Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Best Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers

Do you love where you live? If so tell me why. I'm in a funk because I love where we live but our little city is cursed with some fatal flaws (which rhyme with schools and jobs).  So how did you decide on where to call home? I'd love to know.

I've been making these burgers twice a month for five years. And I'm just sharing them now? Yup. A very similar version was posted way back when so I was worried they'd be too repetitive but I've realized if we eat them so much you should be too.

Dylan loves these. He smashes handfuls of the crumbled burger into his mouth then whisper-grunts "mmmooorre...". I doubt many kids can resist a sesame seeded bun and squirt of ketchup.

Best Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers
makes 4

2 cups or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dry
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (sub corn meal for gluten-free)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
pinch salt 

1. In a small sauce pan, toast the quinoa in olive oil for a few minutes. Add a cup of water and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).

2. Put the black beans, cooked quinoa, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste into a mixing bowl. Mix everything together with your hands until it's evenly mixed. Really go after it and squish the mixture between your fingers, mashing the beans up. You want it to hold together well.
3. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Divide the burger mixture into four equal pieces. I like to trace a line with my hand before forming patties. Use your hands to build the burgers.

4. Pour a layer of olive oil into the pan. Cook the patties (be careful not to overcrowd the pan) for 5 minutes on each side, until they are a deep brown. While the burgers cook, mix honey mustard together.

5. Toast the buns, slather them with honey mustard, and assemble the burgers with avocado, tomato, arugula, cilantro, a fried egg, or whatever else catches your eye!

I served the burgers with simple roasted cauliflower. 

Pre-heat oven to 425 and toss little florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-ish minutes, until golden around the edges.  


  1. I'm new here and found your blog through a pin, but I'm also from RI! We live in Cranston.

    These burgers sound delicious! I'm putting them on my menu for next week.

  2. these sound delicious! i will definitely be giving them a try ;)

  3. These sound wonderful - will definitely be doing these - and I have some cauliflower to roast as well. We live in Tucson, AZ where it's beautiful and sunny 350 days a year. We chose this over Buffalo, NY when we retired!

  4. I found your blog on Twitter, I love this recipe - looks amazing - I want to try it soon! I live in Peru and LOVE the Earth the Sacred Mountains the high Altitude (3000m)the pure crisp air and the most divine natural and organic produce. From many places I have traveled I have not yet found a place in the world where food tastes better. Schools and jobs not so predominant here as it is a developing country, the folk are simple and loving and open hearted.

  5. I love quinoa and am always looking for new ways to use it! Thanks for this great recipe.

  6. I love your blog and that intro question to this post is one I definitely want to return to...off to providence though for Rachel Cole's Well-fed Woman Workshop...I sure would like to be able to figure out how to get some sites bookmarked...still learning my iPad!

  7. Sarah, oh Sarah these look amazing! I love having a healthy staple that everyone loves to make once a week or so! It sure makes cooking (& keeping everyone happy) so much easier...
    as for the 'love where you live'. that's been a journey... my hubby Chris & I have been searching for a while to find 'the' place where we were willing to do whatever it takes to say & make a wonderful life for our family. After trying 3 major Canadian cities & Costa Rica with our boys, we have just recently (Feb1~2012) moved to the small Island off the Coast of Vancouver B.C. (Salt Spring Island). So far so good, we're renting a duplex type house so it's not our dream house yet, but hopefully our dream island... baby steps right?
    Thanks again for the recipe, we love Vegan Burgers, & now I can surprise my family with homemade ones!!!

  8. I just made these burgers and the roasted cauliflower for myself and my mom. She LOVED them (I did too, but she really, really loved them). One question - mine were a little loose. What would you recommend adding to hold them together better? More tomato paste? I kept it gluten free with the cornmeal, so maybe that was a result? They were still delicious. Tomorrow night is sweet potato tacos.

  9. I am new to your blog but love your healthy and inspiring dishes. Can't wait to try these burgers!
    We live in Santa Barbara California, most of the schools are incredible, the jobs are so so (but whose town isn't right now?!)the housing prices are out of control, but we also have a neighboring community that has just as much to offer, better home prices and job offerings.We are beach people so we overlook the high prices for the beauty of where we live! Good luck!

  10. Just made these with red quinoa which seemed to take a bit longer to cook. I actually added all the spices in while it was cooking. Delish! Makes up for mud season here in Vermont.

  11. What a wonderful recipe! I'm from Victoria, Australia. It's a very easy place to live, but we are so far away from everywhere else! I chose to stay in my hometown- a provincial city of 100,000 ppl simply because I am a contented person at heart and I cannot bear to be apart from my family. Sometimes it's good to rise to the challenge of finding as many good things as you can about a place and embrace them wholeheartedly.

  12. I am making these as I type. Never had quinoa, lived with a girl who had it lots but never shared. Very excited. Will report back after dinner!
    Christina in Scotland (found you through a pin on Pinterest)

  13. Made these last night... SO GOOD. Could not stop licking it off my fingers.

  14. I made these tonight, but didn't pay close attention to the proportions and they fell apart. But they tasted DELICIOUS, and next time I'll be a more attentive chef ;)

    1. I've made these about 10 times since I first commented - they are perfect. YUM.

  15. I'd bought a bag of quinoa out of curiosity then had to surf the net looking for recipes. These were DELICIOUS and the whole family loved them! And they are surprisingly Weight Watcher friendly. (I don't do points plus; the old system works fine.)

    My son is allergic to eggs I used Ener-G egg substitute to hold them together and baked them in the oven. They were pretty firm.

    Wonderful! Sarah Beth from Ohio

  16. These burgers are amazing!! I made them last night with some of my girlfriends and we all really thought they had a great consistency and flavor, plus they are healthy. I baked mine instead of drying and they came out great. I will definitely be making these again. Thank you so much!

  17. I love the intro to your post! My fiancé and I ask ourselves this question frequently. I live in RI. I noticed a few other posters here are too. I want to be somewhere warmer and a place that has more vegetarian/vegan and juicing places to eat. Anyway.... I am making these burgers tonight. Can't wait!
    Thank you :)

  18. I have had this recipe bookmarked for ages and finally made them tonight. They were wonderful!!

  19. This has become one of our family's favorite quick dinners. My 3 sisters-in-law also make it all the time now for their families. Thanks for the great idea :)

  20. Made these this morning and they were great. I added some chili paste, coriander and diced chili pepper. Also instead of bread crumbs I added ground pumpkin, sunflower and Chia seed. Really like your site and look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  21. These are fantastic! The honey mustard really complements them very well.

  22. I also tried these today with kidney beans because I was out of black beans and I might actually like them a little bit better. Of course I love kidney so that's not a stretch. Thanks for recipe.

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