Spicy Southwestern Vegetarian Burger

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This super food burger is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We love this delicious vegetarian burger with a touch of barbecue sauce, romaine lettuce, Creamy Avocado Spread, salsa and a slice of reduced fat cheddar cheese. This makes for one big burger with big health benefits to match. Healthy burgers are a great alternative to the traditional recipes because they satisfy cravings while still keeping you healthy.

Living a healthy lifestyle and choosing foods that are good for you does not have to mean sacrifice. It is possible to feed your body healthy food and still enjoy the taste of what you are eating! Burgers are a great example. They might seem like a cheat food or something you want to avoid all together if you are cleaning up your diet, but the truth is there are healthy burger recipes out there that actually are good for you.

Are you looking for other ways to put a healthy spin on classic dishes? We have plenty of options. Whether you love ethnic recipes that are packed with flavor or you prefer traditional American fare that is hearty and delicious, we liven up your kitchen with healthy alternatives. Want to try a few of our favorites? Give our healthy pasta a whirl, try our chicken enchiladas, or whip up good old fashioned meat loaf.

Spicy Southwestern Vegetarian Burger

Spicy Southwestern Vegetarian Burger

Yields: 5 | Serving size: 1 burger | Calories: 422 | Total Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fats: 1 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 2 mg | Sodium: 333 mg | Carbohydrates: 65 g | Dietary fiber: 16 g | Sugars: 5 g | Protein: 19 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced red onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, drained again
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers, hot or mild, drained well (blot with a paper towel to remove excess liquid)
  • ½ cup whole kernel corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs, optional whole wheat bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
  • 5 whole grain buns or rolls


  1. In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon oil, turn to medium-low heat and sauté onions until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute one additional minute. Add kidney beans, green chili peppers and corn, continue to sauté until beans soften up, about 3 minutes. Add oregano, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper, stir to combine.
  2. Combine in a large mixing bowl bean mixture, cheese and bread crumbs.
  3. Mash all ingredients with a potato masher or fork until beans are well mashed. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Make 5 burger shaped patties. Note: Patties can be cooked right away or covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  5. Add remaining tablespoon oil to a non-stick large skillet, turn to medium heat and cook until patties are browned on both sides and heated through, approximately 12 minutes total.
  6. Serve patties on your favorite bun or roll. Try your favorite condiments...we added the following: Avocado Dip (Spread), romaine lettuce, tomato, salsa, 2% cheddar cheese slice and barbecue sauce, with no sugar added.
  7. For more yummy vegetarian recipes, check out The New Quinoa eBook ~ A Healthy Alternative to Traditional Recipes

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18 Comments on "Spicy Southwestern Vegetarian Burger"

  1. S.S  July 12, 2012

    Does the nutritional information include or exclude the bun? 

  2. Suzette Lawniczak  August 10, 2013

    I don't eat cheese…will that change the texture?

    • Skinny Ms.  August 11, 2013

      Suzette, Should be fine w/o the cheese. 🙂

    • SkinnyMs  March 3, 2014

      Not by much, this burger will still be delicious without the cheese.

  3. pattie  April 3, 2014

    can you freeze the patties for later?

    • SkinnyMs  April 3, 2014

      Yes you can!

  4. eunice  August 11, 2014

    what brand of whole wheat buns did you buy?

    • SkinnyMs  August 11, 2014

      Eunice, Any brand of whole wheat buns that you can find at the grocer is good.

  5. Katy  January 24, 2016

    Can you add a little mashed sweet potato for an additional health boost?

    • Gale Compton  January 24, 2016

      Kathy, Sure! In fact, that sounds pretty yummy!

  6. Jennifer  May 12, 2016

    Do the points include the bun?

    • Kym Votruba  May 13, 2016

      Yes, the bun is included in the nutritional data.

  7. Jamie  December 2, 2019

    I made this recipe for dinner. I made 2 changes. #1-I didn’t have reduced fat cheddar cheese so I used the regular cheddar cheese. #2-I used Mexican Oregano which gave it a little boost of flavor. The only problem that I had was that it did not stick together very well when I shaped them. And two of the patties broke up somewhat when I turned them over. But my husband and I really liked this recipe. I will be making it again.

    • Nichole Furlong  December 5, 2019

      We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jamie!

  8. Megan Vincent  January 27, 2020

    We loved the flavor of these but they did not “stick” together- any suggestions on what to try differently next time so we don’t have burger crumbles?

    • Nichole Furlong  January 28, 2020

      Hi Megan, try adding more bread crumbs and wet ingredients (even just a bit of water).

  9. Nicoletta  June 19, 2020

    I added 1 egg and it held together PERFECTLY!


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