My children don’t care much for veggie burgers but I’ve learned that the simpler and milder they are, the more likely my kids will eat them. The black bean, mushroom and quinoa burgers did not go down well, for example. Hence these pinto bean burgers. They are as mild and as tasty as can be. They are thick and sturdy enough for a burger bun with all the fixings (lettuce, avocado, cheese, tomato, cucumber, chilies, etc). They are moist on the inside and pleasantly crisp on the outside. By all means add in some cumin, oregano, chili or anything else that sounds good. Or just make them exactly as I did because they are pretty great just as they are. Quick and easy counts for a lot on weeknights and if you make a big batch and freeze them, you can say goodbye to the frozen section of processed veggie burgers and their mile-long list of unpronounceable ingredients.
Quick and easy pinto bean burgers
makes 8 thick burgers
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2/3 cup almond meal (or other ground nut)
2/3 cup breadcrumbs or panko flakes
3/4 cup mild cheese such as monterey jack
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper
olive oil for frying
Jalapeño, garlic and lime mayo
1 thick garlic clove, crushed
1/2 fresh jalapeño with seeds
2 tbs mayo
2 tbs greek yogurt
1) Using a food processor will save a ton of time, so if you have one use it. Chop the onion and garlic into quarters and put them into the food processor. Pulse until they are minced and add to a mixing bowl.
2) Next add the pinto beans to the food processor and pulse until the beans are minced and crumbly. Don’t use a blender as the beans shouldn’t be blended to a smooth paste. A little texture is good. Add to the bowl.
3) Add the other ingredients and the salt and pepper to taste. I suggest a few grinds each of the salt and pepper mills as this is the only seasoning.
4) Mix until everything is combined to a stiff batter. Form into 8 patties. This stuff is soft and sticky but it holds together just fine. They can be patted into place on a cutting board and will keep their shape.
5) I used about 1/4 cup of olive oil for a large, heavy bottomed frying pan that could easily fry four or five patties at a time. Use less oil for a smaller frying pan. You need a spatula to scrape up the sticky patties and slide them into the hot oil. Cook on medium heat about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until brown and crispy.
6) Drain on a paper towel.
For the mayo:
Add the garlic and jalapeno to a mortar and pestle with a grind or two of salt. Pulverize and then scrape into a bowl. Add the mayo, greek yogurt and juice of 1/4 to 1/2 a lime. Taste as you go with the lime.