Black Bean Burgers — This will be your new FAVORITE black bean burger recipe! EASY, full of great texture, flavor, and tastes just like a great burger – minus the meat! Can be GRILLED or BAKED!
Easy Black Bean Burgers Recipe
I’ve tried countless black bean recipes over the years and they tend to be plagued by problems ranging from lack of flavor, mushy texture, cannot be grilled or they fall apart, and the list goes on.
However, all that changes with this black bean burger recipe! It’s going to be your new favorite recipe for black bean burgers that rival your favorite burger recipe, minus the meat of course.
These black bean burgers are easy to make, come together with help from your food processor, and best of all you can either grill OR bake them.
When it’s summertime, nothing beats burgers on the grill. The outside of these black bean burgers get slightly charred and crisp, making for a nice mouthfeel.
However in the winter, nothing beats not having to go outside and grill! With my black bean burger recipe, you can easily oven-bake your burgers, too.
Ingredients In Black Bean Burgers
For these black bean veggie burgers, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Canned black beans
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Red bell pepper
- Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce to keep vegetarian)
- Light brown sugar
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
How to Make Black Bean Burgers
This is an incredibly easy homemade black bean burgers recipe! Follow these basic steps:
- Begin by draining and rinsing very well two cans of black beans.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels, turn the beans onto the towels, and gently blot them dry with more paper towels on top.
- To a large skillet, add the olive oil onion, red bell pepper, sauté until tender, and in the final one minute or so, add the onion.
- Transfer the beans into the canister of a food processor, add the onion mixture to it, as well as the egg, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, and pulse about 2o to 30 times, or until the ingredients just come together.
- Form six equally sized patties. They’ll be just over 1/2-cup each. Place them on a baking sheet until you’re ready to grill them.
- Preheat your grill, oil the grates lightly, place the patties on a piece of cooking-sprayed foil, and grill for about 15 minutes, flipping the patties halfway through. If you’re adding cheese, add it in the last 5 minutes, and close the grill cover to allow the cheese to melt.
- Or, if you’re baking your black bean burgers, bake them in a preheated 375F oven on a lightly sprayed baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add the optional cheese in the last 5 minutes.
Can Black Bean Burgers Be Grilled?
As I mentioned, yes they sure can! This is a definite and huge advantage my recipe has over many others because they won’t fall apart on you.
Just make sure you grill them on a lightly greased or sprayed sheet of aluminum foil.
I don’t recommend placing them directly on grill grates because they could stick and ultimately fall apart.
I like non-stick heavy-duty foil for this purpose because it’s much stronger than typical foil. Plus, it comes with a nonstick side!
What Kind Of Black Beans To Use
I use no-salt added, store-bought canned black beans.
I either opt for Trader Joe’s organic black beans or store-brand beans from my local supermarket, which are organic as well as lower sodium. Although most any brand of canned black beans will work.
I’ve never made black bean burgers with beans that I make from scratch. Although, if you have extra cooked homemade black beans on hand, I’m sure they will work perfectly.
Can I Make The Black Bean Burgers Vegan Or Gluten-Free?
As written, the black bean burgers are vegetarian rather than vegan because of the egg. I haven’t had great success making meatless burgers in the past without an egg since it’s a great binder and really helps hold the patties together.
Additionally, I’ve never tried using gluten-free breadcrumbs so can’t say for sure whether that would work or not.
Because, again, the gluten in the breadcrumbs serves to hold together and bind the mixture so that the burgers hold together.
If you experiment with trying to make vegan or gluten-free burgers, please leave a comment in the comments section below which will help others as well!
Toppings For Black Bean Burgers
My family is partial to cheeseburgers rather than plain burgers and I topped these black bean burgers with cheese.
Apart from cheese, feel free to add some (or all!) of the following toppings:
- Red onion
- Bacon (plant-based to keep meat-free, if desired)
Variations of This Black Bean Burger Recipe
The beauty if this plant-based black bean burger recipe is that it’s quite basic in terms of the flavor profile, which makes it easy to customize and adapt the flavor profile to something smokier or spicier if desired.
- If you want a more smoky flavor profile, smoked paprika or chipotle seasoning would do the trick. Or try a few drops of liquid smoke.
- Rather than ketchup, barbecue sauce or a spicy bbq sauce is also great.
- For spicier burgers, add chili powder, red chili flakes, a few dashes of cayenne pepper, or half a serrano chile or even habanero!
- These meatless burgers are a great way to add more veggies in your diet. You can easily add corn, carrots, or zucchini right into the mix and process in the food processor!
Tips for the Best Black Bean Burgers
- It’s important to paper towel blot dry the beans to the best of your ability. By removing the excess surface water, the patties have an overall better texture and consistency and aren’t mushy from the presence of extra water.
- I really like not pulsing the mixture too much in the food processor that way you get little chunks of beans, red onion, or bell pepper throughout the patty.
- You can also hand-mash with a fork which I am fine with since I love texture and don’t mind putting a little elbow grease into things.
What to Serve with Black Bean Burgers
Now that you know how to make black bean burgers, it’s time to get cooking! Keep your meal simple by serving them with chips and fresh fruit, or try one or more of the following sides:
- two 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup small-diced red onion
- 1 cup small-diced red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce to keep vegetarian)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 6 slices white cheddar or cheddar cheese, optional
To serve (all optional and as desired)
- 6 Brioche Buns (or your favorite burger buns)
- Tomato Slices
- Mashed Avocado
- Red onion slices
- Burgers – Drain and rinse the black beans well in a colander over the sink.
- Place paper towels on a baking sheet, transfer the beans to the towel-lined baking sheet, and blot dry with additional paper towels. Aim to get the beans as dry as possible which later prevents soggy and mushy burgers; set aside.
- To a large skillet, add the olive oil, red onion, bell pepper, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until softened; stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir nearly constantly.
- Transfer the onion mixture and the towel-dried beans to the canister of a 12 to 14-cup food processor.
- Pulse for about 20 to 30 times. Do not over-process!*
- Form 6 equally sized patties, about 1/2-cup each of the mixture.
- To Grill – Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the burgers on a lightly greased piece of tin foil that has been placed directly onto the grates of the grill that are also lightly greased. I recommend nonstick heavy duty foil.
- Grill for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. The outside will be nice and charred.
- If making cheeseburgers, add the cheese 5 minutes before the cook time is over so it has time to melt. Keep grill cover closed when melting the cheese.
- To Bake – Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick foil or use a Silpat, and place the patties directly on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- If making cheeseburgers, place cheese on top 5 minutes before the cook time is over so it has time to melt.
- To Serve – Serve on brioche buns with your favorite burger toppings, such as green leaf lettuce, tomato slices, red onion, and mashed avocado. Or, use any of the optional toppings suggested in the blog post.
*I really like not pulsing the mixture too much in the food processor that way you get little chunks of beans, red onion, or bell pepper throughout the patty. You can also hand-mash with a fork.
**Note that the stats take into account cheese, large brioche buns, and avocado, all of which are inflating the calorie and fat stats for the recipe. Nutritional stats are provided as a courtesy only and will of course vary with the exact type of buns (or none) used as well as the other optional ingredients such as cheese, avocado, etc.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 792Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 772mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 18gSugar: 13gProtein: 31g
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Originally published May 24, 2021 and republished July 21, 2023 with updated text.