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Spicy Bean Burgers

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.


Spicy Bean Burgers Recipe


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
Nonstick spray
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.

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