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Volume 71

Dinner This Week: Black Bean Burgers

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Black Bean Burgers, Pasta e Ceci, and Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner in about an hour.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Oven Fries

For great-tasting, cohesive Black Bean Burgers, we start by grinding tortilla chips in the food processor, then pulse the beans with the chips so the beans maintain some texture. Eggs and flour help to hold the burger mix together. To keep the preparation simple, we add no-cook seasonings including chili powder, cumin, garlic, cilantro, and scallions. Letting the mixture stand for an hour gives the starches time to soak up moisture from the egg, so the patties are easier to shape. For easy, no-splatter Sweet Potato Oven Fries, we cut unpeeled sweet potatoes into wedges and cook them on an oiled, preheated baking sheet until they are crisp on both sides.

Printable Shopping Lists: Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Equipment Review Food Processors

Our longtime favorite is powerful and easy to use, but is it still the best choice?

Dinner 2: Pasta e Ceci and Skillet-Roasted Broccoli

Pasta e Ceci calls for cooking chickpeas and ditalini in the same pot so the starch released by the pasta creates a silky, stick-to-your-ribs texture. We build flavor by using a finely minced soffritto of onions, garlic, carrot, celery, and pancetta, an addition that gives the dish a meaty backbone. Anchovies, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese contribute even more depth. Skillet-Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Black Pepper Topping yields deeply browned broccoli with a nutty flavor and a hint of crisp texture. To make it quickly on the stovetop, we cut broccoli crowns into wedges to create flat sides that sit flush with the surface of the skillet. We then steam the broccoli initially to soften it before browning. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta e Ceci and Skillet-Roasted Broccoli

Equipment Review Best Chef's Knives

One chef’s knife has been a champ in our kitchen for nearly two decades. Can any other blade come close to offering what it does—and at a bargain price?

Dinner 3: Chicken Tikka Masala and Basmati Rice

To keep the chicken in our Chicken Tikka Masala moist, we rub large chunks of breast meat with a blend of salt, coriander, cumin, and cayenne and let them sit for 30 minutes. We then dip the pieces in a yogurt mixture and broil them to replicate the charred flavors of tandoori chicken. For Basmati Rice Pilaf with light, fluffy, aromatic grains, we first rinse the rice to remove excess starch. Then we toast whole spices in oil before toasting the rice itself. A final step of steaming ensures a dry, fluffy texture.

Printable Shopping Lists: Chicken Tikka Masala and Basmati Rice Pilaf


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.