Vegan Black Bean Burger

by Andie Mitchell on August 12, 2010

I never understood why people ate veggie burgers. Until three years ago, I thought it odd that someone who didn’t want to eat animals would want to recreate a cow-flavored burger. I realize now that I was assuming all veggie burgers were posing as meat imposters. I was also making assumptions about why people chose not to eat meat. I think we’re seeing a trend here: I shouldn’t be making assumptions. We all know the only safe assumption to make is that every cupcake is a good cupcake.

I began eating the meatless burger in Italy. Perhaps the last place on this green Earth you’d hope to be introduced to something processed and packaged. One Tuesday night, my friends and I thought it wise to hit up the Hard Rock Cafe in Rome. I know. What a crying shame. But you know Americans, we can’t stay away from the swill bucket for too long. Upon arrival, I felt compelled to order the same dish as my roommate. Menu envy, I suppose. Hard Rock’s veggie burger. A thick patty that was nutty, texturally interesting, packed with vegetables, and full of smoky grilled flavor. I was one step away from diving into the vegetarian pool. Enamored. I realized that veggie burgers had veg in the title for a reason. They didn’t all have faux meat flavor, nor were they all trying to be a second-rate stand-in for a Quarter Pounder.

Thankfully for me and for the country of Italy, I put my veggie burger exploration on ice and resumed my ‘G’ diet: gnocchi, gelato, gorgonzola. When I returned from Italy, all of the weight that I set out to lose a year before was gone. I was eating well, experimenting with new foods, and interested in giving those colorful patties another go. And though I was genuinely into their flavor, I must admit that the low calorie content is what really led me to the grocery store freezer case. They taste delicious and they’re 120 a pop?! Hot damn.

I tried them all: Boca, Morningstar Farm, you name it. It was like Supermarket Sweep, only on my own dime.  But about a year ago, as my eating philosophy began evolving to a more natural, real food approach, I phased most of them out. Along with all other 100 calorie confections. And I bid adieu to behemoth bowls of sugar-free fat-free Jello pudding. It wasn’t you, Mr. Cosby. Because what are all of those ingredients on the back of the box? I asked myself why I, personally, eschewed beef for beefless? In most cases, I’d say beef is the better choice, as long as you’re not vegetarian and you’re not eating beef at every meal. I won’t even get into the green side of things, because you all don’t have 57 minutes to spare. Unfortunately I think it’s already been 57 minutes.

I admit to still loving the taste of Morningstar products, but these days I buy Amy’s if I’m going the veg route. Amy seems to use wholesome ingredients, and her veggie burgers taste like nuts, vegetables, and grains. That’s what I’m going for if I’m not going for a juicy beef burger- the taste of something unique, interesting to the taste buds, something deliciously different atop a soft bun.

This vegan black bean burger is just that. I adore the play of textures created from mashing only half of the beans and leaving half intact. And then there’s the subtle flavor of sauteed vegetables, sweetness from a dollop of ketchup, a spicy kick from cumin and chili powder, and sharpness from dijon.I topped my burger with lettuce, tomato, slices of creamy avocado, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Ba-da bing, ba-da bang, ba-da boom.

Black Bean Burgers (makes 2 large patties)

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peppers (any color)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSP ketchup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add your onions, carrots, and peppers. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the ketchup, mustard, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Remove vegetables from heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash half of the black beans with a fork. You can also just grab the beans with your hands and mash them between your fingers if that’s easier.

Add the other half of the intact black beans, the panko, and the vegetable mixture to the bowl. Stir to combine.

Form the mixture into two large patties. Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes at 450°. The burgers will hold together, but they’ll always be slightly mushy and have a tendency to crumble if handled too much. Just place them on a bun using a spatula and garnish with your favorite burger toppings!

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Shanna, like Banana August 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

You know what they say when you “assume” Andrea..it makes an @ss out of u and me..haha!

Those look incredible. I’m a HUGE veggie burger fan but have yet to make my own. I’d love to recreate a Walnut Burger I had in Madison WI years ago…can you work on that for me? ;)

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 11:31 am

Ooo, walnut burgers sound awesome! I love the flavor of that nut, I’ll definitely give it a shot!! Thanks

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Lindsay August 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

Another amazing Andrea creation! I used to be confused why people ate veggie burgers too. I really enjoy black bean burgers now. The spicier the better! Hope you’re still enjoying the new city. :)

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Thanks, Lindsay!! Seattle is great!

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

They should change the name to veggie patties and call it a day.

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Excellent point, changing the name to veggie patty would do wonders for their reputation!

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biz319 August 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I am definitely putting these on the list of things to make – although I will probably add jalapeno to mine! Thanks for the idea!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Ooo, jalapeno would add sooo much great flavor! Do try!

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Cindy August 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm

you had me at “black bean”
I was needing a dinner idea and this is already on the printer.

I love that you cook for two and your recipes reflect that. I came from a big family..and i never learned how to scale down servings for 6…

perhaps NOW it’s a good thing, as my Teenager is with us for the school year and HUNGRY. They had the beef burgers last night so I am going to torture the men with MY burgers tonight. MMMMM

BIG BADA BOOM (did you ever see the 5th element?)
Gotta love Lilo.

I’ll enjoy beef and chicken when my body says it wants it but for the most part I love my veggie creations. But I never met a fish that didn’t make me hungry! (almost)

I think I would like a tour of the “g” diet. Y.U.M.
xoxox

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Suzanne August 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Every time I visit your blog (daily) I say yes, yes I can stay for dinner!

Have a great day!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm

What a kind thing to say, Suzanne! Thank you!!

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Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) August 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm

this looks great!! my mom tried to make veggie burgers once & it was an epic failure- it was so hard! maybe i should show her this recipe :) my sister is a vegetarian.
I love amy’s products but i definitely like boca/morningstar too- even if they aren’t quite as wholesome

xoxoox

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Erica August 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I love homemade bean burgers! Black bean, chickpea, pintos- all delicious! And I love them with a little chunk in them still (like you have yours). Avocado is the perfect topping.

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Lara (Thinspired) August 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I love this entry, for three reasons: I used to feel the exact same way about veggie burgers; I love Hard Rock Cafe and have a personal policy to visit it in every major city I can; the recipe looks delicious!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Thanks, Lara! What is it about Hard Rock that just makes it a must-go-to restaurant? I loved their veggie burgers and haven’t had them in about four years, I wonder if I’d still consider them to be as good? Either way, thanks for all of your encouragement and kindness!

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Leah @ Why Deprive? August 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I have never, ever made my own veggie burgers before. I always say Im going to but it just seems so scary for some reason. These look so good though, and those pictures are amazing!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

thank you, Leah! You should make some veggie burgers- they’re just so easy and adding a ton of spice makes them not so bland!

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Nicole August 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm

OH MY GOSH!! You read my mind!! I made black bean burgers the other night for my husband and mine came out just okay… because I was missing other veggies and seasonings. And your recipe looks perfect, and I can’t wait to try it!!

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Thanks so much, Nicole! You are always such a day brightener!

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Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life August 13, 2010 at 8:20 am

Incredible! It looks like something I’d get at a restaurant :)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 13, 2010 at 10:09 am

These look delicious. I actually have become a HUGE fan of black bean burgers (Chili’s has one that is AMAZING) so I am a huge fan of this recipe :D

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Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) August 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I always hated it when people assumed I wanted a “fake” burger, then they tried my bean burgers and understood that I wanted a bean burger, not a stand in for a real burger. They are two totally separate things. Glad you jumped on the bandwagon for that one! Yours look delicious!

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M.J. Jacobsen August 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Wow, these look amazing………just the thing to make on our hot days!

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 14, 2010 at 6:56 am

These look so perfect! I love this recipe. Usually I’ll just mash together black beans with a bit of whole wheat flour, some worcestershire sauce, cayenne, garlic and call it a meal. But this has so much flavor and depth to it. Definitely trying this recipe. :D

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cozydelicious August 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Can you believe that I have never made my own veggie burgers? I buy blak bean burgers all the time but you have totally made me want to make my own!

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Megan August 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Definitely saving this recipe!! I am always looking for yummy new veggie burgers. When I buy packaged I go for Amy’s, Sunshine burgers, or Dr. Praeger’s!

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Laura (Starloz) August 16, 2010 at 2:58 am

I’ve never even thought to make my own.

Perfection right there!

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dot August 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I was just thinking about making black bean burgers the other day after my husband had some great ones at a restaurant! Thanks for posting this…

By the way, your recipe will be featured on the Spotlight on Foodwhirl.com tomorrow:
http://foodwhirl.com/spotlight/black-bean-burgers (link active tomorrow)

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Can You Stay for Dinner August 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Thanks so much! I hope you like the burgers!!

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Kayla LaFleur October 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Ooooooh this looks yum. Black beans are my all time favorite :) Throw in some brown rice, “a lot a bit” of heat from cayenne pepper, and drench it with sweet relish, homemade barbecue sauce and honey mustard sauce and that veggie burger has my name written all over it!

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katshealthcorner January 8, 2011 at 8:10 am

That is such a great idea to make your own black bean burger — you make it sound so easy! I’ve got to try it out!!

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Gesika March 31, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Ok. So I just “stumbled” across this blog tonight. I read your history and am now looking through the recipes. This is the first comment I’m leaving you (I foresee many more in the future) and it’s going to cover not only this amazing recipe, but your blog in general. Here we go. Ready? Yeah, me neither.

First, the changes you’ve made in your life, not just the weight loss, are truly amazing. You’ve faced obstacles both physical and emotional and you’ve come out on top. Good for you. No really; Good For You! I’m currently trying to do the same. My most recent achievement is running three miles in one go – no stopping. Did that twice and then hurt my foot. I’ve been in a walking boot for the last week or so and really, really hope that I’m not losing all that endurance. I’m chronicling my journey if you’d like to check it out.

As for your food. I’ve only looked at three or four recipes, but I plan on trying them all. I’m a vegetarian and really looking forward to the enchiladas, the lo mein, and the black bean burgers. I’m a huge HUGE fan of black bean patties. I like ‘em a little on the spicy side, so I’ll probably throw some heat in there somewhere.

So, to recap. You = awesome. Your recipes = seemingly delish. Amy’s Kitchen = best packaged option out there Morningstar Corndogs = my dirty little addiction, but I can never find them.
:)

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Jennifer April 6, 2011 at 8:15 am

While bored at work two days ago, I “Stumbled” across your website and am so happy that I did. I have already made two of the recipes, including these black bean burgers. They are fabulous!! Even my husband ate them without requesting any “real food”. I can’t wait to try out the other recipes. Keep up the good work!

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where can I buy kefir grains November 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm

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Angel March 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I have made several different vegan recipes from pintrest, and these black bean burgers are the best by far!!! We love them! My picky daughter ate them, which is amazing!

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meenakshi May 19, 2014 at 10:13 am

can i use instant oats instead of mushrooms as i noticed in some other site using oats in patties?
warm regards
thanks

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