Burgers are the all-American classic, but as tasty they may be, they come with a side of guilt if you’re trying eat better. Instead of giving up burgers all together in the name of healthy eating, you can replace the fatty and greasy ground beef with beans for burgers that are as good for you as they are delicious. It’s a win-win for burger lovers who want to eat right.

This recipe for white bean burgers features kale, a superfood with high levels of vitamin A and cholesterol-fighting nutrients. Raw kale can taste a little bitter, but the bitterness disappears when you saute it before mixing it in with the white beans. When you’re choosing kale, look for deeply colored leaves and firm stems. Pre-washed and bagged kale is available in most grocery stores if you can’t find full kale leaves.

In addition to white beans and kale, we added vegetables and herbs to the patties for flavor and texture. Sauteing chopped onion and minced garlic with the kale adds a depth of flavor to the burger mixture which is seasoned with rich cumin and savory oregano. Eggs and breadcrumbs bind the mixture together making it easier to work with and less likely to fall apart when you cook them. After you form the mixture into patties, you can use them right away or refrigerate them until dinner time. They reheat well for leftovers the next day, too.

When you’re cooking bean burgers, you’ll need to be more careful with them since they are more delicate than all-beef patties. Since bean burgers lack grease, they’re more likely to stick to your grill and fall apart. You can keep them from sticking by making sure your grill grates are well oiled. Use a spatula wide enough to hold the entire burger so you can flip your burgers in one quick motion when they’re on the grill and can hold their weight when you’re ready to transfer them to buns or a plate. If you add cheese, choose a milder cheese like provolone that won’t overpower the flavor of the burgers. Serve them on whole wheat buns with all of your favorite toppings or plated with a side of fresh steamed vegetables for a light but elegant dinner.

White Bean and Kale Burgers

White Bean and Kale Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-oz) jar Randall Beans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 4 large kale leaves, washed and chopped
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Whole wheat buns
  • Provolone cheese
  • Lettuce

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, saute the onion with the olive oil until soft and translucent over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for one minute until golden, being careful not to let it burn.
  3. Stir in the cumin, dried oregano, salt and pepper then add the chopped kale leaves to the skillet along with the chicken broth. Cook for 2-3 minutes until kale is tender.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the Randall Beans Great Northern Beans and the contents of the skillet.
  5. Stir in the grated carrot and parsley, mashing the beans a bit as you go. Stir in the breadcrumbs, then add the egg to bind the mixture together.
  6. Form the mixture into patties using your hands. If you aren't using the patties immediately, cover and refrigerate them until you do.
  7. Grill the patties for 8-10 minutes per side, or pan fry them in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat.
  8. Serve on a whole wheat bun with provolone cheese, lettuce and your favorite toppings or plated with a side of steamed vegetables.
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Meatless Monday is so much more appealing when incorporating this tasty dish featuring Randall Beans Great Northern Beans.

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