Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Even carnivorous types crave a well-made vegetarian burger from time to time. I love the combination of quinoa, a protein-rich grain related to amaranth, spinach that is cultivated by small farms in the Andes, and black beans. If desired, you can transform this into a vegan burger by employing an egg substitute and vegan cheese.


  • One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use, plus more for your hands
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 1/2 poblano or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon merquén or smoked paprika
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko or other dry bread crumbs, or more as needed
  • 1/3 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup drained feta, crumbled

For serving:

  • Your favorite burger buns, preferably toasted, and condiments


Step 1

Line a rimmed sheet pan with paper towels. Spread the beans out on the prepared sheet pan to dry for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and mash roughly, leaving some beans whole. In the meantime, bring the broth and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat, and simmer the quinoa until it’s tender and the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add to the beans.

Step 2

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, the mushrooms, poblano, and onion; sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and the pepper and onion have softened; add the garlic, cumin, and merquén and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Add to the black bean/quinoa mixture. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the panko, cashews, egg, and feta. If the mixture is too dry to shape into patties, add broth or water a tablespoon at a time. If too wet, add more panko.

Step 3

Rub a bit of olive oil on your hands, then shape the black bean/quinoa mixture into patties. (Each will require about 1/2 cup of the mixture, but you’ll want your burgers to be as large in diameter as your buns.) Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Fry the burgers, flipping once, until they are heated through and have developed nice caramelization on each side. Serve on buns with your choice of condiments.

Serves 4 to 5