Salsa Burgers

This upcoming weekend is all about the barbecue for me, so I wanted to make something to toss on the grill with the vegetable kabobs. Nothing worse than having nothing to eat but chips all day (especially when there are cocktails in the mix)! I made these pinto burgers this morning, since the temps are going to reach the mid 90’s today and tomorrow. Cook before the sun gets too hot! Sorry for the lack of photos, I’ll try to add some from the luau I’m taking them to on Saturday. Here’s what I came up with, varying the original recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian:

 Salsa Burgers
4 c cooked pinto beans (just under a pound if you cook them from dry) or 2 cans, well-drained

2 onions, quartered if you have a food processor, finely minced if you don’t

1 c rolled oats

2 T each of chilli powder, cumin, and dried oregano

2 eggs or substitute1c mashed potatoes, or 1c cooked oatmeal, or 1/2c Vegannaise, or 1c tofu.  I think tomato paste would work too, and give some more depth to the flavor.  Someone try it and report back!

1/3- 2/3 c salsa of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica because I happened to have it. Curious about how chunkier salsa would taste and affect the texture.)

big handful of fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

1. If at all humanly possible, puree the onions and cilantro. I did this in two batches in the 2 cup food chopper attachment for my blender. If not, mince them as finely as possible.

2. Either mash everything together with a potato masher like I did (time-consuming but kinda fun), or put it in the food processor (fast and fun) and pulse until chunky but not pureed, adding a little more salsa if it’s too dry (unlikely for this recipe) to produce a moist but not wet mixture. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

3.  Let it rest for a few minutes before you shape into patties. If your kitchen has reached a temperature of 85 or more degrees (like mine did), you may want to put it in the fridge for 10 minutes. With wet hands, shape into whatever size patties you want (I made them about 1/3c each and got over a dozen patties). Let them rest again if you can be that patient. This is a good opportunity to wash some dishes.

4. Brown in a non-stick skillet, or lightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes for each side. I found it helpful to lightly squish them with a spatula after flipping them over. Keeps them from being too thick and not cooking through.

Eat up!  I found that these were great with a little mayo and some pineapple salsa that I accidentally stole from my roommate.  I really thought it was mine, I swear!  But now I know what else to take to that luau 😉

10 thoughts on “Salsa Burgers

    • pennyparsnip says:

      Do me a favor: try them with some tomato paste. Like… a tablespoon or two. I felt that they needed some more depth. Also, know that this recipe makes enough for a small army, or 2 teenage boys 🙂 For only 2 or three normal people, cut it in half.

      Happy cooking!

  1. mikey says:

    got the tomato paste and the rolled oats for the fourth of july test run on saturday, gotta track down the cilantro. giant eagle is unforgiving on fresh spices.

    • pennyparsnip says:

      If you can’t find fresh cilantro, either leave it out or substitute dried. I’d say start with a teaspoon and work your way up. Could also try a different herb. Oregano or parsley could be nice, or a few cloves of garlic.

  2. Michael Hoffmann says:

    Robin, the burgers are awesome and the tomato paste worked smooth, it brought out a much richer flavor in both the beans, and the salsa. or maybe its just me. and you are correct. this recipe is good for a small army and so, I will be scarfing salsa burgers all week. they are awesome. I sent you photos of the process via facebook.

    • pennyparsnip says:

      Yum! So glad they turned out well! Thanks for the photos. I’m working on a version with kidney beans and tomato paste right now. Had to take a break from my sweltering kitchen 🙂

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