My vegan black bean burger recipe is exploding with flavor, doesn’t dry out and makes a great feature on grill night. Grab your favorite bun and toppings and get ready for some good food.
There are so many black bean burgers on the market these days, yet I’ve tried more bad versions than good. So, I created my own recipe. It’s crispy on the outside, super filling, flavorful and perfect for the next cookout, game day feature or filling Meatless Mondays recipe. It’s also vegan and full of good-for-you benefits.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Homemade Burgers
In looking for a filling, vegan recipe that still holds up under frying or grilling, I found a few unique ingredients that really make these burgers work. With a little prep, you can even make extras and keep them frozen for whenever hunger strikes.
- Coconut oil: This is a great high-heat oil. You can easily swap it with avocado oil if you want. If you’re using olive oil, lower the temp of the stove and don’t let it heat up as long before adding the veggies so it doesn’t burn.
- Yellow onion: My favorite aromatic option in almost every recipe. Swap with purple onion if you want a brighter flavor.
- Garlic cloves: Four cloves may sound like a lot yet it makes for a flavorful result.
- Black beans: Look for beans that aren’t pre-flavored so it doesn’t combat the other spices used in this recipe.
- Cooked quinoa: This whole grain adds healthy protein and works double-duty as a binding agent.
- Breadcrumbs: Make your own, buy premade or choose cracker crumbs, you do you! Make sure they are gluten-free if you are going that route.
- Sunflower seeds: This might sound like another odd ingredient, but it kicks up the flavor. Sunflower seeds also add protein and healthy fats along with vitamin E, copper, manganese and selenium.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: While you could add this as a topping, I like chopping them up and adding them to the mixture to infuse more flavor and oil into the patties.
- Fresh cilantro: If cilantro isn’t your thing, feel free to omit it. If you like it then finely chop and mix in for added brightness.
- Spices: I use cumin, chili powder and sea salt to tie the ingredients together for the perfectly seasoned patties.
If you want to make these burgers 100% vegan, that includes the toppings. To add creaminess without the cheese, I like to toss on a few slices of avocado. My vegan kale slaw recipe adds a delicious crunch. Vegan pesto is another flavorful addition to spice up this black bean burger. And don’t forget the perfect fresh toppings, like lettuce, purple onion and tomato.
If you need a gluten-free bun option, check out this grain-free roll recipe from my friend Danielle Walker. I like to make a batch of these and freeze them, so they’re on hand!
If you want a traditional burger topped with ketchup, mustard and mayo then go for it. If you want to go gourmet, try out one of these elevated sauce options:
Personally, I’ve tried all of these options (at different times) and they all work well. The garlic lemon aioli may be my favorite as you can never have too much garlic!
How to Make Vegan Black Bean Burgers
These burgers are healthy, compact, not dry yet not mushy and satisfying. They take a bit of prep yet you can double or triple the recipe to have more ready whenever you want them. Here’s how I’m making mine:
- Cook quinoa according to the package then set aside.
- Heat some coconut oil in a skillet then add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Use your hands or a potato masher to mix everything together well, especially the beans. The mixture should be very sticky. Taste and add a little more salt, if needed.
- Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper. Form the mixture into 6 equal balls. Place on the plate or tray and gently flatten with the palm of your hand to form patties about 4 inches in diameter.
- Cover the plate or sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pan and let it get hot. This should take about 20-30 seconds. Working in batches, place the burger patties in the hot pan. Cook until golden brown on 1 side about 5-8 minutes. Gently flip over and cook on the remaining side until brown.
- Serve on the bun of your choice with the desired toppings.
Because this black bean burger recipe takes a bit to make, I usually double or triple the batch so that I can freeze them. Just follow steps 1-4, then put the frozen patties in freezer-safe storage bags until you’re ready to cook. They don’t even need to thaw before cooking, just make sure to add a few extra minutes per side in the skillet to cook through.
These vegan burgers can also be made a day or two in advance. If I know a block party is coming, I’ll make a batch a few days ahead and then refrigerate until I’m ready to use them.
Vegan Black Bean Burger FAQs
A lot of recipes use egg but you don’t need it to make mine. I sauté onion and garlic, then mash it in a bowl with black beans, cooked quinoa and spices. Then I make patties and chill them in the fridge until they are solid. They hold up well while cooking and aren’t crumbly.
They can be. Use whole food ingredients and use a healthy oil when frying such as coconut, olive or avocado. These can be nutritious and delicious!
My black bean burgers use sautéed onions and garlic, black beans, cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes and spices to create well-bonded, super flavorful patties that can go on a bun with regular burger toppings. They are savory and seriously good.
While this black bean burger recipe is the main feature of a cookout, we all know that sides play a vital role in a delicious meal. Check out some healthy BBQ sides that are both fresh and yummy!
- Healthy Pasta Salad
- Crispy Potato Wedges
- Cold Noodle Salad
- Homemade Hummus
- Tofu Nuggets
- Fresh Potato Salad
- Bright Berry Salad
Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you try it. I can’t wait to hear how yours turn out! And leave comments with any questions you have, I’m here to make your burgers a success.
Vegan Black Bean Burger
For the Burgers:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil plus more for cooking
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 15-oz can black beans drained
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes drained and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp chili powder
- sea salt to taste
- 6 hamburger buns split in half
- 1 tomato sliced
- 6 slices vegan cheese optional
- 1 red onion sliced
- 6 butter lettuce leaves
For the Potato Wedges:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled if desired, cut into 8 wedges each
- sea salt to taste
- Heat the 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add all of the other ingredients to the bowl. Use your hands or potato masher to mash everything together, especially the beans. The mixture will be rather sticky. Taste and add salt, if needed.
- Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Form the burger mixture into 6 balls of equal size. Place the balls spaced about 3 inches apart on the plate or sheet. Gently flatten with the palm of your hand to form patties about 4 inches in diameter.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Don’t skip this step. It makes it much easier to cook and flip the burgers.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pan and let it get nice and hot, about 20-30 seconds. Place the burgers in the hot pan, working in batches, if needed. Cook first side until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Gently flip the burgers over and cook on the remaining side.
- Serve on a bun with desired toppings.
For the Potato Wedges:
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Adjust oven racks so one is closer to the bottom of the oven and one is closer to the top. Heat oven to 450°F.
- Toss the sweet potato wedges with olive oil and arrange them in single layers on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Switch the baking sheets, top to bottom, and continue baking until fries are tender and golden on the edges, an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
- These are more delicate than meat burgers, and hold together best after being refrigerated or frozen. Be gentle when turning.
- To save time, freeze until hard, about 30 minutes. This will extend your cooking time to ensure the patties are heated all the way through.
- To make these gluten-free, substitute gluten-free bread crumbs or almond meal for the regular bread crumbs. Serve on a gluten-free bun or bed of leafy greens.
- Nutrition facts don’t include the sweet potato fries or toppings.