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BBQ Quinoa and Pinto Bean Burgers

These BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burgers are everything you might want in a bean burger. They are packed full of flavor from the barbecue sauce, garlic, green onions, and cheese. And they’re sturdy enough to hold all the toppings you might want.

No mushy veggie burgers here.

Tips and tricks for this recipe

These bean burgers are an adaptation of my black bean burger using red beans and barbecue sauce, but many of the tricks are the same. I used egg and panko as binders. You will want to dry the beans (in this case one can of pinto and one can of Great Northern beans) on a baking sheet in the oven. This really helps avoid the dread mushy burger.

a BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burger on a plate
canned beans on a baking sheet

In this recipe I added more liquid to the mix in the form of BBQ sauce, so the additional moisture gets counteracted with cheese as binder.

Be sure to rest the formed patties for 30 minutes before you fry them.

four formed BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burgers on waxed paper

FAQs about these BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burgers

Can I substitute other beans in these burgers?

Feel free to use any combination of red beans in this burger, with or without the can of white beans.

Can I bake these BBQ bean burgers instead of frying?

Yes, you can bake these at 375 degrees on an oiled sheet pan. Bake them for 10 minutes, flip them over, and then bake them another 10 minutes, for a total of 20 minutes.

Can I grill these bean burgers?

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

Can I freeze these bean burgers?

Yes, you can freeze these burgers for 3-6 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 (see image below).

Do you have a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce?

Yes, you can find that recipe here.

baked pretzel rolls on a baking sheet

BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burgers

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Author uglyducklingbakery


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


  • Rinse the beans and drain. Put them in a large roasting pan and bake at about 375°F for about 10-15 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.
    1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup panko, 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 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. 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 patties and fry for 5 minutes until browned.
    1/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
  • Flip the burgers and cook on the second side for 3-5 minutes longer.


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 mixture can be made ahead and held in the refrigerator for a few hours.

What’s next?

If you make these BBQ quinoa and pinto bean burgers, or if you have any questions, please comment and let me know!

Check out other uglyduckling bakery burgers, meatloaves, and meatballs including some other vegetarian options like this black bean burger or this cauliflower burger.

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a plate with a bean burger and an ear of cooked corn

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