Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

26 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2009

These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed (see Note)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2½ cups cooked pinto beans, well drained (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal, plus ⅓ cup for coating burgers
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • 6 tomato slices
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans, paprika and ground cumin and mash the beans to a smooth paste with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the quinoa, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. Form the bean mash into 6 patties. Coat them evenly with the remaining ⅓ cup cornmeal and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. To prepare guacamole: Mash avocado with a potato masher or fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons onion, garlic, cayenne and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 burgers until heated through and brown and crisp on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining 3 burgers with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato and the guacamole.
  • Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.
  • Ingredient Note: Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.
  • Tip: How to Cook a Pot of Beans
  • 1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours. 2. When you're ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1½ teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the li
  • Makes about 6 cups.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 414 calories; 15 g fat(2 g sat); 15 g fiber; 60 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 199 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 980 IU vitamin A; 10 mg vitamin C; 103 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 528 mg sodium; 774 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (50% daily value), Iron (22% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 3½ starch, 1 lean meat, 2½ fat

Reviews 26

April 11, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Very Dry Husband found this recipe and read to soak beans over night, but the time for the recipe did not include the soaking or cooking. Made us delay the recipe one day. Then the avocado was no good, so we could not try the spice avocado portion. Still attempted to make the bean burgers, but they were so dry, they did not form coherent burgers. Cooking them they fell apart and were not tasty. No one liked them! Very disappointed. :( Pros: none Cons: timing is not accurate, very dry
August 07, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Non-vegetarians liked it I followed the recipe and they were very tasty. Instead of topping with guacamole, I used organic salsa and sour cream. The non-vegetarian at our table tried these and really liked them. I also made a quinoa mushroom burger and everyone preferred the Bean Burger. Pros: Tasty Cons: A lot of effort
August 07, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
A lot of work for an ok dish These were better the first day with lots of guacamole than warmed up, when they were super dry. They were good, but not worth the effort. I won't make them again. Pros: healthy Cons: time consuming & dry
February 16, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
This was a great recipe. My only problem with it was that it was very soft when bitten into and pressed. Overall though, the flavor was great and paired well with the guacamole. I would recommend following the recipe as is with spices and such. The only thing I changed was that I added just under 1/4 cup of water to the bean mix before I refrigerated it. I also refrigerated it for 45 minutes and it held together well. As a healthy-but still tasty!- side I baked fries in the oven so I had the whole hamburger and fries theme in a healthier and more wholesome way. Although it took some work, this is definitely a dish I'd cook again.
January 19, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Very yummy and we felt satisfied afterward I used pinto beans which I soaked with lemon in the water to pre-digest the bean's outer coating. Then cooked them and drained and rinsed them well. I did add a few more spices to the recipe - some chicken marsala, Spike, celery seed, and smoked salt. The corn was a bit crunchy, so I would leave them in the fridge longer next time just to allow the cornmeal to soften a bit. My husband is a big meat eater and thinks nothing's good unless it has meat in it. He had some meat ready to cook with this meal because he figured he'd still need protein, but he didn't end up cooking it and said he liked the burger. That in itself tells me these are a hearty and satisfying meal. I'll be making these again and again!
December 10, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Fun but some work I used dry beans which I am discovering are way tastier, healthier and so cheap. I like working in the kitchen so next time I want to make a big mess but get big smiles I'll do this again. Pros: The fresh Guacamole is prefect with the bean mix. Cons: I made mine too thick, but I am not sure they would have stuck together if I had made them thinner
July 12, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
If you like Smoked Paprika, you will like these If you like smoked paprika, you will like these burgers. I will make them another time, but will add more garlic, and use chili powder, cumin, and regular paprika for flavor. I used canned beans and did not add in the corn meal. I did not have a problem with them begin too dry. Pros: Very Healthy for you Cons: Smoked paprika is not for me.
July 12, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Smoked Paprika isn't for everyone Personally, I did not like the taste of the smoked paprika. If you like that flavor, then you will like these burgers. I added more garlic cloves and will use Chili Powder and Cumin next time, and maybe some regular Paprika. Pros: Very healthy
May 14, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Like it alot I make these about once a month and have not had the problems described about being dry or falling apart. If you don't wash the quinoa before cooking, it will affect the flavor. Once you add the beans to onions/garlic, turn off the heat. I do rinse the beans, but add in 1/4 c. water. I like the way these taste as the recipe is, but sometimes add a sprinkle of chipotle chili pepper too.
More Reviews