Southwest Bean Burger

After a season of pure indulgence during the holidays, I am craving food that is really satisfying but something that is not going to make me feel weighed down. Can comfort food this winter be healthy?  I believe it can. This veggie burger has so much southwest flavor that it is cravable and delicious too. If you are a person who has never tried a bean burger, behold, one of the most delicious bean burgers you may have ever made from scratch. For my vegetarian and vegan folks, you too will like this version. The texture of this burger is not overly chunky like some. If you are a person who likes to try meatless Mondays, please, indulge in this recipe and you won’t be disappointed.

Those of you who are trying out some of these ingredients for the first time, don’t sweat over it. A very great way to do this is to get yourself to the bulk section of a large grocery store. There you will find a lot of the ingredients you need and without buying a huge amount of food just for one recipe.

The great news about this burger: You are looking at a fat free and full flavor meal packed with essential nutrients like folate, fiber, copper, manganese, phosphorus, protein, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and iron. Can it get any better?  Possibly. You could add some avocado and that would include some Vitamin E and Vitamin C to your list. Instead of a wheat bread bun, I personally covered mine with a large green cabbage leaf and this adds a bit of iron and zinc which are so good for fighting winter colds and helping the body to maintain its temperature in harsh winter conditions.

For some of us who have not had it before, nutritional yeast is a vegetarian food with a delicious cheesy flavor and tons of nutritional benefits like B vitamins. It provides 8 grams of protein in every serving. Yes, please try this and include it into this bean burger. You won’t regret it. The recipe only calls for 1 Tablespoon. This is why I recommend getting about ¼ to ½ cup at your local bulk foods section if you don’t want to buy a big bag of the stuff. (Although once you try it, you will want to buy the bigger bag!)

I typically have lentils on hand. Make sure you get split lentils. For this recipe you can use any color really.  I used red or pink because I had them in my pantry. Also, for the rice and quinoa mixture, minute rice makes two really good varieties. One of them you can cook for literally a minute in the microwave and the second option cooks in hot water in about 5-7 minutes.  I put all of the ingredients together in a matter of about 10 minutes and the burgers bake or grill for about 20-25 minutes. So just over half an hour to have a hearty and delicious meal.

 Another note about this recipe is that you can double it and freeze extra batter by just cooking what you need. Another option is to cook all of the batter and freeze the cooked burgers. They are easily reheated in the oven when you’re ready to have dinner.

One last ingredient note is regarding brown rice flour. I wanted a gluten free burger and brown rice flour is a great option for this. Brown rice flour blends into the mixture so well helping with binding the ingredients together and more importantly preventing separation of the ingredients. Also, big surprise here…it’s typically found again in the bulk food section of most large grocery stores so you only have to buy what you need.

Since I made this recipe first for children, I make the burgers small enough to fit on a child size slider bun. (Think of the size of a King’s Hawaiian Roll) The recipe as its written will make 7 to 10 child size burgers and about 4 to 6 larger adult sized patties.




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Southwest Bean Burger

A flavorful lowfat bean burger pattie with southwest spices. 

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Chef Julie Chef Julie


  • 10 oz chili flavored pinto beans
  • 7 oz black beans
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 each medium egg beaten
  • 2 oz canned mushrooms
  • 1 Tblsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 oz creamed corn this is best with creamed corn
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup cooked split lentils
  • 2 cups brown rice and quinoa mixture cooked
  • 6 each bread rolls or lettuce leaves You can wrap in lettuce or cabbage leaf.
  • 1/4 each sliced avocado optional


  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or baking paper and spray with pan spray. 

  2. Into a food processer, add the pinto beans, black beans, brown rice flour, beaten egg, nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, mushrooms, garlic, corn and lemon juice. Process this to a pretty fine texture. Pour this mixture into a large bowl. 

  3. Into the large bowl with the bean mixture, add parsley and the rest of the ingredients and stir with a large spoon or spatula to fully incorporate all of the spices, rice and lentils. 

  4. After the mixture is combine, scoop on baking sheet making bean burger patties  about the size of the bread you want to use. I judge by the people I'm serving. For children, I make the patties about half the size of my palm. 

  5. Bake the patties for 25 minutes in a preheated 425-degree oven. When you put the patty in the oven, it may seem kind of wet. As long as it's not runny, you're good. If you feel like they are a bit wet, you can add an additional 1/4 cup of brown rice flour. You will see the difference in the burger after they are cooked. You can also grill the burgers on a 400-degree outdoor grill. Flip the burgers very minimally and use plenty of pan spray to keep the burgers from sticking. When grilling, keep them away from the flame of the grill fire if possible. 

  6. After the burger is cooked, let the burger rest for 5 minutes and then using a flat spatula, scoop it onto your favorite burger bun or lettuce leaf. Add optional toppings like avocado or lemon aioli. Enjoy! 

The image in this recipe along with the recipe itself is the property of Chef Julie McMahan and Please do not reproduce with out permission.

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