These are, hands down, the BEST Black Bean Burgers I’ve ever eaten. They’re tender, moist, and jam packed with flavor. If you’re used to dry vegetarian burgers, you MUST try this black bean burger recipe!

One Black Bean Burger with melted cheddar cheese on a toasted whole wheat bun with lettuce underneath the burger. The burger is set on a round gray plate.

Thanks to my Aunt Marie’s irresistible cooking, I fell off my meatless mission last weekend. How could I pass up her homemade Chinese spare ribs?

Her baked pork fried rice knocked my socks off during my last visit and since I only see her once a year (she’ll tell you I need to visit more, which is not untrue), I can’t possibly sit there and eat a plate of roasted vegetables, however excellent, feeling like I was missing out on something extraordinary.

But I got right back on track with continuing to eat meatless for the rest of the month and even though my lunch on Monday was a shameful carb fest, we’ve not been without a bounty of ideas for healthy vegetarian meals. 

These black bean burgers was one such meal and it was really something special.  I seriously had these burgers on the menu for weeks before I made them and when I finally got Kyle to agree to eat them, he was just as blown away as I was. 

In fact, after I broke up a couple of the burgers during the week and stuffed them inside baked potatoes for lunches, we fought over the last burger. 

Ingredients

So, the ingredient list for these burgers is pretty basic. However, the combination of ingredients makes them truly special. Here’s what you’ll need but be sure to check the ingredient list in the recipe card below for the full list.

  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Canned black beans
  • Eggs
  • Ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Table salt 
  • Red bell pepper
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Shallot

One Black Bean Burger with melted cheddar cheese on a toasted whole wheat bun with lettuce underneath the burger. The burger is set on a round gray plate. There is a mason glass with soda and ice in the background.

If you want to add a little extra heat to these bean burgers, you could increase the cayenne pepper or add a minced jalapeño pepper, with or without the seeds. 

For toppings, anything goes! I added some cheddar at the end of the cooking time to melt onto the burger. And instead of lettuce, we topped the buns with fresh spinach along with these vegetarian burgers.

Buns for These Black Bean Burgers

Full of protein and set atop of some fresh baby spinach on a whole wheat bun, this black bean burger is a meal in itself. If you want to get your hands dirty by making your own burger buns, these homemade potato burger buns are the way to go!!

What to Serve with Black Bean Burgers

Taco pasta salad and Mexican street corn salad are the first side dishes that come to mind as being perfect sides for these burgers. If you want to go the straight-up street corn route, I KNOW that would be excellent too!!

But I think they would also be spectacular with some oven fries, zucchini fries, or a toss salad on the side.

And since January is slowly dwindling to an end the operative question becomes, what will be my first “official” non-meatless meal in February?

More Vegetarian Sandwiches

One Black Bean Burger with melted cheddar cheese on a toasted whole wheat bun with lettuce underneath the burger. The burger is set on a round gray plate. There is a mason glass with soda and ice in the background.

Black Bean Burgers

Yield: 6 burgers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Black bean burger recipes are a dime a dozen these days but this is the best black bean burger I've ever eaten. So I feel like you need this recipe too. It's jam packed full of flavor and it's tender and moist, just the way a vegetarian burger should be.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced

Instructions

  1. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium bowl with a fork until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated. Add the breadcrumbs to the skillet and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally at first then more frequently as they begin to brown. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  2. Add 2 ½ cups of the black beans to a large bowl and lightly mash them with a fork or potato masher until they are almost smooth. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper together. Stir the egg mixture, bread crumbs, remaining beans, red peppers, cilantro, and shallots into the mashed beans until well-combined. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.
  3. Once chilled, shape the mixture into 6 patties (about ½ cup each). (At this point the patties can be refrigerated on a plate covered tightly with plastic wrap for 24 hours.) Chill the shaped patties until you’re ready to cook them.
  4. Wipe out the original skillet, add 1 ½ tablespoons of oil and heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Working in two batches, carefully transfer 3 of the patties to the skillet. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, very carefully flipping halfway through (they will be slightly fragile), until both sides of the burgers are nicely browned. Repeat with the second batch of patties. Serve hot.

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Black Bean Burger Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15min + 30min to chill
  • Cook Time: 8-10min
  • Yield: 6 burgers

Ingredients

¾ cup panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 shallot, minced

Instructions

  • 01

    Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium bowl with a fork until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated.  Add the breadcrumbs to the skillet and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally at first then more frequently as they begin to brown.  Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

  • 02

    Add 2 ½ cups of the black beans to a large bowl and lightly mash them with a fork or potato masher until they are almost smooth.  In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper together.  Stir the egg mixture, bread crumbs, remaining beans, red peppers, cilantro, and shallots into the mashed beans until well-combined.  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.

  • 03

    Once chilled, shape the mixture into 6 patties (about ½ cup each).  (At this point the patties can be refrigerated on a plate covered tightly with plastic wrap for 24 hours.)  Chill the shaped patties until you’re ready to cook them.
    Wipe out the original skillet, add 1 ½ tablespoons of oil and heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.  Working in two batches, carefully transfer 3 of the patties to the skillet.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, very carefully flipping halfway through (they will be slightly fragile), until both sides of the burgers are nicely browned.  Repeat with the second batch of patties.  Serve hot.

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook via Annie’s Eats

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  • Susan P
    January 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    How about posting some of your Aunt Marie’s dishes from this week next month?

  • January 25, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Just for the record… there is NOTHING shameful about carbfests 😉

  • Susan
    January 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    1st February meal – get out that rotissiere and roast up a big prime rib or (for Kyle, too), a big pork roast.

  • Ashley
    January 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    LOVE black bean burgers, especially topped with a little sriracha mayo!

  • January 25, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Love the look of these. Homemade burgers are the best!

  • January 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    So glad you guys enjoyed these. They are definitely one of my go-to choices when I’m looking for healthy food redemption 🙂

  • tanya1234
    January 31, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    luv the idea thankxxxxxxx

  • Shelley
    March 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    I made this for dinner last night and they were wonderful. I loved the fresh taste and even my 3 year old enjoyed his!

    • March 3, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Great to hear! And I’m sure it’s wonderful to find a healthy meal [oftentimes] picky 3yr olds will eat!

  • March 11, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Made these last night (with a few alterations) and they were awesome!!! My first attempt at veggie burgers and they rocked our world!

    • March 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Yes! Aren’t they truly great?!

  • Lily Bouvier Devine
    August 20, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    This is a great recipe. Made it years ago and still remembered it, so we made it again last week. Thank you!

  • Stefanie Hamble
    December 3, 2020 at 4:36 PM

    Loooovvvveee these! They are made and served in our house at least once a month, if not more. We ALL enjoy them!

    • Tara
      December 11, 2020 at 6:28 PM

      Oh yay!! Love hearing this, Stef!!

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