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So you’ve decided to give pinto bean burgers a try? Wonderful! These are a great way to expand your horizons and bring everyone together at the dinner table.
If you’re new to veganism, you might be asking, “What even is a pinto bean burger?” A burger like this is essentially the gateway to vegan eating and could begin to open up your eating world. But that’s not the only reason you should try whipping these up at your next cookout.
Why You Should Try Pinto Bean Burgers
Like lots of vegan foods out there, there are numerous health benefits to eating food made with natural ingredients. These burgers give you roughly 29 percent of your daily protein, 47 percent of your daily fiber, and about 300 calories. But what about the beans themselves?
While we’re on the topic of the star ingredient in pinto bean burgers, let’s learn a little bit more about them, and why they’re so important — especially in a vegan diet. This information is essential if you’re new to veganism, or you’re introducing a friend to the lifestyle.
Why beans are a vegan’s best friend
Alongside seitan, tempeh, and tofu, beans are a good source of protein and a staple in many vegan meals. Not only do they have some great health benefits, but their flavors can be easily married to many other veggies!
For starters on health benefits, one cup of pinto beans alone gives you roughly 15 grams of protein and fiber. Another perk is that one of their number one health benefits is their ability to help lower cholesterol.
In addition to being tasty, they’re also easy to prepare, no matter the method. So if you’re just branching out, pinto bean burgers are a fantastic place to start. Let’s learn how.
The Main Event: Pinto Bean Burgers Recipe
The recipe we’re going to be following today is a slightly modified version. But really, all bean burger recipes are left with a special touch from each chef. That’s another great thing about this dish! You can make it your own.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. The items listed below are what you need for the bare basics. After assembling your basic mixture, which we’ll get into in a short while, try adding other ingredients for added flavor.
- 15 ounces of pinto beans
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup onion (or half an onion)
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
While you’re rummaging around in your kitchen, keep an eye out for little things here and there to give your pinto bean burgers a kick. A few good spices and herbs to add are pre-made grill seasonings, hot chili powder, cilantro, or garlic powder. Don’t be afraid to add your favorite spices and find your next favorite combo.
You can add veggies like diced mushrooms, extra onion, and even eggplant if you’d like. Our tip is to cook certain vegetables before adding them, as many have a high moisture content. Adding raw vegetables with a high moisture content will most likely leave you with a mushy burger.
Getting your gear in gear
This next thing you’re going to want to do is to make sure your kitchen is equipped to prep the basic mixture for your pinto bean burgers. After making sure your workspace is clean, you’re going to need the following equipment.
- A food processor or knife
- A potato masher or fork
- Some oven-safe cookware (for the oven method)
- A couple of bowls
- A strainer
- A skillet (for the stovetop method)
Once you have all your ingredients and gear set up and laid out, you’re ready to start on your pinto bean burgers. Time to put on your chef hat and grab some bowls.
Now get cookin’
First, take your garlic cloves and peel them, placing them in a food processor along with the onion. If you don’t have a food processor, don’t sweat it. Finely chop both the garlic and onion, setting it in a bowl to the side.
The next step is processing or finely chopping the almonds and sunflower seeds, and adding them to your garlic and onion mixture along with the olive oil and whatever spices you’ve chosen. Make sure your mixture is coarsely chopped and set to the side.
Next, drain and rinse your pinto beans, placing them in a separate bowl. Taking your potato masher or fork, you’ll want to mash them into a nice paste. Take your onion and spice mixture and
add it to the bean paste, mixing thoroughly. Now is a good time to taste test and adjust flavoring as necessary.
Now you want to mix in your breadcrumbs, continuing tasting as you go to make sure your flavors are just right for you. Once your mixture has the flavor you want, you’re ready to shape the patties for your pinto bean burgers!
After washing your hands, reach into the bowl and shape them into patties. You can make these whatever size you want, but a good size to stick with is a patty about the size of the palm of your hand. Then place them aside while you prepare your cooking method.
Now that you’ve put your patties together, you want to decide how you want your pinto bean burgers cooked. You can grill, bake, or cook them in a skillet. For this particular variation of this recipe, we’re going to teach you how to bake them in the oven first, finishing with the skillet method.
You’ll want your oven to be at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll want to cover your oven-safe pan in non-stick spray. Place your patties in the pan and bake them for 15 minutes, flip them, and then bake for another 15 minutes.
If you’re cooking your pinto bean burgers on a grill, you’ll want to grill them for about six to eight minutes on each side, depending on the heat of the grill.
For the skillet method, coat the bottom of your skillet in a thin layer of oil, and place your patties inside. You’ll want the stovetop at medium-high, cooking each side for four minutes.
But I want it now
Hold on, Veruca Salt, before you take them out of the oven or off the grill, you have to make sure your pinto bean burgers are finished. There are lots of different ways to make veggie burgers, meaning there are different ways to tell whether your patties are cooked completely.
For the oven, a surefire way, and a safe way if you used fresh, organic veggies, is to use a cooking thermometer. You want their core temperature to reach a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another way to tell is to look for a golden brown color on the patties. This goes for the skillet, too. Once they’re golden, you’re golden.
For the grill, you want nice marks on both sides of the patties. Thankfully, this method is simple. You should finish them up on the grill pretty quickly.
All Dressed up and Nowhere to Go
Now that your pinto bean burgers are cooked, it’s time for the finishing touches. You can add just about anything you want to your burgers. For instance, bean sprouts, vegan mayo, and tomato all go well together.
Another fun way to add some toppings is to add a vegetable that you used in the main mix on top. For example, if you used diced mushrooms, you can add an avocado salsa spread on the bottom and sautéed mushrooms on top.
If you’d added some heat to your burgers with something like hot chili powder, you could top it with jalapeño and vegan ranch. the possibilities are nearly endless!
Things to keep in mind
Before you dress your pinto bean burger to the nines, try just a bit to check the texture. If it’s slightly dry, adding your favorite sauce, or even guacamole or hummus, could do wonders.
If it’s a slightly mushy texture, you might not want a whole lot of sauce on top. (Unless that’s how you roll, of course.) Try adding some veggies like spinach or lettuce to try and keep the patty together.
What You’ve Bean Waiting For
At last, you’re finished and you have your burgers. These babies are best served warm and go well with a nice side of vegan, gluten-free fries or vegan onion rings. But you can never really go wrong with a nice salad on the side.
These are also a great thing to freeze and heat up when you’re in need of a salad topping or a quick lunch.
You can reheat them by either microwaving them in 30-second intervals or placing them in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, checking every five minutes until warmed through. Be careful not to leave them in for too long, as they could dry out.
So there you have it. Now you’re free to experiment with any vegetables and flavor combinations you’d like and learn your preferences as you go. We hope you enjoy!
How did your pinto bean burgers turn out? What kinds of spices and veggies did you add? Tell us about it in the comments below!