Hurray, It’s Meatless Monday! Easy and Healthy Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

by Jennifer A. Gardner, M.D. on July 08, 2013

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
Beans, beans they're good for your heart... but so is quinoa!

This recipe makes 4 or 5 generous burgers, but it can easily be doubled. This burger may not look like the all-American burger, but the taste is great, it's satisfying and very filling, a Meatless Monday trifecta!

Oh, and did we mention healthy? Yes, it's very healthy and low in fat and calories. What about fast and easy? Yes, that too!

What's quinoa, anyway?

Quinoa (keen-wah) is a nutrient dense South American ancient grain first cultivated by the Incas. It's origins are in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, and Peru. This grain is always unrefined, making it a whole grain that is low fat and gluten free. Like all whole grains, it is a great source of fiber, protein, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it one of only two plant sources that are a complete protein (soybeans are the other). Another benefit of quinoa is that it is a quick cooking grain that even tells you when it is done; all the water is absorbed and little spirals can be seen in the pot. Any way you look at it, it is easy to see why quinoa has been deemed a "super food."

I like to serve these burgers with sweet potato fries (I make these homemade, but I often use Alexia brand frozen sweet potatoes when rushed!).

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Time: 25 minutes     Serves: 4 to 5


1 can black bean (15-18 ounce), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water (to cook quinoa)
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (I prefer panko)
1/4 cup finely minced or grated onions
1/4 cup red peppers, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (this gives flavor, not heat! If you want a touch of heat, increase to 1 teaspoon)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil


1. Rinse off quinoa in a colander (to remove a compound in quinoa that serves as a natural insect repellent, but has a bitter taste).

2. Bring water to a boil and add quinoa to the saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until tender and water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool slightly.

3. Roughly mash the beans in a large bowl.

4. Add quinoa, egg, onion, peppers, and garlic to the beans and mix well. Add the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper, and add to the bean mixture. Mix well (this is easiest with your hands) and form into 4 or 5 patties. Refrigerate, if possible, for 30 minutes.

5. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high and cook until browned and heated through. Cover with lid to heat through, if needed.

Add ins you might try:

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • cumin (1 1/2 teaspoons)

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