Black Bean Burger

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This post is sponsored by the California Walnut Board, but all opinions are my own.

This black bean burger recipe is nutritious, flavorful, and simple to make! Sandwich these amazing black bean patties with your favorite hamburger bun and load them high with veggie toppings.

These black bean patties are easy to whip together, store well, make for great meal prep, and can be frozen and reheated. I’m also sharing my absolute favorite burger sauce that pairs perfectly with the patties. Load your black bean burger with all your favorite veggie additions and you’ll be craving these all summer and yearlong!

Image of the ready to eat black bean burger with all the toppings and sauces on the burger a bun.

While I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch of the word, (I blame this crockpot roast, crockpot chili, and shepherd’s pie…) I am obsessed with veggies. I love taking “regular” meals and packing them with veggies or trying to replace at least some animal proteins with veggies or plant-based proteins. So I thought it was about time I created a powerful but meat-free black bean burger.

And as good as regular burgers are, you can’t beat the feeling of knowing you’re eating a burger that is packed with good ingredients and great fuel for your body. A TASTY AND NUTRITIOUS burger? Yes please. We’re reviving lunchtime with these black bean burgers and I hope you get a chance to try them!

Image of the mushrooms, red pepper, and onions all in a pan

Black bean burgers are incredibly nutritious and packed with good ingredients. They can be frozen and reheated. They can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways and with plenty of topping variations. And today we’re going to talk about all of those things. But let’s start with ingredients.

What is a black bean burger made of?

  • Veggies: saute a grated onion, red pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil. Not only are we adding nutrition, these veggies add flavor! The mushrooms add a really nice “meaty” texture and flavor.
  • Black beans: I mean, it is a black bean burger 🙂 We’ll toast the beans in the oven to fully dry them out — no mushy burgers here!
  • Flavor additions: tons of seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup really amp up the flavor
  • Nutrition and flavor: and the secret to these black bean burgers? WALNUTS. Walnuts offer good fats (13g/oz polyunsaturated and 2.5g/oz monounsaturated fat), protein (4 g/oz), and fiber (2 g/oz). They also add a great flavor to these patties.
  • Binders: last but not least, we make sure these burgers won’t be falling apart by adding in 2 eggs.

Image of the walnuts in the food processor being chopped for the best black bean burger

How do you make black bean burgers stick together? 

As mentioned above, we use eggs to bind these burgers together. The ketchup also helps to bind everything together. If you’re unsure of the ketchup, you can use a good BBQ sauce in its place.

Now that we’ve talked ingredients, let’s talk about health benefits for one minute.

Are Black Bean Burgers good for you?

Yes! This black bean burger is an incredibly nutritious and well-rounded alternative to your typical beef burger. Below are a few of the health benefits associated with some of the ingredients in this recipe.

  • Walnuts have a variety of potential health benefits, and are also a natural source of antioxidants.(1)
  • Black beans are an affordable option for plant-based protein and are a good source of fiber (7.5g per ½ cup serving) and protein (8g per ½ cup serving). Black beans are also an good source of magnesium (60mg per ½ cup serving), which is associated with improved blood pressure and protection for your bones!
  • Mushrooms are low in calories but offer a lot of important nutrients. In fact, mushrooms are one of few natural food sources of vitamin D (16 IU per 85g).
Image of all the ingredients in a bowl being mixed for these black bean burgers

So, what exactly goes on a black bean burger? All of your favorite burger toppings! I do have a few recommendations (and variation ideas) below!

What toppings do you put on a black bean burger?

  • Start with a bun: Hands down, brioche buns are my favorite for these black bean burgers. If you’re looking to reduce carbs, try them in a lettuce wrap or on a low carb tortilla.
  • Load up on veggies: if you like veggies on a beef burger, you’ll likely love it with a black bean burger patty. My favorites: bread and butter pickles, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Other ideas: avocado or guacamole, bacon, jalapeno slices.
  • Cheese please: my favorite on this burger is pepper jack cheese, but any cheese will work. You can even leave off cheese just fine 🙂 Alternatively, you can grate about 1/2 cup cheese and stir it into the black bean patty.
  • Secret sauce: and no black bean burger is complete without the sauce (I’m obsessed). It’s basically a mash-up of all good burger sauce toppings: mayo, ketchup, pickle, onion, and for a bit of a kick: sauce from a can of chipotle chiles. While you don’t have to make this sauce, you’ll probably want some kind of sauce. Here are some other ideas: BBQ sauce, sriracha, mayo, mustard, ketchup, seasoned butter, etc.

Image showing how the burgers are measured and put on a sheet pan to be cooked

And if you’re not sure about the black bean patty on a typical burger, below are some other ideas.

Recipe variations

  • Make a burrito: grab your favorite tortilla, add two halves patty inside, rice, and cheese. Fold it up and cook for a few minutes per side in a skillet to get the tortilla crispy.
  • Lettuce wrap: add a crumbled patty, rice, veggies, and cheese inside the lettuce. Add the secret sauce right on top.
  • Make a southwestern salad: break up the black bean patty over a bed of lettuce and other southwestern veggies. Add a chipotle dressing to the salad!
  • Vegetarian nachos: crumble the patty on top of some tortilla chips, add plenty of cheese, and bake. Add your favorite nacho toppings such as pico de gallo, guacamole, fresh lime, etc.
  • Add to chili: make this vegetarian chili and crumble a black bean burger patty into it.

Image of the ready to eat best black bean burger

Storage: freezing and reheating

Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze and thaw really nicely.

  • Freeze: Stack completely cooled or uncooked patties between parchment paper in a freezer safe container or bag.
  • To thaw cooked patties: thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat before adding to your burger/lunch.

Thaw uncooked patties: thaw overnight in the fridge and cook according the instructions below. You can skip the overnight thaw and just bake for about 2-3 minutes longer per side.

Image of the ready to eat black bean burgers with chips and walnuts around it

More amazing vegetarian meals:

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Black Bean Burger

5 from 2 votes
My favorite vegetarian meal as of late is this black bean burger recipe! The black bean patties are nutritious and have tons of flavor.
Print Recipe

Black Bean Burger

5 from 2 votes
My favorite vegetarian meal as of late is this black bean burger recipe! The black bean patties are nutritious and have tons of flavor.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword black bean burger
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes
Servings 9 -10 burgers
Calories 229kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Black Bean Burgers

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated yellow OR red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper (measured after grating)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cans (15.25 ounces EACH) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup good quality ketchup (OR use BBQ sauce)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Panko (next to breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (measured before pulsing)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons EACH: chili powder, cumin, and paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

Serve with

  • Cheese, Brioche buns, bread and butter pickles, red onion, tomato, and sauce recipe below

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup good quality full fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo (increase for spicier)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place rinsed and drained black beans on a large sheet pan in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove to a large bowl. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  • Grate an onion on the large holes of a cheese grater. Finely dice a bell pepper and finely dice mushrooms. Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add in the diced mushrooms, diced red peppers, grated onions (measure full 1/2 cup after grating), and minced garlic. Stir until vegetables are tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 5-6 minutes. Add in spices and stir for another 1 minute. Remove and add to the large bowl with the beans to allow to cool.
  • Add walnuts (measured in full form) to a food processor and pulse until chopped. You want them in fine crumbs, but not to begin forming a walnut paste/butter. Transfer pulsed crumbs to the large bowl with the beans and veggies. Add panko, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup. Stir until combined. 
  • Remove half of this mixture to the same food processor you used for the walnuts. Pulse to break down the beans. Return to the bowl and stir everything together. 
  • Line a 1/3 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap. Press the mixture to fill up the cup and level it off. Use the plastic wrap to form a patty the size of the burger buns. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes on one side. Remove, flip, and return for another 8 minutes.
  • Alternatively: generously grease a piece of heavy duty foil. Grill the burgers on the well oiled foil for about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • SAUCE: combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until combined and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to personal preference. Feel free to add a teaspoon or more of the sauce from the chipotles to increase the heat.
  • ASSEMBLE: if desired, lightly brush softened butter on the insides of the buns and grill over indirect heat for 15-30 seconds. Assemble your burger by adding a warm black bean patty, cheese right on top of the patty to partially melt, any desired veggie toppings, and plenty of the sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 229kcal

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

Nutrition facts are for the patty only as the bun and toppings will greatly vary.

Nutrition Facts in a black bean burger

1 Walnuts offer a variety of antioxidants (3.721 mmol/oz), including polyphenols (69.3 ± 16.5 μmol catechin equivalents/g) and gamma tocopherol (5.91 mg/ounce). The data for antioxidant capacity of foods generated by test-tube methods cannot be extrapolated to human effects.  Clinical trials to test benefits of dietary antioxidants have produced mixed results.
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7 Comments

  1. love that this is made from scratch since I’ve never really trusted or even liked other vegetable burgers, but I trust the ingredients here so much better, thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I made these burgers today and they were amazing! As we quarantine and change our way of living, it includes the way we eat. Thank you for this Healthy alternative! I’m not a mushroom person at all, and I started to leave them out. However, I wanted to try the recipe exactly to the T. I was not disappointed, at all! The sauce is the cherry on top! Another great one Chelsea! Thank you!????

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