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. Would taco sauce work instead of ketchup, Mayo, or BBQ

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharon, we haven’t tested using taco sauce but let us know if you try anything! Use the same amount – 2 Tablespoons total. Enjoy!

  2. I’ve tried a lot of bean burgers, veggie burgers, even a brown rice lentil burger that are all good… but this recipe takes the cake. It really is perfect!! My new favorite. I made exactly as written with the exception of fresh Parmesan cheese instead of feta since it’s what I had on hand. My 3 and 1 year old girls both ate them happily as well. Thanks so much!

  3. I made these for dinner tonight and they were delish!! I went vegan and subbed in a flax meal egg, I used almond meal (leftover from homemade almond milk) for the bread crumbs, and bbq sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce. Loved them, and I will be having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe. I’m looking forward to trying more from your site.

  4. I used “wizard vegan worstershire” and just egg to replace the egg. Turned out delish!! Thank you!

  5. Chad Fackler says:

    Made these last night and was completely blown away. They turned out so good. Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe. I didn’t ad the green peppers and used a bit more bread crumbs ( I probably didn’t get the beans dry enough ) but otherwise, will be doing again soon. Do you think you could use hatch or green chilis in place of the green peppers, or even jalapenos? Thanks again.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chad, absolutely, those substitutions should work great here. So glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  6. Janine Jandrositz says:

    I made these last night and the guests raved “where can I buy these?” I always try to follow recipes exactly the first time however to start, I didn’t have two cans of black beans so I used one can of black and one can of kidney. I used regular sized eggs but the final mix seemed way too wet so I dumped in more breadcrumbs. Got 6 large burgers out of it and grilled for about 10 minutes each side at 400 degrees. They didn’t fall apart. Served with a sweet, fresh cucumber and red onion salad.

  7. I just made these tonight. Only change was substituted jalapeno peppers for the green bell pepper. Flipped them in some more bread crumbs before I fried in bacon grease on cast iron pan. They stayed together pretty good after frying. Will definitely make again. Thanks

  8. You can actually get vegan Worcestershire sauce, we are not vegan but I much prefer the flavour of the vegan one anyways. The brand is called “the wizards” and I get it at any health food store in Canada.

  9. My tween daughter requested black bean burgers that don’t ‘just taste like black beans’. Omitted the feta for her benefit and used seasoned gluten free bread crumbs for my benefit. We had no problems with the mixture being thin or hard to work with and they bbq’d nicely. The flavors were perfect and this is a new favorite! Super excited it makes so many and we can freeze a few for an easy lunch.

  10. I get 8 burgers when made as instructed and have calculated them as:
    189 calories per patty
    26 g carbs
    5.7 g fat
    10.2 g protein

    1. Thank you for posting nutritional info!

    2. Teresa Sanecki says:

      Thank you – that’s helpful

  11. Thank you so much for this recipe!!! I tried this recipe because I wanted to avoid eating meat, however, my husband said they are the BEST burgers he has ever had! Everyone I’ve made them for loves them and agrees they are better than meat burgers. Even my 10-year old loves them! In fact, we were all fighting for the last one the last time I made them. Your recipes are always so good! Thank you!!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re thrilled to hear these burgers were such a hit with your family, Sandra!

  12. Hi, I only have dried black beans that need soaking before use, would I still need to dry them out before adding to the mix please?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Catherine, if using dried beans, follow the soaking instructions to soften them up before using. You’ll cook the beans as you usually do, then dry them out in the oven before using (per our instructions in this recipe).

  13. I was looking for this recipe, I will try it this week ..looks super yummy! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  14. Ellen Harris says:

    Has anyone used blue cheese or Gorgonzola instead of feta!

  15. Thanks for the advice regarding using dried beans. Had them for lunch today and they were scrummy!
    Substituted goats cheese for the Feta as hubby had eaten it all, and we left out the eggs and breadcrumbs (I never use these when making burgers and meatballs as found the mixture is moist enough without them). Lightly blitzed the cooked onions and pepper so these gave the mixture enough moisture to form the pattys and they were lovely and moist after baking in the oven. Served in lightly toasted pannini rolls with melted cheese, mayo and bbq sauce

  16. Great recipe! used avocado as a binder and came out delicious, creamy and firm.

  17. I enjoyed making these. Thank you 🙂

  18. Kendra Kornfeld says:

    These are SO good!! Completely satisfying, on a bun or not, even for the meat eaters! And so easy to make too. Just made a double batch to share with our two daughters and keep some at home too. I know it’s a lot to ask, but, any chance you have an estimated calorie count for these?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kendra, we’re so glad you enjoyed these black bean burgers! 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://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  19. I plan to make this tonight! What is the nutritional breakdown? Calories, carbs, protein, etc. Thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bonnie, 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://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp Hope you enjoy the burgers!

  20. Very good, tasty even without bun, held together well but dry and, to my taste, needed salt. What can I do next time to make less dry tasting?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dee, thanks so much for giving these a try! You can certainly add another pinch or two of salt if desired. If they were dry, it’s possible your beans were dried out a bit too much — for next time, you can try decreasing the pre-bake time for beans just a bit to see if that helps. You can also try adding more ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce, but do this just a small amount at a time so as not to add too much liquid. Hope this helps!

  21. spark calculator doesn’t exist

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carole, thank you for bringing that to our attention. Readers have also reported success with this calculator: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  22. Wow! These are sensational! I put a bit of caramelised ref onion chutney into the mix as well as some onto the finished burgers which goes amazingly well with the goat’s cheese. Thank you for the recipe and all the practical tips.

  23. Delicious and easy to prepare. I’ll be making these again.

  24. Laura Bullard says:

    Amazing! The name of these burgers does not lie. My daughter asked for some black bean burgers and this recipe seemed like something to try. I knew I would also have to make some other meat product knowing my husband would shy away from anything with beans in it – boy was I wrong. He loved them and said he would eat them instead of hamburgers. I almost fell out of my chair. These have become a staple in my home! Thank you!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura! We are so happy that your family enjoyed these so much. Thank you for trying our recipe!

  25. This recipe was unbelievably good. So impressed.

  26. Just wondering, do you think hoisin sauce could be used instead of the ketchup/mayo/bbq sauce?

    1. That should be just fine.

  27. These burgers are so so so good!!! I’ve been a long time fan of Sally’s recipes (literally every single one I’ve ever tried has been amazing, she never lets me down!) so when I found that she had a recipe for these burgers, it was a no brainer to try them out. My entire family loved them, and said that they were easily the best black bean burgers they have ever tried, and in fact the best burgers in general! I substituted the eggs for an egg replacer to make this vegetarian, and used finely diced cheddar cheese instead of feta because that’s all I had on hand. Even with those substitutions, these turned out wonderfully. I am planning on using this recipe to make “meatballs” later this week to put in spaghetti, and I think they’ll work great for that too! Thank you for this awesome recipe!

    1. The meatball idea is fabulous. Will try that as well.

  28. Wow! I have a son who’s vegetarian and I’m always trying to find something for him that’s different from the store bought frozen veggie meals. This burger is super delicious. Even my super carnivore husband thought they were great. This will be filed for future use. Thanks for a great recipe.

  29. Brad Reddekopp says:

    I made these today and they were a big hit with our family. I’ll be doing it again. I doubled the number of garlic cloves but I followed the recipe closely other than that. I used a food processor for mixing.

  30. Hi,

    I tried the vegan version of this recipe, swapping avocado for egg as a binder. The family loved them, and they tasted great. As a burger, however, they won’t hold up as they are still too squishy to really be called a burger.

    I continue my search.

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