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 vegetarian 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 vegetarian 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

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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

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 vegetarian 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

Directions

  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 place patties on baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes on each side. To grill: Place patties on aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. 
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Recipe 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. Vegetarian or Vegan: These black bean burgers are vegetarian, but they 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

Did you make a recipe?

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183 Comments

  1. These are amazing!! I was worried I wouldn’t like them because I’m not usually a huge bean lover, but holy crap! I cannot say enough good things about these burgers! I put some homemade tzatziki sauce and a little bit of extra feta on top and my tastebuds cried tears of joy. Thank you for coming up with this recipe! I look forward to having a batch of these in the freezer at all times

  2. I just made them and am amazed how delicious they are! I am vegetarian, but more for animal care purposes, not because I don’t like meat. These burgers are even better than meat burgers, so savvy! Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  3. The best black bean burgers don’t contain eggs. Kind of gross to add to a veggie burger but to each their own. Found a way better burger recipe that uses flax to bind the ingredients. Came out amazing!

      1. EGGS ARE NOT VEGETARIAN, so saying it is vegetarian but you add 2 eggs does not mean its vegetarian either!!!!
        Eggs does not mean vegetarian Christian

      2. They are vegetarian, but they are not vegan 🙂 If you would like to leave out the eggs I know other readers have had success replacing them with a flax substitute.

    1. Dearest Matilda, Just spreading the kindness these days, huh? Your comment is rude, and your intent is to shame the author of the recipe because it doesn’t fit into your ideals, this recipe isn’t all about you. If you don’t like something just move on instead of trying to hurt others. Happy new year!

  4. Could I make these with black beans that I soaked and then cooked in an Instapot? I love doing that but then want ways to use the black beans afterwards so I have more variety. Do you think they would be more moist than the canned beans or just pretend they are from a can….hmmm, and they are already flavored. What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Rebecca! Those should be fine to use in this black bean burger recipe. Just follow the recipe including slightly drying the beans out.

  5. Loved these! Economical too! These are going to be made a lot! Drying the beans is a great step. I used regular paprika and one tablespoon ketchup and one bbq sauce. Really good!!!!

  6. I am going to make these, eat one and freeze the rest :D.

    Fav burger toppings (not necessarily all together): pickled red onions, avocado, coleslaw, roasted tomato, caramelised onions, fried eggs, salsa, blue cheese, baked beans (but probably not on a black bean burger lol)

    other fav t toppings: bacon jam, bacon (:D)

    and of course have to have the mayo, tomato, mustard, greens (lettuce, arugula, spinach, shredded cabbage), mustard

  7. These are soooo delicious!! I used sriracha instead of ketchup, but otherwise followed exactly. Served with homemade pickled red onions, cotija cheese, sharp white cheddar and avocado on sourdough. Bookmarking this recipe

  8. I don’t have a food processor but I do have a Vitamix blender. Do you think I could pulse the mixture in the blender? Or do you highly recommend the food processor? Also, I’m not crazy about cumin. Any substitutes I could use? Or could I just omit it?

  9. I’m in France and our measures are different. I weighed out 2 x 14 ounces, which is 800g of black beans. Seems like way too much!!?? I’m going ahead with half that – in the middle of it now so hope it works! Is the total weight of beans meant to be 14 ounces (about 400g) or is it really nearly a kilo? Thanks. Absolutely can’t wait to eat them 🙂

  10. YUM! Just made these – in heaven 🙂 Best bean or any kind of vege burger I’ve ever eaten. Total winner. Quick question though, from a non- US bod…”2 (14 ounce) cans black beans” – does that mean 14 ounces (about 400g) total or twice that? Just that 800g is a A LOT of beans! I didn’t have that much anyway, and went ahead with a little over 400g. Mix was a little sloppy (poss as self-cooked beans not canned, and I should have dried them too, like you suggest) but it made patties fine. Thanks for a fab recipe.

  11. I wasn’t sure I would like them, even though I do like black beans, but wow they were so delicious!! I will definitely make these quite often. And I feel so good afterwards. I had some avocado slices and cherry tomatoes on mine with some broccoli on the side. This site is the best!! Thank you Sally for all your hard work.

  12. Love the drying the bean out ahead of time Idea! Haven’t tried that before! My burgers always taste great but never get the texture I really like in the middle. Think this will help me get there!

    Thanks!!

  13. I made these this week and they’re stellar! I left out the feta cheese as I don’t like it but other than that I followed the recipe as written. I’m really happy to have a great vegetarian burger now; the ones the supermarkets sell are always either too bland or too salty. These on the other hand are just perfect. I can’t wait to play around with other spices and add-ins to create different flavors!

  14. Hi Sally!

    I love your recipes. This recipe looks awesome and I really want to try it out. I don’t have canned black beans (I don’t like using canned), but I do have a bag of dried black beans. Do you know if it’s possible using dried and any tips on how I would make it?

    Thank you

  15. Tasty recipe and will be a keeper! We had larger burger buns and so did a “heaping” 1/3 cup. We like a good crust on black bean patties so I “toasted” them in a cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side after baking. Used panko crumbs and worked well. Will make more to freeze. Thank you!

  16. This was delicious! I recently went vegetarian and wanted burgers so I made these. They were amazing! My mom told me in advance that they wouldn’t taste like regular burgers so I was prepared for them not to taste very good, and I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I thought I followed the recipe exactly. First of all, my burgers look nothing like the photos… they are much more beige in color. I froze them in between parchment paper and in a heavy duty ziploc bag. Every time I try to bake them, they get stuck on the liner and makes it impossible to flip over without a portion breaking off. (I’ve tried parchment paper and foil, with and without a light spray of oil). More importantly, they come out quite dry and firm in texture. Nothing like you describe. HELP!

    1. Anyone have any tips? Or thoughts as to why I encountered these problems? These look and sound delicious…. I have no idea what I did wrong!

      1. Hi Jenna! I wonder how they could be so light in color. Are you using black beans and following the recipe precisely? Sorry you’re having trouble!

      2. Yep. I used black beans. For the binder I used oat flour and I used a red pepper. I thought I followed the recipe precisely…the only thing I can think of if is maybe I mixed it too much in the food processor? I think I make try again this weekend and just use a fork to mash it.

  18. Amazing! Definitely the best bb burger I’ve had to date. Used BBQ sauce, and added avocado and sirahcha/lime mayo to a brioche bun. Thank you for the recipe!

  19. Hi Sally,

    I wish I would have stumbled on to your website earlier before I started making my black bean burgers last night. It was the first time me making it and it was a nightmare! Like you said, drying out the black beans and then baking them in the oven makes sense! The recipes I looked up did not tell me to do all that and my burgers had a hard time holding together 🙁 Thank you for sharing your recipe! I will definitely give this a try but with added heat!

  20. Hi there! Is it possible to replace the eggs with a flax seed egg in this recipe? They look wonderful and I can’t wait to try them, hoping I can make them just as delicious vegan! 🙂 thank you!

  21. Holy cannoli. These are hands down the BEST black bean burgers I have ever had!!!! I’m a vegan and have tried soooo many online recipes and alwsys felt there’s just something missing…. I made these vegan by substituting the eggs with ‘flaxegg’ And just nixed the feta cheese and added some sautéed minced mushrooms instead. So.Yum.And.Ah-Mazing! Thank you Sally!!!!

  22. These were great! I omitted the feta. I served them with sautéed mushrooms and onion with Swiss cheese I toasted buns. They were lovely and satisfying. An excellent meat swap out. Thank You!

      1. I made with mushrooms tonight and soooo good! Eveyone else had regular burgers and I was full with my black bean burger. Didnt even miss the meat! Thanks for posting! Ill be making more.

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