BBQ Pinto Bean Burgers

These BBQ Pinto Bean Burgers are everything you want in a veggie burger. They’re flavor-packed with barbecue sauce, garlic, green onions, and cheese.

Best of all, these pinto bean veggie burgers are easy to make and sturdy enough to hold all your favorite burger toppings. Because burgers are just a vehicle for your favorite condiments anyway, right?

a BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burger on a plate
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Ingredients

canned beans on a baking sheet.
  • Pinto beans are a protein-packed and budget-friendly option for your bean burgers.
  • BBQ sauce is what gives these burgers their awesome flavor. Make your own homemade BBQ sauce or go for a healthy store-bought sauce.
  • Egg and panko serve as classic binders and get extra help with the addition of cheese in the burger itself

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

 

Variations and substitutions

  • Any combination of red or white beans can substitute in this bean burger.
  • Instead of frying, bake your bean burgers at 375 degrees Fahrenheit on an oiled sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes, flip them over, and then bake another 10 minutes, for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Add more herbs and spices like parsley or cilantro or cumin.
  • Make spicy pinto bean burgers with a pinch or a dash of hot stuff (e.g. cayenne or chili powder or hot sauce) if that makes you happy.

Recipe tips and tricks

Using canned beans

While I usually try to make things from scratch, canned beans definitely hold a place in my recipes because of their ease and convenience. Please feel free to use dried beans in this recipe if you prefer!

Want other easy recipes using canned beans? Try a garbanzo bean soup, cheesy white bean tomato bake, falafel waffles, or baked purple sweet potatoes loaded with white beans, or these w

Step by step

Step 1: This pinto bean burger recipe starts with drying the beans on a baking sheet in the oven. This step is critical for you to avoid the dread mushy bean burger. Let them cool at least slightly.

Step 2: Add the pinto beans to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until the beans are mostly mashed but some large pieces remain.

Step 3: Add the quinoa, panko, flour, BBQ sauce, garlic, green onions, and cheese, and mix until uniform. Taste a bit at this point and add salt and pepper, a bit at a time, if needed.

Step 4: Add the beaten eggs to the bean mixture and stir until the mixture comes together. Form into patties of desired size and let rest on waxed paper at room temperature for 30 minutes. You can keep them for longer than 30 minutes, but you’ll want to put them in the refrigerator.

four formed burgers made with quinoa and beans on waxed paper.

Step 5: Heat a griddle, cast iron skillet, or other frying pan, and add the oil in a thin layer. Once hot, add the bean patties and fry for 5 minutes until browned. Flip the pinto bean patties and cook on the second side for 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Serve topped with cheese, spicy pickled onions, and your favorite condiments. Relish and my campfire sauce would be an obvious choice, but these pinto bean veggie burgers are also delicious with a quick guacamole or creamy sumac sauce.

What to serve with BBQ bean burgers

Serve these pinto bean burgers with your favorite barbecue sides like:

a plate with a bean burger topped with cheese on a bun and an ear of cooked corn.

Recipe FAQs

What’s the best cheese for a BBQ bean cheeseburger?

My cheese choices for a bean cheeseburger would be cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or even blue cheese crumbles, but you can use whatever your favorite cheese. There are no wrong answers when it comes to cheese!

Can I grill bean burgers?

Of course. I’d recommend grilling them in a grill pan, just in case.

Can I freeze these pinto bean burgers?

Yes, you can freeze homemade bean burgers for 3 to 6 months, either before or after cooking.

Do you make your own hamburger buns?

Yes. My family loves these pretzel rolls from America’s Test Kitchen Kids.

But if it’s more barbecue flavor you want, check out these braised BBQ chicken meatballs.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

BBQ Pinto Bean Burgers

5 from 1 vote
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers
Calories: 181kcal
These BBQ pinto bean burgers are everything you want in a veggie burger. They're packed full of flavor from barbecue sauce, garlic, green onions, and cheese. They're sturdy enough to hold all your favorite burger toppings. And it all comes together in about an hour.
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Ingredients

  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack or any meltable cheese)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. vegetable, corn, safflower) for frying

Instructions

  • Rinse the beans and drain. Put them in a large roasting pan and bake at about 375°F for about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool at least slightly.
  • Add the beans to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until the beans are mostly mashed but some large pieces remain.
    2 cans pinto beans
  • Add the quinoa, panko, flour, BBQ sauce, garlic, green onions, and cheese, and mix until uniform. Taste and add a small amount of salt and pepper if desired, a quarter teaspoon at a time.
    ½ cup cooked quinoa, ½ cup panko, 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, ¼ cup your favorite barbecue sauce, 3 cloves garlic, chopped, 2 green onions, chopped, 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • Add the beaten eggs to the bean mixture and stir until the mixture comes together.
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Form into patties of desired size and let the bean patties rest on waxed paper at room temperature for 30 minutes. If longer than 30 minutes, you will want to put these in the refrigerator.
  • Heat a griddle, cast iron skillet, or other frying pan, and add the oil in a thin layer. Once hot, add the bean patties and fry for 5 minutes until browned.
    1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. vegetable, corn, safflower)
  • Flip the bean burgers and cook on the second side for 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Notes

Feel free to use other red beans or one can of pinto and one can of white beans.
Feel free to add a pinch or a dash of hot stuff (e.g. cayenne or chili powder or hot sauce) if that makes you happy.
The pinto bean burger mixture can be made ahead and held in the refrigerator for a few hours.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
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