Recipes > Pinto Bean Quinoa Burgers

Pinto Bean Quinoa Burgers


Pinto beans, quinoa, smoked paprika, cumin, poblano peppers, cilantro are the main ingredients for these delicious cornmeal-crusted veggie burgers. These protein packed burgers are so good that even meat-eaters will love them too.
  • Serves: 8
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 26,149
  • Success Rating: 80% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Cooking the Beans

Cooking the Beans
  • 1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans (4 cups cooked)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried epazote (optional)


To cook the beans, soak them overnight and then drain. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Add the garlic, bay leaves and epazote and cook until done.

For more information, see the lesson called

Meanwhile, you can go ahead and cook the quinoa and prepare the poblano peppers.

Once the beans are done, drain and set aside.

Step 2: Cooking the Burger Mixture

Cooking the Burger Mixture
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water (or stock)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)


To start, place the quinoa and salt into a medium pot along with the water (or stock) and cook according to the package. Generally, quinoa takes about 15 minutes. Once done, set aside.

Meanwhile, roast the poblano peppers. This can either be done on the barbecue or under the broiler. Alternatively, the poblanos can be done right on a gas burner. Once the skin has charred and blistered on all sides, place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When the poblanos are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and remove the seeds. Then dice and set aside.

Next, dice the red onion and mince the garlic. Chop the cilantro and gather the spices, nutritional yeast and cornmeal.

To cook the burger mix, heat a large fry pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil, followed by the onions, as well as a good pinch of salt. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Next add the spices and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the cooked beans, stirring to combine and then turn off the heat.

Next, mash the beans until quite smooth. A potato masher or a pastry cutter work well for this. If you don’t have either of these, a fork will also work. If your fry pan is big enough, you can finish mixing the burgers right in the fry pan. If it isn’t, transfer the mixture to a large bowl before you continue. To finish, add the quinoa, poblano peppers, cilantro, nutritional yeast and cornmeal. Mix everything to combine.

Step 3: Forming and Cooking the Burgers

Forming and Cooking the Burgers
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (for coating)
  • 2-4 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil


Gently form the mixture into patties. This mix generally makes about eight 5-ounce burgers.

Next, place the cornmeal onto a plate and coat each patty with the cornmeal. Then, place onto a tray and refrigerate for about half an hour to chill them. This helps the burgers stay together during cooking.

To cook the burgers, heat the oil and fry the patties. You will likely need to do this in two batches. Let the first side cook until it is nice and golden. Try not to touch or move the burgers too much or they may start to fall apart. Flip and brown the other side. Add more oil to the pan as needed.

Once all of the burgers are done, serve with your favorite toppings.

Step 4: Serving the Burger

Serving the Burger


This burger pairs well with many topping. Most often, I serve them with Guacamole; however, Hummus or even Romesco Sauce would also go well.

The burger can also be topped with lettuce, sprouts, sliced cucumber and/or tomatoes.


  • Gary C
    Gary C
    I made this recipe tonight. It takes time if cooking everything from scratch, and unfortunately, although not entirely bland, it wasn't worth the energy you have to put in. They tasted OK, i'm a fairly able cook, but i won't be making again. I added an egg because the mix simply wouldn't have binded without. Too many steps and too little flavour for me.
  • Sharbani R
    Sharbani R
    I agree, these take a lot of effort, but you can (1) make them ahead and store them b/w wax paper in a tupperware in your freezer or (2) make it a fun project with kids! (My niece loved molding patties with me--and watching the food processor!) Below are a few quick alterations I made. Serving: I have made this recipe a few times, but ended up making the patties smaller (think slider size) and serving alone (no bun) with some (herbed or crushed coriander) cashew cream on top. I've also served them on individual lettuce leaves (e.g., romaine hearts.) Binding: I found that I needed to add slightly less quinoa and use coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil to get the best consistency. I also didn't have the poblano peppers in mine, which may also help with the "binding." Spicing: I also am a spice fiend, so I added in a tbsp of cayenne powder for my own personal preferences (but not when I'm making it with kids.)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Fantastic, Sharbani! I know we share a love for spices (and fiery food) so I think that you're spot on with regard to finding ways to bump up the flavor. I do like the poblano in mine, though. I like the mini-slider idea too, and they're probably easy to freeze and thaw in that size - for extra convenience. Cheers!
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    What can I use to substitute cornmeal in this recipe? In my cupboards I have : millet, flax seed, corn flour. Would one of these ingredients work? Thanks
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Corn flour. It's just corn meal that has been finely ground. ~Ken
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    Thanks for your answer, Ken! Sorry I didn't formulate my question properly. I know that corn flour and cornmeal are the same, but as the texture is different, will it impact on the final texture of my patties if I use cornflour instead of cornmeal? Basically, I would like to know why cornmeal is used in this recipe. This will help me to know how to substitute it. (If cornmeal is used for its binding properties, I might use flax seed instead, which I prefer to corn... I was also thinking of grinding some millet, which could do as a good substitute too, but I am not sure...)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    These sorts of small changes will have negligible impact on overall texture since it is just one ingredient among many. If you prefer another binder, then certainly you should always feel free to experiment with those and let us know what you find out. There are no hard "rules" here at Rouxbe... just cook what you like to eat. Enjoy!
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    Thanks for your encouragement Ken! As a beginner cook, I am often scared to substitute ingredients on a recipe, thinking that the result won't be as nice as it should be if I used all the ingredients listed on the recipe. But I guess that being a good cook, its also the capacity to adapt a recipe and experiment with confidence! I will try to be less rigid with the recipes from now on :)
  • Ines K
    Ines K
    I can't have any corn products. What can I use in place of the corn meal? Thanks
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Ines— I would suggest one of two things: 1- potato starch or 2- flaxseed meal. Replacing with the same amount. The corn meal is acting as a binding agent. Good luck with the burgers! Char

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.