Black Bean “Nacho” Burgers

2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (preferably blue corn chips)
1/2 cup salsa, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 scallion (white and green parts), trimmed and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Sour cream, for serving (optional)

I’m lucky to have my sister and her family just a few doors down from me, and we love getting together for big meals. I’m always on the hunt for creative vegetarian main courses because my nephew doesn’t eat meat. The trick is to find something that not only satisfies him but will keep the rest of our brood happy, too. These burgers are a hit—they’re cheesy and toasty and have great texture thanks to tortilla chips, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg to make. In fact, this recipe made with beef instead of beans would be twice the price.

These burgers, included in my “Ten Dollar Dinners” cookbook, were also featured in Fitness magazine — check it out.

Use a food processor or potato masher to smash the beans in a large bowl until you have a rough-textured and chunky mixture with a few semi-whole beans left. Stir in the tortilla chips, salsa, cheese, egg, scallion, salt, and pepper. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes to allow the chips to absorb some of the liquid, then shape into 4 patties.

Place the patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the buns on a baking sheet and place in the oven until warm to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes. While the buns warm, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Set the burgers in the pan and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the burgers, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and cook until the other side is golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve the burgers topped with salsa and sour cream (if using) and on the warmed buns.

Reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners. Copyright © 2012 by Melissa d’Arabian. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

4 as a main dish
Prep & Cooking Time:
37 minutes (plus 30 minutes to chill)
Skill Level: