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 followed this recipe to a T and it is AWESOME. OMG really sooo good.

    1. ..
      …can’t wait to make these!

    2. I subbed blue cheese instead of feta and added toasted sliced almonds. I baked in my air fryer and topped with baby swiss, caramelized onion and BBQ sauce. Amazing!
      Thank you for this recipe, it’s definitely going in my rotation!

  2. These look awesome and I’m excited to try them tonight! Could I use flax eggs instead of sweet potatoes for a binding agent?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, we haven’t personally tried flax egg in this recipe, but many readers have reported success doing so. Let us know how they turn out for you!

  3. Kay Stoneman says:

    Have made this recipe a few times. Last time my husband and I made this recipe our oven was out and we air fried the patties. They were great! We added a few extra minutes on the cook time for ours.

  4. I made these a month ago and they were delicious. As there are only two of us, I have several patties in the freezer that I will pull out this holiday weekend and cook on the grill. My husband also really liked the flavor, but not the texture. I used the food processor rather than my fork to make them, so that may have been “operator error.” Next time, and there WILL be a next time, I will definitely make them with a fork to try and improve the texture.

  5. Janine Jandrositz says:

    If I use a 16 oz bag of uncooked beans, how much do I increase the other ingredients by?

    1. One can of beans is equal to about 2 cup of beans. It might be more like 2and 1/4. Hope that helps!

  6. Incredible flavors. I’m not a vegetarian by any means and actually love a good meat burger. But I have to say that this one pretty much tops ALL burgers. No messy goop dripping down here, just fabulous flavors married all into a tasty bean burger. I decided to use dry beans and cooked them up from scratch. Super easy to mix using a hand blender on the lowest setting. It’s a little messy assembling the patties but it’s a scrumptious end result.

  7. Anyone try blue cheese in place of feta , I think it would work they are both fairly dry?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachel, that should work just fine. Enjoy!

  8. I followed this recipe minus the feta cheese (I can’t imagine it: you don’t need it) and I shaped and cooked four larger burgers instead of the six to seven. I cooked the larger burgers for five additional minutes to ensure the eggs were cooked thoroughly and they came out AMAZING. This is a very tasty burger. It tastes a lot like Morningstars black bean burger except thicker and with a homemade feel. Definitely try this recipe even if you don’t usually eat vegetarian. They are a rich and satisfying base to a meal that you will love.

  9. Love this! Super easy to make a nod very delicious 🙂

  10. Excellent recipe! Have you tried this with any other type of beans?

  11. Can I sub bread crumbs and flour for brown rice or quinoa?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joy, we haven’t tried it ourselves, but you can certainly give it a go. Let us know what you try!

  12. I am a meat eater, but am trying to cut back on animal products & fake meats, so this recipe hit the mark. I was out of feta so I used a little cheddar cheese powder, & they came out super yummy! Thank you!!

  13. Is there another veggie you’d recommend as a sub for the onion? I am allergic to onion.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jenn, you could add more green pepper or some readers have even used corn or edamame beans instead.

    2. I’ve used carrot before and it’s really nice

  14. These were delish! We didn’t have bell pepper so I swapped it out for walnuts, and it still worked perfectly. Adding to the rotation!

  15. Best bean burgers ever! They were not mushy and were very tasty. My husband even loved them. I added a tad of Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime spice in addition to the spces in the recipe and BBQ sauce instead of W sauce or ketchup. I baked them at 400 15 minutes one side and 10 the next and they were so awesome!

  16. These are superb, Sally! FINALLY a veggie burger recipe that yields coherent patties that stick together. Brava to you.

  17. Tried for the third time last night, encouraged by a previous commentor the followed the recipe to the ‘t’. My second attempt, done in the fry pan, were dry and fell apart. I’m vegan,
    and the added time of cooking sweet potatoe was a put-off, and I had read elsewhere that avocado could be used as a binder. I subsituted the avocado for the sweet potato 1-2-1. I was determined to treat these as a true burger substitute, and my third attempt we cooked outside over locally sourced charcoal. I divided the mixture into four, as a found the recommended 1/3 cup far too small. They didn’t fall apart, but quite a bit was left on the grill, and they didn’t brown particularly well. Regardless, everyone enjoyed them. One funny aside to this story; we’d run out of chili powder, and picked up some at the local farm shop, only to find out that it was literally ‘powdered chili’s’, not the mix of spice commonly know as chili powder.

  18. OMG good. Only change I made was I used Panko rather than regular breadcrumbs. I made bun-less sliders on lettuce leaves and topped with corn and jalapeño relish, bottled avocado salsa, and cilantro. Superb!

  19. This recipe sounds incredible. Are there nutrition facts available for this recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laurie, 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

  20. Again these are our favorite Black Bean burgers. We won’t buy black bean burgers anywhere! Not at the grocery or any restaurant because these are the best! The only thing I changed was I added gluten free oatmeal. I usually am too impatient to drain the veggies after I sauté them. The oatmeal just seems to hold it together and gives the burger a texture we like. Thanks for the great recipe! Yes I think I comment almost every time we make them!

    PS. Have you experimented with sweet potato veggie burgers? I saw them somewhere but I know if anyone has a great recipe for them it would be you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nancy, we’re so happy to read this sweet review from you! We don’t have a tried and true recipe for a sweet potato veggie burger yet, but let us know if you find one you love 🙂

  21. Hi! do you happen to know the approximate nutritional value?

    1. These turned out so tasty! I added a few drops of liquid smoke to the 2 Tbsp of BBQ sauce before mixing and baking. Definitely will become a regular in my meal planning..

  22. Hi! Can the black beans be replaced by kidney beans? I have trouble finding black beans in my corner of the world…

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Candice, 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.

  23. amazingly delicious!!!!!!!! I used st. andres cheese instead and panko. even my fussy husband loved them w/ hot sauce !!!!!!!!

  24. This sounds great, and I will definitely try it. I’m a huge mushroom lover and was wondering if I could add portabella mushrooms to the mixture or would the moisture from the mushrooms be a problem?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Michelle, that should be fine! You’ll just want to blot out the excess moisture like we do with the green peppers and onions before adding them to the mix.

  25. May girls love this recipe. I add two adobo chili’s and a little sauce to kick the heat up a bit.

  26. Keep making your amazing creations Sally!! Hands down, the best vegie burger I’ve ever made!!! I’ve made this multiple times now, some variations include adding roasted sweet potato, substituting regular breadcrumbs with rice crumbs or using salted crackers blitzed into crumbs. I’ve also tried to ‘veganise’ it for guests who are vegan. This is the only vegie burger recipe where people actually like it and tell you so – even the meat eaters!

  27. I used nutritional yeast in mine instead of cheese. Yummy

  28. Bruce Schoenberger says:

    I used leftover instapot Cuban black beans from dried beans. I recooked them with a little bone broth (adds richness and softened the beans), added shredded Vidalia onions and several roasted hatch green chilies from our freezer, used Avacado Lime Chili mayo, pancko bread crumbs (extra until I got the texture I wanted) then after forming put the tray in freezer for ten minutes to firm the Pattie’s up. Then I sprayed the burgers with EVVO and cooked on my Little Griddle on the grill at high heat. Added just some additional mayo and a full roasted hatch chili and served on a good grilled brioche bun- my wife exclaimed it was the best veggie burger of anything that she’s had anywhere. Really great recipe with lots of great ideas which led to my custom add in’s. Thanks!

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