Black Bean Quinoa Burger

4.95 from 20 votes
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Enjoy a savory black bean quinoa burger with roasted red pepper sauce. Hearty and healthy vegetarian patty is loaded with your favorite toppings!

Black Bean Quinoa Burger

I’ve been searching for a good vegetarian burger recipe, just to switch things up a little bit. We’ve come a long way from the sawdust, hockey puck, loveless veggie burger, that’s for sure. If I had to dream up a delicious and satisfying meatless burger, I would still want protein, and the combination of quinoa and black beans are two fantastic choices.

So off I went, crafting a quinoa black bean burger that would put a smile on anyone’s face, something meat-eaters and vegetarians could both enjoy!

Cooking quinoa burger patties in a skillet

These patties are substantial, no wimpy burgers, please. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the patties came together and held their shape. I found that gently smashed black beans, bread crumbs, eggs, and cheese help to create a sturdy patty with good texture. It was very similar to making meatballs, just without the ground meat.

Okay, so the coolest thing about this quinoa black bean burger is that they look like meat patties at a quick glance. That’s because I used red quinoa and black beans to give the darker brown hue, the appearance of what you would expect a juicy mega burger to look like. Looks pretty close don’t you think?

close up of the black bean burger patty made with quinoa

Quinoa and black beans alone are pretty bland, which is great because you can play around with the seasoning for the burger mixture. I went for an earthy smoking flavor; garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and paprika is infused into the mix. The cheddar cheese gets nice and melty when you cook each patty, and it’s such a moist and flavorful burger with each bite!

Any good burger needs a sauce, and I thought a roasted red pepper feta spread would give it that one-two punch of extra flavor. Don’t forget the toppings! I like adding as much as I can before it would be too tall to devour or hold. Super ripe tomatoes are a must, onions (especially if they are pickled), butter leaf lettuce, sauteed mushrooms, more cheese, whatever you like, make it happen!

two hands holding a vegetarian burger

It seems odd to serve a burger without any fries, so as I was making the quinoa black bean burgers, I had a fresh batch of crispy potato wedges roasting in the oven. It’s a good day when you have a giant burger, fries, and I think we are just missing the shake, just waiting to be demolished. Dinner’s calling, bye for now!

Recipe Science

What is the best way to cook Quinoa?

Quinoa is a seed from the goosefoot species, and when cooked they swell up and become light and fluffy grain. It has great health benefits such as providing all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein source.  Make sure that you wash the seeds under running cool water before cooking to remove the bitter saponins which naturally coats the seeds. The seeds are cooked very similar to rice; the quinoa and water are brought to a boil, and then simmered until all of the water is absorbed and the seeds become translucent and tender, about 15 to 25 minutes. Adding some salt to the water also provides a more pleasant flavor to the quinoa, especially if you are eating it plain as a side dish.

Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Easy black bean quinoa burger with roasted red pepper sauce. This meatless recipe is a delicious and healthy vegetarian alternative.
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Course Entree
Cuisine American


Roasted Red Pepper Spread

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

  • 2 cups red quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup black beans, canned, rinsed
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 whole wheat burger buns
  • lettuce


Roasted Red Pepper Spread

  • Roast the pepper over a gas flame or broil in the oven on a sheet pan lined with foil 4-inches from the top of the heating element, until charred and softened, turning the pepper as needed to sear each side, about 10 minutes.
  • Let the pepper cool; peel, seed, and chop. In a blender, puree the pepper with the feta, paprika and olive oil transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

  • In a large bowl mash the black beans. Stir in the quinoa, bread crumbs, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the egg and mix well to moisten the ingredients.
  • Mix in the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well again and form into 4 equal burger patties, flattened to about ¾-inch thick (about ¾ cup per patty). Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Cook one side of the patty for 5 minutes, until golden and crisp, flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes. Cover the pan with a lid and cook another 3 minutes to heat patty throughout.
  • Toast each bun and add 1-2 tablespoons of the red pepper spread to the bottom of each bun. Top with patty desired toppings and enjoy!


  • Additional Toppings: Tomato, onion, sautéed mushrooms, or avocado.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 burgers
Calories 504kcal (25%)Carbohydrates 68g (23%)Protein 21g (42%)Fat 17g (26%)Saturated Fat 5g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 66mg (22%)Sodium 773mg (32%)Potassium 264mg (8%)Fiber 12g (48%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 850IU (17%)Vitamin C 3.3mg (4%)Calcium 190mg (19%)Iron 4.9mg (27%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4.95 from 20 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. JK says

    This is my go-to meatless burger! I have been making it for a few years now and never thought to comment. But I would like to go on record to say that it is very tasty and the quinoa (I use tricolor, but have no problems with red) really gives it the look and feel of meat which is a really awesome factor to consider. I love that as far as the burger is concerned, it’s pretty much composed of common pantry items that the average enlightened consumer already has at home. More than once I have suddenly realized that I am out of my stock of frozen Quinoa Black Bean Burgers and never fear, without any planning, I can quickly throw together these delicious patties for dinner

    In these days where your store might be short of ground meat for burgers, these are a worthy substitute to at least try out. Who knows, you just might fall in love. But don’t wait until you have no other option: try this one today!

  2. Ayame says

    Is it possible to make without the cheese in the patty? I really dislike cheese lol. Is there something else I can use to substitute instead?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      The cheese helps to keep the patty together, but I haven’t tried it without it. It would be worth a try since there is also egg to help with binding.

  3. Luz Murillo says

    This burger was delicious. I didn’t have feta, so instead of the dip I just accompanied the burger with a large roasted pepper. Cannot wait to try more of your healthy recipes. The pattie was SO good, thank you for the great recipe!

  4. Sharon says

    Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for all these great recipes! Have you tried creating a burger with sweet potato? I’ve tried a couple recipes and have had mixed results. I’d love to hear your take on if you’ve had any success with creating veggie burgers with sweet potato.


    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Sharon, I have not used sweet potato but I think it would be a great idea! I think I would cook it first so it become a sticky base and combine it with other ingredients to make it more of a solid patty.

  5. Amy says

    My hubby and I made this tonight, and it is THE BOMB!! He’s a veggie-skeptic, but likes black beans, so this recipe has gotten him hooked on the idea that he need not eat meat every night (and incidentally wants this recipe weekly now ha ha). We absolutely ADORE the red pepper / feta sauce – it really “makes” the burger – we made extra for veggies and dip or chips / dip… great recipe Jessica! even my son “who hates beans and healthy stuff” (age 10 typical) had no idea and devoured it all. For him I cut back a tiny bit on the spread, and pureed the beans so there was less texture. We just told him it was “extra good meat”. ha ha! 5 stars!!