Chipotle Black Bean and Rice Burger

Prepared Chipotle Black Bean and Rice Burgers on a cutting board.
Prep Time: 
40 min prep time
Number of Servings: 
serves 6
Recipe Source: 
American Institute for Cancer Research,


  • 1 cup frozen brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 12 cup chopped onion
  • 12 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 cup almond meal or very finely ground almonds
  • 14 to 12 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 23 cup (2 oz) shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 whole-wheat pita breads with pockets (5-6 inches)
  • 2 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
  • 6 thin tomato slices
  • 6 very thin red onion slices


  1. In a small saucepan, combine frozen rice with N cup water and cook, covered, until rice is very soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer rice to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. In a heavy medium skillet, preferably cast iron, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper, and cook until onion is translucent, 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onion is soft, 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl of food processor.
  3. Add beans to food processor and pulse to chop mixture coarsely. Add almond meal or almonds and chili pepper and pulse just to blend, 6 times. Add cheese and pulse to blend, 4 times. Scoop burger mixture into a medium bowl; it will be quite sticky. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly moisten your hands and shape burger mixture into 6 patties, arranging patties on a plate.
  5. To cook burgers, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add burgers and cook until crusty and dark brown on bottom, 2 minutes. Carefully turn burgers and cook until crusty on second side, 2 minutes.
  6. To serve, open pita breads and arrange 12 cup arugula on each bottom. Add cooked burger and top with tomato and onion slices. Serve immediately.


These veggie burgers may be the best meatless meal you have all week. Black beans form the traditional base, but unlike the usual recipes that use breadcrumbs or eggs to bind, a blend of brown rice, almond meal, and a little cheese is used. The result is a spicy, savory patty with fiber, protein, and extra veggies. For the best flavor—and if time allows—cover the burgers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours before cooking to let flavors meld.

Nutrition Info: 
Per serving: 490 Calories, 18 g Protein, 78 g Carbohydrates, 13 g Fiber, 14 g Total fat (3 g sat), 628 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Phosphorus, ★★★★ Vitamin C,★★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Magnesium, ★★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), B6, K, Iron, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), E, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc