Cook's Hideout: Vegan Burger made with Refried Beans

October 02, 2012

Vegan Burger made with Refried Beans

Vegan MOFO Day 2: I planned to cook today's vegan lunch in 30 minutes and post it under '30 minute meals', but little did I know that my 3 week old had her own plans. I was hardly in the kitchen for 10 minutes, she started to cry and wanted to be fed and so my 30 minute meal ended up being more than an hour meal. Even though I wasn't able to make the meal under 30, but I'm sure it can done if there are no distractions.

One of my favorite things to do while on maternity leave is to watch tons of TV. Feeding time is the best time to catch up on Law & Order: SVU marathons and loads of cooking shows. One of the cooking shows I've started watching is Bal Arneson's Spice Goddess on Cooking Channel. I'm not too thrilled with her Americanized Indian accent and her over using of spices, but this Veggie Burger did catch my attention when I watched it. She used canned refried beans as the base for the burger and I thought that was a pretty genius idea.

I used Trader Joe's Refried Pinto Beans - Salsa style and added besan (chickpea flour), wholewheat bread crumbs and quick cooking oats to bind the burgers. I used store bought chole masala, but you can make your own masala using Bal's recipe here. The burgers turned out filling and delicious.

To go with the burgers I made Indian Spiced Sweet potato fries. These fries are addictive and husband and I ended up eating almost half of them before I even finished making the burgers.
Vegan Refried Beans - 1 16oz. can
Besan (Chickpea flour) - ½cup
Wholewheat bread crumbs - ¼cup
Quick cooking oats - ¼cup
Red onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Ginger + garlic paste - 1tsp (or use 1tsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic)
Chole Masala - 2tbsp (homemade or store bought)
Red chili powder - 2tsp
Salt - to taste

  • Heat 1tsp oil in a saute pan; add the onions and cook until lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add ginger + garlic paste and cook for another minute. Remove into a large bowl.
  • To the onion mixture add all the other ingredients and mix well to form a mixture that holds together when squeezed. Add more oats or crumbs if the mixture is too wet. 
  • Form 4-6 patties depending on the desired burger size. I was able to make 5 medium size and 1 small burger with the above ingredients.
  • Heat 2tbsp oil in a non-stick pan, cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crust forms on both the sides.
  • Enjoy on your favorite bun with your favorite burger accouterments. 
Sweet Potato Fries:
Sweet Potato - 2 medium, peeled and chopped into wedges
Red chili powder - 1tsp (use less if you don't like spicy stuff)
Curry powder - 1tsp
Corn Starch - 1tbsp
Salt - to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  • Add all the ingredients along with 2tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl or a zip lock bag. Mix well. 
  • Place the fries on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10-12 minutes. Using a spatula turn the fries around and bake for another 10 minutes or until the fries are crispy and cooked through.
  • Enjoy!!


  1. It's becoming more and more clear that I should just move in to Trader Joes. I've had burgers on the brain for days but since I'm cutting back on soy I've been looking for alternatives to my usual packaged favorites. This looks like a winner - pinning it now.

  2. I love that show too. I never realized why her accent bugged me until you described it that way. :) I am going to have to try these.

  3. What a great looking burger! I don't think I've ever even had refried beans (I should fix that!) but the flavours sound great.
    Happy MoFo!

  4. Thats a healthy and great looking burger, wholesome and yummy.

  5. Delicious looking burger which would also be protein packed! Nice idea for lunch.

  6. I am so happy to read that you think she overuses spices! I tried to make a dish using her spice recipe and it was awful. And I knew it was too much too!


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