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
These were the first black bean burgers I ever made. They were so unbelievably good. They will always be the ones I make.
Tastes good but it became dry! I followed the recipe to a T. When it was time to shape the burgers, it was too wet and I couldn’t shape them. I added a little bit more Panko. When I took them out of the oven they were super dry! I wish I new they were supposed to be very wet, I would have just scooped them instead of trying to shape them.
I am excited to try this recipe. However, I can’t eat onion or garlic. What could I use instead?
Hi Elly, feel free to omit the garlic and in place of the onion, you can use more green pepper or even some corn or edamame.
These were really good! Didn’t have Worcestershire on hand so just used bbq sauce and it turned out great. Hubby said he “didn’t love them” and my son wasn’t thrilled with them. That just means I get all the leftovers! I’ll definitely be making these in bulk to freeze.
These are the best black bean burgers. Easy to make, and I adjusted them to make them vegan without any problem. Nice thing is, I know everything that goes into them, and don’t have to guess what might be contained in them like the prepared ones you buy at the grocery store.
Can you use kidney beans
Hi Heidi, 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.
Third time making this recipe and I can honestly say these are THE BEST black bean burgers I have EVER had I use 1 Tbsp of mayo in place of Worcestershire, 1tsp of chilli powder in place of cumin, and 1/2tsp minced garlic in place of garlic powder. Today I substituted ground almonds for bread crumbs and they turned out great as always! My only issue is if I press them too thin when shaping they will start to crumble; so, if you want a wider burger just make sure you keep some bulk (thickness) to the patties! EXCELLENT recipe, thank you so mucuh for sharing
These burgers were yummy and easy. I only had one can of beans so I halved the recipe. The mixture was a bit wet so I added a tablespoon of psyllium husk. The result was perfect and they held together well. Thanks so much for this. I will definitely make them again.
I never had these BB Burgers. Absolutely delicious. I had 2 and I gave 4 more in the freezer
I made the vegan version of these black bean burgers for my family tonight and we were all impressed! I used flax eggs and a vegan bbq sauce for binding and the burgers held together fine. 10/10 recipe!
Love this as a guide to how to approach making a black bean burger. I improvised and substituted a lot, because that is what I do, but I am so grateful for the tip of baking the beans!
Another vegan binding option would be apple sauce. I didn’t have sweet potatoes on hand, nor did I want and extra step of having to mush anything up, but I did have unsweetened homemade applesauce. That worked great.
I am obsessed with sriracha Mayo atm. That is a really good way to pep up your regular, kinda boring vegan mayo.
I am really looking forward to trying these! Any recommendations for a substitute for the green peppers? I can’t stand them. Carrots and celery maybe?
Hi Allison, many readers have swapped the green peppers for more onion, corn, or edamame. If you enjoy carrots and celery, that should work!
I used red bell peppers instead and they are delish!
Is there a calorie count on this?
Hi Steph, 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
Never had a bean burger before. This recipe is excellent . The texture is almost like meat and they are so tasty.so glad I found this .
What do you think about adding in some corn?
Hi Cat, you can definitely replace some of the green peppers and/or onion with corn. Enjoy!
These really are the best bean burgers I’ve ever had. My go to recipe
These are the best yet!!
This’ll be my third time making this recipe, and it’s worked 1 out of 2 times (my fault; I forgot to dry the beans first the second time). I really like the taste, and the mouthfeel is so much better with some whole beans.
If I subbed goat’s cheese for the feta, would that give the same consistency? Should I sub 1-1?
Hi Mellie, goat cheese is a bit more wet than feta and may require a bit of adjusting. Goat cheese crumbles should work just fine. Let us know if you give it a try!
Phenomenal. On the regular rotation. I did one tbsp ketchup one bbq and a small squirt of Mayo and it was the best I’ve ever made it. Thanks so much for this recipe!
I’ve made these for a few years, varied the recipe depending on what I had, I’ve used ketchup one time, Worcestershire another, A1, and BBQ, they all come out delicious! This time I was out of bread crumbs, I had oats, it was just as good!
I’ve been making these for years. My daughter is a vegetarian and my hubby (who eats meat) loves a good black bean burger. These are amazing. I use Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce and leave out the peppers and feta just due to preference and they are so so yummy. I actually spray a nonstick pan with olive oil and cook them that way. They turn out perfectly!!
Trying to transition my very meat-loving family to vegetarian. These were amazing! Thank you so much for creating and sharing this recipe!
PS The recipe made 7 burgers, so I had two leftover. Just ate one for lunch, no bun needed because they’re so good by themselves 🙂
I’ve been looking for a black bean burger recipe and this looks just the ticket. I love your recipes and have made several of them. I’ve never been disappointed.
Absolutely love this recipe! A friend of mine made this for me one time. I had to make some changes because I can’t have onions or garlic. With those changes, the mixture was originally too sticky to mould, but I just added more oat flour and then I was good. I have never had a black bean burger taste so good until my friend made this recipe! It also tastes so so so good on a Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Brioche Bun. ^_^
Calories and macros available?
Hi Angel, 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
I’ve been making these for about 2 years now, my kids and I love these! We’ll continue to use this recipe for years!
What are air frying cooking instructions? Please share!
Hi Danielle, We haven’t tested these black bean burgers in an air fryer but let us know if you do – it should work well!
We bake them in the air fryer at 185 c for 10 minutes, flipping at the five minute mark. They’ve turned out great every time.
Really Good!! My husband wanted a veggie burger and I found this on Pinterest. It was really very good. Drying out the beans was key. I will definitely made this again.
First time ever trying black bean burgers and used your recipe. DELICIOUS! Super easy and flavorful!! Even my husband was a fan!! I will definitely be making them again!!
I used pinto beans instead, and added shredded sharp cheddar instead of feta. followed the instructions as posted and they were amazingggg! My kids loved them, this will be a go-to recipe in my meal rotation from now on!