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Between homemade, restaurant, and store-bought, these are the best black bean burgers I’ve ever tried. With great reviews from taste testers around the world, I’m confident you’ll be satisfied with this bean burger recipe. They’re big, thick, hearty, and flavorful. The trick is to partially dry out the black beans so the burgers do not taste mushy. Grill or bake the black bean burgers and enjoy on a bun, plain, or on a salad.

black bean burger with a bun, onions, cheese, lettuce, and avocado

A few weeks ago 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. These were a massive hit with the family. We couldn’t believe the hearty texture, incredible flavor, and overall ease of preparation. I was expecting good, but not this good.

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!

black bean burger on a bun with lettuce without the top bun

Quick Video Tutorial

How to Make My Best Black Bean Burgers

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before you get started

  • 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.

drying black beans on a baking sheet

Sautéed onions, garlic, and peppers in a skillet

Ingredients for black bean veggie burgers in a glass bowl

Now let’s talk about binders.

And not the kind you bring to school. 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.

hand holding a measuring cup filled with black bean burger mixture

How to Shape & Cook Black Bean Burgers

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.

black bean burgers after cooking

hands holding a black bean burger with a bite taken from it

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, or even chunky guacamole.

The last time I made them, 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.

Print
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black bean burger with a bun, onions, cheese, lettuce, and avocado

The Best Black Bean Burgers I’ve Ever Had

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-7 burgers 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Between homemade, restaurant, and store-bought, these are the best black bean burgers I’ve ever tried. These burgers are not vegan or vegetarian. (See recipe note to make adjustments if necessary.) With great reviews from taste testers around the world, I’m confident you’ll be satisfied with this black bean burger recipe!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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 (skip if vegan)
  • 2 large eggs (see note for vegan substitution)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (see note for vegan & vegetarian version)
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
  • pinch salt + pepper

Instructions

  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 (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, worcestershire, ketchup, salt, and pepper). 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 parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes total. To grill: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Heat temperature is personal preference as all grills differ. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350°F (177°C) – 400°F (204°C).
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully for up to 3 months. 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.
  2. Vegan & Vegetarian: Worcestershire sauce is not vegan or vegetarian. For vegetarian burgers, leave it out or replace with your favorite vegetarian condiment such as BBQ sauce. For vegan burgers, make the following 3 changes– (1) leave out the Worcestershire sauce or replace with your favorite vegan condiment such as BBQ sauce, (2) leave out the cheese, and (3) replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.

Keywords: black beans, black bean burgers

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi. Do these cook well on the grill? Can I use flax eggs in place of regular eggs?

    1. Hi Liz, they do cook well on the grill! Here are the instructions: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Heat temperature is personal preference as all grills differ. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350°F (177°C) – 400°F (204°C).

      We haven’t tried replacing the eggs with flax eggs, but many readers have commented that they’ve done so and they’ve turned out great. You can also try using 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato in place of the eggs.

  2. This was amazing! Do you know the nutritional facts for each patty if you make 7 Pattie’s?

    1. Hi Amanda, we don’t include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  3. Love this recipe! I’ve made it many times. I usually sub the eggs with flax eggs.

  4. So how many days longer will the planet last for each burger made, trying to calculate my carbon foot print or if I can use a magnifying glass or solar oven. But I thought if I can find a warm spot on my Tesla engine battery then boom lunch on the go while I shop for som crocs…thanks for the info

    1. Hi Donna, see recipe notes for details on making these black bean burgers vegan.

  5. I’ve made these several times and they always turn out great! I use 1 egg instead of 2, add siracha sauce, and add more of the dry spices.

  6. We have made these burgers once a week since I discovered this recipe! Gearing up to make a large batch today for the freezer. We’ve served to many friends who absolutely loved them too. Thank you for a great recipe, and freezing instructions too.

  7. Hello! Wanted to see if we can air fry these and, if so, how?

    Also, do they taste good without feta cheese?

    Lastly, aside from feta cheese, any other cheese you recommend?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sherish! We haven’t tested these black bean burgers in an air fryer but let us know if you do! We’ve made these with pepper jack cheese, herbed goat cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, and Swiss. You really can use any cheese you enjoy!

  8. I made these burgers just as recommended, dried the beans, etc. and while tasty, they were very mushy. Not sure what I did ‘wrong’ and wonder if there is a way to save the ones I froze, e.g. can I add more of something to dry them out? Would they be better baked since they were mushy when grilled.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Robyn! For next time, you can try drying out your black beans for a minute or two longer, or adding more bread crumbs if you find the mixture overly wet. These burgers definitely are a bit fragile during the prep and baking stages, so just be extra careful when trying to flip half way. Baking them from frozen will be easier. Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  9. I’m so excited to try these!! I’m a meat eater but these look and sounds amazing. What toppings did you use in your pictures? They look so fabulous I want to make that exact burger haha!!

    1. Hi Amanda, in the picture we used mashed avocado + caramelized onion, pepper jack cheese. but you can top these burgers with anything you like. Let us know how they turn out for you!

  10. I’ve made these 5 times and will be making them again tonight! Why would you say these aren’t vegetarian? To my knowledge, they are vegetarian, just not vegan.

    1. Hi Nicole, Worcestershire sauce is not vegan or vegetarian. For vegetarian burgers, leave it out!

  11. these are the Best burgers ever. I’ve tried several recipes and always come back to these. they freeze great!

  12. Hi, how can I measure dry black beans instead of canned for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Priscilla, We find a cup and a half of dry black beans is about right for this recipe after they are cooked.

  13. I can’t believe how good these were! We’re trying out Meatless Mondays and this is definitely going to be a staple. Didn’t realize until I started cooking that our feta had gone bad, so I replaced it with parmesan and it worked great. Topped with slices from the other half of the onion and the pepper, plus some Sweet Baby Ray’s, and they were perfect!

  14. I plugged this into verywell, with Ketchup, 6 Servings and got (Amount per serving):
    Calories 310 Total Fat 8.9g Saturated Fat 2.8g Cholesterol 73mg Sodium 303mg Total Carbohydrate 42.3g Dietary Fiber 13.3g Total Sugars 6g Protein 17.3g
    Without Feta is: Calories 277 Total Fat 6.3g Saturated Fat 0.9g Cholesterol 62mg
    Sodium 163mg Total Carbohydrate 41.8g Dietary Fiber 13.3g Total Sugars 5.5g Protein 15.5g

  15. These burgers were very good, even winning over my skeptical teenage son, who devoured 2 of the 6 patties that I made. My husband and I devoured the other 4. They are on the menu for this evening.

    1. Hi June, we haven’t tested these black bean burgers in an air fryer but let us know if you do – it should work well!

  16. I was looking for a Black Bean Burger recipe to love and I found it here. Thank you!

    It was versatile – I didn’t have brown rice so I used jasmine instead and I didn’t have Panko bread crumbs so I finely ground an equivalent amount of oats.

    It was delicious – I topped it with raw onions, pickles, more BBQ sauce and lettuce. Even my picky, “What is that?!” meat-eating daughter gave it a try and said she liked it.

    It was pretty firm – I spread then beans and walnuts on a cookie sheet and popped them into a 325 degree F. oven for 15 minutes. This toasted the walnuts while also removing moisture from the beans. The burgers were much less mushy then other recipes I’ve tried.

    Thanks, again! It will be a regular rotation – especially during grilling season!

  17. Best I’ve tried yet. My son loved it and he dislikes black beans to put it lightly.

  18. The recipe mentions oat flour as a substitute for breadcrumbs; would all-purpose wheat flour work as well?

    1. Hi Alice, all-purpose flour won’t provide enough texture. The burgers may taste overly mushy. I recommend breadcrumbs for the best results or oat flour.

  19. Awesome! The best I ever had! So good!!!! Recipe very easy to prepare. Thank you!

    1. We haven’t tested that but can’t see why not! Store sealed in the fridge overnight. Let us know how it goes!

  20. Delicious !! I let the mixture sit overnight in the fridge (cause I was just to tired to do anymore of anything) and made the patties in the morning. That worked perfectly!!

  21. These were delicious! First veggie patty recipe that didn’t fall apart and crumble. I’m relatively new to plant based eating and my boyfriend is tip toeing into the world of veggie based meals. But we were both really loving this patty! Thanks so much! I’m saving for sure…

  22. I just made these for the first time and they are beyond excellent, even though I messed them up just a bit. I forgot to add the ketchup and worcestershire, but I had added diced mushrooms to the other veggies so had some moisture from that. You can’t taste them and they up the nutrition. I may or may not have tossed in too many bread crumbs, and I didn’t have feta cheese so subbed in goat cheese crumbles. I baked them in my convection oven so temp and time adjustment is always a bit sketchy and I probably overbaked them. But in spite of all of that they were REALLY good. I wished that I had buns for them, but they were great alone and leftovers will be great tossed on a salad for a quick meal. I will absolutely make these again, and will try freezing them both cooked and uncooked for convenience. They’re a great addition to my “Meatless Monday” rotation and I didn’t miss the meat one little bit. Thank you!

  23. Do you think it will work to fry them lightly in oil? I’d like some crispness but I don’t have an operating grill right now.

    1. Hi Tori, we prefer baking these black bean burgers in the oven if you don’t have a grill.

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