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. Yum!! Kept in the oven a little longer. Definitely yum!!

  2. These really are the best black bean burgers. I’ve made them at least 10 times and they are a major crowd-pleaser for the vegetarians in the family!

  3. Great recipe, and baking the black beans make such a huge difference. To veganize this, you can use JUSTEgg or a flax egg. Also, there are a couple of vegan Worcestershire sauces. I like The Wizard’s. It’s organic & gluten free. As for the feta cheese, Violife makes a very delicious vegan one.

  4. YUMMY. Your recipe works better than any others I’ve tried. Drying beans out in oven I think is the key. Lots of options and if not this than that helpful advice from you and others who tried it. I was buying frozen patties and often eating uncooked because they were good. Until I read DO NOT EAT UNCOOKED dangerous. WHAT? Now they tell me so this recipe allows me to pre-cook & freeze. Then thaw to eat or re-heat. I think the commercial made frozen patties were using egg & not fully pre-cooked so they didn’t want you eating raw egg. Just guessing but your recipe with tweaks to my own taste such as SPICEY HOT for half a batch I enjoy thawed with lettuce salads or greenbean salads while camping up to 2 weeks at a time. I get away treat myself to my version of she glamping camp/spa with hiking & bike riding while eating little dairy & no meat or bread. I come back relaxed, refreshed and amazingly far healthier than when I left. I keep a 27qt dometic freezer making ice with a Goal Zero 1400W battery to swap out 2 half gallon ice jugs a day into my cooler so no ice runs. Food stays cold and safe and I can keep a few things frozen like these burgers too. This recipe is a key to my happy.

  5. I followed your recipe basically but used kidney beans and added some red and yellow curry (plus lots of extra garlic – haha) to add an Asian flare. My wife is Thai, and it is so difficult to even get her to eat “foreign” food, but this got a sort of thumbs up, which is a victory in my book. We had some leftovers and they were even better after a day in the fridge. Beans are amazing and a great alternative or complement to meat and you can flavor them to any taste. Today I am making a new batch and mixing with a tad of pork to hopefully make an interesting experimental burger that satisfies the local tastes (in Thailand).
    Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  6. Lexi Dufrane says:

    I used black beans and garbanzo beans(all I had in the cupboard). Loved these burgers! I followed the recipe and baked them but also put them in a pan and fried them a little before serving. My new favorite black bean burger recipe! Thanks for sharing

  7. Hannah Roberts says:

    These were incredible!! I threw a bunch in the freezer. I will for sure make these again 🙂

  8. I agree best b burger ever! And I had eaten many!

  9. Sabrina Gruer says:

    Just made your black bean burgers for lunch, made a few substitutes but it was delicious!

  10. These turned out very well! I was surprised they came out this well and i didnt follow the recipe to the T. They were really good and very easy to make! I would love to see a spin off of this recipe.

  11. We make these regularly now and they’re amazing. We substitute red peppers with mushrooms, and we really enjoy them. We also add shredded carrots, and don’t use feta.

  12. This was my first attempt at a veggie burger. I thought it was ok, the kids hated it. The taste was ok but the texture was a little mushy, perhaps I mashed too much! I think adding some sweetcorn might help. Might try again…

  13. Added some frozen corn & used ground oats instead of bread crumbs. These burgers were absolutely delicious

  14. I just made these and they are Amazing! I added diced eggplant to the onion mixture because I needed to use it. I agree with you, these are the best I’ve ever had! Thank you so much for the recipe, I’ll be making it again and again!

  15. It’s our very first vege burger during the school holiday and my boys love it! Even my picky 5 year old who doesn’t eat burger normally ate a whole one! We only skipped the chilli and cumin for kids and we pan-fried the burgers and the result was amazing! Thank you Sally!

  16. I am plant based, and have a large amount of left over black beans and rice; I think this is a great way to use it up. Do you think I can omit the eggs and rely on the starch from the rice to bind?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa! We’re unsure how the burgers would hold together with the rice as a binder, but let us know if you do give it a try. Otherwise, we recommend replacing the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.

  17. I love these burgers. After I found this recipe, I have incorporated it into my weekly meals.
    So tasty. I would recommend them. I usually bake them in the oven, but I’m going to try the grilling them next time.
    I add a slice of cheddar cheese to them sometimes.

  18. Super excellent bean burger. I made them vegan with the recommended substitute of sweet potato, which I just quickly cooked in the microwave while the beans and veggies cooked. Will definitely be making these often.

  19. I made these using the mashed sweet potato instead of egg and they were mushy and wouldn’t hold together. I wasted so much time and ingredients!

  20. These are amazing! Our new go-to burger 🙂 Drying out the beans is genius! Thanks for this new family favourite!

  21. I would love to try this recipe but would red beans work? I live on a small island and I haven’t been able to find black beans anywhere.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sue, you can definitely switch up the kind of beans. We still encourage you to dry them out as you do with the black beans in the instructions.

  22. Great guide for my Black Bean Burger. I substituted Parmesan for Feta. I substituted Chia seeds for eggs. I used Oat Flour and added corn and carrots. I also added Sugar Free Barbecue Sauce. They are phenomenal. Thank you for giving an idea of how to start! I look forward to searching for more of your recipes.

    1. Added 1/3 cup walnuts and 1 chopped jalapeño.

  23. I made these tonight with almond flour, soy sauce instead of Worcestershire, and a poblano instead of a bell pepper. I also made them on the bigger side and just cooked them a bit longer. Absolutely delish! My partner loved them too. Will definitely make them again.

  24. The taste was delicious! Definitely will make again. Followed the recipe exactly and found the mixture to be very wet and hard to work with. Flipping them midway through baking was almost disastrous. Is this normal? Once cooked, I loved the texture.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shaina, 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 (if you have leftovers) will be easier. Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  25. Awesome recipe! However, I have three words: BLACK BEAN FLOUR. 🙂

  26. Too much cumin!!! Even under raw onions and lettuce and ketchup, all we tasted was cumin. And certainly not “juicy” as described. Cooking time was perfect. Will not make again.

  27. Love this recipe so much, infact my 7-year-old and I prefer these burgers compared to regular beef burgers cause these are so full of flavor!. This is the best bean burger recipe!

  28. I tried to make those patties by using mashed sweet potatoes and it didn’t work. very dissapointed.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Steve! We’re so sorry to hear this – what didn’t work, did they fall apart? Did you make any other changes? We’re happy to troubleshoot with you!

  29. As someone who is trying to consume less meat, Very happy with these.I halved the recipe and added a few chopped mushrooms to the sautéed veggies. Mashed with a potato masher so were a little chunky but we liked that. Not too beany. Cooked in a pan on the stove with a little oil. Will be making again

  30. These burgers are awesome. I did tweak some of the ingredients because I love spice though.

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