Freezer Friendly bean burgers on whole wheat pita! Perfect for a quick, healthy vegetarian dinner!

Freezer Friendly Bean Burgers

Make these bean burgers once and then freeze them for later. A simple weeknight meal made easy!  

Mexican Mayocoba beans

I mentioned yesterday that I love to make beans from scratch. I made a big batch of Mayocoba beans (aka, pinto) this weekend, so this week I’m using them in a few recipes. This month’s Recipe Redux theme is freezer-friendly foods, which is the perfect reason to whip up a batch of tasty bean burgers. I love my freezer. It’s probably more stuffed than my fridge! Because we are a small family of three, the freezer is an important part of my cooking strategy. I like to take advantage of bulk food pricing (especially with organic food, meats, and fish), but we definitely can’t eat those larger quantities fast enough. My freezer saves me time in the kitchen and tons of money on groceries.

Pinto bean burgers

Bean burgers are pretty easy to make and we eat them quite a bit at our house. Our burgers are not your typical bean burgers. They aren’t trying to be hamburgers! They have their own identity; super crusty on the outside and creamy on the inside. Of course, with a ton of flavor!

Pinto bean burgers stuffed into a whole wheat pita.

Because they’re a bit on the soft-side in the center, we eat them in a pita. The pita makes it easy to catch any pieces that fall apart. I like to actually squish mine in my pita and make it super messy. Hany likes his with a slice of melted Swiss on top. I like mine with tons of microgreens and ketchup. Another great thing about bean burgers is that they freeze well. This is important because one batch usually makes way too many burgers!

Prepping bean burgers for freezer!

Freezing these bean burgers is pretty simple. You just form the patties and then place them onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Then you cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This makes them easier to handle when you’re wrapping them up for the freezer.

Freezer-ready bean burgers!

Once they’re cold, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and then again in wax paper. My mom is the freezing Queen and she swears that the double wrap keeps anything from getting freezer burned. I rarely doubt my mom, so I double-wrap.

Freezer ready pinto bean burgers!

Once wrapped and secure, I just place them all into larger bag and pop them into the freezer.  Super simple. I hope you’ll try it!

Remember, click the little blue box under the recipe below, and you will find a ton of healthy, dietitian-approved freezer meals to pin for later.

Freezer Friendly Bean Burgers

Freezer Friendly Bean Burgers


  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans (if using canned, drain and rinse)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Ground pepper


  1. Pulse ingredients in food processor until well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Form mixture into burger patties. It should be sticky but still hold shape. Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Place patties onto skillet and cook for a good 5 minutes each side. Be careful not to burn the patties, you may need to lower flame. Burgers will be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Warning: these burgers are soft on the inside, crumbling happens. :)

Formula Meals: Bean and Vegetable Sauté

Whip up a tasty, vegetarian meal in minutes.  A Bean and Vegetable Sauté is the perfect lunch or quick weeknight meal – no recipe required! 

Whip up a tasty, vegetarian meal that everyone will love! In minutes you can have a simple lunch or a quick weeknight meal - no recipe required! Bean vegetable saute. Get the Formula recipe! @danielleomar

I love making dried beans from scratch. I used to think it was a very complicated process that I could not possibly have time for…until I tried it. It really can’t be any easier. It’s also not super time consuming, it just takes a little planning ahead.

Here’s my simple method to cook beans from scratch:

  • Rinse the beans and remove any particles or non-bean stuff.
  • Soak the beans in water, covered, overnight.
  • Drain the soaking water and rinse the beans.
  • Simmer on the stove in water until they are soft.

The type of bean you’re cooking might determine how long you soak or how long you simmer, but I find soaking overnight covers all my bases.

Once I have my beans ready to go, I usually make a sauté using whatever vegetables I have on hand. I might also add rice or quinoa, if I have some already cooked. What I love about a sauté is that it’s a formula meal. What that means is that you don’t need a recipe and you can’t really mess it up (my favorite kind of meal).

What’s the Formula?

2-3 parts vegetables: I like to use seasonal vegetables that I have on hand. I love mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower florets, and snap peas. You really can’t go wrong here, just throw in any combination of what you have. The parts means to use 2-3 different types of vegetables!

2 parts aromatics: Aromatics include onion, scallion, shallots, or garlic. I usually use 2 of these and saute them in the oil before I add the vegetables.

2 parts seasoning: This is where you’re choosing the flavors for your dish. In addition to sea salt and pepper, great flavor combinations include: oregano and thyme; cumin and chili powder; dill and thyme; ginger and rosemary; tarragon and parsley. Single spices that pack a flavorful punch all by themselves are: curry powder, garam masala, chaat masala, adobo, Jerk spice, Za’atar, and poultry spice.

1 part beans: If you’re making beans from scratch, get creative here! If using canned beans, I find that chickpeas, kidney beans, lima beans, fava beans, black eyed peas would work well.

1 part grain:  I like a sturdy grain like wild or brown rice or quinoa. You could also add cooked farro, wheatberries, or barley.

1 part fresh herbs: Fresh herbs add so much flavor and a pop of green color! My favorites are basil, mint, parsley, tarragon, dill and cilantro.

1 part oil:  Oil is the base to saute your vegetables so don’t skimp here. I usuallly use olive oil or coconut oil, but you could mix up the oils or add a tsp of sesame or peanut oil for flavor.

Other optional add-ins:  add a splash of lemon juice or a tablespoon of harissa for some heat! 

Saute the aromatics in oil and then add the seasonings and the vegetables. Once the veggies are fork tender, taste and adjust the seasoning. Then stir in the cooked beans and grains and cook until warmed through. Finish the dish off with the fresh herbs.


For a little more inspiration, here are a few more bean and vegetable dishes I’ve made in the past:

Pan Seared Fennel with White Beans and Black Olives

Pan Seared Fennel w Olives & White Beans


Asparagus, Tomato and White Bean Saute

Asparagus and white beans with cilantro pesto -- the perfect weeknight dinner! @danielleomar #glutenfree #cleaneating


Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice


 Mexican Red Pepper Saute

Mexican Red Pepper Saute

Pan Seared Fennel w Olives & White Beans

Pan Seared Fennel w/ Black Olives & White Beans

Pan Seared Fennel w Olives & White Beans

I received free samples of California Ripe Olives mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


Black olives are a pantry staple in my house. They are super versatile, adding a fun Mediterranean flare to whatever I’m making. I especially love them with pasta. This cauliflower pasta dish is one of my favorites. You can add them to tuna salad and zucchini noodles or use as a topper for nachos, burritos and enchiladas. Black olives are excellent with beans!

Fennel and black olives with white beans via @danielleomar

This dish is a typical simple weeknight dinner at our house. I just sliced the fennel, sprinkled it with olive oil and seasoning, and then seared it for a few minutes. I added the white beans for a bit of protein, and the black olives brought the flavor!

California black ripe olives are also a great snack. Ten large olives contain about 5 grams of fat (the good, monounsaturated kind).  They also contain Vitamin E (.25 mg per serving), Iron (.49 mg per serving), Vitamin A (60 IU per serving), and Fiber (.5 grams per serving). I recommend you drain and rinse canned black olives before using them, to wash away some of the sodium.

Fennel with black olives and white beans

If you don’t like fennel, you can make this dish with any kind of vegetable. I could have used Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, or asparagus. You can also switch out the beans with rice or even pasta. You really can’t go wrong!

Pan Seared Fennel w/ Black Olives & White Beans

Pan Seared Fennel w/ Black Olives & White Beans


  • 1 can California Ripe Olives, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 handful fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp thyme


  1. To prep fennel, remove fronds and tough outermost layer. Trim the base and slice lengthwise into wedges. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel wedges and sear until brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. When fennel is just about ready, add canned beans and black olives and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in chopped dill, sprinkle with lemon and serve!

For more delicious ways to add California Black Olives to your table, click the little blue box below.