These perfect black bean burgers are a great way to add more beans to your diet. They provide lots of fiber, protein, iron and potassium.
They take a bit of work, but it is so worth it. Store bought veggie burgers are highly processed food products loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives. These are completely natural, and vegan and gluten free to boot!
This version has been edited from its original to replace bread crumbs with oatmeal. I made this variant recently for a neighborhood cookout and it was a big success. With the help of three of my friends, we made 30 of these burgers. None was left after the party and many people asked for my recipe. So I figured this version should be retained in my hall of fame!
Canned beans are the ultimate convenience food in my opinion. Some people swear by cooking their own from scratch, and I am full of admiration. I choose the lazy way and keep a well stocked pantry full of beans for use at any time…
The oats in this recipe replace the original breadcrumbs I was using before. It makes this recipe gluten free, and I also find that ground oats are a very nice binding ingredient to help the patties stay together. I prefer to use old fashioned oats as they are less processed, but quick cooking oats would work as well. Steel cut oats would not work.
Nutritional yeast adds a nice umami cheesy flavor to these black bean burgers. Fortified nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly source of complete protein, B vitamins, anti-oxidants and trace minerals required for optimal health. You can omit it but you will miss out on some good-for-you stuff!
And the best part of this recipe is the spices. I find the mix below to my liking. It’s subtle and not overpowering. But you can obviously adjust it any way you want to your personal taste.
How to make black bean burger patties
Your food processor will do most of the work here. Relax.
Drying the beans
Drying the black beans well after rinsing is an important step. You do not want too much moisture in your patties, or they will be mushy. Spread them out on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and let them dry thoroughly while you prepare the rest. Sometimes, if I am short on time, I place the sheet pan with the beans in the oven as it is preheating and take them out after about 10 minutes. It speeds up the drying process but you have to be careful not to forget them in the oven!
Put the food processor to work
First thing that goes into the food processor is oats. Grind them with a few pulses into a coarse meal consistency and remove them to a large bowl.
Next go in walnuts. Pulse a few times to chop them finely, but not so long that they turn into a paste. They provide a nice little crunch to the burger. They go into the bowl as well.
Next go in mushrooms. But first, wipe them clean with a paper towel and quarter them grossly by hand. Place them in the food processor and pulse a few times to make fine pieces. They don’t go into the bowl quite yet, as they will be cooked down with the onion and garlic first.
Cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms
Onion and garlic are best chopped by hand. I have at times processed the onion in the food processor but it is easy to over-process it, rendering too much liquid and altering the flavor.
Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Sauté the onions until they soften a bit. Add garlic and mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until the moisture is mostly gone. Add the spices and stir until fragrant. Transfer to the bowl. Add nutritional yeast.
Final task for the food processor
Finally, place the beans in the food processor and pulse about 12 times (until they come together but are still be a bit chunky). Add to the bowl.
Mix everything thoroughly with a fork. You are now ready to form your patties.
And your food processor deserves to be washed.
How to cook
The preferred method is to bake these black bean burgers in the oven, but they can also be cooked in a skillet or on the grill. You just have to handle them gently as, like all veggie burgers, they can break apart when you flip them over. Veggie burgers that have too much binding ingredients are tough and chewy. These are tender and moist…
Line a sheetpan with parchment paper, spray with olive oil. Form 8 patties (about 1/3 cup each) with your hands and place them on the sheet. Spray more olive oil on top.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, flipping carefully after 20 minutes so they bake evenly.
How to freeze and reheat
You can make these black bean burger patties ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them until ready to cook. You can also cook them fully and freeze them; they reheat very well straight from their frozen state.
When freezing, stack the patties between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container or freezer bag.
To cook frozen patties, no need to thaw. Just add a few more minutes (5 to 10) to the cooking time in the oven.
To reheat cooked burgers, no thawing required either. Cook on a grill on medium heat or in a pan on medium high heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds.
How to serve
Make sure you get some good whole grain buns to serve these black bean burgers, and add the toppings of your choice! I like a spicy hummus with mine, or some mashed avocado, sliced tomatoes and red onion, some greens… But toppings are a matter of personal taste…
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For some ideas of toppings and sides for these black bean burgers, check out these recipes:
Black bean burgers
- 1 can black beans (15 oz) drained
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 8 oz mushrooms wiped clean and quartered
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper or more to taste
- Heat the oven to 375F
- After rinsing the beans, spread them out on a sheetpan lined with paper towels and let them dry thoroughly while you prepare the rest.
- Place oatmeal in food processor and process until they are ground into a coarse flour consistency (you can have some pieces of oats left, it will add some chewiness to the patties). Remove to a large bowl.
- Process walnuts in food processor into small pieces. Do not overwork them or they will turn into a paste. They need to provide a slight crunch to the patties. Add them to the bowl.
- Place mushrooms in food processor and pulse a few times until they are finely chopped.
- In a large skillet, sauté onion in a tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until the moisture is mostly gone. Add the spices and stir until fragrant.
- Transfer to the bowl. Add nutritional yeast (optional).
- Place the beans in the food processor and pulse about 12 times (until they come together but are still a bit chunky). Add to the bowl.
- Mix thoroughly with a fork.
- Line sheetpan with parchment paper, spray with olive oil. Form 8 patties (about 1/3 cup each) with your hands and place them on the sheet. Spray more olive oil on top.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes, flipping carefully after 20 minutes so they bake evenly.
- Serve immediately or freeze for future use, stacked between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Note: You can reheat them from frozen without thawing, on a medium-hot grill or in a pan 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. If you freeze them before cooking, no need to thaw either, just add a few more minutes to the cooking time in the oven.