My version of the Burger Lounge veggie burger

When we go on vacation, we make it our mission to try out as many local restaurants and faves as possible. We’ll ask for ideas (you always have the best!), walk around to explore hidden dining treasures, and if we fall in love with something (like Mon Ami Gabi in Las Vegas for breakfast) we’ll visit multiple times before coming home. We go for a mix of fancy and casual, and there are definitely times we just want a burger or salad and fries.

When we were exploring La Jolla on our recent vacation, we wanted to check out some casual, easy options. Some of our fanciest dinners have been the biggest disappointments, and it’s always nice to go eat somewhere where the fellow diners and staff don’t mind a little noodle talking up a storm, waving “hi” and blowing kisses to everyone. It was lunch time, and we were both craving something quick, hearty, but also unique to California:

Burger Lounge.

The place just screams “kid-friendly” and had outdoor seating so we could people-watch. Done.

BL has an awesome kids menu (mini burgers!), milkshakes, fries and veggie burgers- something for everyone in our family.

I had this quinoa brown rice burger and basically haven’t been able to get it out of my brain.

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It had the perfect texture (crispy outer shell with a smooth grain interior), bold, savory flavors, a glorious chipotle sauce, and was wrapped up in lettuce just for meeeeee.

I had to make one.

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Is it as good as the original version? Not quite, but La Jolla has that X factor of being surrounded by the ocean air + my family on vacay mode.

It’s pretty darn close, though πŸ˜‰

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The texture needs a little work, but I wanted to share my first trial since the taste came out pretty much dead on. They’re slightly crumbly, so if you try these with any changes, let me know what you did!

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I’ll post an update to this recipe when I can make them again.


-1/3 C quinoa, rinsed

-1/3 C brown rice

-2/3 C water

-1 can (15oz) of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

-1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped

-1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

-1 egg

-1.5 t yellow mustard

-1/2 t garlic powder

-1/4 t dried oregano

-1/4-1/2 t sea salt

1. On the stove, bring the quinoa, water and rice to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until fluffy and fully cooked.

2. In food processor, first finely chop the zucchini and carrot

Zucchini squash mix  1 of 1

transfer to a large bowl, then puree the garbanzo beans in the food processor. Add them to the veggie mixture, stirring in the rice/quinoa, egg, and remaining spices.

Veg burger mix  1 of 1

3. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes, until you can easily pick up and shape the mixture into burger patties. While the mixture is chilling, preheat your oven to 350 and grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray.

4. Form 8 burger patties with the mixture, place onto the cookie sheet, and bake for 35 minutes.

5. Serve with your favorite burger condiments, salad and/or fries.

Have a great day <3



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  1. Wow that restaurant sounds awesome!! I’d love to have a place like that where I live.
    And this veggie burger is everything I love about veggie burgers, a true one without all that fake processed gross stuff, actually filled with veggies, and no soy. Yay. I’m sure the mustard if optional in these, since I’m allergic.
    Definitely will be trying this out! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Not related to this burger but cooking question…I tried making Kale chips in the oven last night and they came out burnt. Everytime I checked on them they were still soft…should they come out of the oven soft and then crisp up or do I need to be more patient. I ended up putting them under the broiler for 2 minutes…MISTAKE! The flavor was perfect though (I used you almond butter, soy sauce, paprika mixture)!!

    • Elizabeth M. says:

      I’ve made all of Gina’s kale chip recipes in the oven, and as hard as it is, patience is HUGE! I put it on 250* and bake slowly, flipping and rotating (bringing the outer chips in to the middle and the middle ones out so they cook more evenly) it works. Although I did see a food dehydrator at costco recently for $40, I might need to get it for these recipes!!

      • Thank you Elizabeth. I will have to give patience a whirl…or maybe a dehydrator if that still doesnt work for me!

    • the trick is to put it at the lowest temperature for a very long time, i mean like five hours. mine came out really good and i havent had any problems.

  3. MMM, Mmm, mmm. Can’t wait to give these a try very soon! Thanks!

  4. Love all the different flavors and textures going on in there! I was in SD this past week but I missed the Burger Lounge….next time!

  5. Maybe adding some Chia seed would help bind them together better without changing the flavor? That’s always my go to when somethings a little too crumbly.

  6. These sound and look delicious! Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe!
    I agree about the X factor…ocean air, family, and the vacation vibe make everything taste better!

  7. This sounds delicious! I think I might add in some onions to mine for an extra crunch.

  8. I LOVE Burger Lounge!! Go there all the time in LJ, but I’ve never tried this one. Definitely getting it next time I’m there πŸ™‚

  9. I Love Burger Lounge! My dad lives in Del Mar (just a few miles from La Jolla) so I’ll have to try it there and also the ‘make-it-at-home’ version. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. YUM! This recipe sounds so good! I just made black bean burgers last night for a mini dinner party and remembered how much I love making veggie burgers. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Btw – are the buns in your pictures gluten free? I usually use Udi’s buns and those look about 100x better than any GF buns I’ve tried!

  11. Looks delish! I have made something similar with just quinoa, so I want to give yours a try!

  12. That place in La Jolla sounds fantastic I have to keep that in mind! I think your burger just looks fantastic. And I love the ingredients list! So hearty and healthy!!

  13. OMG. I’m always on the lookout for veggie burger options without soy in them. Sadly, I’ve been disappointed by a lot of the soy-free burgers I’ve tried/made. But these look positively scrumptious. I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend… making these burgers! I’ve heard that using ground flaxseed as a binding agent can make veggie burgers less crumbly, so I may give that a shot when I make them. I’ll let you know how they turn out! yummmmmmm

  14. maybe pulsing the quinoa and rice a couple times will make the grains smaller and a little easier to help form a patty?? i’m not sure, i’m just throwing an option out there! πŸ™‚

  15. Those look wonderful! I can’t wait to try them. I too think pulsing the grains a bit might help – or the addition of another egg to help bind might reduce the crumbliness a bit too.

  16. I love veggie burgers, but we don’t really have a place that makes a decent one. Maybe I’ll just make these instead!

  17. Omg I neeedd to make these. Veggie burgers are some of my favorite things in the world! Mon Ami Gabi is ammmazing. If anyone is going to Vegas soon they seriously need to try it. Heaven.

  18. I am just not talented enough to pull off the DIY version of that but if I’m ever in la jolla that sounds like an awesome thing to check out!

  19. Yummy!

  20. hadda pinnit πŸ˜‰

  21. I have been looking for more recipes and restaurants that are healthier. I have yet to find a veggie burger that I like. I’ll have to add this to my to do list of foods to try out.

  22. This looks perfect..I’m really picky with veggie burgers!

  23. Sounds like these might need an egg to hold them together… or be slightly more pureed.

  24. They remind me of these quinoa burgers that I made this weekend, sooo delicious! I found this recipe on Pinterest πŸ™‚ The main difference I see is that you used garbanzo beans and this recipe calls for cottage cheese. Still delicious though πŸ™‚

  25. As a San Diego resident and visitor of Burger Lounge any chance I get, I’m up for trying any recipe that can replicate the Vege Burger Lounge goodness. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I know that when I make crab cakes I let them chill before and after making them into patties. Fridging as a patty seems to help them maintain their shape a bit more.

  27. This burger sounds yummy. Love the combo that you have in it too. I think the next burg I make will involved rice too!

  28. I’ve never even heard of a quinoa burger before. But that sounds delicious and looks pretty easy to make. Thanks for the new idea on a burger

  29. Your burger looks great, I want to try it sometime this weekend!

  30. Jeannie says:

    Gina that looks so good and I will definitely be making these once I get a new food processor.
    Mine broke trying to make sun flower butter awhile ago and I never replaced it.

    What cup size food processor do you own and is that size big enough for most recipes??

  31. Jessica A says:

    This recipe sounds sooo delicious! It will 100% make its way on the weekly meal plan!

  32. Yum! These look so good. Maybe adding an additional egg will help bind the burgers better? I will try it and let you know!

  33. Mmmmm — sounds & looks delicious! I may have to give it a try!

  34. I <3 Burger Lounge because of all of the options suitable for EVERYONE plus its all organic and farm fresh which is a HUGE bonus when dining out for me! I am so happy you figured out the ingredients. I have made my own veggie burgers in the past and they either need an egg or two flax eggs and that usually helps them hold together. Let me know if that works for you! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ Hope you have an amazing weekend LOVE + shine CourtStar

  35. Yay…I live in SD and LOVE LOVE LOVE Burger Lounge – esp for that veggie burger (and the veggie salad). I am so happy you posted this recipe!

    Classy with a Kick

  36. OMG, I literally just about died when I saw this post. I went to California last summer and fell in love with this burger at Burger Lounge. I still talk about it to this day. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, and I love me a good (meat) burger… So it means a lot when I say this veggie burger is one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted (meat or not). I can’t wait until I can go back to Cali and have the real thing, but I will definitely try this to tide me over until then!!!

  37. These look awesome! Did you use freshly cooked hot rice? I find that cold leftover rice never binds as well. Also cooking the rice in more water than usual so that it gets more mushy helps with binding too. πŸ™‚

  38. I made these last night and they were somewhat bland. I put some extra seasonings on since I didn’t use any topics. Also mine crumbled up more into a side dish:) I put the recipe into my myfitnesspal and the nutrition factor is obviously great so I will definitely make them again – not sure how to make them bind more.

  39. these look fantastic! yum!

  40. Yum! These look ah-mazing!

  41. I’m so impressed you can replicate restaurant dishes!

    How the heck do you rinse quinoa?? Every recipe I’ve ever seen with quinoa insists that it must be rinsed. My quinoa always ends up in the drain when I try. The holes in a colander are too big; the grain is too fine for the cover-of-the-pot method.

  42. Ground chia seeds make an excellent binder for veggie burgers as does arrowroot powder and/or Ener-G
    egg replacer.
    Dreena Burton has an awesome array of burgers in her newest book ‘Let Them Eat Vegan’ including some spicy black bean,sweet potato and quinoa croquettes with a chopotle chile type sauce you can pair them with a pumpkin seed chipotle cream.
    They’re awesome!
    (Can you tell I’m a total fangirl of her recipes?lol)

  43. Michelle says:

    Hi! These look fab! Do you think if i omitted the quinoa and did 2/3 of brown rice they would work? As hard as i try i can’t get down with quinoa..

  44. I mean a bean and sweet potato veggie burger, Yummy!!

  45. This. Looks. Amazing. The burger lounge quinoa burger is my favorrriiitteeee. I think they use jack cheese in theirs. But I like that you omitted it. Maybe a little dash of jalapenos and nutritional yeast…

    Making these. Miss you. Come back.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s what it was missing…. πŸ™‚ definitely need to add some penos and notch next time!
      miss your beautiful face! xoxo

  46. Camilla says:

    I love birdfood, as my housbund call it;) Fried rice is one of my favorite dinner/supper meals:) Cant wait to try this recipe, but I think I would reccomend to boil the rice the day before, so that the rice is cold before frying. I would mix all ingridients in the cold rice exept from egg, garlic and salt. While the ricemix is frying, mix egg, garlic and salt and than poor the eggmix over the ricemix. This will make the burgers stick together, crispy on the outside and moore soft and sticky on the inside;)

  47. Made these tonight, they were great! I added just a small handful of Panko to the mix to firm them up a little more. They held together just fine after baking. Had mine on a bulky roll with american cheese and a little BBQ sauce. Thanks!!

  48. Since the Del Mar location opened, we have eaten there so often, it’s gotten embarrassing, so I’m trying to find a recipe to try them at home. One of the people working there told me that they aren’t vegan, because they use cheese as a binder. Next time, I will try to find out which kind, though she alluded to it being cheddar when I ordered my burger. Hopefully that will help you fine tune the recipe!

  49. Love this recipe! We also visited San Diego and had this burger at Burger Lounge- it was ahhhmazing! I made these patties yesterday- and to make them vegan I used flax seed/ water mixture instead of the egg- they held together well. I did make 2 “eggs” though since you had mentioned them falling apart. Maybe try 2?? Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  50. I love the Burger Lounge’s veggie burger! They do add cheese to their burger which helps bind it, I did not see it listed in your recipe.

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