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 black bean burger recipe. It’s crispy on the outside, super filling, flavorful, and perfect for the next cookout or game day feature. It’s also vegan, and full of good-for-you benefits.
Why choose a vegan burger
Burgers are an American staple at many BBQs, birthday parties, game day gatherings, and more. Yet they honestly leave me feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish. I like the idea of a burger, yet want something that can delight my tastebuds without the negative side effects. The black beans and cooked quinoa give this burger a great texture, while the spices bring in a flavorful punch.
Though this homemade black bean burger recipe does take some time to prepare, it is well worth it. Store bought vegan burgers are often full of really processed ingredients, as well as tons of sodium. This vegan option offers real, whole food ingredients that actually taste good.
Black bean burger recipe
Let me breakdown my recipe as well as provide a few tips along the way for easy baking/storage. I use coconut oil in this recipe, because it withstands a higher heat than olive oil. Feel free to swap with avocado oil to avoid any coconut flavoring. If you want more perfectly shaped patties, use the rimmed part of a wide mouth mason jar lid to shape them. I use this method in my vegan hash cakes recipe from Fresh Start Autumn, and they turn out beautifully! Definitely don’t skip the fridge/freezer rest time. This ensures the patties don’t fall apart while cooking. Nobody wants crumbly burgers!
Freezing/prepping ahead options
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 1-3, then put the frozen patties in freezer safe storage until you’re ready to cook. They don’t even need to thaw before cooking, just make sure 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, so they’re ready to go.
Plant based toppings for the black bean burger
If you want to make these burgers 100% vegan, that includes the toppings. To add in a creaminess without the cheese, I like to toss on a few slices of avocado. An avocado crema is also a great addition, to give creaminess + a little tang. Or try my vegan kale slaw recipe for a delicious crunch topping. 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 recipe from my friend Danielle Walker. I like to make a batch of these and freeze them, so I have one on hand for my next black bean burger!
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 these fresh sides that are both yummy and healthy!
Cauliflower buffalo wings– I often bring these to game day parties, and they’re always a huge hit! Don’t forget the cashew herbed dipping sauce!
Healthy-ish rice krispie treats– For sure a game changer, these delicious treats are an upgrade from the traditional rice krispies of my childhood.
Sweet potato chips + guacamole– My book, Simple Green Meals, has several amazing sides for any party. If the sweet potato wedges below aren’t your thing, definitely try my take on sweet potato chips, and this tried and true guacamole recipe. You could even top your vegan black bean burger with this guac, it’s that good!
Black Bean Burger
For the Burgers:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil - plus more for cooking
- 1 yellow onion - finely diced
- 4 cloves clove garlic - minced
- 1 15-oz can black beans - drained
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes - drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Sea salt - to taste
- 6 hamburger buns - split in half
- 1 tomato - sliced
- 6 slices cheese - vegan, regular (optional)
- 1 red onion - sliced
- 6 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 saute 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 in 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” apart on the plate or tray. Flatten gently with the palm of your hand to form a patty about 4-inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until firm. (Wrap each burger individually if making ahead and storing in freezer.) If possible, don’t skip this step - it makes it much easier to cook and flip the burgers.
- To cook burgers, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little coconut 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. If cooking burgers frozen, they will take a few extra minutes to warm through.
- Serve with toppings on a bun with a side of baked sweet potato fries.
For the Potato Wedges:
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat oven to 450°. Adjust oven racks so one is closer to the bottom of the oven, and one is closer to the top.
- Toss the sweet potato wedges with the olive oil and arrange 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.
- These are more delicate than meat burgers, and hold together best after being refrigerated or frozen. Be gentle when turning.
- 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