow. Completely disappointed after all of the boiling of the pasta and quinoa, not including prepping the charcoal grill. Go somewhere else with your time-- I've made other veggie burgers that are at least edible at the end.

try this burger with couscous instead of the quinoa. it holds together to pan fry.

This recipe turned me into a vegetarian! I had actually never had a veggie burger before. What a pleasant surprise! The only downside is they are fairly time consuming. Next time I will double the recipe and try freezing the extra patties after grilling.

Thank you so much for this wonderful gluten free burger! I really don't care about the time consuming method involved,being gluten free for some time now and trying to purchase products or burgers are really difficult. I love this site!!

Octavia, these are NOT gluten free unless you are using rice rigatoni, right?

This is the easiest and tastiest veg burger I have ever had!

I can't wait to try it. I will be using a brown rice pasta and for sure making a double batch.

this was so much effort to make, and the end result was only a mediocre veggie burger! plus there was so much wasted pasta and quinoa, not to mention an entire sink full of dirty pots and pans. sorry to say, this is not up to the usual high standards of VT recipes.

Make a big batch and freeze some! They are just as good reheated. Make pasta and quinoa the night before to cut down on prep time. I also used (thawed) frozen brocolli. YUMMY!

These worked out great for me! A huge hit, even with the meat eaters.


Pasta has eggs in it…. if you're not Vegan why not just use eggs!

I wounder if this would work with gluten free pasta

Brilliant Gluten solution. Now, how many people can't eat pasta? Perhaps you could think of the alternative solution? Thanks!

What pasta are you using, Denise? Because most of the pasta I've seen does not, in fact, contain eggs.

Most pasta does not have eggs in it! It is just wheat or rice paste. There are some non-vegan pastas that use eggs or squid ink, but a vegan wouldn't buy egg noodles because WE read ingredient lists.

Actually Pasta does not have eggs it... You can buy Pasta with egg but realy Italien Pasta has none

@Denise Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure pasta doesn't always contain eggs (although it often does)

Normal pasta doesn't have eggs in it. There's a kind of pasta made with egg, that's true, but isn't common.

Yes to all of that! I made this recipe and it is delicious way more tasty than you can imagine.