Saving the World, One Healthy Food at a Time!

Gluten Free Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

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Mini-burgers have great eye appeal and can be a big hit with kids. This recipe is packed with healthy plant based proteins that kids often don’t get enough of everyday. Plus it has herbs and spices like cilantro and other seasonings which add anti-viral, anti-bacterial and disease fighting properties to your kids’ diet.

Get your children involved in preparing this meal by washing the cilantro, draining the beans, measuring ingredients and assisting with turning the food processor on and off. Ask them for input on how to serve the burgers, with or without cilantro garnish, cheese, ketchup, mustard, relish or the works. Have them help dish out the food and decorate their toppings. Whether you’re gluten free or not –these can serve as center stage or a tasty accompaniment to any meal.


  • 6 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • ¾ cup red bell peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large shallot, diced small
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 3 cups of Trader Joes’ quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs (made using Udi’s whole grain gluten free bread)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of  TJ’s Everyday Seasoning, salt and pepper to taste
  • For flavor boost, double garlic and increase cilantro to ¾ cup


  1. Toast gluten free bread, cool, put in mini-food processor to chop into bread crumbs.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, add red pepper and sauté until slightly soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and shallot and continue to sauté until soft.
  4. Remove from heat, cool for a few minutes and combine with black beans and cilantro; add to food processor and pulse until chunky.
  5. Blend mixture with quinoa, salt and pepper.
  6. Taste – adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. Add a beaten egg and mix well.
  8. Divide into 7 or 8 patties and refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Season bread crumbs with Trader Joe’s everyday seasoning (or TJ’s 21 herb spice salute), salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Dredge patties in bread crumbs.
  10. Fry in remaining olive oil until browned about 3 minutes on each side.

Credit: Recipe from Trader Joe’s Tricolor Quinoa Recipe on Package.

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About the Author

Melissa is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with a masters in nutrition education. She is founder of SuperKids Nutrition Inc. where she is “saving the world, one healthy food at a time.” Read more about her Super Crew children’s books and her experience as a registered dietitian on the founder’s page. Discover how nutrition can help you live your best health potential through her on-line courses and subscribe to her blog, Melissa’s Healthy Living, for nutrition updates.

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