These copycat quinoa cowboy veggie burgers are even better than the originals because they super thick, packed with flavor and nutrients and they’re vegan! They’d be perfect for Memorial Day, 4th of July or any BBQ this summer!
Check out my list of favorite Trader Joe’s products here!
I love getting creative in the kitchen and wanted to take a whack at making my own veggie burgers at home. Since I love the Trader Joe’s ones so much, I decided to use the ingredients on the box as a guide.
When it comes to prepackaged goods, I take it as a good sign that I not only recognized every ingredient on the list, but I had most of them, too. After a few substitutions and a little bit of time, I had a pretty exact homemade replica of the store bought Quinoa Cowboy veggie burgers. This copycat version has so much flavor, incredible texture and they just so happen to be vegan, too (the store bought versions are not)!
Do not be intimidated by the ingredient list here. Many of the items are spices or pantry staples and these burgers are surprisingly easy to make!
The first step is to cook the quinoa according to package instructions. You’ll also want to rinse and drain the black beans really well to reduce extra moisture being added to the veggie burger mixture.
Before creating the veggie burger mixture, I like to sauté the veggies for a few minutes to soften them and to release extra flavor. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the garlic, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and corn for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.
Next, combine the quinoa, black beans, sautéed veggies, fresh cilantro, bread crumbs, almond flour, flaxseed meal (if you don’t have this, you can sub in equal parts almond flour) and spices in a food processor. Pulse mixture a dozen or so times until the veggies have broken down a bit, but still has some texture. You want bits of corn, black beans and veggies throughout the burger (this helps give the burger great texture).
This recipe will yield five 5oz large patties or seven 3.5oz small patties.
The next step is optional but highly recommended. One of my favorite things about the Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy veggie burgers is the crunchy exterior from the breadcrumbs. To mimic this, spray the veggie burgers with olive oil spray, then gently roll the veggie burgers in bread crumbs. Gently press the breadcrumbs into the veggie burgers to help them adhere.
Lastly, it’s time to cook the veggie burgers. Heat up a bit of oil in a cast iron pan or grill pan set over medium, medium-low heat. You want your pan hot enough to create a golden brown exterior, but not too hot to where the outside of the burgers will burn before the inside is warm.
Add the veggie burgers and cook for 7-8 minutes, flip and cook on the other side another 5-6 minutes.
Note: there is nothing ‘raw’ in the veggie burger mixture, so you just need to warm them through and achieve a golden crispy exterior.
- Make sure you rinse and drain the black beans well. I rinsed them for 20 seconds, then let them drain in the strainer for 20 minutes. I also patted them dry with a paper towel. If you do not drain the black beans well, the veggie burger mixture could become too wet.
- If the veggie burger mixture is too dry, add 1 tbsp of olive oil at a time until the mixture sticks together between your fingers. If the mixture is too wet, add 1 tbsp more flour and pulse until mixture has firmed up.
- Spray your hands with oil before forming patties, this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
- Very firmly pack the mixture together into a patty. This will help prevent breakage during cooking.
How to store Copycat Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
Refrigerator: Cook burgers according to the instructions above. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. Consume within 3 days.
Freezer: Wrap burgers in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store in an air tight bag or container in the freezer. Use within 3 months.
Slice of cheddar cheese
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar
Burger bun, lettuce leaf bun or sandwich thin
- Gluten Free: Replace the breadcrumbs with rice crumbs for a gluten free option.
- Flaxseed Meal: If you do not have this, sub in equal parts almond flour or all purpose flour.
- Spice: If you prefer more spice, add another 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne.
More Recipes You’ll Love
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- Ratatouille Gnocchi
- Summer Shrimp and Corn Risotto
- Coconut Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Rice and Mango Salsa
Copycat Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (approx. 3/4 cup dry)
- 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1/4 bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno seeds removed, chopped
- 1 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs plus more for coating
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Measure out 2 cups of cooked quinoa and place in food processor.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno and corn and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant and corn is lightly charred.
- Add sautéed veggies to the food processor along with black beans, breadcrumbs, almond flour, flaxseed meal, cilantro and spices. Pulse mixture a dozen or so times until vegetables have broken down slightly and breadcrumbs and flour are distributed.
- Grease hands and form mixture into five 5oz large patties or seven 3.5oz small patties. Gently spray veggie burgers with olive oil spray and roll into breadcrumbs. Gently press breadcrumbs into veggie burgers to adhere.
- Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil a large heavy bottom or cast iron skillet over medium, medium-low heat. Cook veggie burgers 7-8 minutes, until golden brown, flip and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until burgers are golden on other side and warmed through.
- Serve burgers on your favorite buns and with your favorite toppings.