The Best Black Bean Burgers I’ve Ever Had

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

We’re settling into another week at our favorite vacation spot: Deep Creek Lake. We haven’t taken a non-work trip in over 2 years, so we packed up Noelle, the dogs, and pretty much everything we own and are here for 2 weeks! There’s been biking, hiking, swimming, boating, tubing, s’mores-ing, grilling, cheers-ing, and above all else: sitting on the deck doing absolutely nothing. Now that’s vacation.

Yesterday we took Noelle to where we got engaged 5 years ago. Remember that? Those photos. We were babies! ♥

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Earlier in the summer, with vacation in mind, I made a batch of what I believe to be the best black bean burgers ever. Or at least the best black bean burgers I’ve ever had. The goal was to have a delicious homemade vegetarian option for the nights we grill burgers and hot dogs. My assistant, Hilari, was visiting and we couldn’t believe their hearty texture, incredible flavor, and overall ease of preparation. I was expecting good, but not this good. Kevin actually loved them too, which… I don’t know… sort of surprised me because he loves beef and this was… beans.

Let’s highlight the good stuff. These black bean burgers are:

  • easy
  • healthy
  • hearty
  • satisfying
  • big + thick
  • compact
  • garlicky
  • juicy
  • spicy
  • NOT MUSHY

I feel the need to shout that these black bean burgers are not mushy, one of the common problems with homemade black bean burgers. On the other hand, these black bean burgers are not crumbly either. They hold their shape beautifully!

Drying out the black beans for the BEST black bean burgers. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What makes them the best?

BEHIND THE RECIPE

  • Partially dry out the black beans. I learned this from Serious Eats. Spread out the canned black beans onto a lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. This prevents the black bean burgers from tasting like mush.
  • While the black beans are in the oven, sauté some garlic, onion, and pepper together. This will be the flavor base of the entire burger. Make sure you blot the garlic, onion, + pepper when they’re done– you don’t want its moisture in the black bean burger.
  • Food processor or fork! Your choice. Whichever you choose, make sure you don’t completely mash the black beans. We want a bulky and satisfying texture. Larger chunks of beans are the best part!
  • FLAVOR. A black bean burger would simply be a patty made from beans if we didn’t add some pizazz. The sautéed garlic, onion, + pepper combo is a great start, but a little cumin, worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, feta cheese, and chili pepper turn black beans into the BEST black bean burger.

Sautéed onions, garlic, and peppers for black bean burgers. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ingredients for black bean veggie burgers on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now let’s talk about binders.

How do the black bean burgers hold their shape?

  • Breadcrumbs. I used gluten free bread crumbs to keep the burgers GF, but any bread crumbs are great. You can use crushed crackers, almond flour, or even oat flour instead.
  • Ketchup. I love ketchup so the more the merrier, but you only need 2 Tablespoons. Some sort of condiment like this is needed so the burgers hold their shape. Instead of ketchup, try mayo or BBQ sauce. (I used a tangy BBQ sauce in the 2nd batch and the burgers were incredible.)
  • 2 eggs. Best burger binder you’ll find.

All of this stuff, plus the baked black beans, goes into 1 big bowl. Lightly mash it all with a fork to combine. It’s too easy.

How to make the BEST black bean veggie burgers on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Shape the black bean burgers however large or small you want, keeping in mind that the larger they are, the more unevenly they’ll cook. From what I tested, the sweet spot is about 1/3 cup of mixture.

You can bake or grill the burgers– instructions for both included in the printable recipe below. You can also make the burgers ahead of time and freeze, which is what I did for our trip. Stack them between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-top bag. You can even bake/grill the frozen burgers if you forget to thaw them.

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For a light lunch, skip the bun and eat on a salad. For a seriously impressive supper, get creative with the toppings: mashed avocado + caramelized onion, pepper jack cheese + spicy mustard + sweet pickles, herbed goat cheese + roasted red peppers, sriracha + sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella + pesto, corn salsa + cheddar cheese.

When I made them this past weekend, I piled the black bean burgers high with BBQ sauce, Swiss cheese, and grilled pineapple. Best thing I’ve eaten all week. And my week included s’mores made with peanut butter cups. SO THAT’S A GOOD BURGER.

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let me know if you try them for Labor Day!

Best Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (1/2 of a pepper)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
  • pinch salt + pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans.
  3. Form into patties-- about 1/3 cup of mixture in each.
  4. To bake: Place patties on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for place patties on baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes on each side. To grill: Place patties on aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. 
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Make ahead tip: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully! Stack between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-top bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat to your liking or, if uncooked, cook according to instructions.   If desired, you can skip thawing and reheat/cook from frozen for an extra couple minutes.

Recipe Notes:

These black bean burgers are vegetarian, but they are not vegan. To make vegan, leave out the cheese. Replace the Worcestershire sauce with a different vegan condiment (your favorite BBQ sauce would be great!) and replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.

Did you make a recipe?

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SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Glass Mixing Bowls | Ninja Food Processor | Cast Iron Skillet | Baking Sheet

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81 Comments

Comments

  1. Barb on August 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I am trying these tonite. They look amazing. I have never heard of the step to dry them out a little, but that makes total sense for the texture. My daughter is vegan, so this will be a good option when she comes to visit.
    BTW, I made the pesto recipe and it is so delish. I have a basil plant that grew into a small shrub. I hope I can make it a few more times this summer.

  2. Sarah on August 29, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I can’t wait to try these. I think I’ll try the sweet potato as an egg replacer. That just sounds so incredible. And I love to have veggie burgers sitting in the freezer for an easy lunch. The only problem- I start to get stingy with them once I’m running low bc I don’t want to run out!

  3. Leah Rosenberg on August 29, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I made these tonight and while they were absolutely delicious, there were some issues. They did not stay together well at all and half of the burger stuck to the pan when I went to flip them. (I lined the pan with tin foil and sprayed it with nonstick spray.) They broke apart as we were eating them as well. Overall it seemed like they needed more binding agents.

  4. Lauren on August 30, 2018 at 10:25 am

    FINALLY! A black bean burger that stays together! Thank you Sally. 🙂 I had colby/jack on hand instead of feta and it was tasty. Plus I personally think BBQ sauce is the king of condiments, so that was a fun surprise.

  5. Patricia Rose on August 30, 2018 at 11:56 am

    These sound great. I would probably undercook dried beans to get them at the same consistency. Even this meat lover loves a great veggie burger!

  6. Lauren @ Lemon & Mocha on August 30, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve actually never had a black bean burger, but these look SO good! I love the idea for swapping mashed sweet potato for the egg, that combo sounds delicious.

  7. MW in Atlanta on August 31, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Sally: brilliant idea to put beans in oven first. Have tried a half dozen recipes which turned out so mushy they went straight to the trash. These were seasoned perfectly and much better than restaurant ones. These go in my permanent recipe file and live up to your description. Spot on and keep recipes like this coming. M in Atlanta

    • Sally on September 3, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      I’m so happy that you tried this and enjoyed it!!

  8. Tina on September 1, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    This is a great recipe!! So yummy and tasty, and my burgers stayed together perfectly. Love the freezing/make-ahead options, as well as the serving suggestions. Sally, thanks for another delicious recipe that I can enjoy and feel good about! 🙂

  9. Andrea on September 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Yep. I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers, homemade and store bought, and these are definitely one of the best! Drying the black beans…genious! Thanks, Sally!

  10. Amanda on September 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    We made these for dinner tonight – and
    WOW!! My boyfriend and I are both meat loving burger people but I suggested trying this fun new recipe of Sally’s and we both really loved the black bean burgers! The flavors were so great with a mix of spices to help (didn’t have worcestershire sauce still great). He mashed the beans with a fork which was a nice consistency and baked them in the oven. They were as mushy as I had expected and we really enjoyed them. Definitely will make again! Easy, tasty, flavorful (and budget friendly)!

    • Amanda on September 3, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Oops Amanda again here – *weren’t as mushy as I expected!

  11. Kayleigh on September 4, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Can’t wait to make these!! Doing them for a work potluck. Should I adjust baking time if I wanted to make smaller patties (slider size)? Maybe 5 minutes on each side instead of 10?

    • Sally on September 4, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Hi Kayleigh! If shaping the burgers a little smaller, reduce the oven time. I’m unsure how long yours will need exactly, but I would start with 6-7 minutes on each side.

      • Kayleigh on September 4, 2018 at 11:51 am

        Ok great! Thank you. I’ll let you know how they turn out.



  12. Jamie on September 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Sally! I just love when you post dinner recipes. Made these burgers last night for my family’s Labor Day dinner, and they were absolutely delicious – everyone loved them! I’m thrilled to have a few leftover, too, to eat for lunch again this week. They’re so flavorful and healthy – thank you for another wonderful recipe I’ll be making again and again. Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend!! : )

  13. Peyton Wright on September 6, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I made them and LOVE THEM!!!!
    You’re so right about the texture. I felt like I was eating a “real burger”.
    Thank you so much for sharing this and ALL of your wonderful recipes. I’m using this one as a part of my Daniel Fast.

  14. Deanna on September 9, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I made these burgers last week and they were amazing! I cannot eat ground beef anymore and was really missing out having burgers with my family. Thank you so much Sally, I can always count on your recipes to be wonderful!

  15. Dara on September 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Sounds delicious! Can you make these without feta cheese?

    • Sally on September 17, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Hi Dara! Yes, you can leave out the feta cheese or replace with another cheese if desired.

Reviews

  1. Lori on August 27, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I made these for dinner tonight. My husband (a real meat and potatoes kind of guy) loved them! Next time I will try adding mushrooms! Enjoy your vacation!

    • Sally on August 28, 2018 at 7:54 am

      This is awesome!! Thank you so much for trying the black bean burger recipe and reporting back.

  2. Leah Rosenberg on August 29, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I made these tonight and while they were absolutely delicious, there were some issues. They did not stay together well at all and half of the burger stuck to the pan when I went to flip them. (I lined the pan with tin foil and sprayed it with nonstick spray.) They broke apart as we were eating them as well. Overall it seemed like they needed more binding agents.

  3. Lauren on August 30, 2018 at 10:25 am

    FINALLY! A black bean burger that stays together! Thank you Sally. 🙂 I had colby/jack on hand instead of feta and it was tasty. Plus I personally think BBQ sauce is the king of condiments, so that was a fun surprise.

  4. Tina on September 1, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    This is a great recipe!! So yummy and tasty, and my burgers stayed together perfectly. Love the freezing/make-ahead options, as well as the serving suggestions. Sally, thanks for another delicious recipe that I can enjoy and feel good about! 🙂

  5. Andrea on September 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Yep. I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers, homemade and store bought, and these are definitely one of the best! Drying the black beans…genious! Thanks, Sally!

  6. Amanda on September 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    We made these for dinner tonight – and
    WOW!! My boyfriend and I are both meat loving burger people but I suggested trying this fun new recipe of Sally’s and we both really loved the black bean burgers! The flavors were so great with a mix of spices to help (didn’t have worcestershire sauce still great). He mashed the beans with a fork which was a nice consistency and baked them in the oven. They were as mushy as I had expected and we really enjoyed them. Definitely will make again! Easy, tasty, flavorful (and budget friendly)!

    • Amanda on September 3, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Oops Amanda again here – *weren’t as mushy as I expected!

  7. Jamie on September 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Sally! I just love when you post dinner recipes. Made these burgers last night for my family’s Labor Day dinner, and they were absolutely delicious – everyone loved them! I’m thrilled to have a few leftover, too, to eat for lunch again this week. They’re so flavorful and healthy – thank you for another wonderful recipe I’ll be making again and again. Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend!! : )

Questions

  1. Victoria S on August 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

    I’m wondering if these will survive and hold together without cheese? My baby is allergic so I would love to know. These look amazing!

    • Sally on August 27, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Yes! The cheese is really just there for flavor. You can leave it out.

  2. Tarra on August 27, 2018 at 10:50 am

    I am allergic to peppers, what other veggie would you recommend for these burgers?

    • Sally on August 27, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Finely chopped sautéed mushrooms would be great!

    • Lisa on August 27, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      I think corn would compliment the beans nicely!

  3. Monica on August 27, 2018 at 11:59 am

    how did you get them so perfectly round?!? Looks delicious!

    • Sally on August 27, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      They actually hold their shape beautifully!

  4. Michelle on August 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    If I don’t want to add bell peppers, do I substitute something else or just leave it out?

    • Sally on August 27, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Finely chopped sautéed mushrooms would be great or another reader suggested corn. Let me know what you try!

  5. Jade on August 27, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    These look delicious and I’m always looking for more prep ahead meals that I can freeze. One question: do you know if I should do anything different if I am making my black beans from dried beans rather than from canned? Or just cook the black beans and then proceed with the recipe?

    • Sally on August 28, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Hi Jade! Thanks! Yes, I would cook the beans first, then proceed with this recipe by partially drying them out.

  6. Stefanie Carnathan on August 27, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Sally!

    How many sliders/mini burgers would this recipe make? I can’t wait to make this recipe in my classroom.

    Thanks!
    Stefanie

    • Sally on August 28, 2018 at 7:53 am

      Hi Stefanie! It depends how small you make them. If you use only a couple Tbsp of mixture per burger, you’d get around 12-15 mini burgers.

  7. Iram on August 27, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Sally, can we can fry them in a little bit of oil?

    • Sally on August 28, 2018 at 7:50 am

      I find the centers don’t cook very well when cooked on the stove. You can start them in a skillet then transfer to the oven to finish baking.

  8. Stacey on August 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Do you know the calorie count per burger?

    • Sally on August 28, 2018 at 7:49 am

      I don’t, sorry!

  9. jennifer on August 27, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    is the feta cheese a prominent flavor? I am not a big cheese person, and I’ve never cooked with feta before

    • Sally on August 28, 2018 at 7:48 am

      Not really. You can leave it out or replace with a cheese you like.

  10. Kayleigh on September 4, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Can’t wait to make these!! Doing them for a work potluck. Should I adjust baking time if I wanted to make smaller patties (slider size)? Maybe 5 minutes on each side instead of 10?

    • Sally on September 4, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Hi Kayleigh! If shaping the burgers a little smaller, reduce the oven time. I’m unsure how long yours will need exactly, but I would start with 6-7 minutes on each side.

      • Kayleigh on September 4, 2018 at 11:51 am

        Ok great! Thank you. I’ll let you know how they turn out.



  11. Dara on September 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Sounds delicious! Can you make these without feta cheese?

    • Sally on September 17, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Hi Dara! Yes, you can leave out the feta cheese or replace with another cheese if desired.

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