Arborio Veggie Burger with Spicy Vanilla BBQ Sauce

Updated On: Feb 19, 2024

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Arborio Veggie Burger with Spicy Vanilla BBQ Sauce. Imagine for a second that you make a burger with risotto rice (arborio), quinoa, chopped mushrooms, chiles, green bell pepper, spices, and panko crumbs. It’s hearty, packed with flavor, and vegetarian! This burger gets even tastier when you smear a healthy spoonful of vanilla bbq sauce. The whole thing is beyond delicious.

Veggie Burger with Spicy Vanilla BBQ Sauce

A week ago you learned about my new group, Virtual Potluck , where 12 of the 20 bloggers chosen to participate in the Emeril’s One Pot Blogging Party decided to stick together after the party and create a new group called Virtual Potluck.  Since launching last week our emails have been busy with companies wanting to work with us.  One of the companies was Marx Foods  who sent each of us a box of goodies.

vegetarian burger made with quinoa

In the box was 2 packages of 3 each Madagascar Vanilla beans , 1 package of Italian Vialone Nano Rice  (Arborio type rice usually used for Risotto), 1 package of Lobster Mushrooms , 1 package of Matsutake Mushrooms, 1 package of Puya Chiles  and 1 hefty package of Japones Chiles .  Each of us got a little something different with the mushrooms and chiles, but everyone got the vanilla and nano rice.  If you pop over to Cookistry , you’ll see what the other Virtual Potluckers brought to the party with their box of tricks and you can also check out and enter their giveaways as well.  12 chances to win gourmet goodies?  Oh yeah!

I decided I wanted to use each component of the box and quickly came up with a veggie burger concept.  But what to do with the vanilla.  Spicy Vanilla BBQ sauce was born.  Ok, maybe Steven Raichlen , the KING of all things BBQ had already delivered that brain child, but I made it my own.

Back to the burgers.  I have 2 young kids, as you have probably read in past posts.  They are pretty amazing foodies, but there are a few things I need to sneak by them, like mushrooms.  So I figured veggie burgers would do the trick.  They both enjoyed the burgers very much….(sigh of relief).  The quinoa adds a nice flavor balance to the nano rice and the mushrooms give the burger a nice earthy flavor.  I didn’t miss the meat one bit!!

Veggie Burger with Spicy Vanilla BBQ Sauce

Arborio Veggie Burger with Spicy Vanilla BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings


  • 1 ½ cups arborio/nano rice cooked
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa cooked
  • 1 ½ cups dried mushrooms chopped (any variety – I used Lobster & Mastutake)
  • 2 puya chiles reconstituted with boiling water and chopped fine
  • ½ cup green pepper finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 hamburger buns of choice

Vanilla BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce like Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Hickory Liquid Smoke
  • ½ vanilla bean slip lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Using a device such as a George Foreman type indoor grill will not work for these burgers because of their moist consistency, they will be squished by the weight of the cooking plates.  Pan frying is best.


Calories: 805kcalCarbohydrates: 150gProtein: 21gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.05gSodium: 1266mgPotassium: 1279mgFiber: 9gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 1658IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 10mg
Tried this recipe? I’d love to see what you made!
Mention @farmgirlgourmet or tag #farmgirlgourmet !

Recipe By:

Heather is a recipe developer and content creator living in Vancouver, Washington. She started Farmgirl Gourmet in 2006, almost 20 years ago, as a way to share recipes with friends and family. Heather is also the co-founder of Spiceology , a unique spice company, which she started in 2013. She shares family friendly recipes for easy everyday meals with a gourmet twist.


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  1. Pingback: Pear and Bacon Quinoa Pizza - Giveaway Ended | Farmgirl Gourmet
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  3. moonsword says:

    I’m so glad I found this recipe! I love quinoa and I especially love burgers so this one is definitely a keeper. The sauce looks superdelicious and very versatile so I can’t wait to try it. Many thanks!

  4. How to Make Vanilla Extract says:

    Vanilla BBQ sauce, sounds delicious. Haven’t try it before.

  5. Andrew's Mom says:

    I love my meat – mostly chicken though…but I am also a huge fan of veggie burgers – good veggie burgers and this one looks fantastic.

  6. I’d make some vanilla sugar; it’s amazing in tea.

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  7. says:

    LOVE LOVE this! Have not seen aborio in anything mixes yet but it makes perfect sense with all the starch!

  8. Donna Currie says:

    Vanilla in barbecue sauce sounds like a great combo to me. Then again, I’m a bit of a vanilla fiend.

  9. Such a great recipe for veggie burgers!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would add the vanilla to your pumpkin latte mix! Stacie_b_davis

  11. I am just amazed at all that you do to create a fantastic meal for your family! Great job!

  12. Marx Foods says:

    We’ve never seen anyone use our vanilla beans in a barbecue sauce before, but we definitely like it. This whole meal looks so delicious…can we come over for dinner?

  13. I would make some vanilla whipped cream to go over my pumpkin pie.

  14. blazeremy says:

    Make a tincture: vanilla, cardamom & cocoa. Perfect for any bourbon or tequila drinks.

  15. I would make homemade vanilla extract!

  16. What a creative and delicious recipe! I too slip foods into recipes so my kids won’t notice! Great photo too, makes me want to take a bite!

  17. Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl says:

    Spicy Vanilla BBQ sauce…that is a new one to me! What an amazing box you received. Jealous! But you well deserve it with your awesome recipes & pics.

    I love veggie burgers. Can you please send some my way??? 😉

  18. Jay D. Ducote says:

    I’m a beef eater, but even I would eat that burger!

  19. I am with Barb on this one – love vanilla and BBQ sauce!! Intriguing combination for a veggie burger – have bookmarked to try!!

  20. diabeticFoodie says:

    That is one good-looking burger! Sauce sounds amazing too.

  21. That is definitely an interesting sauce. I love vanilla.

  22. Don’t know what sounds better, the veggie burger or the sauce – but together they sound amazing! Gorgeous and so creative! And vanilla for me means panna cotta or pastry cream although I do have a recipe for a Curried Lamb Stew with vanilla.

  23. Susan in the Boonies says:

    I’d make vanilla sugar.
    Would NEVER have thought to put it in a BBQ sauce!

  24. The Food Hunter says:

    Your photo looks awesome. We BBQ a lot so I know I’ll try this sauce soon.

  25. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    Vanilla BBQ sauce is intriguing. I love vanilla and I love BBQ; why not together huh? Burger looks fabulous!

  26. Rachel Blom says:

    I’d make homemade vanilla extract.

    [email protected]

  27. I’ve heard lots of good things about Marx Foods, and your package of goodies looks amazing. And what you did with it is so brilliant!

  28. Javamama75 says:

    I would make Kahlua. 😉

  29. Wanna Be A Country Cleaver says:

    Ooo vanilla beans – I would divvy them up and make some homemade vanilla extract and with the other ones I would make my grandma’s Christmas Volcano cookies with a vanilla custard filling. ~Megan Pence @ Country Cleaver

  30. Amanda Thompson says:

    I would use the vanilla beans to make Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, to serve along with different pies this Holiday season!


  31. Ley Willis says:

    I would make THIS sauce to put on THESE burgers… this sounds delicious… just have to substitue something in for the mushrooms… tofu?

  32. Nelly Rodriguez says:

    Vanilla BBQ sauce. I can die happy. That sauce would be amazing on TURKEY!!!

  33. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray says:

    I’ll have to save this recipe for a night when hubs is gone, but they look amazing to me!

  34. Ooh, that BBQ sauce sounds out of this world! Gorgeous photos too!

  35. groovyfoody says:

    I am going to try your vanilla BBQ sauce on chicken legs this week — sounds divine!

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