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Heather Nauta’s Spicy Black Bean Burgers

[Have you been over to yesterday’s post to enter the giveaway yet? Heather is giving away a full series of her online cooking classes–that’s 24 classes!! Plus bonus materials galore. Go ahead and enter–but then come back here for this fantastic recipe!]


[These burgers were so good, I actually tried to learn PicMonkey for them! What do y’all think–too basic? Yea or Nay to the superimposed caption?]

Although Toronto is renowned as a multicultural city, one of the few culinary chasms is Mexican food. Oh, sure, there are Mexican restaurants here and there, but they are far outnumbered by Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Malaysian, Thai, Hungarian, Ethiopian, Fusion, and about 47 other cuisines I can’t think of at the moment. Then again, since Toronto is pretty much across the continent (about 3700 kilometers or 2300 miles) from Mexico, the scarcity makes some sense.

When The HH and I were first dating, we seemed to land at one particular Mexican place called Hernando’s Hideaway fairly often. Dim, cavernous, and located below street level, it’s one of those “great place to meet a paramour” dive-cum-bars that’s frequented by univesity students, coworkers on Thursday evening, out-of-towners, and. . . .the HH and me. It was the type of establishment where the quality of the food is often masked by the poor visibility, like a stop sign that suddenly seems to jump out at you if you drive in a snowstorm.

The HH and I, however, loved it there. We’d sit in a just-wiped vinyl booth beside the dark, unreflective walnut paneled walls, gazing at each other with newfound infatuation as we shared fully loaded nachos with guacamole, refried beans smothered in cheese, burritos, carafes of intensely dark red wine (ah! I remember the days of wine. . . ), and whatever else struck our fancy.   Despite the dim surroundings (perhaps it was the starry look in our eyes that illuminated the tabletop), we’d savor every mouthful.  Of course, none of it was authentic–bordering on fast-food, in fact–and we’d likely turn our noses up at the fare today.  But back then, it served to ignite a love of Tex Mex cuisine (and got our own romance moving along in the process).

Black Bean Burger on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[My burger, with dijon, sauerkraut, sprouts and sriracha on a gluten-free bun.]

I don’t usually post Mexican dishes precisely because I have so little experience in that area, but these burgers are a bit of a fusion dish that evoked a pleasing taste of the southwest right here in my wintery Toronto kitchen.  This is one of three burgers that Heather offers in her cooking classes (a full series of which I am giving away here!).  These burgers were incredibly easy and quick to prepare, and I loved that they were baked rather than fried (though Heather does offer instructions for pan-frying, too).

The hardest part was waiting for them to cook, as the aroma of browning onion and chili wafted through the kitchen.  Once done, they provided a perfect sandwich filling with a crispy exterior and moist, robust inside.  Not overly spicy, they were nonetheless incredibly flavorful.  I enjoyed mine in a gluten free bun from Aidan’s; the HH used a wholegrain bun and added a sprinkling of cheese over his sauerkraut and sprouts.

As we munched away happily, the conversation went something like this:

Ricki: How do you like it?

HH: Oh these are pretty good [chew chew].  Actually, these are really tasty [chomp, chomp].  You know, these are delicious! I really like these [masticate, masticate].  You should make these again! [Gets up to serve himself another–bun, cheese, sprouts and all.]

Well, whenever I hear the triumvirate of “good, tasty, delicious” from the otherwise reticent HH, I know I’ve got a winner on my hands!

Whether or not you’ve liked Tex Mex food in the past, I hope you give these burgers a try.  They’re a perfect quick dinner that may just ignite a little spark of North American-Mexican fusion love in you, too.

Black Bean Burger on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Note: I am an affiliate for these cooking classes. If you purchase the classes by clicking through a link on this blog, I will receive a small commission, which will go back into maintaining this site.]

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email. (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)

Last Year at this Time: Mexican Spiced Black Bean Carob-Cranberry Cookies (gluten free; ACD  All Stages)

Two Years Ago: Last Minute Recipe Suggestions (gluten free; ACD All Stages )

Three Years Ago: Warm Butternut Salad with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing (gluten free; ACD  All Stages)

Four Years Ago: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Butter (gluten free; ACD  Stage 3 and)

Five Years Ago: Quick and Easy Tofu Masala (gluten free; ACD  All Stages )

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs


14 comments to Heather Nauta’s Spicy Black Bean Burgers

  • I’m a huge fan of mexican flavour combinations- even if I don’t know how authentic they are. These look so easy with their nice short ingredients list. If they’ve got the HH’s seal of approval then they’re definitely worth a try!


    Ricki Reply:

    Emma,they were SO easy–and one of the tastiest burgers I’ve ever had! 🙂


  • Courtney

    I really like the caption on the picture! I think it looks cute 🙂

    I love Mexican food, so I will have to give these a try soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe!



    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Courtney. I think I need to practice a bit more 😉 Hope you like the burgers!


  • Janis S

    can’t wait to try these! thanks for sharing.


    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Janis! They were sooooo good. 🙂


  • these look and sound really tasty, and easy is always good – right?:)


    Ricki Reply:

    They really were, Christine! And yes, easy is the BEST. 😉


  • Ricki, I am SO THRILLED that you & your man enjoyed the burgers so much 🙂 I like the addition of sauerkraut, though not sure about the cheese… 😉


    Ricki Reply:

    Yes, he does eat cheese. Mine was superb with the kraut, sprouts and sriracha. A great burger!!


  • I LOVE the colour in these burgers! Burgers are rarely attractive, but these are downright pretty. Beautifully photogenic too. I’ll definitely have to give them a try 😀


    Ricki Reply:

    I agree, Sharon. I usually prefer very smoothly blended burgers but wanted to be true to the recipe–and I ended up loving them this way with the bits of colorful veggies adding texture as well. Yum in a bun!


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