Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

quinoa black bean burgers

With 12 days to go until Christmas, there’s no sign of the treat train letting up. It’s one of the benefits to working from home,  no break room donuts or cookies or cake to tempt you. Of course, when you yourself go to See’s Candy to pick up a few pieces, because it’s Christmastime and it’s not Christmastime without a Dark Chocolate Bordeaux, well, what can you do?  One thing you can do is make a batch of quinoa black bean burgers.

Before you roll your eyes, yes, quinoa. And oh god, is it served on top of kale? Could this be more foodie hipster clichè? I debated whether or not to do this post — does the world need another quinoa black bean burger? Look, at least I didn’t serve it in a bowl with some mashed avocado. This isn’t food meant to impress or communicate my world view. It’s what I sat down and ate for lunch two days ago. All that matters is it’s delicious. And satisfying. And high-protein. And clean. And how many did cookies did you eat in the break room today? Mmm-hmm. Ok, then.

Adapted from, I’ve made a few tweaks to double the recipe to eight patties. Chickpeas have also been added into the mix to help the patties stick together a bit better.

This is the kind of recipe you can make ahead and take with you to the office. Add a slice of cheese to your Tupperware and warm it up in the microwave.  If you eat six cookies and two mini-Twix afterward, well that’s on you. Enjoy.

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 patties


  • 1 c. red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 c. water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 1 t. salt
  • a few cracks of black pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese (optional)



In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa, water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until quinoa has absorbed the water. Fluff with a fork and pour it out onto a sheet pan to cool.


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the carrots until finely chopped. Add the garlic, green onions and beans and pulse a few times to get the mixture to start breaking down. Add the eggs, bread crumbs, cumin, salt and pepper and pulse another 4-5 times until the beans are broken up. The mixture may be a little bit pasty, especially on the bottom of the bowl, but bean pieces should still be recognizable. It shouldn't be gloppy.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa with the bean mixture. Form into 8 patties and press them together firmly. An English muffin ring comes in handy for forming them, but you can also just do it by hand. Refrigerate the patties for about 30 minutes to allow them to firm up.


Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Make sure the pan is hot before laying 4 patties in the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes per side. The quinoa should brown and crisp up. If topping the burgers with cheddar, put a slice on each patty in the last two minutes of cooking and cover to speed up the melting.


Serve over a mix of lacinato kale and arugula drizzled with lemon juice, if desired.

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