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Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Tomatillo Guacamole


Serves 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 129

Quinoa gives these veggie burgers a fantastic “chew,” and of course packs plenty of protein. Tasty on an English muffin, they’re also delicious served sans bun.

For the burgers
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (white, red, or black), well rinsed
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 1 small fresh poblano chile, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup plain panko
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. mild pure chile powder, such as ancho
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 English muffins, toasted
For the guacamole
  • 1 large ripe Hass avocado, chopped
  • 1 medium tomatillo, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion whites
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh serrano chile; more to taste
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice; more to taste
Make the burgers

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the quinoa, cover, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the poblano, scallions, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Add the beans and quinoa, and pulse until the beans are chopped and the mixture is combined.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and gently stir in the cilantro, panko, egg, chile powder, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt. With wet hands, gently form six 1/2-inch-thick patties. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Make the guacamole

Mix the guacamole ingredients together, mashing lightly. Season to taste with salt and more lime juice. (The guacamole will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; press plastic wrap on its surface to keep it from browning.)

Cook the burgers

Heat the remaining 1/3 cup oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Cook half of the burgers until well browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil to keep warm, and repeat with the remaining burgers, adding more oil if necessary. Serve on English muffins with the guacamole.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 490, Fat (kcal): 25, Fat Calories (g): 220, Saturated Fat (g): 3.5, Protein (g): 13, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16, Carbohydrates (mg): 56, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3.5, Sodium (g): 610, Cholesterol (g): 30, Fiber (g): 8,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I loved them! I could substitute these for meat burgers any day. I would add a bit more spice, maybe jalapeño and more cumin and chili powder. I avoid gluten and used 1/3 cup of potato flakes instead of the pankc and it worked great! The patties held together and cooked up well with a crispy exterior and creamy interior. The guacamole was terrific and I did use more lime juice.

Tasted great, didn't hold together very well

Delicious! The burgers made mini would be a wonderful appetizer as well.

I made these and opted not to make the tomatillo guac, as I'm not a huge fan of guac. The burgers were very disappointing in flavor - hardly any noticeable flavor at all. They smelled AMAZING while cooking, but I had to add some avocado or salsa to them when eating because they just tasted dry and boring. I had no issues with preparation, and they stayed together well. (Although I was only able to yield about 4.5 normal-sized burgers, not 6.) I would definitely try this again, but I would recommend adding some more bold flavors from the onion and pepper, as they were hardly noticeable, and probably some more seasoning. (Had I not cooked them myself or seen them in the burgers while eating, I would not have guessed there was anything but black beans and quinoa.)

Got raves! I only did not give it 5 starts because it fell apart.

These burgers blew me away!! Packed full of flavor! The crispiness on the outer layer gives great contrast to the creaminess in the center. I could have eaten all of them. I was running out of time, so made a fake guacamole with chopped avocado, salsa, cilantro and a little lime. Plated the cakes with guacamole and sour cream on the side. No bun needed! Hubby can't do peppers, and was still incredible. Thank you!

We made these burgers last week. They are the best. Even though burger does not have lots of spices, they are very flavorful. My kids loved them. Serving them on an english muffin is a great idea. I did not have tomatillo, so I made regular guacamole.

Yum-- even the kid liked them!

This was a super delicious burger! I didn't have tomatillo's so I used tomatoes instead. The burger didn't hold together great when bitten into so have a fork handy! The only thing that I would do differently is make the burgers in the early afternoon since they can sit in the fridge for upto 4 hours. Would make a great make-ahead meal.

These were delicious and filling! I made them without the buns and used them as a side dish. Absolutely a must if you're looking for new ways to get creative tasty meals for the whole family.

These were very good. I had no problems with the texture- my burgers didn't fall apart after 30 mins in the fridge. I drained the quinoa before using it, since I still had liquid in the pot and it was cooked. They are the best black bean burgers that we've made at home; we'll make them again.

The guacamole was wonderful and the entire dish had a great flavor. Needed to allow more time to sit in the fridge - I only allowed for the minimum amount of 1/2 hr and the burgers fell apart. Still, a very good meal!

Very good burgers and great guacamole. Didn't have poblano, so used two tomatillos in the burgers instead. Did not use olive oil in the burgers. They didn't need it. Used white quinoa. Had to reduce the amount of water used to cook the quinoa to 3/4 cup. Burgers held together well.

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