Black Bean Burgers

July 17, 2022

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Easy Black Bean Burgers! A healthier option to ground beef burgers that are made with nutritious black beans, fresh veggies, hearty oats and earthy spices. They are perfectly delicious and make for an excellent meatless meal.

Two black bean burgers in buns with lettuce, tomatoes, smashed avocado, red onion, and cheese.

Our Favorite Vegetarian Black Bean Burger!

When we think of vegetarian burgers we often think of those mediocre, flavorless or dry burgers we’ve had that left us wishing we had made a different meal choice.

These black bean burgers will actually leave you wondering why you haven’t had black bean burgers on regular rotation on your dinner menu for years. And you’ll love that the food processor does most of the work!

The great thing about these is that they don’t weigh you down the way a greasy hamburger does. It’s something you can feel good about eating.

This black bean burger isn’t dry, it has plenty of flavor and even some richness to it (thanks to the mayo and egg yolks), and the oats and peppers give it a bit of texture. Believe it or not even my kids love these.

They’re best served shortly after they’ve been freshly pan fried and those exterior edges are nice and crisp, though it makes a batch of six and extras will reheat decently well (with a bit of olive oil just in the microwave) when you need a quick lunch.

Our favorite way to eat them is actually bun-less with a small mound of tasty toppings (like cheese, avocado, tomatoes, and salsa), but just like with a regular hamburger you can serve them up however you’d like.

Black Bean Burger ingredients.

Black Bean Burger Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained, rinsed and dabbed dry with paper towels
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed and discarded, remaining chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (mostly leaves)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper, then more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

 

Six photos showing steps of making black bean burgers in a food processor.

How to Make Black Bean Burgers

  1. Rinse and dry black beans: Rinse black beans in a sieve or colander then drain well. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with two layers of paper towels.
  2. Spread out then dab and gently rub dry with more paper towels. Set aside to dry for a few minutes while you prep other ingredients.
  3. Pulse ingredients in a food processor: Place bell pepper and garlic in a food processor. Pulse in 1-second bursts until just coarsely chopped about 10 times.
  4. Add oats, green onions, cilantro, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until mixture is coarsely minced about 10 to 15 times.
  5. Pour in egg yolks and mayonnaise and pulse until combined, about 5 quick times.
  6. Roughly processes black beans: Add black beans then pulse just a few times until about half the black beans are roughly mashed and there are some whole black beans still, about 10 to 15 times. Fold mixture with a spatula to evenly combined, while adding more salt to taste as needed.
  7. Shape into patties on parchment paper: Scoop mixture out 1/2 cup at a time and drop on to a large sheet of parchment paper spacing each a few inches apart (you should get 6 patties). Compress and flatten mixture into a patty about 3 1/2 to 4-inches wide.
  8. Cut the parchment into individual squares around patties.
  9. Preheat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  10. Pan fry black bean burgers in batches: Carefully add 3 patties to the pan and peel the parchment paper away.
  11. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes per side until nicely golden brown on bottom. Transfer to a plate.
  12. Repeat cooking process with remaining 1 Tbsp oil and 3 black bean burger patties.
  13. Serve plain or in buns with desired toppings.

Six photos showing process of shaping black bean burgers and cooking in a skillet.

Making Vegan Black Bean Burgers

  • I’ve also made these vegan as well. They just don’t hold together quite as well because the addition of egg yolks and eggs in the mayonnaise act as a great binder, so it may be best to go with a bun-less option if making them vegan. Preferably serve on a plate with toppings over it.
  • To make vegan omit the egg yolks and replace with 2 tsp ground flax seed.
  • Replace regular mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise.
  • Use vegan cheese or don’t serve with cheese over them.

Helpful Tips and Reheating

  • Dry ingredients well before adding to the food processor. This includes the black beans and any vegetables otherwise burgers will be mushy and won’t hold together.
  • Be careful not to over-process the mixture so it has some texture.
  • Don’t skip using the parchment paper or the mixture will be too sticky to work with. There’s a bit of moisture to the mixture because we don’t want a dry black bean burger.
  • Fry the burger mixture up shortly after preparing, don’t store it in the fridge and fry later. I’ve tried this and the burgers don’t hold together well. Just cook all of the mixture and store extras in the fridge.
  • When reheating from the fridge I just place on a plate, drizzle top with a little olive oil (because of all the starches they’ll dry out a little in the fridge and need a bit more oil), then reheat for about 40 seconds or until warmed through.

Close up photo of two black bean burgers stacked.

More Delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Recipes

Two black bean burgers in buns with lettuce, tomatoes, smashed avocado, red onion, and cheese.
5 from 2 votes

Black Bean Burgers

A healthier vegetarian burger thats made with nutritious black beans, fresh veggies, hearty oats and earthy spices. They are perfectly delicious and make for an excellent meatless meal.
Servings: 6
Prep15 minutes
Cook8 minutes
Ready in: 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained, rinsed and dabbed dry with paper towels
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed and discarded, remaining chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (mostly leaves)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper, then more to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Desired toppings and buns (optional)

    Instructions

    • Rinse black beans in a sieve or colander then drain well. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with two layers of paper towels.
    • Spread out then dab and gently rub dry with more paper towels. Set aside to dry a little more while you prep other ingredients.
    • Add bell pepper and garlic to a food processor. Pulse in 1-second bursts until just coarsely chopped about 10 times.
    • Pour in oats, green onions, cilantro, paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until mixture is coarsely minced about 10 to 15 quick bursts.
    • Pour in egg yolks and mayonnaise and pulse briefly until combined, about 5 times.
    • Add black beans then process just until about half the black beans are roughly mashed and there are some whole black beans still, about 15 quick times. Fold mixture with a spatula to evenly combined, while adding more salt to taste as needed.
    • Scoop mixture out 1/2 cup at a time (it will be a bit damp to work with) and drop on to a large sheet of parchment paper spacing each a few inches apart (you should get 6 patties). Compress each mound so it holds together well and flatten mixture into a patty about 3 1/2 to 4-inches wide.
    • Cut the parchment into individual squares around patties.
    • Preheat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.
    • Carefully add 3 patties to the pan (patty side down, parchment paper side up) and peel the parchment paper away.
    • Cook about 3 to 4 minutes per side until nicely golden brown on bottom. Transfer to a plate.
    • Repeat cooking process with remaining 1 Tbsp oil and 3 black bean burger patties.
    • Serve plain or in buns with desired toppings.

    Notes

    • Nutrition estimate is for black bean burger only, does not include buns and toppings.
    • To reheat black bean burgers from the fridge I just place on a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil. Heat about 40+ seconds until heated through.
    Nutrition Facts
    Black Bean Burgers
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 279 Calories from Fat 126
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 14g22%
    Saturated Fat 2g13%
    Trans Fat 0.01g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
    Monounsaturated Fat 5g
    Cholesterol 68mg23%
    Sodium 545mg24%
    Potassium 467mg13%
    Carbohydrates 28g9%
    Fiber 6g25%
    Sugar 0.5g1%
    Protein 10g20%
    Vitamin A 401IU8%
    Vitamin C 5mg6%
    Calcium 57mg6%
    Iron 4mg22%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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    16 Comments

    • Heather

      The flavor is spot-on! I had some fresh farm eggs so I just put the whole egg in rather than just the yolk. The mixture is wet, but don’t let that alarm you. Just pop them in a skillet and don’t mess with them too much until they are ready to turn. They held together well! I’ll save this recipe.

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        Heather – Thanks for the tip for those who would rather not reserve the whites for something else :). I’m so glad you liked these!

    • Duncan Edwards

      Packed with nutritions that our body needs, We love this burger😛

    • Genn

      Do these freeze well? I was thinking about making a double batch and then storing some in the freezer to reheat down the line. Would that be similar to reheating them with a little olive oil from the refrigerator?

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        I’ve found they don’t hold up as well after freezing but they do still taste delicious.

    • Cookie

      Wow! Can’t believe how nicely these burgers turned out. Followed the recipe except they were cooked in a cast iron pan in some olive oil. Great taste and stayed together. The recipe instructions are quite detailed and easy to follow.

    • Vicki

      How do you think Greek Yogurt would work in place of Mayonnaise? Has anyone ever tried this? I love the idea of yogurt because of the protein boost and less fat.

    • Kylie

      Looking forward to trying this version. I make one where you sauté the onion and garlic with grated carrot first, and then add to all the other ingredients. They are delish!

    • Ashley

      I would love to try these, but my husband can’t eat nightshades like bell peppers. Any suggestions on subsitute veggies? Carrots, maybe?

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        Yes I might try some grated carrot. I tried mushrooms and those didn’t work out as well, I think you’d have better luck with a carrot.

    • Connie Brandenburger-La Belle

      How to make this vegan. What would work well in place of egg yolks

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