Pepper Jack, Bean & Potato Cakes

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Pepper Jack Bean & Potato Cakes |

Potato cakes with a surprise of avocado and Pepper jack cheese inside~ 

These are decidedly not your typical Irish potato cakes. But I’m (a very small) part Irish – and I couldn’t stop eating them. So there you go – an Irish potato cake mixed up with avocado and stuffed with a melty, Pepper Jack cheese kick

Here’s what happened: I wanted to make potato cakes for dinner – but honestly, I didn’t feel like making much else but a salad – so to make the cakes a meal, I added protein-rich beans. But instead of totally winging it, I’m the type of cook who likes to start by consulting a few recipes that have been tested in a real test kitchen. So this recipe is sort-of a mash-up (literally!) of these two recipes from Cooking Light: Black-Eyed Patties with Garlic Pepper Salsa and Ecuadorean Potato & Cheese Patties.

Pepper Jack, Bean & Potato Cakes2

Now as a struggling, still-learning (sigh!) food photographer, I also look at other food photography on sites like foodgawker and even to get ideas on food styling. So I was comforted by the fact that the bean patties in the (professional!) photo from Cooking Light looked, well, just as boldly BROWN as mine! Well, maybe mine look a tiny bit more ‘kickin’ since I tried (hard!) to capture the melty Cabot Pepper Jack cheese stuffed inside.

Despite their BROWN appearance, my kids loved the surprise of cheese and avocado inside. They were a hit. I’m going to make them again for St. Patricks Day – maybe topped with even more GREEN avocado.

Pepper Jack, Potato & Bean Cakes

Makes 7-8 burgers


  • 1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cups cooked dried pinto beans)
  • 1 cup cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons quick (or old fashioned) oats
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces Pepper Jack cheese (I used Cabot Pepper Jack, light)
  • Salsa topping:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or lemon juice if you're out of limes, like me!)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place pinto beans, mashed potatoes and half of avocado in a bowl. Mash well with a fork; add egg, mix well then set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add oats, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minute, stirring constantly until oats are slightly toasted. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
  4. Prepare cheese ‘stuffing’ by slicing cheese into six 1-inch x 1-inch x ¼-inch thick slices. Top each with a 1-inch long slice of avocado. Cut eight (4-inch) squares of parchment paper. Place 1 of each ‘stuffing’ onto square of parchment paper.
  5. Add oat mixture to bean mixture, and stir well.
  6. Divide bean mixture into 7-8 equal portions, shaping around each cheese ‘stuffing’ and into 3 1/2-inch patties; place on a parchment paper square. Transfer parchment paper square with burger to cooking-spray covered baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, turning after 6 minutes and removing parchment paper.
  7. Top with salsa topping.


For a more golden colored burger, broil for 1 minute at the end of cooking; or make ahead and broil to warm up.

Please share any tips you’ve learned when photographing particularly unappetizing foods like brown bean burgers – or tips for feeding these sorts of BROWN foods to kids!

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