Black bean burgers with bold southwest flavors, wholesome beans, and made with ease in a food processor or blender. Add extra flavor to each vegetarian patty using your favorite toppings and spreads.
Black bean burgers are an affordable plant-based protein and this handheld meal is easy to prepare. Legumes are a favorite ingredient to incorporate into meatless patties. They are neutral in flavor and there hold shape well when mashed and formed.
These dark-colored beans give a similar appearance to their beefy counterparts but are packed with fiber and healthy protein. This hearty veggie burger recipe is vegan-friendly and makes for a fun to customize meal with toppings of your choice.
How to make black bean burgers
- Reserve 6 tablespoons of liquid from the canned beans.
- Dry the black beans between paper towels.
- Whisk together flour and black bean liquid.
- Add onions and seasonings, stir to combine.
- Grind corn chips in a food processor.
- Add beans and process until coarsely ground.
- Combine black bean mixture with flour mixture.
- Measure a 1/2 cup of the bean mixture and shape into 4-inch wide patties and place on a baking sheet.
- Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add patties, cook until browned and crisp, 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Serve with hamburger buns and desired toppings.
Patties that stick together
Black bean patties are notorious for falling apart when cooking. To help them stick together, drain the beans thoroughly to control the amount of moisture in the mixture. Just don’t throw away the liquid!
The canned bean liquid contains natural starches from the beans that can make a sticky paste which helps with binding. You can also make the stove top black beans for the base. Flour also provides extra cohesiveness. As it becomes hydrated and mixed, gluten formation helps to create protein bonds that like to form and stick together.
Enhance the flavor
On their own black beans can be pretty bland, and admittedly boring. 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, and pepper are stirred into the patty mixture.
Onion and garlic powder or some finely chopped bell pepper would also add nice earthy flavors to the patties. If you like a little spicer burger, add some hot sauce for a kick!
Add tortilla chips for binding
To make a more sturdy base for the patty that holds together, adding in some crushed corn tortilla chips instead of bread crumbs adds texture. The chips also have more starch for binding and help to absorb some of the bean liquid to keep the burger moist and flavorful.
Adding chips essentially creates a panade for the black bean burgers. They should be processed into crumbs using a food processor or blender, but not entirely ground down like a flour. Corn chips compliment the earthy flavors of the seasonings for a southwestern taste.
How do you create the bean patty?
Process the beans with the corn chips just 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. Once all of the bean burger patties are solidly packed and formed, it’s time to cook!
A nonstick skillet is the best way to get a golden and crisp surface without adhering to the pan. Each bean burger patty is cooked in the skillet with some oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
Ideas for topping
- Iceberg or butter leaf lettuce
- Thick sliced tomato
- Spreads like mayonnaise or barbecue sauce
- Guacamole or avocado slices
- Thinly sliced radish for crunch
- Grilled peppers and onions
Serve this with
The importance of adding in a panade
A panade is a mixture of starch with liquid to create a paste. This mixture helps to bind proteins together, added texture and structure, and keeps food moist. Most often applied in meatballs and meatloaf, the same principle can be used to 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.
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Black Bean Burgers
- 30 ounces canned black beans
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup minced green onions
- 3 tablespoons minced 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 hamburger buns
- Line a baking sheet with three layers of paper towels.
- Reserve 6 tablespoons of the liquid from the black beans and place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Rinse the beans, shake to remove excess moisture and evenly spread across the paper towels. Allow them to dry while preparing the other ingredients.
- Add flour to the bowl with the bean liquid and whisk until smooth.
- Add minced onions, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, stir to combine. Set aside.
- Add chips to a food processor and process on high speed until finely ground, about 30 seconds.
- Add the dried black beans to the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, about 5 pulses.
- Add black bean mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture. Stir to combine.
- Measure out ½ cup of the black bean mixture and form and flatted into 4-inch wide patties. Makes 5 black bean burgers.
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Once the oil is hot carefully add in 3 patties. Cook until browned and lightly crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Flip over the patties and add in 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook until the other side is browned and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Repeat cooking process with the remaining two patties and 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Serve patties with burger buns and desired toppings.
- Suggested Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, lettuce.
- The recipe can be evenly split into six smaller patties, however, purchase smaller size burger buns.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup (121g, 4 1/4 ounce) plus burger bun
- Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody.
- MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour and gluten-free burger buns.
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