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Quinoa and Pinto Bean Burgers with Yogurt Sauce


For the sauce
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the patties
  • ½ cup yellow or red quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh strainer, drained
  • 1 cup water
  • California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¾ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon hot chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby arugula
  • 2 medium, ripe plum tomatoes, each cut crosswise into 6 slices


  1. Mix the sauce ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is almost absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, keep covered, and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any excess water. Let cool completely.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  4. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the quinoa, the onion mixture, and the remaining patty ingredients, including 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse until well combined and the corn is coarsely chopped.
  5. Generously oil a rimmed sheet pan. Transfer one-sixth of the quinoa mixture to the sheet pan and form into a 3-inch patty, ½ to ¾ inch thick. Repeat with the remaining quinoa mixture. Cover and refrigerate the patties for 1 to 3 hours.
  6. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F) and preheat a grill-proof griddle.
  7. Brush the tops of the patties with oil and drizzle 1 tablespoon oil on the griddle. Place the patties on the griddle, oiled side down, and cook over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the undersides are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush the tops of the patties with oil, turn them over, and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, toast the buns on the cooking grates, cut side down, over direct heat.
  8. Build each burger on a bun with arugula, two tomato slices, a patty, and a dollop of yogurt sauce. Serve immediately.

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