Quinoa and White Bean Burgers

This has been quite a week. I've wanted to share this recipe with you since I made it last week, but it has been so hectic with exams and meetings that I haven't had a chance. I'm so excited to share it with you now though, because I thought these burgers were pretty amazing.

You may remember me mentioning that I prefer to cook vegetarian and this dish is no exception. The burgers are super filling and they are packed with protein and fiber from the quinoa and white beans. They reminded me a lot of the falafel I had in Israel because they have a softer, more falafel-y, texture and flavor.

I love love love quinoa. It's very versatile and also really tasty. If you'd like to see another recipe that uses quinoa, click here!

Quinoa is super easy to make too! I use a 1 to 1.5 quinoa to water ratio when I make it. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. It really is that easy.

I enjoy the flavor and texture that the white beans bring to these burgers. I actually don't know why I don't cook with them more often. They have a pretty mild (but delicious) flavor which allows you to mix them into about anything. Maybe a new hummus recipe...?

Bread crumbs work as a fabulous binder. I used store bought this time, but several times I have made my own and they are equally delicious.

Yay for beta carotene!

This recipe makes four really good sized patties. I didn't even need to make a side dish because they were so filling. I think you could easily make five or six smaller patties and serve with yummy sweet potato fries and a salad.

Cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and a greek yogurt sauce take this burger and multiply it times 47.

I also used whole-wheat pitas for that extra bit of health and love (yes, it's almost Valentine's Day and whole-wheat pitas are baked with extra love). I will say that, in general, the whole-wheat pitas are a bit drier and more dense than the white flour pitas I've had (that's not unusual when baking with whole-wheat flour).

Although I doubt you can compare anything to an incredibly fresh and hot pita in the middle of a bustling market in Israel, so it's very possible that I'm just being picky.

Try them. And fall in love... Okay, maybe not fall in love, but fall into a food coma. I think it's basically the same thing...

Quinoa and White Bean Burgers (lightly adapted from Whole Living)

Makes 4 burgers


For the burgers

  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely diced, plus 1 tablespoon for sauce
  • 15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin (or to taste), plus more for sauce
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 whole-wheat (or regular) pitas (each 6 inches), warmed
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
  • tomato slices and romaine lettuce (optional)


  1. In a small saucepan, heat 3/4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of quinoa over high heat until boiling. Once boiled, cover and reduce to a simmer (medium-low). Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse carrots until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, 1/3 cup onion, white beans, bread crumbs, lightly beaten egg, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse until the mixture is combined, but still chunky. **I didn't have a big enough food processor, so I only pulsed the carrots and white beans, and then mixed the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.**
  3. Form 4 burgers, about 3/4-in. thick (dip hands in water to prevent the mixture from sticking). If the mixture seems too soft, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.
  4. Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook burgers for 8-10 minutes per side, or until cooked through and slightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine greek yogurt, lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Serve burgers in warmed pitas with cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. Top with yogurt sauce. Enjoy!