Photo of Smoky bean and barley burgers by WW

Smoky bean and barley burgers

Total Time
1 hr 10 min
25 min
45 min
These grain-based burgers check the boxes for hearty taste and texture. You can opt to serve them in buns if you’d like, or place them on crisp lettuce leaves and top with a dollop of your favorite salsa and cooling Greek yogurt mixed with a little lime juice.


Cooking spray

3 spray(s)

Uncooked pearl barley

½ cup(s), rinsed

Poblano chile

1 cup(s), finely chopped


1 small, finely chopped

Frozen corn

1 cup(s)


2 large clove(s), crushed through a press

Smoked paprika

1 tsp(s)

Chipotle chili powder

¼ tsp(s), ground

Canned pinto beans

15½ oz, rinsed and drained


cup(s), chopped fresh

Raw egg

1 large, lightly beaten

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 tbsp(s)

Table salt

¾ tsp(s)

Canola oil

2 tsp(s)


  1. Bring medium pot of salted water to boil; stir in barley. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain well and spread on large plate to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, spray large heavy skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add poblano, onion, and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, and chile powder; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate to cool. (Do not wash skillet.)
  3. Place beans in food processor and pulse to coarsely chop. Transfer beans to large bowl; add barley, poblano mixture, cilantro, egg, Parmesan, and salt, stirring to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups mixture to food processor. Process until finely chopped but not completely smooth. Return mixture to bowl and stir to mix well.
  4. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions, using about 1/2 cup for each. Shape each into ball and then press to form 4-inch patties (shaping mixture into ball helps hold it together).
  5. Wipe out skillet; add oil and set over medium heat. When hot, add burgers, in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.
  6. Serving size: 1 burger


Prep ahead: A stash of these burgers in your freezer will give you a fast lunch or dinner on busy days. To freeze them, place in a zip-close plastic bag with a layer of parchment or wax paper between each. To reheat, wrap a frozen burger loosely in a paper towel and microwave on High until heated through, 60 to 90 seconds.