Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Creme

There’s no doubt most people love a good burger!  But there is no reason that burger needs to be made from beef or turkey all of the time.  This fabulous quinoa black bean burger is sure to please even your most skeptical veggie burger critics.  The black beans give them density, roasted corn and quinoa some texture, and the Southwestern-inspired spices round it out for a mouth-watering burger without the guilt.

I topped a leafy greens salad with the patties but you can just as easily put a few of them in between a bun (or serve on small buns as sliders) and top with your usual burger fixings.  The sweet potato wedges tasted fabulous alone, or dipped into the avocado-yogurt creme.  Enjoy this easy dish over and over my friends!

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Makes 8 mini burgers

½ c quinoa, rinsed

15-oz can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed

½ c frozen roasted corn kernels, thawed

1 roasted poblano pepper, chopped

½ c panko breadcrumbs

¼ c chopped fresh cilantro

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp powdered garlic

Sea salt, to taste

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Few drops Tabasco, to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil


1.  Rinse and drain the quinoa in a fine sieve.  Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan and add quinoa. Cover, cook on medium-low until quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 7-10 minutes.

Cooking the quinoa.

Cooking the quinoa.

2.  Immediately pour cooked quinoa onto a baking/cookie sheet.  Place in freezer for a few minutes to cool quickly, or if you have more time, in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Letting quinoa cool on cookie sheet.

Letting quinoa cool on cookie sheet.

3.  While quinoa is cooling, puree half the can of drained black beans in a mini food processor, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed to thin out.

Pureeing the black beans

Pureeing the black beans

4.  Place remaining black beans in a medium bowl.  Add the corn, poblano peppers, panko breadcrumbs, cilantro and spices.  Add 1/2 cup of the cooled quinoa, reserving the rest for another meal or dish.  Now add the pureed black beans.  Mix ingredients together.  Form 8 small patties (should fit in palm of hand, no larger) from the mixture and lay on a baking sheet.  Place in freezer for a few minutes or refrigerator for about 15 minutes to cool.  This allows the patties to “set” and makes them easier to pan fry.

Forming and chilling the patties.

Forming and chilling the patties.

5.  Once patties chilled, heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium.  Add patties and cook until crispy on each side.  Usually takes about 5 minutes per side, but keep an eye on it to prevent burning.  They should be cooked through and slightly crisp.

6.  Serve over a bed of leafy greens or between a bun and top with your favorite burger toppings and the avocado yogurt creme below.

Avocado Yogurt Creme

Makes about 1 – 1/2 cups

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1 large avocado

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Hot sauce, optional

Avocado yogurt creme

Avocado yogurt creme


1.  Spoon avocado from shell into a food processor.  Add yogurt and lemon juice and process until smooth.  Add cilantro and pulse a few more times.  Season with hot sauce and salt and pepper.  Serve over quinoa black bean burgers or use as a dip for tortilla chips.

Mixing the spices and oil with the sweet potato wedges.

Mixing the spices and oil with the sweet potato wedges.

Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 4

2 medium sweet potatoes, cleaned well

1 tsp cumin

1-2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 -1 tsp powdered garlic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Slice sweet potato into large 1/2-inch thick matchsticks.  Place in a ziplock bag.

3.  Add seasonings and olive oil to sweet potato wedges and seal bag.  Toss bag around to allow mixture to incorporate into the wedges.

4.  Place sweet potato wedges evenly onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.  Roast for about 20 minutes, or until wedges are slightly browned and fork tender.  Serve immediately.








Avocado Yogurt Crema

1 large ripe avocado

½ cup nonfat plain yogurt

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

salt, pepper

¼ cup chopped cilantro

few drops Tabasco, to taste


One Response to “Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Creme”
  1. Natalie says:

    Having been a guest in your home the night these were served, I would like to say that these were delicious, if you couldn’t tell by how many servings I helped myself to. Thanks, Melis. Hope to make these at home soon!

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