Travel to Southern Italy with this recipe, enjoying the flavorsome combination of baked tomatoes with oregano and olive oil. These patties will not only bring the characteristic rich and fresh Italian flavors to your table, but they will also nourish your body as they are high in protein, anti-inflammatory, and nutrient-dense. Try them with some smashed avocado for brunch, with a slice of cheese for a BBQ-feel year round, or cut into cubes as a flavorful topping for your salads. One thing is for sure, these burgers will never disappoint you!
Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein and carbohydrates. They are also packed with minerals including calcium, iron, and phosphorous [i]. Like other legumes, beans are rich in soluble fiber that helps regulate LDL (“bad” cholesterol), regulate sugar absorption, and support the health of the gut microbiome [ii].
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that helps the body fight against oxidative stress and inflammation. Tomatoes are also rich in electrolytes, which help with hydration [iii].
Eggs contain all the nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and are full of vitamins and minerals. The yolk contains all the vitamins (except for vitamin C) and important minerals such as zinc, iron, and magnesium [iv].
Oregano is a potent anti-inflammatory plant that supports the immune system [v].
Pizza-Flavored Bean Burgers
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Vegetarian and Gluten-free, can be made Dairy-free
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup red onion
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp oregano
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cup cooked beans, white or pinto beans (you can use canned beans)
- 2 whole eggs
- 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and cut the onion into chunks. Transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for about 10-13 mins.
3. If you’re using canned beans, drain and rinse them under cold water to remove excess salt.
4. Place baked tomatoes, onion, beans, eggs, and nutritional yeast in a blender. Blend until the ingredients are well combined.
5. Form the bean patties using your hand or a spoon. You should get 4 medium-sized patties.
6. Place the patties on the baking sheet. Toss with some olive oil—Bake for approximately 30 min.
- You can make the same recipe using other types of legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas instead of beans.
- Try them on a whole wheat bun and choose your favorite toppings! Here are some topping ideas inspired by the Italian regions:
- Liguria: warm mozzarella, pesto, and fresh basil
- Puglia: grilled eggplant and cheese
- Veneto: boiled egg and sauteed mushrooms
- Sicilia: shrimp, arugula, and olive oil
- Toscana: hummus, grilled zucchini, and chili flakes
- Lombardia: fried egg, avocado slices, and black pepper
- Do you have dry mouth or need more calories? Add some smashed avocado, a slice of melted cheese, some pesto, or a spoon of mayo on top to make it more calorie-dense and easier to swallow.
- Do you have taste changes? You can add more oregano or other spices to make it more flavorful.
[i] FoodData central. Usda.gov. Accessed August 23, 2022. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/747441/nutrients
[ii] Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Mayo Clinic. Published January 6, 2021. Accessed August 23, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
[iii] Ali MY, Sina AA, Khandker SS, et al. Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Tomatoes and Their Impact on Human Health and Disease: A Review. Foods. 2020;10(1):45. Published 2020 Dec 26. doi:10.3390/foods10010045
[iv] Eggs. The Nutrition Source. Published September 18, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2022. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/eggs/
[v] Han X, Parker TL. Anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil in a human skin disease model. Biochim Open. 2017;4:73-77. Published 2017 Mar 3. doi:10.1016/j.biopen.2017.02.005
[vi] Cronometer. Cronometer.com. Accessed August 24, 2022. https://cronometer.com/