Black Bean Burgers

4.89 from 54 votes
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This black bean burger recipe has bold Southwest flavors and can be easily made in a food processor or blender. Customizing each vegetarian patty with your favorite toppings and spreads is easy.

Are you not eating meat? Here are more recipes to try: vegetarian chili, portobello mushroom burger, and roasted cauliflower steaks.

Delicious black bean burger with a toothpick thru the middle of it.

Recipe Science

  • Mashing black beans partially while leaving some whole creates a varied texture that helps the burger hold together and mimic the mouthfeel of meat.
  • Using tortilla chips as a binder absorbs moisture and provides structure, preventing the burgers from falling apart during cooking.
  • Cooking the black bean burgers at high heat creates a flavorful, crispy exterior through the Maillard reaction, enhancing the overall taste and texture.

Why It Works

This homemade black bean burger recipe is an easy, handheld meal. Each serving delivers affordable plant-based protein. Legumes are a favorite ingredient to incorporate into meatless patties. They are neutral in flavor and hold shape well when mashed and formed.

These dark-colored beans look similar to their beefy counterparts but are packed with fiber and healthy protein. This hearty veggie burger recipe is vegan-friendly and fun to customize with toppings of your choice.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Beans: Use canned black beans for a quick and easy vegan black bean burgers.
  • Seasoning: A bold blend of cumin, coriander, garlic, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.
  • Flour: The gluten helps to bind the bean mixture together.
  • Herbs: Fresh green onions add a mild allium flavor, and cilantro adds a pop of color.
  • Chips: Corn chips compliment the earthy flavors of the seasonings for a southwestern taste. When hydrated, assist with binding.
  • Oil: Use olive oil or a neutral-tasting olive oil to cook the black bean patties.
  • Bread: Choose your favorite burger buns; I prefer a hearty whole wheat bun for extra fiber.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

Now that you know how to make black bean burgers, it’s easy to customize the patties! Try these tasty options:

  • Beans: Other types of canned beans can be used, like red, pinto, or kidney. The color will not be as dark as black beans.
  • Seasoning: Onion and garlic powder, finely chopped bell pepper, or sundried tomatoes would also add earthy flavors to the patties.
  • Spicy: For a spicy burger, add cayenne or chipotle powder. Add hot sauce for a hot and tangy kick. Mince up fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers.
  • Gluten-Free: Swap the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour, cassava flour, or arrowroot powder. Alternatively, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Purchase gluten-free hamburger buns.

How to Make Black Bean Burgers

Step 1: Prepare the Beans

Black bean patties are notorious for falling apart when cooking. To help them stick together, rinse them well and drain them with a paper towel. Just don’t throw away the liquid in the can!

Pro Tip: The canned bean liquid contains natural starches from the beans that can make a sticky paste, which helps with binding. You can also make stovetop black beans for the base.

Seasonings and chopped herbs in a bowl with a whisk.

Step 2: Make the Seasoning Mixture

Grab the bowl of the reserved bean liquid and whisk in the flour. The flour provides extra cohesiveness. As it becomes hydrated and mixed, gluten formation helps create protein bonds that form and stick the patty together.

On their own, black beans can be pretty bland and admittedly dull. That’s where concentrated dried spices and fresh herbs step in. A generous amount of cumin, coriander, garlic, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, green onions, and cilantro are stirred into the flour mixture.

Crushed black beans and chopped pieces of tortilla chips in a food processor cup.

Step 3: Process the Chips and Beans

Whole corn chips should be processed into crumbs using a food processor or blender, but not entirely ground down like flour. Then process the beans with the chips until lightly broken down, with some chunks remaining. It should not be fully pureed like a hummus. If you don’t have a food processor, you can press the beans with a fork.

Chef’s Note: Adding crushed corn tortilla chips instead of bread crumbs adds texture and holds the patties together. The chips have natural corn starches for binding and absorb some of the bean liquid that keeps the burger moist and flavorful. Adding chips essentially creates a panade for the black bean burgers.

Uncooked black bean veggie patties on a sheet pan.

Step 4: Form the Patties

Combine the black bean mixture with the seasoned flour mixture. Press and form into ½ cup-sized patties about 4 inches wide. Once all of the bean burger patties are ready, it’s time to cook!

Black bean burger patties cooking in a nonstick skillet.

Step 5: Cook the Patties

A nonstick skillet is the best way to get a crisp golden surface without adhering to the pan. Alternatively, a cast iron skillet can be used. Cook the patties in hot olive over medium-high heat until crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Black bean burger with avocado, cabbage, and sliced radish.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

Here are a few ideas for toppings:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I grill the black bean burger patties?

Make sure the grill grates are well-greased. Grill over medium-high heat, adjusting the temperature down as needed. Cook until golden and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Do not press down on the patties!

Can this recipe for black bean burgers be made in advance?

If not cooking the burgers right away, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Alternatively, individually wrap and place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month—Defrost before using.

Can I add cheese to the veggie burgers?

Yes! If you are not making vegan burgers, add a slice of your favorite cheese in the last few minutes of cooking the patties. American, cheddar, swiss, provolone, or smoked gouda pairs nicely.

Do you need to make a panade?

A panade is a mixture of starch with liquid to create a paste. The mixture helps to bind proteins together, adds texture and structure, and keeps food moist. Most often applied in meatballs and meatloaf, the same principle can help the beans bind together using the starches in the corn chips, flour, and liquid from the beans. The result is a more sturdy burger patty.

Serve This With

If you tried this Black Bean Burger recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Black Bean Burgers

Black bean burgers with bold southwest flavors, wholesome beans, and made with ease in a food processor or blender.
4.89 from 54 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


  • 30 ounces canned black beans
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ¾ cups corn tortilla chips
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 5 burger buns


  • Prepare the Beans – Reserve 6 tablespoons of the liquid from the black beans and place in a medium bowl, set aside. Line a baking sheet with three layers of paper towels. Rinse the beans using a colander, then shake off any excess moisture and evenly spread across the paper towels. Allow them to dry while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Make the Seasoning Mixture – Add the flour to the bowl with the bean liquid and whisk until smooth. Add green onions, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Process the Chips and Beans – Add chips to a food processor and process on high speed until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the dried black beans and pulse until coarsely ground, about 5 pulses.
  • Form the Patties – Add the black bean mixture to the bowl with the seasoned flour mixture. Stir to combine. Measure out ½ cup and form and flatten it into 4-inch wide patties. Makes 5 black bean burgers.
  • Cook the Patties – Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add in 3 patties and cook until browned and lightly crisp, about 5 minutes.
    Flip the patties and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook until the other side is browned and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining two patties and 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • To Serve – Add the burger patties to the buns and add desired toppings.

Recipe Video

YouTube video


  • Serving Size: ½ cup (121g, 4 ¼ ounce) plus burger bun
  • Smaller Burgers: Divide into six smaller patties. Serve with smaller buns or rolls. 
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free, arrowroot powder, cassava flour, or 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Use gluten-free buns.
  • Storing: Uncooked patties can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day or wrapped and frozen for 1 month. Store cooked patties in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Suggested Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, radish, lettuce, or cabbage.
  • The recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 5 servings
Calories 434kcal (22%)Carbohydrates 62g (21%)Protein 15g (30%)Fat 14g (22%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 9gSodium 991mg (41%)Potassium 586mg (17%)Fiber 14g (56%)Sugar 3g (3%)Vitamin A 250IU (5%)Vitamin C 7.4mg (9%)Calcium 130mg (13%)Iron 5mg (28%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating

33 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Dawn says

    Just wondering if anyone has ever incorporated quinoa in these burgers? Both my husband and I like these but wanted to add a little bit of quinoa and I wasn’t sure how much add.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Dawn! I actually have a quinoa and black bean burger recipe if you want to give it a try. Otherwise, I would add start with 1/2 cup quinoa, increasing to 1 cup if the burger is still binding well. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Ros says

    I first ate these wonderful burgers on a beach in Sicily – cooked by an American vegan family living on a US air base. The burgers were unforgettable – as was the afternoon – and am so happy to have tracked down the recipe!

  3. MJ says

    Prepared for my family of 10 yesterday. Everyone loved them. Grilled them at 375- 400 degrees – served a fresh salsa along with it plus 100% whole wheat bun, sliced farmers market tomato and organic romaine leaves. Happy smiles from all. Excellent recipe!!

  4. Carrie says

    I made this tonight from dried black beans I had prepared. Added some chipotle powder but otherwise did everything according to the recipe. I should have tasted it though before cooking because it needed more salt, and you could really add more of the other spices too. Will keep the recipe – we liked it!

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