Homemade black bean burgers may change your mind when it comes to meatless burgers. Make a double batch so you’ll have some to freeze, too.
Why you’ll love it: This black bean burger recipe really works and is so much better than store-bought.
How long it takes: 30 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: microwave oven, food processor, oven, baking sheet.
Whether you’re vegetarian or just looking for occasional meatless alternatives, you’ll love these black bean burgers. They’re so good on a bun with all the traditional trimmings or wrapped in a tortilla with lettuce, guacamole, and pickled red onions. We like to sauce them up with homemade Thousand Island dressing or French fry sauce (sort of like a Big Mac).
Tired of the same old frozen black bean patties? Did you know that you can make your own? They’re so much better than purchased burgers and much more economical, too.
I find that most prepared black bean burgers are quite high in sodium. When you make your own, you add flavor with herbs, spices, and chopped veggies instead of adding a ton of salt.
Maybe you like the convenience of having frozen patties that you can bake up in a hurry for a quick meal. Perfect! These burgers can be frozen just like the ones you buy. Make a double batch while you’re at it so you have some to freeze.
About this recipe
It can be a little tricky to get a good consistency with bean burgers. They have a tendency to be mushy or fall apart.
You’ll be relieved to know that we researched, tested, and tweaked this recipe numerous times. We ate a lot of not-so-perfect bean burgers until we arrived at this recipe, so you can be confident that this is a really great bean burger.
While many recipes include cooked rice, quinoa, or another grain, we wanted to make things a little easier for you. These burgers are made with oats and panko bread crumbs. That means no planning ahead and having to cook up a grain before you even get started making the bean burgers.
What you’ll need
- Black Beans – Use a 15 oz. can of beans, or one and a half cups of cooked beans. You’ll be able to make 4 good-sized burgers with one can of beans. The trick to non-mushy burgers is to dry those beans! We’ll be using the microwave for that.
- Veggies – Carrots, onion, and garlic for lots of flavor.
- Spice It Up: Paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Stick It Together: with ketchup, panko bread crumbs, oats, and egg.
How to make This Recipe
To make a firmer burger, we found that it helps to slightly dry out the beans. It’s easy to do in the microwave. Simply spread the beans out on a paper towel lined plate and zap them for five minutes. A few beans may pop open but don’t worry, the whole business goes into the food processor anyways.
So, the food processor is next. Give the veggies a short whirl so they’re chopped into nice little pieces.
You want them to look like they do in the photo below.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the panko, and pulse a few times until the mixture is chopped and blended but still chunky. You still want to see chunks of carrots, beans, and oats. What you don’t want is a totally puréed mixture that will look kind of unappetizing when you form the burgers. Stir in panko bread crumbs.
Using your hands, form the mixture firmly into four burgers, about a half-inch thick.
Measure out the mixture for uniform burgers.
At this point, you can either bake the patties, refrigerate them, or freeze them to use later.
Once the burgers are baked, serve them on toasted buns with all your favorite toppings.
As an alternative to beef burgers, black bean burgers are much healthier. With plant-based protein, black bean burgers have lots of nutrition and fiber, and very little fat, only 3 grams compared to 14 grams in a beef burger.
Press the mixture firmly when making the patties. If time allows, it helps to refrigerate the patties fifteen to twenty minutes so that the mixture has time to come together.
We found that drying the beans helped a lot for texture. Extra moisture means more mushiness. Leaving the mixture a little chunky by not overprocessing helps too. Do bean burgers have the same texture as hamburger? No, but quite frankly, they are a lot tastier.
Make It your own
- The seasoning of the burgers can be changed to reflect your own personal tastes. Be adventurous! Match the seasoning to reflect the toppings you’re adding. Use Italian herbs instead of cumin and paprika, and top your burger with homemade pizza sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
- Make your burgers spicy! Replace the black pepper with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
- Replace the egg with an egg substitute to make this recipe vegan. Try this Flax Egg by Jessica in the Kitchen.
- No breadcrumbs? Substitute cooked quinoa, brown rice, or additional oats; however, the texture will be affected.
Make Ahead Ideas
Make the burgers but don’t bake them. They can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.
To freeze, put a small piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap between each burger and place in zip top bag.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Leftover baked burgers can be refrigerated for up to three days. You can also freeze bean burgers baked or unbaked.
To reheat leftover baked burgers, microwave on high for a minute or until heated through. Or reheat them in a skillet on the stove, a few minutes on each side.
If frozen, unthawed and unbaked burgers should be baked as directed, adding a few minutes to the baking time.
Serve leftover burgers crumbled or cut into chunks on a chopped salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and this homemade sweet BBQ salad dressing. So good!
More burger recipes
- The Best Easy Turkey Burgers
- Taco Turkey Burgers
- Pizza Burgers
- Air Fryer Burgers – you’ll be amazed at how well your air fryer cooks beef burgers!
- Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Burger with Tomato and Basil
- Wild Rice Patties
- Classic Hamburger Recipe by Spend With Pennies
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- ½ small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line small baking sheet with parchment paper, if desired, or spray pan lightly with cooking spray.
- Spread black beans on paper towel lined plate in a single layer. Microwave until slightly dry, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly.
- To bowl of food processor, add carrot, onion, and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add spices, seasoning, ketchup, oats, egg, and black beans to bowl of food processor.
- Pulse until roughly chopped. Do not overprocess. You should still be able to see small pieces of black bean, carrot, and oats. Lightly stir in panko.
- Form into 4 (½ cup) patties about ½ inch thick.
- Place burgers on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, flipping after 8 minutes. Internal temperature should be 160℉.
- Nutrition information is for burger only. It does not include bun or toppings.
- Make Ahead: Make the burgers but don’t bake them. They can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to three months. To freeze, put a small piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap between each burger and place in zip top bag. Add a few minutes to baking time if baking frozen patties.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.