Pinto Bean, Beet, and Bulgur Burgers


Serves 8 • Vegan

Why This Recipe Works: For these modern bean burgers, we combined pinto beans with sweet, earthy shredded beets and hearty, chewy bulgur. While the bulgur cooked, we pulsed the rest of the ingredients in a food processor to get just the right consistency. Along with the beets and beans, we added basil for freshness and walnuts for richness and texture. Garlic and mustard deepened the savory flavors. Using carrot baby food (which was already conveniently pureed) as a binder instead of eggs lent the patties a subtle sweetness—and, as an added bonus, it kept the recipe vegan. Panko bread crumbs further bound the mixture and helped the patties to sear up with a nice, crisp crust.

Any brand of plain carrot baby food will work here. Use a coarse grater or the shredding disk of a food processor to shred the beets. If using the food processor, you may need to cut the beet into smaller pieces to fit inside the feed tube. We like to serve these burgers with Tahini Sauce, Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, or Sriracha Mayo (recipes follow) over salad greens or on a burger bun.

Salt and pepper
2/3 cup medium-grind bulgur, rinsed
1 large beet (9 ounces), peeled and shredded
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15‑ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed
1 (4‑ounce) jar carrot baby food
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan. Off heat, stir in bulgur, cover, and let stand until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain bulgur, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, pulse shredded beet, walnuts, basil, and garlic together in food processor until finely chopped, about 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add beans, carrot baby food, 2 tablespoons water, mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse until well combined, about 8 pulses.

3. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in panko and cooled bulgur. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and pack into 4‑inch-wide patties.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12‑inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently lay 4 patties in skillet and cook until crisp and well browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning gently halfway through cooking and reducing heat if burgers begin to scorch. Transfer burgers to plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

5. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining patties. Serve.

Tahini Sauce

Makes about 1 1/4 cups • FastVeganGluten-Free

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 garlic cloves, minced

Process tahini, water, lemon juice, and garlic in food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Season with salt to taste and serve. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature and stir to combine before serving.)

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Makes about 2 1/2 cups • FastGluten-Free

Cilantro, mint, parsley, or tarragon can be substituted for the dill if desired.

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and shredded
Salt and pepper

Whisk yogurt, oil, dill, and garlic together in medium bowl. Stir in cucumber and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Sriracha Mayo

Makes about 3/4 cup • FastGluten-Free

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 scallion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon lime juice

Combine all ingredients in bowl. (Mayo can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

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