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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa
Once summer hits, my household is all about the burgers and homemade salsa, and there’s nothing more satisfying than a healthy, hearty veggie burger with something fresh and flavorful to put on top. And if you’re like me, you relish the idea of keeping meals equal parts delicious and nutritious, which is where these Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa come in to play.

Why sprouted quinoa? Sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds are more nutrient-dense and easier to digest than their raw counterparts. Sprouted quinoa in particular is enzyme-rich, plus it’s packed with complete protein, vitamins, and minerals.

If you’ve never tried your hand at sprouting, the preparation is not as intimidating as it may sound! If you caught my post on how to sprout grains, you already know that sprouting requires only a few simple steps and you probably already have everything you need to get your sprout on. Once you’ve sprouted one raw food, you’ve essentially sprouted them all because the concept is the same across the board.

Quinoa is one of the faster sprouting foods — it only takes 24 hours for mine to sprout tails. I typically sprout grains and quinoa in a jar, but you can also spread the quinoa over a moist plate, casserole dish, or paper towel.

Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa
One cup of dry quinoa yields roughly three cups of sprouted quinoa. If you are only looking to sprout quinoa for this recipe, I would still recommend starting with at least 1/2 cup of dry quinoa just to be sure you end up with enough sprouts. Then, if you have any left over, use your super-sprouts to give a boost to salads, sandwiches, wraps, or even soup.

Combining sprouted quinoa and black beans makes for a superfood burger that is tasty and nutritionally well-balanced. Because quinoa sprouts have a similar flavor to bean sprouts, these patties have a pleasant, earthy flavor to them. When cooked on a cast iron skillet, the burgers get wonderfully crisp on the outside — plus, they hold together well, too, which can be a challenge with some homemade veggie burgers.

Smashed avocado and fresh pineapple salsa give these burgers a fresh, summery twist, and make them a complete meal that covers all the bases. So sprout yourself up some quinoa for these delicious and nutritious veggie burgers!

Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

Served with smashed avocado and homemade pineapple salsa, these hearty, healthy burgers are the perfect summer fare. Be sure to allow at least 24 hours for sprouting!
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers



  • 1 cup fresh pineapple diced small
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white or red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • Salt to taste


  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose or oat flour
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or another favorite cooking oil like canola or grapeseed

For serving:

  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 avocado smashed


Make the pineapple salsa:

  • Toss together the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the burgers:

  • Sprout your quinoa. (Read how to sprout grains for step-by-step instructions.)
  • Place the beans in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until chunky. Add 1 cup of the sprouted quinoa, flour, garlic, onion, and chili powder; stir to combine. Season with salt to taste, then fold in the egg.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat.
  • Divide the mixture into four balls and use your hands to shape each into patties. Carefully place the patties in the hot skillet and cook until browned and crispy, about 4 minutes, before flipping and cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
  • Toast burger buns, if you like. Smear avocado onto the inside bottoms of the buns and set the patties on top. Spoon the salsa over the patties, add the top half of the bun, and serve.


I used oat flour in order to keep the patties gluten-free, but you can also use all-purpose wheat flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour. If you eat a gluten-free diet, substitute gluten-free buns for regular buns. You can also go bun-less by wrapping the patty with lettuce, which is how I often eat my burgers.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    June 16, 2014 at 8:31 am

    WHOA! I had NO idea that would even happen with quinoa! I definitely want to give it a try, especially if it is more nutritious. That is so cool! I am always looking for new ways to bring in extra nutrition for my training as an elite runner, and this would be perfect as a runner meal 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Love the pineapple salsa….heavenly!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 16, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Honestly, Tina, I didn’t know until recently, too!! I learned about a year ago that you could sprout grains, and I only recently found out you can sprout seeds and nuts too! Blows my mind. Isn’t amazing the way nature works (<- real hippy statement right there ;)?

      YES, if you're training for a race, quinoa's a fantastic way to get in some protein, vitamins, and minerals! The salsa….you'll just love it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura @ Raise Your Garden
    June 16, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I’m a gardener who’s afraid to try my hand at sprouting…….how can I call myself a gardener then?

    But I’m ready to give it a whirl. It’s the pineapple salsa that makes this dish for me and gives it just the right kick. So eager to try.

    I love eating food that I feel good about later!!!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 16, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Don’t you worry, Laura, I’ve grown vegetable gardens for a few years and was completely unaware about the sprouting thing too for the longest time!! I’m so glad you’re interested in sprouting. It’s the easiest thing, and it amazes me how healthful sprouted food is.

      Definitely on board with eating food that makes you feel good and energetic. These burgs’ll certainly do that for ya! 😀

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    June 16, 2014 at 10:56 am

    These veg burgs are seriously what dreams are made of!! Bout to go home and sprout me some keen-waaa!!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Haha! Just be sure you don’t sprout any keen-oh-way…I hear that’s bad news, bears 😉 Glad you’re up to do some sprouting! 😀

  • Reply
    Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    June 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Ok, this may be a really silly question. I bought spouted quinoa at the store. (Totally on accident, actually!) Is it the same as what you are using here? (I’m really, really hoping you say yes! I’ve got a pretty big bag, and I super want to make these black bean burgers!) I haven’t tried using it yet, since I’m nervous about using it in recipes that call for traditional quinoa.
    Oh … and that salsa? Yeah – we’re about to be best friends!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      I didn’t even know you could buy sprouted quinoa from the store, ha! Is it dry and hard? I’ve bough sprouted rice from the store, but it was hard and still needed to be cooked, which is different from the rice I have sprouted at home. If the stuff you got at the store feels moist and somewhat sticky, then it’s probably the exact same. If it’s dry, it probably needs to be cooked before it’s added to the burgers or else it will remain hard. These are just guesses, but let me know what you end up doing, because I’m super curious! So glad you love the pineapple salsa – it’s such an easy and tasty recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Millie l Add A Little
    June 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    This looks amazing and perfect for non veggie eaters Julia! Love this!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks, Millie! Let me know if you try the burgers 😀

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    June 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Look at that beautiful sprouted quinoa! I bow to your expertise and to these drool-worthy burgers. I want them in my face now!!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Really, you’re too kind, Sarah! I’m definitely no expert, but it would just appear that way because the burgers are so dang easy to put together, ha! Enjoy the burger-to-face experience…I know I did 😉

  • Reply
    June 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    These burgers sound fantastic. Pineapple salsa and black beans has got to be an amazing combo 🙂 Also, I sprout constantly but never thought to do it with quinoa. I often keep a stash of cooked quinoa in the fridge for baking…I think I’m going to have to switch that over to sprouted quinoa.

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks, Alissa! If you’re an avid sprouter, definitely give quinoa a shot – it goes super quickly! You can also used cooked quinoa for this recipe if you want to use what you already have on hand 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen @ Lushious Eats
    June 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Wow! First of all, sprouted quinoa?? Had NO idea, and second, this burger looks amazing! I absolutley love pineapple salsa, it adds a perfect summer touch. 🙂

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 17, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Haha! Isn’t it crazy what you can do with food? So glad you like the burgs – the pineapple salsa is a must for all of your summer meals!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa
    June 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    These look awesome! Can’t wait to try sprouting my quinoa 🙂 Do you think I could use sprouted millet or brown rice in this recipe??

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      June 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Hey Melissa! So glad you’re going to make the burgers. Although I haven’t tested the recipe with anything other than sprouted quinoa, I’m confident you can use sprouted millet or brown rice. Since grain sprouts tend to be more solid than quinoa sprouts, the burgers may turn out with little bits of crunch in them, which could be kinda cool if you ask me 😉 Let us know if you try it out!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I’ve heard sprouted grains and nuts described as tasting more like themselves…and it’s hard to explain but it’s definitely true! This burger sounds awesome! I absolutely love how protein-filled it is!

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      July 1, 2014 at 10:44 am

      It is funny how different they taste when they’re sprouted versus when they’re cooked. At the risk of sounding like a straight-up hippy, I like how sprouted food makes you feel at one with nature, ha! I’m pretty pumped about the protein content of the burgers, too. My biggest complaint about some veggie burgers is how carby and fiber-y they are. Gotta love that quinoa!

  • Reply
    June 28, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Are these burgers suitable for freezing?

    • Reply
      Julia Mueller
      July 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Hi Charlotte! I haven’t tried freezing the burgers, but my guess is that they would freeze great. They hold together well and are hearty, so I think they’d be perfect for freezing and reheating. Let us know if you try freezing them!

      • Reply
        July 1, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        Will do! Wasn’t sure because it contains eggs. I’m the only veggie in the house and usually make the whole recipe and freeze what’s left

        • Reply
          October 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm

          I’m a big fan of these burgers! And now make a whole batch and freeze them, works very well 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie Oldham
    July 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Sprouted my quinoa, tried these burgers and tested them in my kid-kitchen…..100% approval! I love these and plan to keep some in the freezer for those quick dinner evenings (or just when I don’t feel like cookin!)

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