Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add some nonstick spray or add a bit of olive oil. When hot, add the onion and slowly sauté, seasoning with a pinch each salt and pepper.
When the onions are soft – about 5 minutes – turn up the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms and onions are slightly browned and fragrant – about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add beans and mash. You’re looking for a rough mash, not to turn it into a paste, so you can leave some whole or halved if you want. Taste and add another pinch of salt, or pepper if needed.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the quinoa, chili powder or cumin and stir. Lastly, add the walnuts a little at a time until the mixture is thick and malleable enough to form into patties. Pop in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.
Once chilled, form into small patties. I love using a peanut butter jar lid lined with plastic wrap to get the perfect, mess-free shape (a tip I learned from Iowa Girl Eats). See photo.
Arrange on the baking sheet and brush or spray the tops with olive oil and another pinch of black pepper and any leftover crushed walnuts (optional). Bake for a total of 40-45 minutes, flipping around the 20-minute mark. Cook longer to dry them out even more and achieve more crisp, but it’s not necessary. For a quicker option, form into thinner patties (1/4 inch) and brown in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat lightly coated with olive oil. Cook until brown on both sides – 3-4 minutes on each side. However, this version doesn’t get them as well done in the middle.
Serve on small buns or atop mixed greens with desired toppings.
If you don’t want to cook the whole batch at once, form into 10 thicker patties (as original recipe is written), par-bake them at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Then cool and stack between layers of parchment paper and cover. Freeze for up to a few weeks. To cook, bake as instructed until desired texture/color is reached.
Makes ~10 medium baked patties or ~16 thin sautéed patties (as original recipe is written)
*Inspiration gleaned from the talented Love and Lemons *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without toppings.