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5 from 7 votes

Southwestern Pinto Bean Burger Recipe

This is one of those leftover pinto bean recipes I would have never thought of but now can't live without! These pinto bean burgers really hit the spot when you're craving that Southwestern, Tex-Mex flavor. But beware, you won't want to go back to frozen veggie patties after these!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 411kcal
Author: Anjali Shah



  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup dry whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons low fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or Cholula sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 15oz can pinto beans, drained 1 can
  • 1 8oz can no salt-added whole-kernel corn, drained Or 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Ketchup or barbecue sauce If you use bbq sauce, make sure you get one that’s super low in sugar (less than 4 grams per serving)
  • Red onion slices
  • Roma tomato slices
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Whole wheat or sprouted wheat hamburger buns Make sure you get buns with <200 calories and at least 4 grams of fiber per bun


  • To prepare burgers, combine the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl or food processor. If you use a food processor, you don't have to dice the onion or mince the jalapeno pepper ahead of time. (This saves on cutting time if you have a good food processor). Transfer to a large bowl, and mix in the egg.
  • Put pinto beans and corn in the food processor, and then add to the mixture in the bowl. Alternatively, you can add the pinto beans/corn to the bowl and partially mash with a fork or potato masher.
  • Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 3 1/2-inch patty, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan, and cook 5 minutes on each side. Reduce to medium heat, cook an additional 5 minutes (flipping the burger patty once in between) to get a nice caramelized crust. Transfer burgers to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Now it’s time for assembly! Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with 1-2 tbsp ketchup or bbq sauce, red onion slices, roma tomatoes, baby spinach leaves, and top half of bun.


Top Tips For Making Pinto Bean Burgers
  • Use whole wheat panko breadcrumbs because they lighter and lower in calories than regular breadcrumbs.
  • Use a food processor to cut up the first 9 ingredients, to save time. 
  • Make sure you don't skip refrigerating the burger patties before cooking them! That really helps them hold together and have that meaty feel.
  • The pinto bean burger patties will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. To store: let the patties cool completely. Then transfer them to an airtight container and place in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months (just thaw in the fridge to defrost and heat in a skillet on medium heat until warmed through).
Adapted from MyRecipes


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 63.1g | Protein: 15.2g | Fat: 10.7g | Sodium: 837mg | Fiber: 9.1g