Smokey Quinoa & Bean Burgers

Just because you’re cutting back on red meat, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a burger. This quinoa and bean alternative is still packed with protein, so it’s sure to fill you up, without filling you out.

Smokey Quinoa & Bean Burgers


  • Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • In a small saucepan, bring ¾ cup water to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt, then stir in the quinoa.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all the water has absorbed and quinoa is tender, 12-14 minutes. Tip: Tilt the pan to make sure the water has absorbed, but do not stir.
  • Turn off the heat and let the quinoa steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • In a small skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Place quinoa, onion, pinto beans, cilantro, walnuts, cumin, ½ tsp salt and paprika in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl. With slightly moistened hands, form mixture into 4, ¾-inch-thick patties.
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal, or medium heat for gas.
  • Preheat grill grate for 10 minutes, then lightly oil it with canola oil.
  • Brush patties all over with olive oil and place on grill. Cover if using a gas grill.
  • Grill, carefully turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes total.
  • For the last minute of cooking, place a slice of cheese on each burger to melt.
  • Serve burgers on warmed corn tortillas with green chilies and other condiments, if desired.


¼ cup quinoa
Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 cup drained, canned pinto beans
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp smoked paprika
Canola oil, for grill grate
4 slices pepperjack cheese
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (4-oz). can mild sliced green chilies, drained
Salsa, guacamole and other condiments

4 servings

Health, June 2015