Chipotle-Bean Burgers with Cilantro Sauce


Serve these burgers tucked into whole wheat tortillas or pita pockets and slathered with Cilantro Sauce. Canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are readily available in gourmet and ethnic markets and some supermarkets; any remaining chiles will keep in the refrigerator for months. Use them whenever you want to add a hot, smoky flavor to a dip or dish.



  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 15-oz. can pinto, kidney or anasazi beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, preferably fresh
  • Cilantro Sauce (recipe follows)


  1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring often, 7 to 10 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, chipotle chile, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add a third of beans and 1/3 cup water (or bean cooking liquid), and, using potato masher or fork, mash beans. When liquid is absorbed, add another third of beans and 1/3 cup liquid, and mash until mixture is chunky. Stir in last third of beans, and mash lightly. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick and mostly dry.
  2. Transfer beans to mixing bowl to cool, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Spread remaining breadcrumbs on plate. Using spoon, drop bean mixture by one-sixths into breadcrumbs. Sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs, and form into 6 patties of equal size. Place patties on clean plate. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
  3. To cook on a grill: Prepare charcoal fire or gas grill for medium heat. Spray grill rack with cooking spray. Place patties on grill, and cook until golden brown and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. To cook in a skillet: Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with Cilantro Sauce.

Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 thick slice sourdough or Italian-style white bread, preferably stale
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 scallions (white and pale green parts), thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  1. Put bread in small bowl, cover with water and let soak 5 minutes. Remove bread, squeeze out excess water, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, and cook, stirring often, 7 minutes, or until softened. Add scallions; cook, stirring often, 1 minute.
  3. Put mixture into blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup water, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, soaked bread and salt. Purée until smooth.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: SERVES 6
  • Calories: 200
  • Carbohydrate Content: 26 g
  • Fat Content: 8 g
  • Fiber Content: 5 g
  • Protein Content: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 770 mg
  • Sugar Content: 3 g