BBQ Beet Burgers with Onion Rings


The theme this month for The Recipe Redux is all about kitchen staples from scratch:

What favorite kitchen staples do you now make from scratch – but in the past you purchased? Show us your best DIY recipe for keeping cupboards, fridge or freezer stocked with healthy basics.

And yes, veggie burgers are a staple in my book 🙂 I am all about having veggie burgers on hand- it is so easy to have them in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal. I love crumbling them up for salads or wrapping them in a tortilla with a quick tzatziki sauce and some fresh veggies. The possibilities are endless. However, I rarely find a veggie burger that I like- they are too flimsy, the flavor is a lacking or the texture is wrong. After being disappointed over and over again, I decided the solution was to come up with my own version! This recipe is super easy and it produces a nice, hearty burger. It has been a lifesaver on our trip- it is simple enough that it can be made with basic kitchen equipment and the ingredients are all readily available (although we have subbed other veggies for the beets on many occasions).


These burgers not only taste great, they are also a high protein veggie option! They have legumes and whole grains- complementary foods that together make a complete protein. What is a complete protein? The body breaks down protein into its small building blocks, called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids that your body needs and uses to build muscle and perform daily functions- everything from digestion to carrying out chemical reactions and healing. The body can make most of the amino acids that it needs, but there are nine amino acids that the body cannot make. These are called essential amino acids. Your body needs them, but cannot make them, so therefore it is essential that you get them every day through food.

Some foods, like meat and eggs (and a few plant based foods, like quinoa, chia, buckwheat and soy) are complete proteins, meaning they have all 9 essential amino acids. Some foods, like beans or grains, have most of the amino acids your body needs, but are missing a few. Beans are low in methionine, but whole grains have planty of methionine. Whole grains are low in lysine, but beans are high in lysine. Put them together and what do you have? All the amino acids your body needs! Eating both legumes and whole grains means you are getting all the essential amino acids- you are complementing proteins and ensuring that all your amino acid needs are covered!


Also, they taste pretty freakin’ awesome as well. The sweetness of the beets goes really well with the BBQ sauce. The beets also help prevent the patties from being too dry and they add a unique color that *almost* makes them look like real burgers. They can be baked or pan fried, and a little cheddar and a slice of granny smith apple really takes these to the next level. They freeze really well too- make a big batch, pan fry them and then load them into your freezer and pull them out for a quick meal on those busy nights.

BBQ Beet Burgers with Crispy Onion Rings
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: ~6
A high protein veggie burger that holds up well and tastes awesome with BBQ sauce nd homemade onion rings!
  • 1 Beet
  • ½ cup Brown Basmati Rice
  • ½ cup Crimson Lentils
  • 1¾ cups Water or Broth
  • ¼ cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • BBQ Sauce
  • 1 small Onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • ½-1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Wash beet. Remove any greens still attached. Wrap beet tightly in aluminum foil and roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove beet from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, bring brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan with a lid. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, stir in lentils and replace lid quickly. Return to a simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes more, until all the water has absorbed and lentils and rice are soft. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. When beet is cool enough to handle, slip skin off and shred using a food processor or a cheese grater. Don't worry about the pink fingers, the pink usually tones itself down after a few washes. If you re really concerned about it, feel free to wear gloves.
  6. Combine shredded beet, rice/lentils, chopped onion and one egg. Mix well.
  7. Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add about ⅓ cup burger mixture. Smash down to about ½" thick and allow to cook until the edges are turning brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook 4 minutes on the other side. (At this point you can allow the burgers to cool and then freeze them, or serve them piping hot with your favorite toppings)
  8. Make Onion Rings:
  9. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Separate onions into individual rings.
  11. Dip each ring into flour, then into the other beaten egg.
  12. Place ring onto the parchment lined tray. Repeat until all the onion rings are coated.
  13. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Cover beet burger in BBQ sauce, then top with crispy onion rings and serve on a toasted bun.
It is not necessary to cook the rice and lentils together. I have found that I like using fewer pots and pans, so I do it in one pot, but feel free to cook them separately to ensure that they cook properly. Or, if you have leftovers, stir in 1 cup each of lentils and rice.
Sliced Granny Smith Apples are absolutely killer on these burgers!

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