Zucchini Black Bean Burgers with Corn, Tomato and Mango Salsa

A guest post by Elizabeth Thomas
Dairy-free/nut-free. Substitue breadcrumbs for oats (or gluten free breadcrumbs) to make gluten-fee. 
This week I started teaching cooking classes to students at Dawes Elementary School, where for the last four years they have been growing a garden and participating in the Slow Food in Schools, Farm to Table project. In my “Cooking Up Wellness” classes we are celebrating fruits and vegetables by making Zucchini Black Bean Burgers and Tomato, Corn, and Mango Salsa. The recipes are simple, affordable and now kid tested and approved! I am loving cooking with these amazing kids and after a successful first week, I encourage you to try making these burgers with your children.

Zucchini Black Bean Burgers

1- 15oz can black beans (or chickpeas)
2 zucchini, 7-9 inches long
1/4 cup ground rolled oats or breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:  Wash and drain the black beans and place in a medium sized bowl. Using a potato masher, crush the beans until they form a paste. Lay out 2 paper towels. Shred zucchini on paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels, pressing down to drain off water from veggies. If you find there is still a lot of moisture to them, repeat process. When they no longer release moisture, add to bowl with black beans, along with ground oats or bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Use hands to incorporate all ingredients evenly, adding more breadcrumbs if too wet. Create ¼ inch – ½ inch thick patties of the vegetable mixture and cook in a saute pan on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until brown, flip, then about 5 minutes more, until brown on other side. Serve warm on burger buns with preferred condiments.

Corn, Tomato, and Mango Salsa

1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained of juice, or 1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 mango peeled and chopped
juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
salt and pepper
1-4 ounce can diced green chile, drained of juices or 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

Place corn and drained tomatoes in a bowl. Peel and chop mango into small cubes, being careful not to cut into seed at center. Add lime juice, red wine vinegar, cilantro and desired amount salt and pepper. Mix ingredients together and serve. If you prefer spicy salsa, add seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper or 1-4 ounce can diced green chili, drained of juices, to bowl and mix before serving.

Food for Thought: A small fast food burger contains 250 calories, 9 grams of fat(including 3.5 grams of dangerous saturated fat), and only 2 grams of fiber. Zucchini Black Bean Burgers contain less than 200 calories, 5 grams of fat(less than 1 gram saturated fat), and a very high 5 grams of fiber. Both burgers cost around $1.50/per burger, but Zucchini Black Bean Burgers are the clear choice for a low calorie, low fat, and high fiber, healthy meal!


  1. kathryn says:

    I’m thinking of trying these veggie burgers tonight–I’ll substitute quinoa for the cous cous:

    Mediterranean Veggie Burger
    1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
    2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing
    ¼ c. orzo, couscous, or rice
    1/3 c. fregola
    one 15 oz. can organic chickpeas, drained
    ¼ c. mushrooms, finely chopped
    2 T. chopped pitted Gaeta olives
    ¼ c. shredded carrot
    2 T. chopped scallions
    3 T. full-fat plain Greek yogurt
    ¼ c. marinated artichokes
    1 T. fresh lemon juice
    1 tsp. each of chopped basil, chives and parsley
    2 ¼ c. cooked red and/or white quinoa
    salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)
    8 slices of scamorza cheese (or your choice)
    8 burger buns (optional)
    sun-dried tomato spread, thinly sliced for serving
    dill pickle, thinly sliced for serving
    fresh tomato, thinly sliced for serving

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the garlic halves cut side up on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly. Roast until the garlic is very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool, then squeeze the cloves out of their skins into a small bowl and mash to a paste. Bring water to a boil. Add the fregola and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool slightly. In a food processor, puree the garlic paste, grain, chickpeas, and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil; transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the mushrooms, carrots, artichokes, olives, scallions, yogurt, lemon juice, herbs and quinoa. Season with salt and pepper.

    Heat a large cast-iron griddle or skillet and brush with olive oil. Using lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into eight 3-inch patties. Brush the patties with oil and cook over high heat until golden on bottom. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover and cook until the patties are heated through and golden on the bottom and the cheese is melted. Top with sun-dried tomato spread, pickles, and sliced tomatoes. Serve on optional butter buns. SERVES: 8

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