Black Bean Burgers with Quinoa and Lime

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

After a road trip to Nashville over Easter weekend where we feasted on everything from lemon buttermilk ice cream, to Huevos Rancheros, to burgers, truffle fries and Lamb Biryani, it felt good to get into a groove of some simpler eating this week. I've been throwing kale into breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've avoided the temptation of baking a rich dessert. (The cookies yesterday don't count.) And I've been working out every day. (Gasp!)

Today I peaked into the pantry for some inspiration and decided on black bean burgers for a healthy lunch. I experimented with various ingredients and came up with a tasty version using quinoa. While it would be great on a toasted bun, I opted to go with less calories by serving it on lettuce, topped with whole grain mustard, cheese, a slice of avocado and a pile of caramelized onions.  Certainly you can get creative with this and add toppings of your choice.  I hope you enjoy the recipe! And don't skip the lime juice. It packs a ton of flavor!

Black Bean Burger with Quinoa and Lime 

Black Bean Burgers with Quinoa and Lime

(Serves 5)

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and well-drained
3/4 cup cooked quinoa*
1 cup bread crumbs
1 fire-roasted canned red pepper, chopped (or 1/2 cup finely chopped raw red pepper)
1/4 cup thinly sliced and chopped red onion
1 large clove garlic, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon Harissa
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup feta cheese
The juice of 1 - 2 limes for garnish

1.  Bring 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa and 1/2 cup water (*this will equal 3/4 cup cooked) to boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes until quinoa spiralizes and is tender. Spoon quinoa into a strainer set over a bowl to get rid of any excess water.

2. In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork. Add all other ingredients and mix gently with your hands.

3.  Form five patties and fry in a hot skillet for about 3 minutes per side.  Be careful when flipping the burgers. They will be a bit fragile.

4.  To serve, place on a bun or lettuce leaf and drizzle freshly-squeezed lime juice over each patty. Add toppings of your choice. I added cheese, whole grain mustard, a pickled relish, avocado and caramelized onions.


  1. These look delicious! I have two questions please. Can I cook the beans just a little bit because I find them sort of on the hard side, or will they soften enough when cooking? And is there a substitute for quinoa because I'm not sure how easy that will be to find in Italy. Thanks Naomi!

    1. Good afternoon! I used canned beans that have already been cooked. If you are using dry beans, then yes they need to be cooked first before you use them in this recipe. As for a substitute for quinoa, do you have access to couscous? Or perhaps rice? Those would be my suggested substitutions. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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