BBQ Pinto Bean Burgers
A few weeks ago I had one of those crazy “I must cook something new right this second!” moments. Within 30 minutes of that “moment” I was chowing down on the burger you see above. It was one of those wonderful and crazy cooking experiments that worked out really well. So not only did I eat the burger for lunch but I also ate it again for dinner and then if I remember correctly I ate it again for lunch the next day.
My favorite parts of this recipe are the raw onions and the BBQ sauce that are mixed into the burger. I always like raw onions on top of my veggie burgers but they always either fall off or you eat a huge chunk of the onion with one bite and it just doesn’t get evenly distributed between bites. I figured if I chopped them up and stuck them in the burger that would take care of those 2 problems and it did! Some of the onions got cooked while the burgers were frying in the pan but the majority of them were still raw-ish. You definitely got that raw onion flavor with every bite. For the BBQ sauce, I alway’s knew I was going to put some on top of the burger, when I had the idea to make them, but I then decided to also put some into the burger to get that extra BBQ flavor. It was nice and subtle.
A few weeks after creating this burger I also used this recipe during a vegan cooking class I was teaching with 2 of my friends for our local vegan meet up group. Everyone really liked it and I hope you all like it too!
BBQ Pinto Bean Burgers
makes 4-5 burgers depending on the size you want
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ Sauce, I use Annies Smokey Maple
1 tablespoon tamari
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water (only if needed)
1 avocado, sliced
In a medium or large saute pan, heat your olive oil over medium heat, add your chopped garlic and peppers and saute until soft. About 5 minutes.
In a medium size bowl mash the pinto beans with a potato masher or fork. Mix in the garlic-pepper mixture, onions, vital wheat gluten, BBQ sauce, tamari and salt. Ditch your mixing utensil and with clean hands kneed the burger mixture to help activate the vital wheat gluten (this is what makes the burgers hold their shape.) If the mixture seems too dry add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until your mixture is moist enough to hold it’s shape.
Form into whatever size burgers you want.
In the same pan you cooked the garlic and peppers add 1 tablespoon of oil and reheat the pan over medium heat. Cook the burgers until golden brown, approx. 3-5 minutes each side.
Place on bottom of a burger bun, spoon extra BBQ sauce, add some avocados and some mesclun salad, top the burger with the other bun and EAT!