Pepper Jack, Bean and Potato Cakes

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

  • Yield: 7-8 burgers 1x


  • 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
  • 12 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

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!


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

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