Quinoa Beet Black Bean Burgers

I bought some golden beets on a whim the other day because I thought they looked pretty and they were only $2 for a bunch. So I roasted them and made a salad with walnuts and blue cheese. The salad was good, but not something I could eat every night for dinner.

As I contemplated what the hell else I could do with the other 3 1/2 roasted golden beets I had in my refrigerator I thought back to 2005. In 2005 I began working at the Cheesecake Factory. At the time, they had a veggie burger on the menu that I never tried because I didn’t really eat vegetables back then. But the burger intrigued me because it was reddish purple. It was very popular amongst vegetarians at the time and I swear there was a small uprising when it was taken off the menu.

The veggie burger was made with beets. That’s what gave it that reddish-purple color. Though I wouldn’t touch the veggie burger back then I did order the Tossed Salad from time-to-time, which came with shredded (or julienned) beets served on top. That was the first time in my life that I ate beets. And I have to tell you, I realized then that I actually liked beets. Though I wouldn’t eat them on anything else for nearly 10 years.

Thinking back to the beet veggie burger that was once upon a time sold at the Cheesecake Factory, I decided I could make my own veggie burger made with beets. Though I didn’t really know what else should go with it. So I took to Pinterest and found a recipe for Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers at Minimalist Baker. At Minimalist Baker’s website, Dana (the chef, blogger and photographer)  offers “plant-based recipes requiring 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare.” Hello perfect! My recipe below is based on Dana’s.


  • ¾ c. cooked quinoa
  • ¾ c. crumbled feta
  • 1 c. mushrooms, cooked and then finely chopped (I used crimini)
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. cooked beets, cut into small pieces
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • ½ c. toasted walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal


  1. In a large bowl, roughly mash beans, beets, cooked mushrooms, quinoa, walnuts and seasonings. Stir in feta cheese and pack mixture into a mound in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. I refrigerated mine for about 24 hours.
  2. When ready to eat, form mixture into roughly 4 to 6 patties. If you have a burger press, that will work well here.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add some avocado oil or coconut oil to the bottom of the pan. Add patties to pan and cook each side approximately 4 to 6 minutes. If adding cheese, once you have flipped the patties over, cover with cheese when there’s approximately 2 to 3 minutes cooking time left (depending on the kind of cheese you’re using) and cover the pan to help the cheese melt faster.
  4. Serve on toasted buns with your favorite burger toppings. I used mayonnaise, arugula and sliced tomato. Avocado would be an excellent topping on this burger.

I found the patties a little delicate when trying to flip them over. Full disclosure, I was swearing at the first two patties that I ended up chucking into my sink. Once I figured out how I needed to man-handle the patties, I was fine with the remaining four patties. You have been warned!

Recipe rating: 

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