This black bean burger recipe is absolutely delicious, and you can make them at home easily using only one can of black beans! This recipe will give you perfectly textured patties using pantry staple ingredients. Plus, you can customize it however you like and serve it on a bun with your favorite burger toppings!
Using black beans for your next burger not only brings a unique flavor but also adds a healthy dose of protein and fiber. Plus, the addition of panko breadcrumb for crunch and green chilies for a bit of heat makes these burgers a must-try.
They might not be like traditional meat patties, but once you try them, you’ll know why this recipe is so popular. These patties are not just for those who follow a plant-based diet but for anyone looking to try something new and exciting. And if you’re craving meat, check out my homemade sloppy joes!
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: This black bean burger recipe is incredibly simple, requiring only a few common ingredients and a food processor. The prep time is minimal, making it a quick and easy meal option. This is seriously the best black bean burger recipe!
- Family Favorite: With the look and feel of a traditional beef burger, this black bean variant is a hit among both kids and adults. It’s a great way to get the family to eat more plant-based meals without compromising on taste.
- Versatile: This recipe can be customized according to your taste preferences. Want more spice? Add in some chili powder. Prefer it cheesy? Toss in some cheese. This black bean burger can be dressed up or down, just like your favorite beef burger.
- Deliciously Different: While a veggie burger doesn’t taste exactly like beef, it carries a fresh and wonderful flavor of its own. It’s a delicious departure from the usual, offering a whole new way to enjoy a classic dish.
- Crowd Pleaser: Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or a family dinner, these black bean burgers are sure to impress. They hold their shape well, don’t shrink when cooked, and can be served with all the traditional burger fixings. This recipe is a surefire way to please vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
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- Black beans: The star of this black bean burger recipe! Black beans are high in protein and fiber, making this burger a nutritious alternative to traditional beef burgers. They also give the patty a hearty and satisfying texture.
- Red Onion: Adds a sharp, fresh flavor to contrast the earthy black beans. Chopping the onion finely ensures it distributes evenly throughout the patty.
- Fresh Cilantro: This herb brings brightness and freshness to the patty. It complements the other spices and adds a bit of color.
- Lime Juice: The acidic nature of lime juice helps to balance out the flavors, and adds a tangy kick to the patty.
- Green Chilies: These give the black bean burgers a spicy kick. You can adjust the amount based on your preference for heat.
- Large Egg: This acts as a binder for the ingredients, helping to hold the patty together as it cooks. If you’re vegan or allergic to eggs, you can substitute a flax egg.
- Cumin: This spice adds a warm, earthy flavor that compliments the black beans perfectly.
- Garlic: Garlic adds a robust, savory flavor that deepens the overall taste of the burger.
- Salt and Pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. Salt helps to bring out the natural flavors, while pepper adds a bit of heat.
- Panko: These breadcrumbs are light and crispy, giving the burger a crunchy exterior while keeping the inside moist. They also help bind the ingredients together.
- Food Processor – This essential kitchen tool plays a crucial role in our black bean burger recipe. It allows the black beans, along with other ingredients, to be processed into a thick and consistent puree. If you don’t have a food processor, don’t fret! You can use a masher, although the results will be more chunky, but equally delicious.
- Strainer – A good strainer is another must-have for this recipe. You’ll need it to drain and rinse the black beans before they go into the food processor. This step is crucial to ensure you don’t have excess moisture in your burger patties.
- Skillet – Once you’ve made your black bean patties and they’ve had time to chill in the fridge, a skillet is your best friend. The skillet allows you to cook the patties evenly on both sides, giving them a nice crust and ensuring they’re heated through.
How to Make
Before you start cooking, make sure to drain and rinse a can of black beans. Once done, pour the beans into a food processor.
Step 1 – Chop and Prepare Fresh Ingredients
Firstly, finely chop the red onion and fresh cilantro leaves. Afterward, add them to the food processor along with the juice of a fresh lime.
Step 2 – Mix in the Remaining Ingredients
Now, include an egg, a garlic clove, and chopped green chilies in the food processor. After that, add the dry seasonings: cumin, salt, and pepper. Last but not least, incorporate the panko breadcrumbs.
Step 3 – Process the Ingredients
Next, turn on the food processor and let it run for roughly one minute. Halfway through, pause to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Continue processing until you achieve a thick and consistent puree. If the puree isn’t thick enough, simply add another tablespoon or two of panko.
Step 4 – Shape the Patties
Spread out a third cup of panko onto a large plate. Coat your hands with a bit of oil and form a patty with the mixture. Make sure to coat the top and bottom of each patty with the extra panko. Set the patties aside once you’ve shaped them.
Step 5 – Refrigerate
Before cooking, refrigerate the patties for at least two hours. This step helps guarantee that the patties firm up and are easier to handle during the cooking process.
Step 6 – Cook the Patties
You have two options for cooking black bean burgers: on the stovetop or in the oven.
- Stovetop Method (preferred): Heat two tablespoons of oil or butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat. Cook each patty for about two minutes on each side. If you prefer a darker crust, keep flipping them until you achieve your desired color.
- Oven Method: Preheat your oven to a temperature of about 425˚ F. Place the patties on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about five minutes on each side.
Step 7 – Serve the Black Bean Burgers
Once the black bean burger patties are cooked to your liking, it is time to assemble your burgers! Top your patties with your favorite burger toppings and sandwich them between a hamburger bun. Serve them warm and enjoy!
- Use wax paper for easy handling: One of our readers suggested cutting wax paper into strips, placing a little panko and burger mix on one half, sprinkling with more panko, folding the other half of the wax paper over, and gently pressing into a flat burger. This method keeps things neat and makes it easier to transfer the patties to the grill.
- Slider Style: For a fun, party-friendly twist, try serving this black bean burger slider style on Hawaiian rolls. This was an idea a reader shared. Simply top with a smear of mayo, a slice of ripe avocado, a handful of fresh spinach, some sweet corn kernels, and a spoonful of salsa.
- Make It Spicier: If you’re a fan of spicy foods, this variation is for you. Use spicy green chilies instead of the regular ones in the recipe, or add a dash of sriracha sauce or your favorite hot sauce. This adds an extra kick that will elevate the flavors of the black bean burger.
- Smoky Flavor: For a smoky-spicy flavor, add a chile from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. You’ll end up with a delicious classic flavor.
- Gluten-Free Version: For those following a gluten-free diet, simply replace the panko breadcrumbs with toasted gluten-free breadcrumbs. This will allow you to enjoy these delicious black bean burgers without worrying about any gluten content.
What to Serve With
- For a classic American combo, serve your black bean burgers with a side of sweet potato fries. The sweet and salty balance is a match made in heaven. Plus, it is also a healthier twist on the traditional burger and fries meal.
- Want to keep it light and fresh? Pair your black bean burger with a side of corn on the cob. The sweetness of the corn perfectly compliments the savory burger.
- If you’re after a hearty meal, why not serve your black bean burgers with a side of baked potatoes? You can top your potatoes with a bit of cheese and a dollop of sour cream for an added burst of flavor.
- These burgers also go great with a macaroni salad, which is incredibly easy to make ahead of time and incredibly creamy. You can also try a bacon salad instead, which is one of our favorites and is made with a homemade dressing.
- For a refreshing summer meal, serve your black bean burgers with a side of coleslaw. The crunchiness of the coleslaw adds a nice texture contrast to the softness of the burger.
- And if you’re looking for a classic hot side dish, then my favorite is some baked macaroni and cheese with these tasty burgers.
Yes, you can grill these black bean burgers, but it is essential to refrigerate the patties for at least two hours before you do. This step helps guarantee that the burgers maintain their shape while on the grill. Also, remember to liberally grease the grill grates before adding the patties to avoid sticking.
If you find that your mixture isn’t sticking together, it could be due to the liquid content in the eggs, chilies, and beans. To fix this, simply add more panko breadcrumbs to the food processor. Continue this until you achieve a thicker consistency. Refrigerating the mix can also help it set.
The best way to rinse and drain black beans is to pour the beans from the can into a strainer and let the liquid drain out over the sink. Then, rinse the beans with water while they’re still in the strainer, stirring occasionally. Once the water runs clear, you can add the beans to the food processor.
The beauty of these black bean burgers is that you can top them with almost anything! Traditional options include sliced onion, tomato, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. For a twist, try melted cheese, veggies, BBQ sauce, or even a combination of avocado, spinach, corn, and salsa.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerate: If you have any leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate. They should keep well for up to three days. For uncooked patties, you can refrigerate them for up to 12 hours before cooking.
- Freeze: Unfortunately, cooked black bean burgers don’t freeze well. The texture tends to become mushy upon thawing. However, uncooked patties can be frozen for up to three months. To freeze, place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze until solid, then transfer to a zip-top bag or airtight container.
- Thawing: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen black bean burgers, let them thaw in the refrigerator before cooking. Thawing at room temperature can make the patties soggy.
- Reheating: Reheat cooked black bean burgers in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. You can also pop them in the oven at a low temperature until they’re hot. If you’re reheating a frozen patty, cook it as per the recipe instructions after thawing.
- What to Expect: This recipe makes four black bean burgers using 1/3 cup of patty mixture each.
- How to Scale: If you desire to make more than four burgers, you can double the recipe and follow the instructions as directed. Make sure your food processor is large enough. If it is not, you can do two batches to get the same results.
Black Bean Burger Recipe
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 Heavy Bottomed Skillet
- 15 oz can of black beans
- ¼ cup red onion chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 2 Tablespoon green chilies chopped
- 1 large egg optional
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup panko divided
- Prep: Drain and rinse a 15 oz. can of black beans. Pour the beans into a food processor.
- Process Ingredients: To the food processor add the red onion, cilantro leaves, lime juice, green chilies, egg, cumin, garlic clove, salt, pepper and ½ cup + 2 T. panko. Turn on the food processor for 1 minute (scraping the sides halfway through) until you get a thick and consistent puree.
- Make the Patties: Pour 1/3 cup of panko onto a large plate. Grease your hands with oil and shape a patty into the palm of your hand. Coat the bottom and top of each patty with the extra panko. Refrigerate covered for at least two hours.
- Stove top Method: Heat up to 2 Tablespoons of oil or butter in a heavy bottom pan on the stove top. Cook on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes then flip them over for another 2 minutes. Bake Method: Heat oven to 425 ˚ F and lay burgers on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for at about 5 minutes each side.
- Serve: Top with your favorite burger toppings and bun. Serve warm.