One of the first things I taught myself to “cook” was frozen bean burgers from the local Walmart when I was in school in Arkansas.
Is heating something from the freezer considered cooking? Probably not. But I was so proud of myself, making dinners out of frozen black bean burgers or whole wheat pasta with jarred sauce.
When I went away to school and finally had a dorm apartment with a tiny kitchen, I started buying my own food instead of just eating in the caf all the time. There’s only so many Cinnamon Toast Crunch dinners you can take.
I pretty much only made 3 meals in college for myself: frozen pizzas, whole wheat pasta with jarred sauce and veggies on the side, and those frozen black bean burgers (that I still love). The only bad thing about cooking the same 3 things over and over? I couldn’t eat any of these meals for years after getting out of school – I had eaten them so much over a year and a half that I was completely sick of them.
Lucky for us, I was never totally turned off of bean burgers AND we finally made a good batch at home.
Oh, I’ve tried to make them at home before.
I’ve made lots of batches but some just didn’t have enough spice or they fall apart as soon as you take a bite. But these burgers are exactly how we like ‘em: crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.
And bonus: you could make these, freeze them at home, and not even have to go down that isle in the grocery store.
Easy Pinto Bean Burgers
Makes: 6 burgers
- 2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup masa harina (or very finely ground cornmeal)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour the beans into a large bowl and mash them together with a potato masher or 2 forks. Once most of the beans are mashed and creamy, set the bowl to the side.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs together and stir in the masa harina and olive oil.
- Pour the eggs and masa into the bowl with the beans and add the garlic, scallions, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together and shape the beans into 6 equal burgers.
- Place the burgers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.