Claiming something is the “best” holds a lot of weight. But truly this recipe is the best Black Bean Burger recipe we’ve ever tried. Like, ever.
The recipe is very slightly adapted from Kenji Lopez of Serious Eats. It’s a mix of canned black beans, sautéed onion, peppers, and garlic, salty feta cheese, and roasted cashews. There’s no rice or other grains added to the veggie burger patty, but with the addition of ground cashews, they totally hold their shape.
Sometimes we make these black bean burgers in place of traditional beef burgers. That’s about the highest praise I can give the recipe. Here’s why we think these are the very best:
- Texture! Most black bean burgers either become mushy or fall apart during cooking, but not these!! They hold their shape and thanks to a quick roast of the black beans in the oven (this helps to dry them out), they won’t break apart on the grill.
- Meal-prep friendly! We often make a double batch then enjoy all week long for meal prepped lunches or dinner.
- Versatile! Whatever flavor profile you’re craving, you can adapt these black bean burger patties to fit the mold. Feeling Greek-inspired? Top with tzatziki and sliced cucumbers. Want a smoky spicy flavor? Serve with chipotle mayo and jalapeño peppers. Use any burger toppings, and they’ll taste great!
- Canned black beans: This plant-based protein is packed with nutrients, including a good deal of fiber while being low in fat. We love them!
- Aromatics: Onion, poblano pepper, and garlic cloves are sautéed in neutral oil. These add both flavor and texture to the black bean patties.
- Chipotle chili in adobo sauce: These are canned jalapeño peppers that have been dried and smoked. They offer an intense smoky chipotle flavor with warm spices.
- Roasted cashews: The cashews help shape the patties and prevent them from falling apart.
- Feta: Not only does feta cheese add a little salt, but it holds its shape, which helps the patties keep their shape as well. Cotija cheese is a great substitute!
- Mayonnaise: Adds a bit of fat and moisture to the burgers.
- Egg: A large egg will help to bind the black bean patties.
- Panko breadcrumbs: The coarse texture of panko bread crumbs is perfect for an additional binding ingredient.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: To season everything!
How To Make Black Bean Burgers
- Cook the black beans. It sounds counterintuitive, but baking the beans for a short period in an oven will help to try them out, which helps the black bean patties stay dry enough to hold their shape.
- Sauté veggies! We’re adding lots of flavor (and moisture) back into the patties by mixing in sautéed onion, poblano pepper, and garlic. Yum!
- Mix together. Pulse the black beans until they’re roughly chopped, then mix with ground cashews, mayo, egg, panko, the sautéed onion and pepper mixture, and of course Kosher salt and black pepper.
- Form the black bean patties. You could refrigerate the mixture for up to 3 days, but if you’re ready to cook them straight away, form into 6-8 equal sized patties.
- Cook the black bean burgers. You can grill ’em up outside or cook in a skillet indoors. They’ll need about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Assemble, then serve. Top with your favorite condiments and burger toppings and serve on whole wheat burger buns.
It’s a lot of steps, but the end result is so worth it. These are truly best black bean burgers ever!
Yes! Black beans (canned or dried) have immense health benefits. They’re a great source of plant-based protein as well as fiber. Not only do these taste great, but they’ll fill you up as well.
We haven’t tested these with anything other than black beans. We recommend sticking to the recipe as written.
These are great with cotija cheese, which is similar in both flavor and texture to feta. We’ve only ever made these with roasted cashews. You could definitely try to subtitute with another type of nut!
Expert Tips For The Best Black Bean Burgers
- Dry out the beans! Removing that excess moisture will help firm up the black bean patties when cooking!
- Don’t pulse the ingredients too much! The mix of texture from both finely ground and coarsely ground ingredients makes for the best texture for the black bean patties.
- Use panko breadcrumbs! They offer a better texture than traditional breadcrumbs.
- Make the patties the same size as the bun you’re serving them on. Veggie burgers won’t shrink the way that traditional beef burgers do.
These black bean burgers will for sure be the star of your summer cookout. They are truly the best ever!
If you make this Black Bean Burger recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More vegetarian recipes to try!Grilled Eggplant Skewers Chickpea Patties Green Goddess Sandwich Deconstructed Falafel Sandwich Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Aioli Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Kenji’s Black Bean Burgers Recipe
For the black bean patties:
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
- 1 medium sweet onion finely chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 poblano pepper finely chopped, about 1 cup
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce finely chopped, plus 1 tsp sauce
- ¾ cup roasted cashews
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise or sour cream
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 whole wheat hamburger buns toasted
- Condiments, such as: tzatziki, ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise
- Sliced cheese such as Pepper Jack, Cheddar, Muenster, or Swiss
- Sliced tomatoes, caramelized onions, avocado, micro greens, or lettuce
- Cook the black beans. Preheat an oven to 350F with a rack in the center. Place black beans in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the beans are crispy and the skins have mostly cracked. Set aside and cool slightly.
- Sauté the vegetables. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 cup diced onion and1 cup diced poblano. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic, then cook 1 minute more. Stir in the chopped chipotle chili and 1 tsp adobo sauce, then cook for about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Grind the cashews. Place ¾ cup cashews in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse until finely chopped, then add to the bowl with onions and peppers.
- Pulse the beans. Next, place the cooled beans in the food processor along with ½ cup feta. Pulse until the beans are roughly chopped, then transfer to the bowl with the onion/pepper mixture. Add 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 egg, and ¾ cup panko. Season with 1 tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Mix everything together with your hands. At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture for up to 3 days.
- Cook the black bean burgers. Form the mixture into 6-8 equal sized patties, as wide as your burger buns. If grilling, preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Spray the grates with grill spray, then cook for 3-5 minutes per side over direct heat. If cooking indoors, preheat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then cook patties, working in batches as needed, for 4-5 minutes per side.
- Assemble, then serve. Spread buns with any condiments, then add toppings to top or bottom bun as desired. Place a black bean burger on top, then serve immediately!
- Nutrition facts include burger patty and whole wheat burger buns only. Added cheese and condiments are omitted.
- Make ahead: Black bean patty mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Place burgers on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 2-3 hours. Transfer frozen patties to a freezer-safe container. Will last up to 3 months. Thaw for 1 hour at room temperature before cooking.
Recipe originally published in June 2018. It has since been updated with new photos and additional information to help make it easier to recreate at home.
Photography by Alana of Your Home Made Healthy.
C arla says
Love this recipe!! Perfect black bean patties. The pop up on this site to get date night blah blah… something makes this unreadable on my phone, you can’t close the pop up. Very sucky design.
I love the effort and research you put into this
Ari Laing says
Hi Carla — apologize for the issue with the pop-up. Trying to address that quickly. But so glad you love these black bean burgers as much as we do! They’re the absolute best ever!! xo, Ari