Loving the BITE: Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers Recipe


It was once known by Incan warriors for stamina and power.  Today, Loving the Bike cyclists can reap the same benefits.  Quinoa.  If you don’t know what it is, don’t worry, you soon will.  Don’t know how to pronounce it?  No problem, we’ll get to that too.

For starters, it’s a grain-like seed that’s packed with protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This week, vegetarians and meat-eaters can agree as we combine all the nutrition benefits of black beans AND quinoa to produce a delicious vegetarian burger that’s sure to deliver on taste and protein.


Recipe of the week:  Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers Recipe

(via www.bakeyourday.net)



  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked with vegetable stock instead of water)*
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated (or finely diced)
  • 2 Tbs. onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup panko (more as needed for texture)
  • Olive oil (for pan frying)

Cilantro-Lime Aioli

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. freshly chopped cilantro
  • Small pinch ground black pepper


Sauté the onion and carrot in the olive oil until softened, about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, paprika, ground cumin, cinnamon, sea salt and cayenne together. Set aside.

Pour the black beans, onions and carrots into a large bowl. Using two forks or a pastry blender, smash the black beans to break them up as much as possible. (You can also use a food processor for this.) Add in the ketchup and spice mixture and mix until well blended.

Fold in the cooked quinoa and the panko. Form the mixture into six patties. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the patties and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.

Mix the aioli ingredients together in a small bowl.

Serve burgers topped with aioli and other favorite burger toppers.

*How to soak and cook quinoa:  Soak quinoa in water for 15 minutes (can soak for up to an hour).  Then rinse with fresh water in a fine metal strainer or colander lined with cheesecloth.  Next, add 1 part quinoa to 1 ¼ parts liquid (water or broth).  Bring to a boil; then, cover and simmer on low for 30 and 35 minutes.  Remove from heat and let set covered for an additional five minutes.  Fluff and serve.


Just what is quinoa?  The simple answer is it’s a pseudo-grain seed that’s closely related to vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.  Huh?

No matter its biological category, quinoa is a wonderful, complete nutrition, whole-food seed that’s packed with nutrients.  Because of its texture and versatility, it’s often used in place of grains such as rice.  Here’s what a little quinoa can do for you:

  • Reduce migraines and headaches: Magnesium, found in quinoa, relaxes constricted blood vessels that contribute to migraines.
  • Reduce risk of heart disease and high blood pressure: Along with reducing migraines, magnesium’s relaxation of blood vessels can reduce high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias.  Quinoa’s high level of antioxidants also reduces the ability of “bad cholesterol” to become oxidized and form plagues in arteries.
  • Decrease oxidative stress and damage from free radicals: Quinoa is a very good source of another mineral, manganese.  Manganese is a cofactor for an enzyme called superoxide dismutase which works as an antioxidant to protect the mitochondria of cells.  How can this help cyclists?  The mitochondria are responsible for much of the cells’ energy production – they are extremely important cellular components prone to oxidative damage in the absence of antioxidants.
  • Provide fiber to decrease risk of heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes and intestinal issues: Quinoa is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibers.  Soluble fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol and spikes in blood sugar; and, it feeds healthy bacteria in the intestines.  Insoluble fiber keeps the gut in shape and triggers hormonal responses that improve immune function and overall health.
  • Supply lignans to protect against heart disease:  Like flaxseeds, quinoa is a good source of lignans, a powerful phytonutrient.  Lignans reduce our risk of hormone-dependent cancers and heart disease.
  • Provide a gluten-free grain alternative: For cyclists going gluten-free, quinoa provides a grain-like food that’s completely wheat and gluten-free.  It can be easily substituted for couscous, rice, and oats.

Pronounced keen-wah, quinoa can be your new favorite pseudo-grain seed.  Eat it and get protein, whole-food carbs, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.  Eat it and improve stamina and power just like an ancient Incan warrior…a peaceful one, of course.

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body. 


Enjoy Your Ride
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19 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Quinoa-Black Bean Burgers Recipe ”

  1. nick on August 12, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    We make these burgers all the time. Always returning to this page! Very tasty. Thanks for the great idea and delicious food!

    • Darryl on August 12, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Dude, where do you find the time to comment on 4 year old blog posts? Hahaha, thanks for taking the time….and so glad you’re still grilling these up.

  2. Leslie Ethridge on June 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    What can I sub for the panko breadcrumbs?

    • Kelli, RD on July 1, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Hi Leslie, Thanks for your question. Panko breadcrumbs are generally more coarse and larger than regular breadcrumbs, but you can try subbing regular ones. Or, try coarsely-chopped crackers, toast, or coursely chopped flake cereals (corn, rice, etc). If you’re looking for gluten free, some panko breadcrumbs are labeled as such, or you can use gluten-free crackers/bread and coarsely chop. I hope this helps! All the best!

  3. mtbandtreegrrl on February 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I’ve added quinoa to the “grain” side of my plate to take a break from rice and barley and I like it.  I don’t add anything too it.  It has a cool texture, kinda like bubblewrap for your teeth.  These look like another great way to use it since I’m an “army of one” and I only know how to cook for small armies, preparing things multiple ways is what I do.  Thanks for the help mixing it up.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on February 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Mtbandtreegrrl – Thanks for the comment!  And, that’s great to use some of the quinoa you make for the burgers, and then reserve some of it for a side dish grain in another meal.  It may even freeze well if you need to save extra.  I often freeze rice that I’ve made, so I just pull out and reheat the amount we need for a meal.  Take care!  Kelli, RD

  4. Glenn on January 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Cool Beans !!

  5. Dutton Cycles on January 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    This one sounds like perfect fuel for a ride.  Thanks for another great nutritious recipe for us cyclists.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on January 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      You’re very welcome!  This recipe is a good source of low-glycemic carbs that can provide long lasting energy if eaten a few hours before riding – but, since it does have a decent amount of fiber, make sure you don’t eat it immediately before riding to give yourself a chance to digest it well.  Enjoy! 

  6. Anonymous on January 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Mmm….my mouth is watering!!  I just pinned this to Pinterest, and must try next week!!  
    I have been in a bit of a cooking funk for a bit (just making the same thing, and no motivation), but finding new recipes, that are healthy, fairly easy and look delicious has allowed me to find the spark again.   I also love when it’s something that uses ingredients I already have (i’ll need to pick up some quinoa for this one).  

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on January 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      I thought you might like this one! Sometimes, just one new recipe per week gets me out of a funk.  let me know what you think…

      • Anonymous on January 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        I think that’s what I’m going to try to do (one new recipe per week).  I now have a few to try, but don’t want to use them all up in the same week!!  hahaha!  This one is already on the list for next week (as well as the roasted red pepper coulis you posted a few weeks ago, that I never got to make because we went on holidays and I didn’t cook at all).  
        I will honestly try and remember to tell you what we think!! 🙂  

      • Anonymous on January 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        Okay…..made these tonight…..AMAZING!!  My new favorite recipe!  I topped mine with the aioli and some guacamole.  

        Thanks again!! 

  7. Kelli Myers Jennings on January 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Hi Jennifer – I’m actually new to following @bakeyourday – it’s a great blog.  Hope you enjoy this and our other recipes.  So far, we’ve posted 2 detox smoothie recipes + a handful of other smoothies…you’re sure to find them with a quick search of this site if you’re interested.  Have a great day! 

  8. Jennifer on January 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I am a follower of @bakeyourday and saw that you had shared one of her fantastic recipes.  I took a look at some of your other recipes that you’ve posted and many of them look very good.  I especially like the detox smoothie recipe and will try that out for sure.

  9. Heather H on January 5, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Not sure if it’s this recipe or not, but I made a similar quinoa and black bean burger before and it was very good.  I’ll have to go look for the other recipe and then try this one if it is different. 

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on January 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Yes, let me know…I looked at a lot of different recipes and this one is awesome – thanks bakeyourday!  Either way, a meal of quinoa and black beans is a very nutritious meal.  Take care!

  10. Brent on January 5, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I have been wanting to cook with quinoa for quite a long time and this is the first recipe that looks good to me.  Thank you, I will try it this weekend.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on January 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Hi Brent,
      I hope you enjoy it!  So far, it’s one of my favorite quinoa recipes…let me know what you think.  And, if there’s ever other foods/ingredients you’d (or any LTB reader) want to try or want to see featured, please let me know – I’m game!  Have a great day! Kelli, RD 


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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