Adventures in a Bolder BBQ: Southwest Superfood Burgers

Made well, veggie patties can make all the difference in transforming a good burger into a truly great one. But with such a myriad of different recipes to try (with—let’s face it—highly varying results), sometimes it just seems simpler to grab a package of premade patties at the supermarket and get on with the grilling.

Yes, as far as convenience goes, we understand the temptation of these store-bought options. And if you’re looking for something that tastes indistinguishable from meat, you’ll admittedly never be able to recreate a homemade version without a proper science lab at your beckoning. So rather than try and “compete” with meat flavors, we like to make our veggie patties a wholly delicious endeavor unto themselves. This hands-on effort has additional benefits over store-bought varieties too, including offering substantially increased nutrition (with a much wider spectrum and saturation of micronutrients and fiber), freedom from food additives (which can cause inflammation, allergies, or gut irritation), and more exciting and diverse taste profiles!

While we’ve made many delicious variations of “burgers,” (check out how to make your own burger without a recipe), this week we wanted to explore some fun new hybrids that incorporated more varied spices as well as additional superfoods. The impressive result was a protein-rich batch of these Southwest Superfood Burgers, which are packed with incredible ingredients like black beans, quinoa, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), flaxseeds, medicinal mushrooms and more!

While these burgers are great on the grill (although really, what isn’t?), they can easily be made on just a normal stove-top skillet for a more casual dinner setting, too. So as the pleasant food rituals of summer heat up—from making the perfect corn on the cob, to bottomless bowls of sliced watermelon, to scoops of dreamy-creamy ice cream—try mixing things up a bit with this slightly spicy, highly rewarding, superfood burger recipe!


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Making veggie patties is a flexible process that requires little time or effort. Heeding these few quick tips while cooking can help ensure every batch is at its best.

  • Use organic corn. Non-organic corn is notorious for its high risk of GMO contamination. Always choose organic corn varieties—either fresh or frozen kernels will do just fine! (No need to defrost frozen corn prior to cooking for this recipe.)

  • Blend in stages. Mixing all the ingredients together at once will result in over-mixing, which translates to softer, less toothsome burgers. Instead, keep as much texture as you can in the burgers, mixing the ingredients in the food processor in stages just long enough for the ingredients to stick, while retaining plenty of larger textural morsels.

  • Be sure to pre-season. The best meat burgers are pre-seasoned before they ever hit the grill (or the pan), and veggie patties are no different! A light brushing of olive oil, salt, and pepper creates