Summer's Here: Great Vegetarian Burger for Outdoor Grilling!

One of my absolute FAVORITE things about summer is eating outside. There's something about eating good food, hanging out with friends and family, and being outside in the sun that makes for a perfect combo. Summer picnics were a beloved family activity during my childhood, and they are no less fun today. Everything tastes better when you are outside.

For vegetarians, heading to a summer BBQ party is not too exciting when there are only meat options. This is a great vegetarian burger recipe that can be made on the grill or on the stove.

These protein-packed burgers are quick to throw together and very tasty. You can also make them a day in advance and refrigerate before you take to a summer BBQ to throw on the grill!

I also served these on top of a fresh ripe and firm tomato from our garden, using it in place of the bun. A great gluten-free option!


Black Bean and Walnut Burgers

Serves: 4
Time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill (chill 30 minutes, or mix up the day before and chill overnight)
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 3 t. chili powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c. cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 c. chopped red onion
  • 3 T. corn kernels
  • 1/3 c. cornmeal (for dredging)
  • guacamole or salsa, for garnish

1. In a food processor, puree 2.5 cups beans (not all of the beans!) with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Add rice, walnuts, onion, corn, and remaining beans, and pulse only 2-3 times to mix. You want to have some nice chunks to give the burgers a good texture, so don't pulse this too much. The mixture should be stiff but not dry. Add 2-3 T. water to moisten, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If making ahead, cover and chill now).

2. Divide mixture into burger patties. Dredge burgers in cornmeal. Chill 30 minutes (unless mixture has been made earlier and chilled.)

3. Add a little olive oil to a non-stick pan. Cook burgers over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 4 minutes or so until heated through. Garnish with guacamole or salsa, if desired.

Serve burgers on their own or on whole wheat or gluten-free buns with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole, or on a slice of ripe, firm tomato.


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