I love vegetarian burgers, but the ones I find frozen in the supermarket leave me lukewarm. You have to load those up with a lot of vegetables to disguise the taste! That’s why I love this recipe. The burgers themselves are tasty, and I can then use the vegetables to enhance their flavor rather than disguise it. If you like your burgers less spicy, use less red pepper sauce.
4 cups cooked and drained pinto beans or drained and rinsed canned pinto beans
3⁄4 cup fresh whole-grain bread crumbs
Up to 1 tablespoon bottled hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1⁄2 tablespoon Salsa Lizano or Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 whole-grain hamburger buns
1⁄2 cup Avocado Salsa or pico de gallo
4 small Romaine lettuce leaves
4 green bell pepper slices (optional)
4 thin red onion rings (optional)
Put the beans, bread crumbs, hot red pepper sauce, garlic, Salsa Lizano or Worcestershire sauce, cumin, and salt in a large bowl.
Use a potato masher to blend these ingredients into a smooth paste.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
Spray the grate of an outdoor gas grill with nonstick spray, cover, and heat to high.
Or spray a large grill pan with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat for a few minutes until hot.
Meanwhile, use clean, wet hands to form the bean mixture into four even patties, each about 5 inches in diameter and 1⁄2-inch thick.
Grill the patties until hot and a little crisp, about 6 minutes, turning once.
Place the patties on the bottom of the buns and top each with 2 tablespoons Avocado Salsa or pico de gallo, as well as the lettuce and the tops of those buns.
Garnish with pepper slices and onion rings as desired.
Tip: You can also make these burgers with a combination of pinto and black beans.
Tip: As long as you’ve got the grill or the grill pan hot, toast the buns cut side down for less than 1 minute, until marked and lightly browned.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More