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. 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
  • 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

  • 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

747 Comments

  1. I thought these were excellent. When I make stuff for the first time, I often follow the recipe fairly closely and then next time do the tweaks, but I don’t like feta very much so omitted it. I found that they didn’t stick together at first, but I put them back in the food processor and pulsed a bit more and that did the trick.

    Next time I will add some coriander and a bit more spice and I think they will be delish

    thanks Sally 🙂

  2. Rose M. Tuerk says:

    Incredible flavors in this burger. Three of us agree, wholeheartedly, that this is the best, black bean burger I have made. I have made many. Will repeat this one for certain.

  3. Best black bean burgers! How smart to dry the beans, really makes a huge difference. Great flavors and my family asks me to make these at least once a week. Thank you for the yumminess!

  4. Dawn McElheney says:

    This is absolutely delicious! I put some diced jalapeños in mine.

  5. They do NOT fall apart! And they’re delicious! What kind of sorcery is this?!

  6. Susan Stephens says:

    I cannot stand bell pepper. What can I sub for them?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan! You could add more onions, or some readers have reported success using corn and even edamame. Let us know what you try!

  7. Any sub for oats or breadcrumbs? I can’t have either.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Zoe! We haven’t tested any other substitutes- you’re looking for something to soak up some liquid for best texture. Let us know what you try!

    2. Simone Mitchell says:

      Hi. I love these burgers! I packed them into egg rings to form them. I used quinoa flakes and they stayed together really well. I love a bit of heat so might add more chilli next time but adding a pineapple ring, genius! Thanks for the recipe.

    3. Zoe … I would try using mashed sweet potato … if you boil/mash them first you can dry with the beans … spread them fairly flat on the baking sheet … pulse them well

  8. Do we know the calorie count on the individual burgers

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stephen! We don’t usually 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

    2. With 1 cup feta instead of 1/2 cup
      Nutrition Facts
      Servings: 10
      Amount per serving
      Calories
      356
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 5.8g
      7%
      Saturated Fat 2.9g
      15%
      Cholesterol 51mg
      17%
      Sodium 261mg
      11%
      Total Carbohydrate 56.4g
      21%
      Dietary Fiber 12.6g
      45%
      Total Sugars 4.6g
      Protein 21.2g
      Vitamin D 4mcg
      18%
      Calcium 190mg
      15%
      Iron 5mg
      25%
      Potassium 1238mg
      26%

  9. Five stars without following the recipe. I used what I had in the house and still liked the burgers. Have to say I kind of like them better cold covered with plain yogurt. Didn’t have peppers so I added some jarred jalapenos–too many. Didn’t have ketchup so used a combo of mambo sauce (I live in DC) and BBQ sauce. The mambo was too sweet. Didn’t have feta so I ate some Kalamata olives as a side dish. Am I still allowed to review this? I will make again, maybe with more of the correct ingredients.

  10. Loved this recipe, the tip about drying the beans in the oven makes all the difference. Thank you!

  11. How do these hold up if you freeze them and them cook after some time?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ali, These will be good in the freezer for up to 3 months. See recipe note number 1 for freezing instructions. Enjoy!

  12. Yummy burger. Yes the best recipe I’ve tried as far as taste and sticking together. I wish I had the cumin. I replaced it with extra chili powder but I think the cumin would be better. I’m going to warm for lunches and serve over a bed of greens with some salsa/sour cream dressing.

  13. Best. Black. Bean. Burger. Ever. I will be making these again.

  14. I really enjoyed these … I also made a “dressing” to go with them … 1 T of bottled mango chutney, 1 T of MCT oil (use any oil you have), 1 T apple cider vinegar … I cut up the burger, mixed with salad and poured on the dressing.

  15. First-ever, Black Bean Burger I have eaten that tasted sooooo good!!!

  16. These were so good !! This with 1 cup of feta cheese instead of 1/2.
    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 10
    Amount per serving
    Calories
    356
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 5.8g
    7%
    Saturated Fat 2.9g
    15%
    Cholesterol 51mg
    17%
    Sodium 261mg
    11%
    Total Carbohydrate 56.4g
    21%
    Dietary Fiber 12.6g
    45%
    Total Sugars 4.6g
    Protein 21.2g
    Vitamin D 4mcg
    18%
    Calcium 190mg
    15%
    Iron 5mg
    25%
    Potassium 1238mg
    26%

  17. Wonderful amazing so easy to make. One of my host daughters gave me this recipe her mum makes in Germany. Wow never tried black bean burgers before. I can see this becoming a family favourite. Sally it’s delicious. Thank yo

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So glad these black bean burgers were a hit, Sandy!

    2. Absolutely hands down, the best black bean burgers, EVER. Definitely my “go to” recipe. Thank you so much!!

  18. I omitted the feta cheese because I didn’t have it on hand. Me and my husband thought these were just ok. A lot of work/mess in my opinion for just an ok burger. I even used black beans that I had made from scratch. (Trying to find recipes to use them up) Maybe the feta is what makes everybody like these so much? Or maybe that I ate it bunless?

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