Main Course, Sandwiches, Vegetarian

Pinto-and-Rice Burgers

5 Comments 01 June 2012

We are fully enmeshed now in the Land of the Grills. If there be waves of summer heat where you are, you’ve likely moved to a little outdoor cooking as well. Hamburger patties, hotdogs and steaks – oh my. Oh yes, please. But wait, what about the veggie burger? Sometimes I don’t want a big, messy hamburger (although, normally, yum), I want something a little different. I had the wonderful experience of a freshly-made veggie burger at a Vortex restaurant in Atlanta, GA once and I’ve been wanting to try making a veggie burger since. They’re probably as widely varied as there are ways to dress up a regular burger. I found this recipe recently and I knew my time had come to try my first homemade one.

Pinto-and-Rice Burgers 12

We didn’t actually grill these burgers, though I suppose you can if you have one of those nifty cast-iron plates for your grill, as opposed to putting them directly on a grate. The latter I would not do as veggie burger patties are made of lots of piece-y ingredients and will probably fall apart if placed on a grill grate. Don’t even have a grill? S’ok, the recipe calls for them to be pan-cooked anyway.

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Since this is my first homemade veggie burger, I can only guess, but I’m betting the main ingredient in a lot of them is some type of bean. In our case, it’s two cans of mashed up pinto beans. I think you could change this up if you wanted to, maybe mix a can of pinto with another of black, etc. Don’t be afraid, ever, to play with your food.

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It seems it’s my recent lot in life to be cross with my local grocery store. The recipe has one f my fave ingredients – cilantro. I know some have a genuine good reason to dislike the stuff, but I love it. But my store had NONE. Like, this little piggy went to the market and was DENIED. Yet again. Dammit, market. So I went with my standby, the tube stuff that looks very unappetizing yet is still fairly tasty in recipes. You also have, obviously, cooked rice, breadcrumbs (which we made fresh), green onions and a couple of eggs to help bind it all.

Oh, and go ahead and sink your hands in to mix it up. Mixing by hand is often better, even for regular burgers, so you don’t over mix.

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So you form all your patties prior to cooking. The recipe is supposed to make eight, we got seven. Not bad. Also, they were already smelling nice at this point – means by the time they’re cooked and between a bun with some accessories, we will be very happy piggies.

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The stomach, it knows no shame. It roars, it rumbles, it begs. Loudly.

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There you go, tummy. Have at it! No time like the present, right? FYI, that green stuff near the top bun is avocado, which was rec’d in the recipe and it was to die for on this!

These were incredibly yummy. Know what the bonus was? In this relentless heat, which often alone sends my stomach into painful fits, this non-greasy, tasty-as- all-get-out burger sat very well with me. I felt a little freer to experiment with more veggie burger options too when surprise surprise, hubby enjoyed one as well. They are very easy and quick to put together and cook and even cooking them inside isn’t harsh on your cooling bill. You’re looking at a great alternative to the typical summer-grilled fare and I know we’ll be taking advantage more ourselves. Hope you enjoy it!

Pinto-and-Rice Burgers

from Everyday Food, June 2012

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook time: 6 minutes per batch    Level: Easy    Makes: about 8

  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • course salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • toppings, such as mayo, mustard, lettuce, avocado, tomato, cheese, cucumber

In a large bowl, mash beans until a coarse paste forms. Add rice, breadcrumbs, scallions, cilantro, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; gently fold to combine. Form into eight 3/4-inch thick patties.

In a large skillet, heat half the olive oil over medium-high heat; add half the patties and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining olive oil and patties. Serve burgers on buns with desired toppings.


We went with the white rice this time, but I might try brown rice next time. I’m betting there will be a noticeable difference since brown has so much more texture than white, but I’m hoping it’ll still make for a good burger. I’ll be sure to update here when I get around to trying it.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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5 Comments so far

  1. chelsea says:

    any ideas on subbing out the breadcrumbs? i’m grain free, so i was going to try quinoa instead of rice, but im stuck on the bread crumbs!!

    • KMont says:

      Chelsea, I’ve been trying to come up with something since I read your comment late last night and I just don’t have any idea still ATM. My sister and I are not full-time vegetarians or grain-free eaters or vegans or anything like that, so when we try out those kinds of recipes, we’re going in completely inexperienced. I’ve asked on Twitter, maybe I’ll ask via Facebook as well and see if we can get any help. 🙂

    • KMont says:

      OK, after asking around a little, a couple of people suggested ground almonds OR the other consensus seems to feel you could leave out any kind of breadcrumb substitute as well. Hope that helps!

  2. Audrey says:

    I am not a fan of beans. Can you taste them in this recipe? Any ideas on substituting them?

    • KMont says:

      The pinto beans are pretty much the base for these veggie burgers. You can definitely taste them. My advice would be to search for veggie burger recipes that don’t use any type of bean as the main ingredient. I’ve only tried ones that use beans, but there are other options out there.

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