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 veggie burger recipe! 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. They’re big, thick, and hearty and even meat eaters LOVE these.

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Earlier in the summer, with family vacation in mind, 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. The goal was to have a delicious homemade meatless option for the nights we grill burgers and hot dogs. My assistant, Hilari, was visiting and we couldn’t believe their hearty texture, incredible flavor, and overall ease of preparation. I was expecting good, but not this good. Kevin actually loved them too, which… I don’t know… sort of surprised me because he loves beef and this was… beans.

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Drying out the black beans for the BEST black bean burgers. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What makes them the best?

How to Make My Best Black Bean Burgers

  • 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.

Sautéed onions, garlic, and peppers for black bean burgers. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ingredients for black bean veggie burgers on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

How to make the BEST black bean veggie burgers on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

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.

The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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The BEST black bean burgers, grilled or baked! Meat lovers went crazy for these veggie burgers. Lots of flavor with a sturdy, meaty texture. Grill or bake the black bean burgers! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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: Vegetarian

Description

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 veggie burger recipe! 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. They’re big, thick, and hearty and even meat eaters LOVE these. 


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
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 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. 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 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.


Notes

  1. Make ahead tip: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully! 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: These black bean burgers are not vegan. To make vegan, leave out the cheese. Replace the Worcestershire sauce with a different vegan condiment (your favorite BBQ sauce would be great!) and replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.
  3. Special Tools: Glass Mixing BowlsNinja Food ProcessorCast Iron SkilletBaking Sheet

Keywords: black beans, black bean burgers, vegetarian

293 Comments

  1. I am trying these tonite. They look amazing. I have never heard of the step to dry them out a little, but that makes total sense for the texture. My daughter is vegan, so this will be a good option when she comes to visit.
    BTW, I made the pesto recipe and it is so delish. I have a basil plant that grew into a small shrub. I hope I can make it a few more times this summer.

  2. I can’t wait to try these. I think I’ll try the sweet potato as an egg replacer. That just sounds so incredible. And I love to have veggie burgers sitting in the freezer for an easy lunch. The only problem- I start to get stingy with them once I’m running low bc I don’t want to run out!

  3. 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.

    1. Mashed potatoes….cooked potatoes……oat meal or regular oats flour and bread crumbs are all binders. Add one egg and cilantro and grated onions…green chili’s or red pepper flakes. Place in the frig for 30 minutes to harden up to shape the burgers.

  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. 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. Yep. I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers, homemade and store bought, and these are definitely one of the best! Drying the black beans…genious! Thanks, Sally!

  8. We made these for dinner tonight – and
    WOW!! My boyfriend and I are both meat loving burger people but I suggested trying this fun new recipe of Sally’s and we both really loved the black bean burgers! The flavors were so great with a mix of spices to help (didn’t have worcestershire sauce still great). He mashed the beans with a fork which was a nice consistency and baked them in the oven. They were as mushy as I had expected and we really enjoyed them. Definitely will make again! Easy, tasty, flavorful (and budget friendly)!

  9. Can’t wait to make these!! Doing them for a work potluck. Should I adjust baking time if I wanted to make smaller patties (slider size)? Maybe 5 minutes on each side instead of 10?

    1. Hi Kayleigh! If shaping the burgers a little smaller, reduce the oven time. I’m unsure how long yours will need exactly, but I would start with 6-7 minutes on each side.

  10. 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!! : )

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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. 🙂

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

      1. Hi, I used a mixer instead of a fork, and dried them out. They were still delicious though, even my very picky son ate them and said he really enjoyed them! I will try making them again!
        Thank you!

  20. 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.

  21. amazing! Great tip! I also added a little flax seed and tapioca flour. Fried them, and used them like cutlets. YUM!
    Thank you!

  22. FYI – Worchestshire sauce contains anchovies so it’s not a vegetarian option. Simple to leave out or sub some spicy vegetarian alternative.

  23. I absolutely love these! I have a huge batch in the freezer to grab when I don’t have anything for lunch 🙂 do you think these would work as “beanballs” to replace store bought meatballs?

  24. Made these the other night and they were beyond delicious. I wanted to make my own veggie burgers because there is just so much sodium in the store bought variety. I am trying to manage blood pressure naturally, so I want to reduce sodium as much as possible.

    I made some minor adjustments to the recipe:
    -Used low sodium black beans
    -left out the pinch of salt
    -used “no salt added” ketchup (Heinz)
    -used egg whites instead of whole eggs
    -added about a cup of frozen corn kernels for added flavor.

    Came out amazing. With so many other flavors and spices, you did not miss the salt at all. These will be in heavy rotation.

    1. Wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with the black bean burgers recipe. Trying an addition of corn next time!

  25. Oh one other thing, I left out the feta. Being Greek, this felt like such a sin, but feta is so salty, so I try to eat is sparingly.

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