The Best Black Bean Burgers I’ve Ever Had

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! 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. They’re big, thick, and hearty and even meat eaters LOVE these.

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

Earlier in the summer, with family 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 black bean option for the nights we grill burgers and hot dogs. These were a massive hit. 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

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

black bean burger on a plate with chips

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.

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.

PS: If you’re into turkey burgers, try my jalapeño pepper jack turkey burgers. Another favorite!

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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
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Between homemade, restaurant, and store-bought, these are the best black bean burgers I’ve ever tried. They are meat-free, but they are not vegan. (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!


  • 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


  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.


  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: These black bean burgers 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.
  3. Special Tools: Glass Mixing BowlsNinja Food ProcessorCast Iron SkilletBaking Sheet

Keywords: black beans, black bean burgers


Comments are closed.

  1. Delicious, but they didn’t turn out as dark as your pictures.

  2. SO GOOD!

    I used bbq/sriracha from traded joes since I didn’t have ketchup. I knew it would be sweeter than I’d like, but it was still yummy. (If I’m going to eat savory, then I don’t want my food tasting sweet.) Texture was perfect and freezing it and reheating worked like a charm. I baked them and the timing was spot on. Excited to try ketchup and maybe mayo next time. I’ll also put some cayenne and chili pepper flakes.

    Regardless, recipe is fantastic as is!

  3. Larry Lutzow says:

    I’ve made several batches of these awesome bean burgers! I make a double batch and freeze uncooked for quick delicious meals. Best bean burgers ever. Hands down better than store bought or restaurant! I just wish I could meet the 30 minute prep time! Take me about an hour.

  4. Aisha Furqan says:

    Just finished eating my first homemade veggie burger patty using this recipe. Won’t change the recipe one bit! I ate mine with spinach and onion on a wheat bun and plan on eating the next one with pineapple and jalapeño. Will be sharing this with my veggie burger loving friends.

  5. Tara Patrick says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I tried this last night and the only change I made was I added 1/2 can extra of black beans but only because I was afraid the mixture was too wet. It probably would have been fine if I didn’t. I also let my mixture sit in the freezer for a few minutes so it would be easier to form the patties. Then I seared them in a cast iron pan which gave them a nice crust similar to a burger. Let me tell you though… these literally are the BEST black bean burgers ever. My husband is weird about meat and lately the prices have been going up on everything so I’ve been trying different vegetarian recipes lately. This one is a keeper for sure. He said it was the best burger (meat or non-meat) that he’s ever had! So filling, hearty, and the seasonings were perfect. I served it on a bun with sliced grape tomatoes, red onion, and a chipotle cream sauce. I get so excited when I find recipes like this that actually turn out this amazing. True to it’s title for sure!!

  6. I love them. I made the burgers with canned beans and were a total success. Now I will try to make it without canned beans, to avoid excess salt.

  7. I have done it and my bf fell in love with this. It is very easy to make and very delicious. Thank you so much

  8. Can you freeze before cooking and then put them on the grill frozen? Anyone try this?

    1. Yes you can! See recipe note #1 🙂

  9. These are fabulous burgers. They hold together, are not dry, are super tasty, and are even better warmed up on the grill as leftovers. So glad I found this recipe!

  10. Hi there! I plan to make these tomorrow. I bought a 16 oz bag of dry black beans and am soaking tonight. Can you let me know if I need to cut your recipe in half because the bag of beans is 16 oz? Or does this break down to being equivalent to the 2 cans of black beans? Sorry if this is a silly question I just want to make sure I have the proportions correct.

    1. Hi Carissa, I use two 14-ounce cans for a total of 28 ounces.

      1. Great thanks so much! So by cutting the rest of your recipe roughly in half the ratio should work out good then right?

    2. a 16 oz bag of dry beans will make 3-4 pounds of cooked beans.

  11. Jessica Black says:

    These were pretty good! I’ve never had a black bean burger before, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but I made them for my family and they all liked the burgers as well! I think they were definitely just as good as a beef burger. Thanks for the recipe, these had a really nice flavor and texture!

  12. I made these today and they taste great. I am glad I have a couple more patties in the freezer now, we will eat them soon.

  13. Wonderful, definitely will make again. It is wonderful with spicy mayo on it!

  14. Hey Sally,

    Big fan of your recipes. The Black Bean burgers look great, but my spouse can’t stand the taste of bell peppers. Any other pepper is fine, but he will outright refuse to eat a dish if bells are involved. Can I skip them? Or is there something else that I could sub so that the texture of the burgers remains the same?


    1. HI Melissa, You can skip them if you wish!

  15. We made these last night and it was our first attempt at making black bean burgers. They were very tasty!

  16. Hi! I’ve made these burgers once and am now completely hooked. This time around, I haven’t been able to find any worcestershire sauce. Will the burgers still taste as good without it? Or is there another condiment that can help provide that added depth of flavour and umami?

    1. Hi Cesca, I’m thrilled you enjoy these burgers so much! There are many different substitutes for worcestershire you can try- A1, soy sauce, coconut aminos – or simply leave it out!

  17. I would strongly recommend that anyone making this recipe use a food processor. The process of chopping, frying, and mashing was very time consuming. In addition, this burger turned out very dry for me. It was like eating thick refried black beans slathered on a bun. My oven runs hot, so I wonder if it took too much of the moisture out of the beans in the pre-bake? I probably wouldn’t make it again, because no one in my family would eat it. I’m so disappointed. I wanted to love this recipe, and I see that a lot of other people did.

    1. Hi Alex, It’s definitely more time consuming without a food processor. The beans should not be wet, but not totally dried out and hard so overcooking them is definitely a possibility. There are a lot of ingredients in this burger to keep it moist – did you make any ingredient substitutions or leave anything out?

  18. Hi,
    Before I try these, do you have any suggestions for a vegan substitute for feta cheese?

  19. These were delicious, I really enjoyed them! However, I had to alter the recipe because it included worcestershire sauce, which is not vegetarian. I think it would be helpful to mention that somewhere on this recipe, because most people are probably seeking this recipe out because they adhere to a vegetarian diet, and people frequently don’t realize worcestershire sauce is not veg (it’s made with fish). So that was frustrating to me, but I used soy sauce instead and it worked great, if anyone else is looking for how to replace it!

    1. They’re NOT technically meat-free/vegetarian, is what I’m saying, since Worcestershire sauce is made from fish.

    2. Yep these are NOT vegetarian. Worcestershire sauce doesn’t contain an animal by-product, it contains an actual animal. Not the same thing as comparing it to egg or cheese, which are animal by-products. Saying they are meat free but not vegan is misleading when it contains fish.
      Many vegetarians will likely know this but meat eaters may unknowingly make something for a vegetarian without realising that worcestershire sauce is a meat product.

  20. This was an absolutely delicious recipe! I actually freaked out because I forgot to dry the beans off and the mixture was sooooo mushy. So I added some more bread crumbs and it fixed it right up! I sautéed mushrooms for on top and did a brioche bun. Thank you so much for this new addition to our table!

  21. Hi! I’m so excited to try this recipe but I’m wondering if there’s any substitute for feta cheese? Maybe a different type of cheese? Would leaving it out make the burgers taste not as good?

    1. It’s there for flavor. You can simply leave it out or replace with the same amount of another cheese you love (shredded or crumbled).

    2. Our go-to veggie burger recipe! So so good.

  22. Could these be cooked in an air fryer. If so, any idea temp and time. I am addicted to cooking in my fryer and I am going to try these. I was just going to try since I make regular burgers in it but did not want to waste. Thanks for any ideas. These sound amazing!

    1. Hi Jena, I don’t own an air fryer so I haven’t tried it! Let me know if you do.

  23. Such a great recipe! Served mine bunless on top of roasted poblanos and it was great! Also fabulous leftovers in the morning with an egg on top.

  24. Jayne Thomas says:

    We made these last night and were very disappointed. We’re nearly 80% vegetarian (eat eggs, cheese, shrimp and some fish) and are excellent cooks. And, we love black beans, so what’s not to like? We don’t want burgers to taste like meat, but these were pretty flavorless and tasted like patties of….black beans. The Kitchen on Food Network has an excellent bean burger which has nuts in the recipe for texture and the flavorings are superior to these. I apologize; have found other excellent recipes on S.B.A.and thank you for those.

  25. I made this recipe tonight with the BBQ option and the burgers were DELICIOUS!!! Perfect recipe!

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