Recipe: Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Dietitian at Nourish Northwest

With less than two weeks until my due date, I have the sudden urge to stockpile food. Maybe it’s the nesting instinct, or maybe I realize that after the flood of post-baby casseroles, I will be left to my own devices. I’ve always been really good at suggesting this to busy clients, but bad at implementing it myself. In fact, I made these delicious veggie burgers with a client last week and told her that these are the perfect make-ahead-and-freeze burgers. Time to take my own advice.

First, rinse and cook the quinoa. I like the mindless “pasta method”: Just boil quinoa in plenty of salted water for 15 minutes and drain.

No need to measure the water with the "pasta method."

When the quinoa is done, a little tail or Saturn ring will pop out and the center will no longer be opaque.

Cute little quinoa tail.

Chop up an onion, garlic, and some oil-packed sun dried tomatoes. Sauté until the onion is soft, then add half of the black beans, spices, and a cup of water.

Simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Add this mixture and half of the cooked quinoa to the food processor.

It's not pretty, but don't judge yet.

Mix together the rest of the black beans, quinoa and the pureed mixture. Cool.

This will become the patties.

Once the “dough” is cooled, drop them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. These are too sticky to form patties with your hands. They will firm up in the oven.

Saving for a casseroless day.

Put the patties in the oven and bake for 20 minutes on one side. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees, flip, and bake another 10 minutes.

Golden and very burger-like.

Top them with your favorite burger accessories. Yum!

Nothing wrong with a huge pile of roasted broccoli, either.

To freeze, layer them in a freezer container with sheets of parchment paper between each patty.

When the last bite of chicken and rice casserole is eaten, I know that I can pull one of these burgers out of the freezer (no need to thaw overnight!) and have a healthy start to dinner. While I have no idea what it’s like to juggle a newborn and cooking dinner, I do know that good nutrition is essential during breastfeeding. These burgers put my mind at ease knowing that they are an almost instantly available source of high quality protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.


Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

(Adapted from

Serves 6-8

½ cup quinoa

1/2 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

1 Tbs olive oil

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped

1½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt, to taste

6 whole-grain hamburger buns

1. Stir together quinoa and 1½ cups water in small saucepan, and season with salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. (You should have 1½ cups cooked quinoa.)

2. Meanwhile, place onion, olive oil, and sun-dried tomatoes in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in ¾ cup black beans, garlic, spices, and 1 cup water. Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

3. Transfer bean-onion mixture to food processor, add ¾ cup cooked quinoa, and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining ¾ cup quinoa and remaining ¾ cup black beans. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cool.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape bean mixture into 6-8 patties, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula. Turn oven up to 375°F bake 10 minutes, or until both sides are crisp and brown. Serve on buns.

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