Chili Burgers

July/August 1993, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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A chili burger without the mess—beans, jalapeños and chili seasonings are mixed right into the ground beef. By bulking up the ground beef with mashed beans, not only do you reduce saturated fat, you increase fiber. Canned beans are fine here; just be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before using.

"I loved this recipe, however mine fell apart as well. I was serving it with coucous so it ended up being perfect on top of the cousous. If you wanted to make it a burger I think that an egg or some bread crumbs need to be added to keep...
Chili Burgers

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 12 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat Kaiser rolls, split and toasted
  • Tomato salsa, for garnish
  • Shredded lettuce, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until light golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño and cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes longer. (If the mixture becomes too dry, add 1 tablespoon water.) Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  2. Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Add beans to the onion mixture and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Add beef, tomato paste, cilantro, thyme, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly but lightly. Shape the mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties (see Tip).
  3. Grill or broil the patties on a lightly oiled rack until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Place on rolls and garnish with salsa and lettuce.

Tips & Notes

  • When forming burger patties, make them thinner at the center to prevent them from steaming as they cook.


Per serving: 377 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 53 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 7 g fiber; 705 mg sodium; 486 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (27% dv), Iron (20% dv), Folate (18% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

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