Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Yogurt Sauce

By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.

I’ve only made quinoa black bean burgers once before and while they were quite delicious then, but they’re even better now that I’ve with some slight alterations and dilligent research. I had forgotten about them altogether until I happened upon Bev Cooks’ recipe for chicken quinoa burgers while noodling around on the BTR Pinterest page.

After thoroughly reading her recipe (and drooling somewhat uncontrollably) I decided to try again, this time using some of Bev’s tips mixed with my own experience.

Makes 4 burgers. Prep time 30-45 mins.

What you’ll need:
1 can black beans
1/4 cup quinoa
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup cilantro
Dash ground pepper
Dash garlic powder
1/3 cup feta

Begin by cooking the quinoa in a small saucepan. This step takes the most time and you won’t want to be waiting around for it to finish cooking. While the quinoa is cooking, rinse and drain the black beans. Then, put the black beans in a medium-sized bowl and mash them until they are mostly mashed, but not puréed. Add in the spices, the cilantro, and the cheese. Mix with a fork. Add in the cooked quinoa and mix again.

Place a piece of wax paper on a large plate and lightly dust it with breadcrumbs. Then, form patties out of the mixture with your hands (about a handful should make sizeable burgers) and place each patty on the wax paper. Once all of the mixture is used, sprinkle another light later of breadcrumbs over the burgers.

Drop a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into a large frying pan and cook the patties. If the pan is large enough, all four patties should fit and you’ll be able to cook them all at once. Since the quinoa is already cooked, this step won’t take too long. Cook until brown on both sides.

While the burgers are cooking, take out a food processor for the avocado yogurt sauce. I wish I could say this sauce recipe is my own, but I owe it all to Bev for this mouthful of heaven.

What you’ll need:
Juice from 1 lime
3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1/2 large avocado
1/4 cup cilantro

This part is pretty simple and will absolutely take the burgers to the next level. In the food processor, blend juice from one lime, 3 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, half of a large avocado, and a quarter cup of cilantro. Blend until smooth then spoon it into a small bowl.

Bev calls for a whole avocado and a half cup of cilantro, but I’m a little skittish around cilantro. Too much of it can really ruin a dish for me. I also found that using just half of an avocado still made plenty of sauce for four burgers with a ton left over.

When the burgers are done, spoon a dollop of sauce onto each one. I’d suggest eating this in a tortilla, though it can be a bit messy. It’s so flavorful, filling, and delicious, you can also eat it with a fork and no breading.

If I hadn’t been cooking for a friend who is sensitive to spicy foods, I also would have added some dried chili peppers to either the burgers or the sauce. If you do this, let me know what it tastes like! I’ll probably try it next time, and believe me, there will be a next time with this one.

As for all that delicious leftover sauce, I plan to use it as vegetable dip and/or a spread on a grilled chicken sandwich. Enjoy!