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Portobello Burgers with Pesto & Quinoa-Crusted Onion Rings

Slathered in a flavorful basil pesto, these balsamic-marinated mushroom burgers are served with crispy quinoa-crusted onion rings.

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Technically a seed, quinoa is one of the most popular superfoods in the world with massive health benefits. One cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 28% of the recommended daily allowance of phosphorus, which works with calcium to help build bones and is also an essential component of teeth, RNA and DNA.

30 min


Portobello burgers

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • Whole-grain hamburger buns, sliced tomatoes and leafy lettuce, for serving

Onion rings

  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour, divided
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups puffed quinoa
  • 1 large sweet white onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices and separated into rings


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup walnuts
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 425°F. Prepare portobellos: In a shallow baking dish, combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper; add mushrooms, smooth side up. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make onion rings: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together one-half of the flour with salt; slowly whisk in milk until batter is smooth. To a separate medium bowl, add puffed quinoa. To a separate large bowl, add remaining one-half of flour. Dredge each onion ring in flour, fully coating. One at a time, dip flour-coated onions into milk batter. Then dip each onion ring into puffed quinoa, pressing if necessary to help mixture stick. Transfer to baking sheet; repeat with remaining onion rings.
  3. Mist rings well with cooking spray. Bake on top rack for 18 to 20 minutes, until browned and crisp.
  4. Place mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on lower rack for 16 to 18 minutes, turning once, until tender and lightly browned. Brush with any leftover marinade while cooking for extra flavor. (NOTE: Mushrooms can also be grilled. Brush grilling grates with oil before adding mushrooms, basting with leftover marinade.)
  5. Meanwhile, prepare pesto: To a food processor, add basil, walnuts, oil and water. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, then process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve mushrooms in buns topped with pesto, onion rings and additional toppings, if desired. Serve with extra onion rings on the side.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 790
  • Carbohydrate Content 96 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 37 g
  • Fiber Content 14 g
  • Protein Content 23 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 5 g
  • Sodium Content 538 mg
  • Sugar Content 15 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 22 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 9 g