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

676 Comments

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

    1. Finely chopped sautéed mushrooms would be great!

  2. I made these tonight for dinner, they were AMAZING! They’re so full of flavor and had a great texture. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers this week and freeze a few for another time 🙂 Thank you for yet another wonderful meal to add to our regular rotation!

  3. Leah Rosenberg says:

    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. 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. MW in Atlanta says:

    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

  6. 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! 🙂

  7. 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!! : )

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. I just tried the black bean veggie burger and it was delicious, I can’t believe how good it tasted

  11. I just wanted to second the “best” black bean burger. Made it for myself and my husband and it was very scrumptious. Trying to collect more vegetarian meals to our diet so this was most welcomed. Thanks Sally!!

  12. Nicole Peacock says:

    I made these tonight and halved the recipe. We thought they were great! I used red pepper and panko bread crumbs, since that’s what I had on hand. We will definitely make them again.

  13. Deborah Lourenco says:

    I made these last night and they were a success! The burgers packed a lot of flavor and the texture was on point. If you want to try this recipe, but don’t have aome.of the ingredients, go wild! I used barbecue and Yakisoba sauce instead of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, added extra pepper and garlic to compensate running low on cumin, and skipped the cheese because we don’t have it where I live. They still came out great. My husband had never had a vegetarian burger, and he does NOT eat black beans (we are Brazilians, black beans are a staple we eat literally EVERYDAY as kids, so you know he hates the stuff for real if he resisted until now), but he loved these and offered to go grab me more beans on his way back from jogging. Thanks, Sally!

  14. We’ve been eating more vegetarian meals this year and have tried a lot of meatless burgers. These live up to the name! Definitely my favorite! Fantastic flavor and great texture. I was so happy to have leftovers the next day. 🙂

  15. Thanks Sally, these were great!! I didn’t have any feta, so I just used a little bit of parmesan cheese. I was worried they may have been too wet, but they held together well enough. I melted a slice of cheese on top of each of the patties we used tonight, and we just had them with some leftover coleslaw. My kids still don’t know they are made from beans…and I plan to keep it that way!

  16. OH MY GOODNESS!!! These were absolutely fabulous! I loved them! I added some spicy guac and a little pepper jack cheese to the bean burger – it was literally to die for. Thank you for posting this recipe…I will definitely be making this again.

  17. Tasted great, but had a few issues. After adding the 2 eggs the mixture was so runny that I had to use 2 and a half cups of oatmeal to make it hold together. Are the eggs absolutely necessary? I think I will leave them out next time and so use fewer oats.

    1. Hi Andrea! Did you alter the recipe at all? Did you dry out the beans? I wonder why the mixture was so wet before adding eggs. You can leave them out if you run into the same problem again.

  18. Hi Sally, Made these yesterday -these are THE BEST! The taste is fantastic and they held together perfectly. I topped with guacamole (because I’m a guac freak!!) Everyone loved them – even the “beef” people. Can’t wait to try some of the other variations you suggested. I love your blog and reading the food science. Thank you for all your great recipes.

  19. These are amazing!! I was worried I wouldn’t like them because I’m not usually a huge bean lover, but holy crap! I cannot say enough good things about these burgers! I put some homemade tzatziki sauce and a little bit of extra feta on top and my tastebuds cried tears of joy. Thank you for coming up with this recipe! I look forward to having a batch of these in the freezer at all times

  20. Delicious. Ate mine on a fresh sour dough bun with avocado, mayo & a slice of cheese! Will make again for sure.

  21. These are soooo delicious!! I used sriracha instead of ketchup, but otherwise followed exactly. Served with homemade pickled red onions, cotija cheese, sharp white cheddar and avocado on sourdough. Bookmarking this recipe

  22. Deanna Silva says:

    I wasn’t sure I would like them, even though I do like black beans, but wow they were so delicious!! I will definitely make these quite often. And I feel so good afterwards. I had some avocado slices and cherry tomatoes on mine with some broccoli on the side. This site is the best!! Thank you Sally for all your hard work.

  23. I made these this week and they’re stellar! I left out the feta cheese as I don’t like it but other than that I followed the recipe as written. I’m really happy to have a great vegetarian burger now; the ones the supermarkets sell are always either too bland or too salty. These on the other hand are just perfect. I can’t wait to play around with other spices and add-ins to create different flavors!

  24. Tasty recipe and will be a keeper! We had larger burger buns and so did a “heaping” 1/3 cup. We like a good crust on black bean patties so I “toasted” them in a cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side after baking. Used panko crumbs and worked well. Will make more to freeze. Thank you!

  25. Absolutely delicious! Making them for the second time today. Even my husband who is a vegephobe likes them!

  26. This was delicious! I recently went vegetarian and wanted burgers so I made these. They were amazing! My mom told me in advance that they wouldn’t taste like regular burgers so I was prepared for them not to taste very good, and I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Amazing! Definitely the best bb burger I’ve had to date. Used BBQ sauce, and added avocado and sirahcha/lime mayo to a brioche bun. Thank you for the recipe!

  28. Bodem Louanesamay says:

    Hi Sally,

    I wish I would have stumbled on to your website earlier before I started making my black bean burgers last night. It was the first time me making it and it was a nightmare! Like you said, drying out the black beans and then baking them in the oven makes sense! The recipes I looked up did not tell me to do all that and my burgers had a hard time holding together 🙁 Thank you for sharing your recipe! I will definitely give this a try but with added heat!

  29. I could easily eat these everyday for the rest of my life. Thank You for the best burger I ever had.

  30. Holy cannoli. These are hands down the BEST black bean burgers I have ever had!!!! I’m a vegan and have tried soooo many online recipes and alwsys felt there’s just something missing…. I made these vegan by substituting the eggs with ‘flaxegg’ And just nixed the feta cheese and added some sautéed minced mushrooms instead. So.Yum.And.Ah-Mazing! Thank you Sally!!!!

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