One of my favorite techniques for stretching my food budget is substituting half of the meat in my meals with beans. So, when I got an email from one of my readers, Lori, with a link to this Black Bean Turkey Burgers recipe on Allrecipes.com, I had to go check it out. It looked super simple and tasty, but I wanted to make my own version. I took a cue from Lori, who said she liked to add her own spices, like cumin and sriracha, and decided to throw a southwest spin on the black bean and turkey combo.
I used a simple mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and cayenne to flavor the beans and meat, then added sliced green onion for some color, texture, and flavor. That’s it! That’s all you need to make an insanely delicious black bean turkey burger. You can eat these Mini Black Bean Turkey Burgers on a bun, but I opted for pita bread because they tend to be less expensive where I live. I added a few slices of tomato and made a simple avocado-sour cream sauce because avocado were on sale. The sauce was just for fun, really, so you can skip it if needed, or even just do sliced avocado if you’re short on time.
Why did I make them “mini”? Because A) they cook faster and B) two small patties will fit in my pita better than one large patty. So, feel free to make regular sized patties if you want, just know that they’ll like need to cook a little longer.
AND, if you want to be extra fancy, you can mix some shredded pepper jack into the meat and bean mixture for little pops of cheesy goodness in your burgers. HELLO YUM.
Mini Black Bean Turkey Burgers
- 1 15oz. can black beans* ($0.60)
- 3 green onions ($0.38)
- 1/2 Tbsp chili powder** ($0.15)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.03)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.04)
- 19 oz. lean ground turkey ($4.59)
AVOCADO SAUCE (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado ($1.00)
- 1/2 lime ($0.20)
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/2 cup sour cream ($0.75)
- 1/2 tsp sugar ($0.01)
- 5 pita halves ($0.83)
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced ($1.12)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the black beans. Place the black beans in a large bowl and mash them slightly with your hands or a potato masher. Slice the green onions and add them to the bowl along with the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir until the beans are evenly seasoned.
- Add the ground turkey to the seasoned black beans. Mix well using your hands. Form 10 small patties (about 2-2.5 inches diameter, 1/2 inch thick). Place the patties on a roasting pan or a baking sheet covered with foil and wire cooling racks.
- Bake the patties in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the center. Alternatively, you can cook the patties in a skillet, on a grill, or using an indoor countertop grill.
- While the patties are baking, prepare the avocado sauce. Add the avocado (diced), juice from half a lime (about 2 Tbsp), garlic powder, salt, sugar, sour cream, and 2-4 Tbsp of water to a blender. Blend the ingredients together, adding the water slowly until a smooth, thick sauce forms.
- Smear some of the sauce inside each pita half, add a couple tomato slices, and two of the turkey patties.
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Mini Black Bean Turkey Burgers
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans. Place them in a large bowl and use your hands or a potato masher to slightly mash the beans.
To the mashed beans add: 3 sliced green onions, 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Mix the ingredients the bowl until the beans are well seasoned. If you’re using low sodium canned beans, or beans you’ve cooked yourself without salt, you may want an extra 1/4 tsp salt. If you taste this mixture now, it may be very strong or salty, but remember these seasoning have to spread throughout the turkey as well and will end up much more mild.
I’m not sure why ground turkey always comes in 19oz. packages, but they do (here in the U.S. anyway). If your packages aren’t 19oz, you can just use about 1.5 lbs.
Add the ground turkey to the bowl and mix with your hands until everything is evenly distributed.
Form the mixture into about 10 small patties, 2.5 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. There are several ways you can cook these patties, including a skillet, a grill, or something like a George Foreman Grill. I chose to bake them because Lori said she likes this method best and because they can just cook all at one time without much babysitting. I made a make-shift roasting pan by covering a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and placing two wire racks on top. This allows the hot air to circulate under the burgers and for the fat to drip away.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. After baking they should be browned and no longer pink in the center. You may need to sacrifice one patty and cut it in half to be sure. Remember, if you make a different sized patty, the baking time will vary.
While the patties are baking, you can make the avocado sauce. Add 1 diced avocado, the juice from half a lime (about 2 Tbsp), 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 cup sour cream to a blender. Blend the ingredients together, adding water slowly (about 4 Tbsp), until you have a thick, smooth sauce.
To make the “burgers”, spread some of the avocado sauce inside half a pita, add a few slices of tomato, and two of the mini black bean turkey burgers.
Easy, delicious, and super healthy! Seriously, these burgers come together in just a few minutes and bake quickly, so this is a great weeknight meal option. :D