Use Up Leftovers: Black Bean Burgers

Make delicious black bean burgers out of kitchen scraps! Click through for recipe.

Do you ever open you fridge only to discover you have nothing to eat but odds-and-ends?

You know what I mean: Little bits of leftover ingredients – half of an onion – a small piece of grilled chicken – a tablespoon left in the bottom of a jar of something.

Frustratingly, it happens to me all the time.

Last week, I was in major need of a fridge and freezer clean-out. Here were some of the items I found:

  • A small bag of frozen black beans
  • Frozen yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, beginning to soften
  • 1 mature jalapeno pepper
  • Leftover Feta cheese

I challenged myself to make something out of all of these leftover ingredients. I settled on making a batch of black bean burgers.

Turn kitchen scraps into something delicious - like black bean burgers! Click through for recipe.

Use Up Kitchen Scraps, Save Money

Have you heard of the TV show Scraps?

The show’s concept is simple: To create great meals out of food waste and kitchen scraps. Items many of us would throw out – but items that can be combined and repurposed to make great tasting dishes.

The show has inspired me to quit throwing away so much food.

It’s a fun challenge, too. Whenever I do it, I feel like I’m on a cooking show!

Give these black bean burgers a try – they were really delicious! And don’t forget to do your own experimenting in the kitchen. I’d love to hear how you repurpose leftovers.

Other Creative Recipes Using Leftovers:

Black Bean Burgers

There is a bit of flexibility in the ingredients. Obviously, what I have leftover in my fridge will not be the same as what you have leftover. However, don't be afraid to experiment a little. The base of the burgers is beans, breadcrumbs, and egg. You can add different ingredients depending on what you have on hand.

Ingredients:

For burgers:
  • 2 cups beans (I used black and pinto)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or cracker crumbs, tortilla chip crumbs, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese
  • 1 tomato, chopped and squeezed to remove as much moisture as possible
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper (orange, red or green)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For topping:
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
  • Lime juice, optional

Directions:

  • Rinse beans with cold water. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 3 minutes, to get rid of some of the moisture in the beans. Allow beans to cool before mixing with other ingredients.
  • Place cooled beans, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, tomato, bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times, until the ingredients are mixed. The mixture should be quite dry, but still moldable. If the mixture is too moist, add some more breadcrumbs. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until the right consistency is reached.
  • Form patties: Take 1/2 cup of the mixture and form into a patty, about 1/2 inch thick. Continue forming the rest of the patties.
  • To cook: Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add burgers, three at a time. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for 3 more minutes. Repeat and cook the remaining burgers.
  • For topping: Gently combine the tomato, avocado, red onion, and lime juice. Place on top of burgers and serve.
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