My life is a series of leftovers. Every day I put the skillet on the stovetop and hustle something cold out of the fridge to fry in the skillet with an egg or a handful of greens. 8 times out of 10 that leftover is a bean of some sort…. listen, it’s all romance here in my kitchen, and I’m romancing the dang bean.
Today’s recipe is truly an encouragement to work Red Beans and Rice into your monthly meal routine. I’ve been tryna tell you about these beans and there’s no stopping me now. Red beans are such a staple down south that a) we have a parade dedicated to them during Mardi Gras and b) I’m here to preach the gospel of a every rotating pot of beans in the kitchen. It’s a lifestyle and an invitation, you know?
These burgers are inspired (if I do say so myself) leftovers. I can eat the same thing for about 4 days before I have to send them off to the freezer for my future self. This recipes is me digging into my freezer, removing the two containers of red beans and rice leftover from weeks past and twerking them into a new meal.
Workin, twerking, not wasting food.
But first let’s start with Red Beans and Rice. Have you adventured into this territory? Here’s a classic recipe: New Orleans Beans and Rice. Super savory, salty, comforting and filling. I’ve often made this recipe without the pancetta and andoiulle and like it very much. If you’d like to keep these burgers very veggie friendly, skip the meat and add a dash of liquid smoke.
I happened to make these burgers with vegetarian red beans and rice leftovers, but the world is yours and I respect your choices.
See another leftover adventure: Red Beans and Rice Nachos.
We’ll start by using a food processor to blend some of the beans and rice together. We want to create a bit of a paste so the burgers hold together.
To the paste add the other half of the leftover red beans.
I think some whole beans in our bites feel good.
About half a cup of leftover rice to the mixture too.
(I actually had to make more rice just for this recipe because I’m a rice fiend and cooked rice never lasts long in my fridge.)
Breadcrumbs will help further bind the mixture.
I used panko breadcrumbs and a gluten-free version would also be a fine option.
A tremendous amount of green onions add a nice bite to these burgers.
An egg will help bind everything even further.
The key really is to get the burger to hold together until you get it on a bun and into your face. That’s not asking too much, right?
Stir the mixture together until very well and evenly combined.
I used a giant cookie scoop to portion the burgers into six even disks.
To keep the mixture from sticking to hands too terribly, I rinse my hands and keep them a little damp while shaping the disks.
Allow the patties to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Longer is great. We just want to give them a chance to set up and play nice.
Pan fry in olive oil until deeply golden on both sides and warmed through. We’re talking about 4 minutes on each side.
I found that these burgers were a bit too tender for an actual grill, but pan frying is great!
Choose your bun, easy.
Stir together a mixture of mayonnaise and creole or whole grain mustard. Top each bottom bun with a warm burger.
You know what you’re doing from here, but I’m still going to offer some guidance.
Top with a crisp piece of lettuce and a thick slice of tomato.
Ripe avocado is a luxury, and a top bun spread with sauce.
That’s a FINE burger, don’t you think?
I served these burgers with my Chili Baked Sweet Potato Fries and have no regrets.
Leftovers made new, and a pat on the back for each of us.
These photos made with my dear friend Jon Melendez.