Smoky Quinoa-Bean Burgers

quinoa-bean-burger Photo: Marcus Nilsson; Styling: Robyn Glaser


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup drained canned pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Canola oil, for grill grate
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 4-oz. can mild sliced green chilies, drained
  • Sauce, guacamole, and ohter condiments, optional


1 Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt, then stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until water has absorbed and quinoa is tender, 12 to 14 minutes. (Tilt pan to make sure water has absorbed; do not stir.) Turn off heat and let quinoa steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2 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.

3 Place quinoa, onion, pinto beans, cilantro, walnuts, cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt and paprika in a food processor; pulse to combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl. With slightly moistened hands, form mixture into 4 3/4-inch-thick patties.

4 Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (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 and let melt. Serve burgers on warmed corn tortillas with green chilies and other condiments, if desired.

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  • Yield: Serves 4

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 405
Fat per serving: 21g
Saturated fat per serving: 6g
Cholesterol per serving: 30mg
Fiber per serving: 7g
Protein per serving: 16g
Carbohydrate per serving: 41g
Sodium per serving: 767mg
Iron per serving: 3mg
Calcium per serving: 300mg

Good to Know

This recipe can be customized to your taste. Swap beans if you prefer black or navy over pinto ones. Hate cilantro? Try making it with parsley instead.