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Quick & Easy Spinach and White Bean Burgers


Anything shaped in a patty has a homey feel to it, doesn’t it? A hamburger, Salisbury steak, mashed potato cakes, they’re either home food, or diner fare. And for the most part, they’re fast.  Mix this and that together, form a disk and fry it up in a hot pan. But the thing is, you don’t have to limit your notion of a patty to meat. You can sit down to a delicious dinner in 20-25 minutes if you’ve got a can of beans (and a reasonably stocked pantry).

This recipe germinated in my mind as a chicken meatball, but my pantry dictated. “Beans,” it said. “It will be Great Northern beans.” It’ll do that on a Wednesday when you don’t have time to go the market. And so, Spinach and White Bean Burgers.

columbus finocchiona|dailywaffle

The name sells it a bit short, I’ll give you that.  What gives these patties their flavor is some lovely, Columbus Finocchiona salame. Hot on the heels of their win at the Good Food Awards last week, Columbus sent me a sample and the rest is history. Finely diced and mixed with the beans and spinach, it imparts a mellow, meaty pork flavor and brings some needed fat to the equation.

Using meat as a flavoring rather than as the primary on the plate has been a great strategy for us as I’ve dialed up the beans and split peas in our diet. You don’t have to sacrifice taste in the name of nutrition, it’s a good thing, especially when it comes to split pea soup.

spinach and white bean patties|dailywaffle

Texturally, these burgers are on the softer side because of the sheer amount of spinach and the creaminess of the beans.  If you want a firmer patty, add another ¼ cup of  bread crumbs, but keep in mind, just like a crab cake, you don’t want to end up with more bread than beans.

And on the spinach, you really want it as dry as you can get it. A tip? Put the defrosted spinach in a clean dish towel and wring it out. Really give it a good squeeze. 

These burgers are so flavorful they don’t need a sauce. Throw together a salad and dinner is served.

 spinach and white bean patties | dailywaffle


Quick & Easy Spinach and White Bean Burgers

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 - 6 patties


  • 1 15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • ½ c. pile grated parmesan
  • ½ c. finocchiona salame, finely diced
  • ¼ c. fine bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t. fennel seeds, toasted and crushed between your fingers
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 T. olive oil



Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. It should start to slow down the machine.


Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Form into 4-6 patties, about ¾-inch thick. Gently place the patties into the pan and brown on both sides, about 4-6 minutes per side.




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  • Angie Johnson
    May 11, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I love your blog! How inspiring. You should have seen the photos I took of my black bean burgers… looked like turds! You sure know how to take some amazing pictures. Where in the Pacific NW are you? I’m in Portland.

    • Michelle
      May 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks, Angie! I’m up in Seattle. I know what you mean about black bean burgers…some foods are tough to pretty up! 🙂

  • Rebekah
    January 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    This looks amazing — so if I wanted to make this vegetarian, do you have any suggestions of something that could add a little kick to replace the salame?

    • Michelle
      January 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks! 🙂 If you’re gonna go veg w/ this one, I’d add more parmesan, another clove of garlic and up the herbs and spices. A little more fennel seed and red pepper flakes for sure. Or, a little oregano, maybe a little, very little, rosemary. Hope that helps!

  • Hana
    January 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    This looks like a great thing to make ahead of time and stick in the freezer for those lazy weeknight dinners!

  • Barnaby
    January 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Long time fan, first time caller. I’d be interested in that chicken meatball recipe. Difficulty factor: No cheese or soy.

    • Michelle
      January 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Barnes! Even if you omit the cheese, you could still do chicken, spinach, the salame, fennel seed, maybe add a little red pepper flakes and increase the salt just a touch. Almost a sausage in meatball form. I’d say try it, cook one little patty in a pan as a tester and see if the flavors are right.

      • Barnaby
        January 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

        I’m going to try chicken, cilantro, red/yellow pepper, and fennel, since that’s what I have in the house. Anyway, nice work on the blog, it’s great!

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