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 mango guacamole.

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.

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

1018 Comments

  1. Thank you for the tip to dry out the beans first!!!! I didn’t add the cheese as I’m trying not to consume cheese. Delicious!!

  2. Amazing!! I’ve been trying a lot of different recipes during quarantine and this is by far the best one! I don’t like beans (mostly due to the texture), but these burgers are amazing! I highly suggest trying it with vegan cheese and some low sodium/sugar ketchup. I will definitely make this again in the future!

  3. Hubbie loves impossible burgers – I could tell he was disappointed I was making these – but he absolutely loved them – thanks for a healthier choice and already had all the ingredients – so good!

  4. Johnnie Thomas says:

    Fantastic! I made them for Memorial Day and couldn’t be happier. I had to make adjustments based on my dietary preferences (low sodium). I replaced the added salt with a salt-free chipotle seasoning, traded goat cheese for feta and added more breadcrumbs because of the moister cheese. I used a standard ice cream scoop for portioning out the patties and the bake time was spot on!! Thank you for a great cooking recipe crafted with a baker’s precision.

  5. Easy to make and so delicious. I plan to break the burger up as well and make nachos with it!

  6. Hi Sherri! See recipe note.

  7. This really is the best black bean burger I think I’ve had. I’ve experimented with a couple during quarantine and these are awesome. I would eat these every day. Drying the beans is genius and I’m convinced it’s the difference. Only thing I’ll do differently next time is make them spicier—a jalapeño maybe or throw in some cayenne powder. But these take the title. Congrats on a terrific recipe.

  8. These burgers were delicious! I made them vegan by omitting the cheese and using flax eggs. They held together nicely, and the texture was perfect. Drying out the beans was key!! Thank you for an awesome recipe!

  9. Is this doable with dry beans rather than canned?

    1. Jill Roelofs says:

      I tried the recipe with dried beans that i soaked overnight. Recipe is still very nice!

  10. I was skeptical that these were the “best black bean burgers ever” and I was 100% wrong! I have been hunting for a recipe that would hold up and taste good, this is it. Now I’m not going to say I won’t tweak it – what cook wouldn’t – but the base recipe will remain true. My tweaks will include adding additional veg to the pepper & onion saute – beets, carrots, sweet potatos, whatever needs to be moved in the kitchen.

    By the way – the grilling instructions are genius! My burgers looked exactly like yours.
    Thank you!!!!

  11. Any idea what the calorie count is in one?

  12. This was my first attempt to make black bean burgers from scratch! They were absolutely delicious! Packed full of flavor! My only issue was when I was making the patties the texture was odd. A bit ‘gooey’? Perhaps I needed more breadcrumbs? Not sure. They still cooked up perfectly and tasted amazing!

  13. I’m making these almost weekly now. They are a huge hit with both my husband and daughter, which is not easy!
    I added jalapeno to the onion/garlic sautee and am going to try grated parmesan instead of feta (just based on what we have in the fridge). I cook them for the full 20 minutes and then quickly sear them on the BBQ. That means they can be prepped in advance too.
    Thanks for this recipe!!

  14. Made for vegetarian in household and everyone loved it! Chose the BBQ sauce ingredient option. I also got inspired to try creating a curry based, chutney topped, white bean and chick pea version- yum!

  15. Is the 1/2 cup of feta cheese just added at the end as an optional topping?

    1. Hi Rachel! The feta cheese is added in step #2.

  16. This is a great recipe and will make a again! No more store bought frozen black bean burgers for me. Next time I will mash the mixture a bit more for better cohesion of the patty. Taste is spot on for every palate. Bravo!

  17. Just made these. They are delicious. I followed the recipe exactly but instead of feta, I used shredded cheddar. Mine were quite sticky, wet so I added a little more bread crumbs. They are still a little sticky. I cooked one in my ninja foodi on bake setting to taste now. Put the rest in fridge for dinner. I’m afraid they will fall apart when I take them off plate. What can I do for next time or to make them better for tonight? I will be baking them in regular oven. Thank you.

    1. Hi Peggy! The mixture will be a little moist regardless. Make sure you blot the pepper/onion mixture to rid excess moisture. Extra bread crumbs never hurt if you find the burgers are falling apart as you shape them.

  18. Trinette Stanford says:

    This was the most flavorful moist bean burger. I did tweak it a little by adding more than called for seasoning and add turmeric. I didn’t have any Worcestershire so I used Coconut aminos and some fish sauce. I will definitely make this again.

  19. I cooked a big pot of black beans yesterday and want to make burgers today. The beans are draining in a colander in the fridge. I feel they will already be dryer than canned beans. Should I still dry out the beans in the oven?

    1. Lene how did your burgers turn out with the cooked dried beans vs. canned? I almost exclusively cook my own and I want to try this recipe.

      1. Amy, I ended up drying them in the oven. Somehow my batch still became very soft so I added some dry stuff to be able to form burgers. Baked them a bit too long I think because they become a bit dry, but still good taste.

  20. There were no black beans to be found in East London, so I substituted pinto beans. I can confirm they were still absolutely delicious. All 4 kids from 1-11 years old loved them.

  21. Great recipe, Holds together well, but I would recommend at least doubling the sauces and spices.

  22. They really are the best black bean burgers!

    We make dried black beans in the pressure cooker. ( 2 cups dried beans in 6 cups water -33 minutes on high or bean setting – no need to presoak). Refrigerate cooked beans overnight and roast for 12 minutes (instead of 15.) You need 3 – 3.5 cups of cooked beans (24-28 ounces) if you do this instead of canned.

    We’ve made it with almond flour, bread crumbs, and pita chips run though the blender to make crumbs. All variations were a hit in the family but almond flour is my personal fave. Other variations we tried: adding 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of Berbere spice mix or taco seasoning.

    The burgers are amayyyyyzing – thanks for the recipe!

  23. Brittney V says:

    This was hearty, delicious, and light! I didn’t use a food processor and mashed my beans with a fork (although a potato masher or rolling pin would have been a lot faster), so my patties didn’t turn out dark and blended like in the photos, but were fantastic!

  24. These are fantastic! I hadn’t had black bean burgers in years and I’d never made them before. So easy and simply delicious! I’m already planning my next batch. 🙂 Thank you for this recipe!

  25. Just got done eating these and they are AWESOME. The first bean burger I ever made and we picked the right recipe. Easy, yummy, and customizable. We substituted the ketchup and sauces for an adobo sauce that we put in our burgers. DELICIOUS.
    NOTE: I discovered that the texture revolves around the squished beans-to-whole beans ratio. If yours are falling apart, squish it a little more and try again.

  26. These are the first homemade black bean burgers my wife actually likes. A lot. It’s a very flexible recipe too. I adjusted it to her tastes using mustard as the condiment, and parmesan cheese instead of feta. Topped them with cheddar cheese and caramelized onion. The first batch is gone and more have been requested. The rest of us are carnivores, but now our vegetarian is a happy camper on burger night. Thanks for the recipe.

  27. Hi Sally. Loved these burgers. Very flavourful. I made the buns using your dinner roll recipe and followed this recipe for the filling.
    I have 2 questions : the burger was a little dry, not sure if the patty was extra dry or if I should just add some mayo or ketchup to the burger next time. Do you think if i first bake the patty then heat it on the stove with a little oil, it’ll be less “dry”.
    Secondly while flipping the patty in the oven, one of them broke. Did i not bind it enough? Do let me know what you think!
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Van, I’m glad to help. That 1 burger likely broke because they were a bit dry. Make any changes to the recipe? I wonder, too, if the pieces of black beans were still too large and things weren’t binding together properly. A little extra liquid such as ketchup would definitely help or even 1-2 fewer Tbsp of bread crumbs.

  28. I’ve made this many times and it is so delicious! Great recipe but does anyone have an idea of what the nutritional content is for one patty?

    1. Hi Marisa, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

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

  30. 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!

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