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In case you haven’t heard by now, I entered a burger contest at Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh. Contestants had to live in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, or West Virginia so luckily I was able to participate. They had two categories-a beef burger category and a vegetable burger category. I entered a black bean burger in early June in hopes I’d hear something later in the month.
In making the burger I took elements of the best black bean and veggies burgers I’ve eaten and combined them together. They made for a moist, tasty black bean burger. The avocado sauce adds a different texture and a bright color. The roasted red peppers add a sweetness and the mozzarella cheese is smooth and delicious.
They ended up having hundreds of entries. From those entries they chose 10 beef burgers and 10 vegetable burgers to make and be judged. From those entries they came up with the top 3 in each category to compete at the store in early July. Imagine my surprise when they called and told me that my black bean burger was in the top three! We immediately made plans to go up to Pittsburgh for the contest.
The day of the contest was exciting. I knew my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend were coming to see me but my cousin, her son, my aunt, and another one of my cousins ended up coming to show their support. It was so sweet of them to take time on a Saturday to come see my burger compete. The burgers were made by local chefs and judged by a panel of local celebrities including newscasters, local chefs, restaurant owners, and the manager of Market District.
When they announced the winner I was so shocked I started clapping and looking around when I realized I had won! I was so excited to have won this competition. I received a gift card for the Market District, which my husband and I promptly used, and a sweet trophy. The best part was that several of the judges came over afterwards to tell me how much they enjoyed the burger.
Award Winning Black Bean Burgers (avocado cream inspired by Elly Says Opa!)
For the burgers:
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 T. olive oil
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. oregano
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into quarters
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced
1/4 c. onion, minced
For the avocado cream sauce:
1 avocado, pitted and cut into strips
1/2 c. creme fraiche
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. cumin
2 T. lime juice
2 T. cilantro, minced
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
For the toppings:
6 slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. arugula
6 brioche buns
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.