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Vegetarian Bean Burgers

serves 4-6

With no measuring spoons in her Baghdad kitchen, war correspondent Jackie Spinner had to approximate the amount of the ingredients. Leftover patties can be frozen.

Read more about this recipe at the Washington Post.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cans (30 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon yellow or Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely grated


prep: 15 minutes
total: 15 minutes


medium pan
large bowl


1. In a medium pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mash the beans with your hands (it's okay if some of the beans remain whole). Add the mustard, ketchup, oats, carrots and the onion mixture and mix until well-combined. Form into about large 6 balls. (Do not flatten into patties.)

3. In the same pan over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of the butter. Cook 2 balls at a time. After about 2 minutes, flatten each ball slightly with a spatula but do not make them too thin. After another 2 minutes, or when the patties are firm enough to hold together, flip over. Cook an additional 2 minutes until browned and heated through. Repeat with the remaining butter and balls. Serve hot.

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