Monday, October 24, 2011

Quinoa-Black Bean Burger

You might remember that I took a road trip to Nashville a couple of weeks ago.  There was one thing that we wanted after our eight hour drive…that was food.  Lindsay recommended that we try Burger Up in a hip little part of town. I am way understating it when I say her recommendation was: Top. Notch.

You guys know that I could fairly easily give up most forms of meat and be completely satisfied so it probably comes as no surprise that I chose the vegetarian burger on the menu.  I’m confident in telling you that this is the best burger that I’ve ever had.  The flavors were so vibrant.  It was so moist and had a perfect sear on the outside.  There was just a hint of something special too…cinnamon, maybe? I think so!  It was topped off with a cilantro-lime creme fraiche that was awesome.

All I’m saying is that this burger alone is worth the drive to Nashville.  If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, (pronounced kee-nwa) you should be.  I bought mine at Trader Joe’s but it’s available in most grocery stores.  Not only is it gluten-free, full of fiber and loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals, but it’s packed with protein.  And on that note, it’s what is considered a complete protein because it contains all essential amino acids.  (Essential amino acids: proteins that we must take in from our diets because our bodies do not produce them) I have eaten it in exchange for rice but it also works well as a substitute for oatmeal.  It proves to be a great addition to this vegetarian burger.

Cue mouthwatering…

PrintPrint Recipe

Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
Vegetable stock (amount as called for on the quinoa package)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and grated (or finely diced)
2 Tbs. onion, chopped
2 Tbs. ketchup
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup panko (more as needed for texture)
Olive oil (for pan frying)
Whole-wheat sandwich rolls or buns

Cilantro-Lime Aioli
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or creme fraiche, Greek yogurt, sour cream, etc.)
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. freshly chopped cilantro
Small pinch ground black pepper


Cook the quinoa according to package directions using stock in the place of water.

Sauté the onion and carrot in the olive oil until softened, about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, paprika, ground cumin, cinnamon, sea salt and cayenne together. Set aside.

Pour the black beans, onions and carrots into a large bowl. Using two forks or a pastry blender, smash the black beans to break them up as much as possible. (You can also use a food processor for this.) Add in the ketchup and spice mixture and mix until well blended.

Fold in the cooked quinoa and the panko. Form the mixture into six patties. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the patties and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.

Mix the aioli ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve with the finished burgers

Cassie’s Notes:

If you prefer, you can place the patties onto a prepared baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Inspired by the Marathon Burger at Burger Up


69 Responses to “Quinoa-Black Bean Burger”

  1. #
    Courtney — October 24, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    yum this looks and sounds great!

  2. #
    Erin — October 24, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    I’m always on the lookout for a good meatless burger, yet for some reason I never actually cook one. I take that back I made an awesome eggplant one once. But I really need to try a black bean burger one of these days, because this looks great.

  3. #
    Bev Weidner — October 24, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    Dude, yes.

  4. #
    Curt — October 24, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    What a great ingredient list. I love black beans, and I love cumin!

  5. #
    Zoe — October 24, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    I’m always searching for good vegetarian recipe and this is fantastic!

  6. #
    Christine — October 24, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

    I love burgers and your burger sounds great.

  7. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 24, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    I love the idea of these, but I think I would be scared to make them. Beans scare me, I just don’t like them (texture thing I think). But here, they are disguised, so if I didn’t they were there it would probably be ok. Maybe you can come make them for me, and call them something different 🙂

  8. #
    Juliana — October 24, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    Cassie, this quinoa and black bean patties look fabulous especially with the cilantro-lime aioli. Beautiful pictures as always.
    Hope you have a great week ahead 🙂

  9. #
    Three-Cookies — October 24, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    I’ve never thought of quinoa is burger form since I look at it (incorrectly) more as a carb and less as a protein.

  10. #
    Bobbie {the vegan crew} — October 24, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    Great idea with the quinoa! We have a few go-to veggie burger recipes, but we will have to add this one to the mix sometime. Erik loves trying different types of veggie burgers, so I’m sure he’ll be excited to try it, too 🙂

  11. #
    CJ @ — October 24, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    guess whats on my menu for the weekend?!?!?! haha I wonder if you could use millet or barley instead of quinoa?! this just looks delicious. i love meat but sometimes a good veggie burger is so satisfying 🙂

  12. #
    Alida — October 24, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    This looks like the perfect burger! Definitely going to be making this soon ~ love all the delicious flavors you have going on here.

  13. #
    Sandra's Easy Cooking — October 24, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

    Oh these sound this recipe it is def. a keeper!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  14. #
    Autumn@Good Eats Girl — October 24, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    These sound fantastic! WOW! I would have never thought of this! I even think I might be able to get this past my meat eating husband as he loves both quinoa and black beans!

  15. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 24, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    I love quinoa and black beans so I am definitely saving this one!!

  16. #
    sarah — October 24, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    Oh this is such a good idea!! Love quinoa!

    In other news- my old computer has been refusing to connect to your blog this past week- so glad it working again…off to read all the posts I missed!!

  17. #
    Ann — October 24, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    Fantastic! I’d have to omit the cinnamon, but I think the flavors are strong enough to support it! I’ve buzzed AND bookmarked this one!

  18. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — October 25, 2011 @ 12:52 am

    I would love to try this burger and definitely order if I ever have a chance. It sounds interesting and hate to miss the opportunity when someone says it’s the best burger! You got me curious! Quinoa in burder form is indeed an innovative idea!

  19. #
    Alyssa — October 25, 2011 @ 3:05 am

    I think my love for a bacon cheeseburger alone would make it impossible for me to be a vegetarian, but this burger looks AWESOME! Great post!

  20. #
    Baker Street — October 25, 2011 @ 3:57 am

    Absolutely love the cilantro lime aioli and the burger looks fantastic!

  21. #
    The Purple Carrot — October 25, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    These look delicious! My kind of burger 🙂

  22. #
    Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family — October 25, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    WOW! Those look amazing. As a non-meat eater I love finding new substitutes for the traditional burger.

    Thanks so much!

  23. #
    Parsley Sage — October 25, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    Nice! That sounds (and looks) pretty amazing. And I’m a hard core meat eater 🙂 I’m a sucka for black beans though, they make everything taste G-O-O-D!


  24. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — October 25, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    Sounds interesting. I like quinoa, and I like black beans, why wouldn’t I like it formed together in a burger??

  25. #
    Tessa @ FlexYourFood — October 25, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Wow, this sounds great! Definitely will be trying these soon!

  26. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — October 25, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I really love this recipe! I have been wanting to find more recipes with Quinoa and this looks great! I love the flavors and I think this would be a hit with my family! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to try!

  27. #
    brandi — October 25, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    these look SO good! and that aioli? I could probably eat that with a spoon.

  28. #
    Maggie — October 25, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! Quinoa is so healthy and delicious…mmm. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  29. #
    Jill | Dulce Dough — October 25, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Sounds and looks amazing–especially the Cilantro-Lime Aioli!

  30. #
    RavieNomNoms — October 25, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    This is AMAZING! I love quinoa and black beans. I should really trying this like asap…looks absolutely to die for. YUM

  31. #
    Lauren — October 25, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    These sound so yummy and healthy!

  32. #
    Colleen Bierstine — October 25, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    Looks delicious! Yay for vegetarian burgers!

  33. #
    Kim Bee — October 25, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    Cassie this looks heavenly. Might have to give these a whirl on meatless monday. So yummy looking.

  34. #
    Mary — October 25, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

    These are incredible. I’m going to make them for lunch tomorrow. They look and sound delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  35. #
    Sylvia@peachesanddonuts — October 25, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    What an awesome dish! Absolutely love the use of quinoa in a burger! I will have to try it out soon!

  36. #
    Melanie — October 26, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    This veggie burger looks very filling! Great idea of using quinoa and beans!

  37. #
    carly {carlyklock} — October 26, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I only got one bite, but this burger was soooo good! Thanks for developing a recipe so we can recreate it!

  38. #
    Quay Po Cooks — October 26, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

    This will be a perfect veg. burger for a change. Your photos convinced me that it is mouth watering worthy.

  39. #
    foodie @ Tasting Spot — October 26, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

    i like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out it’s for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies.

  40. #
    galit — October 27, 2011 @ 4:24 am

    What perfect timing – my last care package came with a lovely bag of quinoa!

  41. #
    Ramona — October 27, 2011 @ 5:22 am

    This looks like one amazing burger! I love how guilt-free it is and so healthy. I need to cook with quinoa more… thanks for showing me a great recipe how to…

  42. #
    Cheryl and Adam @ — October 27, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    Adam is a confirmed carnivore, but being essentially omnivorous is a big fan of vegetarian cooking as well. This burger definitely caught our attention, not only because it looks delicious, but also because we are big fans of quinoa. Thanks for sharing this one, it’ll be on the menu soon.

  43. #
    Kita — October 27, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    I can’t say I could ever give up meat (nom nom nom) but I have been dying to try a great black bean burger. Something about it just sounds so right to me. These look perfect and I have got to get around to making them!

  44. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — October 27, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    Oh wow… I can only imagine how fantastic these must be! I just have to try it!!

  45. #
    Amanda — October 28, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    I’m very excited to try this out sometime soon. It looks delicious.

  46. #
    Ryan — October 28, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

    Wow, that sounds amazing– esp. with the cinnamon and cilantro lime creme fraiche! What a great combination of flavors. After hearing about your trip, I want to go to Nashville more than ever!

  47. #
    Meghan — October 29, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    I could totally go meatless too so I’m loving this! I usually make black bean burgers, but I must give this a try! Did you love Nashville?? I do 🙂 I was just there in September!! I can’t wait to go back, and when I do I’ll check out Burger Up!

  48. #
    Aggie — October 29, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    I am mostly meatless when it comes to my daily meals. Every now and then I get a craving for Italian sausage or meatballs, lol. But this is totally my kind of burger, wow, it looks fantastic!!

  49. #
    Tiffany — October 29, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    Black bean-quinoa! Cilantro-lime?!?!?! Yes, please. 😀

  50. #
    chris — October 31, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    I am so making this for dinner tonight! 🙂

  51. #
    Denise — January 9, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

    I cannot wait to try this. It looks so yummy! I love good vegetarian recipes and have not tried a veggie burger with quinoa before!! Thanks!

  52. #
    meredith — April 9, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa? what does that translate to in uncooked quinoa? thanks!

  53. #
    Sharon — August 8, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I lived in Nashville for a few years and would crave the marathon. I am vegan and would get it minus the dairy. Made your recipe tonight (with Veganaise replacing the mayo)and both myself and my omnivore boyfriend loved it.

    • Cassie replied: — August 9th, 2012 @ 8:20 am

      Hi Sharon, I am so glad that you liked these! They are a favorite in our house…we really eat them nearly once per week! Thanks for the comment! ~C.

  54. #
    Ashley — May 23, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

    I live in Nashville and have been to Burger Up several times, always getting the same burger. Recently I decided to get a salad with the Marathon Burger on top…life changing. I don’t think I could go back to my old burger knowing how awesome this one is. Question. What are your thoughts on freezing these? I’m single, so I thought about cutting the recipe in half and eating it for a couple of days or perhaps even making the whole thing and attempting to freeze. Not sure how that would work.

    • Cassie replied: — May 23rd, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

      Hi Ashley, they do freeze really well! I usually freeze them on a cookie sheet (in a single layer.) And then when they are frozen, wrap them individually in plastic, then foil and remove and thaw as you need them. Enjoy!

  55. #
    Melissa — July 27, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    I saw from a previous comment that you said that these burgers freeze well. Do you cook them before you freeze them? Thanks! Looking forward to trying this recipe soon.

    • Cassie replied: — July 27th, 2013 @ 10:25 am

      Hi Melissa, I freeze them uncooked, then thaw and cook when ready for one. I lay them out on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and stick them in the freezer. Then when they are frozen, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. They will keep for a month or two.

  56. #
    plasterers bristol — May 5, 2016 @ 4:05 am

    Wowsers!! that looks so good, will be giving this ago on the weekend. that’s for sure. Thanks.


  57. #
    Tasha — September 4, 2017 @ 12:42 pm

    I was so excited to find this website. I live in Nashville and the BU marathon burger is by far the best meatless burger I’ve ever had. I can not wait to try this recipe!


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