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.
- 2 cups leftover red beans
- 1 1/2 cups leftover white rice
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1 large egg
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- olive oil, for pan frying
- 6 brioche buns
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons creole or whole grain mustard
- romaine lettuce pieces
- thick tomato slices
- ripe avocado slices
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment combine half of the red beans with 1 cup of rice. Add just a splash of water if you red beans don’t have a lot of liquid with them. Blend the two into a thick paste. Transfer the thick mixture to a medium bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of rice to the paste. Add the breadcrumbs, chopped green onions, egg, and a good pinch of both salt and pepper. Stir together until very thoroughly combined.
- Use a large ice cream scoop or just your eyeballs to envision 6 relatively equal pieces out of the mixture you’ve made. Rinse your hands and keep them lightly damp. Spoon or scoop the mixture into the palm of your hand and press into a 3/4-inch thick disk. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and continue until all of the mixture is shaped.
- Refrigerate the burgers for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- When ready to cook up the burgers add a good splash of olive oil into a nonstick pan over medium heat. Place two or three patties into the pan (as many as will fit comfortably) and allow to fry undisturbed for about 4 minutes. Flip gently and allow to cook on the other side. Gently press down on each burger and cook until deeply golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and continue with another splash of olive oil until all the patties are cooked.
- In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise and mustard. Spread mixture onto each half of the buns. Build your burger with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado and you’d like. Enjoy warm!
- These burger patties also freeze well when wrapped individually uncooked. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before pan frying.