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.
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:
- big + thick
- 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!
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.
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 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.
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. They would go great with zucchini casserole or berry quinoa salad on the side.
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
The Best Black Bean Burgers I’ve Ever Had
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6-7 burgers
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
- 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.
- Form into patties– about 1/3 cup of mixture in each.
- 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).
- Serve with your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 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.
- 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
I can’t wait to make this tomorrow! How many patties do you get out of the regular recipe if using 1/3 cup?
Hi Amy, you’ll get 6-7 patties. Hope you enjoy the burgers!
EXCELLENT AND EASY! Sally you hit another one out of the park. This recipe is simple and delicious. As anyone who has ever made veggie burgers knows, drying the beans in the oven is key to helping them hold together so don’t skip this step people! Perfect spice level… flavorful, NOT bland but not too spicy either. This will be my new go-to veggie burger recipe.
Have made this numerous times now. I follow the recipe. I use yellow bell pepper, and do 1 tbsp mayo 1 tbsp for the optional condiment ingredients. They are messy to assemble. I like to cut small squares of parchment paper. I spoon the mixture for one burger on to the paper and then flatten it into a patty. I put in a glass container and stack the patties. Then I put them in the fridge and take them out as I’m ready to eat. I heat some oil on the stove and cook them on med heat for about 3 mins on each side. Delicious!
Love, love, love these burgers. I am vegan so used vegan feta and Rays bbq sauce. I am freezing these and will enjoy for many weeks. Thanks so much!
Winner winner black bean burger dinner! I have commented before and I made them again today and my family loves them! Made it with gluten free oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. So good and to make them better followed them with peach pecan crisp! Perfect summer dinner!
Sorry to say that I tried making these and it was a disaster. Not sure what I did wrong–I didn’t blot the onions because they weren’t swimming in liquid or anything, but that alone doesn’t seem to be bad enough to cause what happened.
Either way, I made this in the food processor and the end product was a soft sticky mess that I could not form patties with. Tried spooning them onto a baking sheet and baking them anyway and they ended up wet in the middle. Maybe I over-processed it (I didn’t want bean chunks), but there was no warning that something like this could happen.
Try this: refrigerate the Pattie’s for 30 mins before cooking to help them firm up. (This is a great step for any veggie burger.) Then, sauté on your stovetop. I like this method as I can keep an eye on them and adjust heat accordingly.
Now I’ve just got to convert the recipe into grams before I make these tomorrow.
LOVE these burgers. I’ve made them several times now. Thanks for sharing!!
OK, finished and am baking a couple patties. Instead of freezing the rest, how long will they keep in the refrigerator?
Hi Jeff, up to 5 days is usually fine.
I made this recipe last night and was so impressed. I made them with one can of black beans and one can of chickpeas as that’s what I had in. I left out the Worcester sauce and added 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke. The mixture is quite wet so I was worried they’d be soggy or like some bean burgers, dry out too much in the oven and be hard but they were perfect. Delicious and nutritious and my family loved them. I’ll definitely be making them again.
I was making these like three years ago. I don’t know why I’ve never left a comment, but my five stars are due, so here they are! I have a very short list of vegan meals I can make that everyone across the board likes, even my meat-loving, Ed Winters-hating husband, and this is at the top of the list. As long as I’ve been making them, as many times as I’ve made them, I’ve made some changes. I use flaxseed eggs in place of the egg or sweet potato. (I like the sweet potato, but my husband doesn’t. He’s very picky, if you couldn’t tell.) And for the worcestershire sauce, I use soy sauce. I’ll add a homemade parmesean in place of the feta cheese (made from cashews and nutritional yeast) and liquid smoke and paprika for the smoked paprika I keep swearing I’m gonna buy and then never do. I’ve made this so many times that I don’t measure anything anymore. Also, make your life easier… Don’t “form into patties.” I hope Sally will fix this, but there’s no way to form into patties with your hands. So for everyone frustrated with this step, treat it like dough. You ever roll cookie dough in flour to pat them out? Same concept. I’ll oil a baking sheet and dust it with flour, pour my burger mix on it, dust that with a little more flour (not too much, or it’ll burn onto your patties and you’ll taste it – I use a sifter and add small amounts at a time), and then I roll it out into one solid sheet. Then I’ll take a cup about the size I want them to be, and cut out as many as I can. Scoop out the extra mixture, bake the patties as is, and start working on another pan. I have a lot, as I usually quadruple this recipe and freeze them. They’re so easy to pop in the microwave, and a lifesaver in our vegan-omnivore split household. I made the recipe several times exactly as written and had fantastic results. I’ve only tweaked things I’ve learned from experience work better for me. But rolling them out and cutting out patties, that’s a huge game changer. Before that, trying to get them on the sheet was a mess that made me dread even having to make them. Sally, experiment with the flour and rolling these out! It makes life so, so much easier.
This is a versatile recipe. I substituted the feta cheese for a dairy free smoked Gouda…I used a little red and green pepper as that’s what I had. I used ketchup in making the burger but home made BBQ sauce on the finished burger. Delish! I’ve made these burgers with different cheeses etc….always great. Even the meat eaters love them. Enjoy
This was very good and easy to make. I used a few substitutions – salsa instead of barbeque sauce and pumpkin instead of the sweet potatoes. Very good !! Thanks for posting the recipe.
wow! not spicy at all but delicious all around. I have 2 toddlers and they ate it with no hesitation. I was surprised being that they’re picky lol. saving this recipe to continue making these!!
Made the vegan version with sweet potatoes. It made 8 patties and they were gone by day 3 between me and my husband. DELISH! We froze them (uncooked) and they were easy to unthaw and cook up.
Best black bean burger recipe! Made it many times and everyone lives it! Also tried it with lentil beans and they were just as delicious!
A flax egg works great as a binder, One tsp ground flaxseed (I use my coffee grinder) plus 3 tsps water per burger…let sit for at least 15 minutes before adding to mixture. And you are right about the barbecue sauce. I use Ray’s no sugar added…delicious!
You were right. These were amazing. Think our oven is not as powerful or I did not get out as much of the liquid. But nothing that was not fixed with just a little extra bake time! Great with a little cheddar mixed in and since I am vegetarian I used vegan Worcestershire sauce and added some jalapeño to the garlic, onion, and bell pepper mix. I won’t be buying anymore pre-made black bean burgers.
Hoping it will work to substitute grated cheddar for the feta as would love to add a little cheese, but no feta in kitchen at moment. Perhaps should just omit.
Hi Allie, We’ve made these with pepper jack cheese, herbed goat cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, and Swiss. You really can use any cheese you enjoy!
Delicious and easy
Hi Ms. Sally. I can’t wait to try this. Can I use fresh black beans? If so, do I still need to bake them? Also, can I use manchego cheese? Thanks
Hi Lee, yes, you just have to cook the beans and then partially dry them as noted in the recipe. And yes, manchego cheese is a great substitution.
Would this work with pinto beans and using the same method to dry out, etc?
Hi Monica, we haven’t tested this recipe with other beans. Let us know if you do!
Don’t use a food processor!! Everything just becomes a gummy unusable mess!!
How many net carbs are in each Burger how many net carbs are in each Burger
My husband said, “keep this recipe, it’s great!”
I love black bean burgers and am happy I have a recipe that’s easy and tasty. Thank you!
My wife & I have given up red meat so we’re always looking for veggie recipes. Your recipe is now on the rotation. They’re right up there with a black bean burrito recipe we love. Viva black beans!
Making later today. Do u have the nutrition info? I’m trying to track macros. TIA!ok
Hi Carol, We don’t 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
Just made these for lunch and they were delicious! Can they be frozen cooked or do they need to be raw?
Hi Kasia! Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully for up to 3 months.
Curious if this recipe would work with chickpeas?
Hi Natalie! We haven’t tried these with chickpeas before. Our guess is that the burgers would be just fine with the substitution though. Let us know how they turn out!
Can I use Panko instead of breadcrumbs?
I love these bean burgers! I make a batch about once a month and freeze them up. They’re great for a quick meal to pull out of the freezer. Just sauté them up slowly in a pan for 7 to 10 minutes. I love them topped with fresh salsa, sour cream and avocado.
Hi, do you freeze them cooked or uncooked normally?
These are the BEST black bean burgers I have ever had. Not too mushy and very flavorful. I use BBQ sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce and a little ketchup. Awesome!!!
You’re not exaggerating. These are the best black bean burgers I’ve ever had, let alone made! I used oat flour and a food processor, and was a little concerned with how wet they were when I formed them into patties. However, they firmed up in the oven and were perfect!