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Recipe: Spent Grain BBQ Burgers

Spent Grain Chef, Recipes

Burgers are as much of a tradition in America as rock and roll, hot rods, and, well, burgers. And while some of us here at the Brew Shop swear by half-pound hunks of beef, bloody and topped with bacon, others prefer less guilt-inducing veggie alternatives.

So, with that in mind, our spent grain chef went to work creating this meatless masterpiece - a burger alternative that's sure to satisfy your cravings without clogging your arteries.


    What You Need

  • 1 cup spent grain, wet (or Dried Spent Grain re-hydrated with 1/2 cup hot water)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons barbeque sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • olive oil

    What You Do

  1. In a bowl combine spent grain, quinoa, eggs, salt, and barbeque sauce with a fork until eggs are broken up and mixture becomes cohesive. Stir in breadcrumbs.
  2. Heat a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Because the consistency is so moist, it's helpful to scoop the mixture into the hot skillet, and use a spatula to form into rounds.
  3. Let cook undisturbed for 5-8 minutes on one side, until bottom is golden brown and the burger can be easily moved. Flip and repeat on the other side. Makes about 8 sliders.

26 comment(s)

26 Responses to Recipe: Spent Grain BBQ Burgers

  • I bet these would be great in the morning on an English muffin. With bacon!

    Posted on June 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

  • Ohhhh thanks!! I'm always looking for new veggie burger recipes!! I might try adding some grated carrot to up the veggie factor.

    Posted on June 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

  • jess says:

    This recipe AND that photo look awesome!

    Posted on June 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

  • Poppy says:

    I've been veg for over a year now. These are yummy as hell! I had one over an english muffin- for dinner (sans bacon, sorry Jim!)

    Posted on June 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

  • My daughter sent me a link to this site because we are always looking for new ways to use our spent grain from my husband, Steve's, beer making productions. These look and sound great. We will give them a try!

    Posted on June 18, 2011 at 7:52 am

  • Brian says:

    These were AWESOME! They were best hot right off the griddle (their texture was mostpleasing then) but their taste was awesome even cold!

    Posted on July 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  • Kaedon says:

    These were great. Thanks!

    Posted on July 6, 2011 at 7:40 am

  • Kevin says:

    I added some parsley, Parmesan cheese, shitake mushrooms, and I used flour instead of bread crumbs to bind the patties together.
    Oh, and I didn't have BBQ sauce, so I made some with ketchup, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, and some spicy mustard.
    Turned out quite tasty.

    Posted on January 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm

  • julie says:

    these look fantastic! were always looking for more things to do with our spent grain. We have formulated a few recipes of our own, but crackers burgers!!! wow- I must try these! thanks for sharing this- LOVE it :)

    Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

  • Great recipe! Finally a tasty alternative to cook for my veggie friends during this fine up and coming grilling season! No more cardboard frozen veggie patties or generic portabello burgers. I'll be their omnivorous hero!

    Posted on April 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

  • Liz says:

    These were so great. My husband couldn't believe how much he liked them since he typically turns his nose up at the idea of a veggie burger. Will definately make again!

    Posted on June 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  • Rich says:

    I like meat. Can I sub out the quinoa for beef?

    Posted on June 20, 2012 at 8:04 am

  • We haven't tried it with this recipe, but subbing out the quinoa for beef will make it more like a meatball. Give it a shot and let us know how it goes. If you want a tried and tested meaty spent grain recipe, try our Spent Grain Turkey Meatballs. You can certainly swap out the turkey for beef if you like.

    Posted on June 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

  • Has anyone tried veganizing this?

    I'm wondering how it holds together without the egg, or if adding a bit of vital wheat gluten would help to stop it from dissolving.

    Posted on August 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

  • So i tried "veganizing" these on my own, and for anyone who wants to try it, you can omit the egg and add an extra 2 tablespoons of barbeque sauce and half a cup of vital wheat gluten. After kneading for a few minutes it all holds together wonderfully!

    Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:48 am

  • These. Were. Awesome.

    Posted on September 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

  • Joseph says:

    I tried to do this with rice and it turned out it didn't consolidate enough to form into patties so I baked as you would a meatloaf - didn't consolidate there either but tastes pretty good eaten with a spoon (hot sauce adds a nice kick).

    Posted on October 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

  • Kim says:

    These were delicious! The recipe worked perfectly as posted and I also made a veganized version with pureed lentils and mushrooms instead of eggs. Letting the outsides brown undisturbed is key for the patties' sturdiness. Thanks for sharing this recipe

    Posted on October 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

  • My husband brewed today and I can't wait to try making these - both as written and veganized. Has anyone tried freezing them? I wonder how they would do cooked, frozen and reheated.

    Posted on November 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm

  • Terry C says:

    I normally compost my spent grains but when I brewed a Chinook IPA extract kit and stood staring at a pound of spent grains I went searching for a way to reuse them. I cooked up these spent grain BBQ burgers today and loved them. I substituted the quinoa with a cup of brown rice. I topped the burgers with a bit of shredded cheese. I made 2 burgers and a slider sized burger out of the recipe. Next time I'll probably make 3 normal sized burgers as the 2 large ones were a bit difficult to manage in the pan.

    Posted on November 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm

  • Mary says:

    these were great! I used roasted red pepper quinoa and some panko crumbs too. I also crumbled this and used taco seasoning to make taco's!

    Posted on July 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm

  • Miya says:

    Anyone tried freezing these? It would be great to make up a big batch on brew day...

    Posted on August 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm

  • Ami says:

    I've frozen them fully cooked and it's worked really well. Just toss them on the grill for a few minutes to heat through. Even my most carnivorous friends have come back for seconds. Highly recommend.

    Posted on December 12, 2013 at 10:42 am

  • These did not turn out well for me. Maybe I messed something up but the quinoa was crunchy (not in a good way) and the bbq sayce gave an unpleasant sugary taste.

    Posted on April 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm

  • Ryan says:

    been home brewing for a while, and usually make a recipe similar to this one but with some of my own tweaks. The big change i make is that i use sriracha instead of bbq and always use toasted Ezekiel English muffins, topped with avocado, sun dried tomatoes , red onion, spinach and more sriracha

    Posted on January 13, 2016 at 3:34 pm

  • Made these last night, but with a bunch of lentils added, a little corn meal instead of bread crumbs, and a homemade bbq sauce of sorts. The lentil, quinoa, spent grain ratio was probably close to 1-1-1, which is a lot of spent grain, but I think it worked reasonably well- better than expectations (which were low...).
    Pretty good with a little Sierra Nevada stout and stoneground mustard (but anything is).

    Posted on June 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm