Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pinto Bean Burgers

I adapted this recipe from another favorite cookbook of mine -- The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook.  This book has a great emphasis on whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.  What makes it stand out to me among the millions of health-oriented cookbooks is the's set up like the food pyramid!  It starts with vegetables and fruits, then moves up to whole grains, then beans and legumes, then seafood, then meat and poultry, and finally, desserts.  I enjoy this set-up as I find it helpful in planning meals centered around whole grains and vegetables, as opposed to meat.  We've tried a lot of the recipes in this book, and none of them has disappointed!  Not all of the recipes in this book are quick, however, they are often easily adapted to become quicker.  For example, the following bean burger recipe calls for dried beans.  If you don't have an hour or so to cook them, you could easily substitute 2 drained and rinsed cans of pinto beans.  It also calls for 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice.  I just made some quick-cooking brown rice, but now that it's becoming easier to buy frozen brown rice, that would be a great way to save a little time!  This burger is definitely worth's crispy on the outside, and packed with flavor from beans, rice, nuts, veggies, and cumin.  It's definitely better than anything from the box!  Top it with your favorites...lettuce, tomato, and a little cheddar cheese would be good.  I made a homemade chipotle ketchup, and the spicy, smokey flavor complimented the burger perfectly.

Pinto Bean Burgers
serves 6-7

1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans, soaked over night
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
6-7 whole grain buns (I actually just used sandwich thins)
your favorite burger toppings

1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the beans, bay leaf and 3 cups of water to boil.  Lower the heat, and cover partially, simmering for 60-70 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Drain them and throw-out the bay leaf.
2. In a skillet, heat 1/2 Tbsp canola oil.  Add the chopped yellow onion, and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the red bell pepper, and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook for another minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant.  Add in 1/4 tsp salt, stir.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. In a food processor, combine the drained beans, the onion and pepper mixture, the brown rice, the walnuts, the cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Pulse a few time, until the mixture is coarsely chopped (but not pureed).  Fold in the beaten egg and the bread crumbs. 
4. Form the mixture into patties, about 3/4 inch thick.  (This should yield 6-8 patties.)  Heat the remaining tablespoon canola oil in the same skillet used to cook the onions and bell peppers.  Cook the patties, turning once, until they are browned on each side.  This should take about 7-10 minutes, total.
5. Serve each burger on a bun or sandwich thin, topped with your favorite toppings!


  1. These look great, I bet my daughter would love them

  2. i really love pinto beans in burgers...they have a richness that other beans don't have!

  3. I like adding beans to turkey to make turkey burgers. It is not only healthier and more filling but also cheaper because you get more burgers!

  4. I really need to try this. It looks absolutely yummy! I love pinto bean :)

  5. I love the idea of organizing a cookbook according to the food pyramid...very cool concept. The pinto bean burgers sound SO tasty!