Portobello-Black Bean Burgers and Roasted Butternut “Fries”

It turned out to be burger week here at Cara’s Cravings! After the delicious Wasabi Salmon burgers at the beginning of the week, I decided to make more use out of the sandwich thins and a bunch of black beans I had in the freezer. This veggie version, formed mostly from portobello mushrooms and black beans, has a hearty flavor and texture and tastes even more delicious with some sliced avocado. The recipe makes four burgers, so I carefully wrapped and froze the other two – hopefully they will taste just as good as the first time around!

But thing that really excited me about this dinner was the fries – oven-roasted butternut fries, to be exact. I choose butternut as an alternative to the more-traditional sweet potato fries not only because I love it so much, but to save a bunch of calories as well. I’ve made these many times, with varying results, and I’d love to perfect their crispiness. I think this version came pretty close. I copied my friend Ronnie’s technique for perfect oven-roasted potato wedges, which came out with a deliciously crispy sear from pre-heating a skillet in a very hot oven before adding the potatoes. For the squash, I thought par-boiling might help the wedges cook more evenly, so I boiled the wedges for about 3 minutes and then drained and rinsed them under cold water. Then, they got tossed in a bit of olive oil and Penzey’s awesome new chili powder. Meanwhile, my large, flat nonstick griddle was heating in a 450F oven. When it was nice and hot, I removed the pan and placed the squash wedges on it, and then roasted for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. At one point I did raise the heat even more, to 500F or so, I think I might start at that temperature next time. However, when I was through making sure they were nice and browned on all sides, the result was pretty awesome. Perfectly pickable, dippable squash fries with a crispy browned outside. The inside was deliciously caramelized from roasting. My husband enjoyed dipping these in some dijon mustard, though they I thought they were quite right just plain. Either way, I am glad to have come much closer to perfecting my squash fries and I can’t wait to try again!

Portobello & Black Bean Burgers
adapted from
Epicurious.com
1 package (10 oz) portobello mushrooms
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup canned chopped green chilis
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup minced onions
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup eggbeaters

Wipe the mushrooms clean and place in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed well. Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Divide the mushroom mixture into 4 equal portions. If it seems too soft to shape into patties, just scoop each portion onto the skillet and flatten slightly with a spatula while cooking. Cook for about 7 minutes on each side, or until a crust is formed. If the burgers are still wet in the middle, transfer the skillet (as long as it’s ovenproof) to a pre-heated oven (mine was set to 450 for the fries, but it doesn’t really need to be that hot) and bake to finish them. Serve with sliced avocado and greens on your favorite rolls.
Nutritional Info (burgers only)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 184.0
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 620.5 mg
Total Carbs: 28.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 8.6 g

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12 Responses to “Portobello-Black Bean Burgers and Roasted Butternut “Fries””

  1. 1

    Ally — March 30, 2009 @ 12:43 am Reply

    Both sound amazing Cara!

  2. 2

    Kevin — March 30, 2009 @ 4:37 pm Reply

    I really like the sound of roasted butternut squash fries!

  3. 3

    Shauna — April 5, 2009 @ 2:13 am Reply

    I will definitely have to try out those squash fries sometime, they sound like a delicious alternative! Thanks for sharing.

  4. 4

    the happy couple — April 9, 2009 @ 9:54 pm Reply

    thanks for the veggie burger recipe. i am a vegetarian and my hubby is a carnivore, so i am always on the lookout for things i can have when he has meat (u can see how we work this out most nights at my blog http://www.cooking4carnivores.com) this looks great! can’t wait to try it out!

  5. 5

    Jaime and Jen DISH — April 13, 2009 @ 6:36 am Reply

    Wow, these burgers look delicious and the fries…oh my! I must try this.

  6. 6

    Russ — July 3, 2009 @ 2:25 pm Reply

    Hi, To get your fries even crispier try cutting them slightly thinner (this helps to reduce cooking time), make sure you don't use TOO much oil as this will make them slightly soggy, and leave plenty of space between the wedges/fries as they release water as they cook.Hope this helps!!Russ

  7. 7

    Jaime and Jen DISH — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    Wow, these burgers look delicious and the fries…oh my! I must try this.

  8. 8

    Ally — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    Both sound amazing Cara!

  9. 9

    Kevin — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    I really like the sound of roasted butternut squash fries!

  10. 10

    Russ — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    Hi, To get your fries even crispier try cutting them slightly thinner (this helps to reduce cooking time), make sure you don't use TOO much oil as this will make them slightly soggy, and leave plenty of space between the wedges/fries as they release water as they cook.Hope this helps!!Russ

  11. 11

    paulette — November 26, 2011 @ 2:37 am Reply

    What if you don't have a food processor (for the burgers)? Just cut the mushrooms up very small?

  12. 12

    Cara — November 26, 2011 @ 2:44 am Reply

    Yes, you would need to chop the mushrooms very small, or try using a blender.

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