Extra Easy Black Bean Burgers
These extra easy black bean burgers taste amazing and are ready to eat in about 20 minutes! These bean burgers are dairy, egg, and gluten-free, don’t require any complicated steps, are perfect for making ahead, and will make both the meat eaters and non-meat eaters in your life happy! Jump to the Extra Easy Black Bean Burgers Recipe
How to Make Black Bean Burgers
We’ve got lots of meatless recipes on the blog, but these black bean burgers might just be my favorite. We have already shared these veggie-packed burgers with black beans, but they require a little more hands-on time than I’d like for a busy night. I save those burgers for when I have a bit more time and keep this black bean burger recipe handy for the weekdays. These burgers are vegan and quick to make!
I love that these burgers only call for a few simple ingredients. You don’t need eggs to make them, which means all the ingredients that you do need mostly come from the pantry and not the refrigerator.
The base of our black bean burgers is made with walnuts, old-fashioned rolled oats, and black beans — they can be canned or cooked from scratch. (If you are gluten-free, make sure that you use oats labeled gluten-free.)
We took the idea of using walnuts from our recipe for veggie burgers since they add a lovely meatiness and texture to the patties. If you don’t like or eat walnuts, try cashews, pine nuts, blanched almonds, or pecans instead. Or for burgers without any nuts, simply leave them out.
Once we have the base, we add richness and umami with garlic, scallion, spices, tamari (or soy sauce), red wine vinegar, and a tiny bit of maple syrup. Just a dash of real maple syrup adds a lovely balance to the burgers. We’ve tried them with and without and loved the burgers with maple syrup much more than when made without.
Making the Burgers
You can make these burgers two ways: in a bowl by hand or with a food processor.
- By Hand: When made by hand, the burgers are a little more rustic, but still hold together and taste amazing. We mince the garlic and green onion, leave the oats whole and mash the beans with a fork. As long as you mash the beans enough, the burgers will hold together pretty well.
- With a food processor: A food processor makes quick work of these burgers. Compared to when made by hand, the texture of the burgers is more consistent since the oats and walnuts are processed into small crumbs.
We use both methods in our own kitchen. I prefer the texture of the burgers when they are made using a food processor (like in our video), but when I don’t feel like getting the machine out, I’ll happily make these black bean burgers by hand.
For the firmest burgers that won’t fall apart, we do recommend the food processor method. If you are fine with a bean or two falling out from the sides, the hand method will work perfectly fine.
Do I need to dry out the beans?
In these veggie burgers (that also calls for black beans), we tell you that for the best bean burger, you should dry out the beans in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes before mixing with the rest of the burger ingredients. While that is absolutely true when making that recipe, we don’t feel that this recipe needs that step.
In fact, I’ve made these exact burgers with beans that were first baked in the oven so that they had the chance to dry out. After drying them out, mixing and forming into patties, and then cooking them, they turned out too dry. Since this recipe calls for very little liquid (often found in the form of extra ingredients like barbecue sauce, ketchup, and eggs), we don’t need to worry about drying out the beans. This is another reason why we love this recipe so much!
More recipes: Try our vegan meatballs made with lentils, mushrooms, and onions. We love them!
Cooking the Burgers
You can cook these black bean burgers a variety of ways. Here are our tips:
Cook them in a skillet: This is my favorite way since cooking the burgers in a skillet with a bit of oil adds a nice crunchy exterior to the patties. I like to keep the heat at medium-low and let the patties cook slowly, flipping once the first side is golden brown and a bit crunchy.
Bake them in the oven: Baking the burgers is perfect for when cooking a larger batch. Spray or drizzle the patties with a little olive oil, and then bake on a baking sheet in a 350° F oven until heated through and a bit crisp on the outside. I like flipping after 10 minutes so that both sides become a little crisp.
Grill them: You can absolutely grill these black bean burgers! They should hold up well on clean grates, but just in case an edge crumbles on you, we recommend cooking them on a grill-safe pan (like a cast iron skillet).
Extra Easy Black Bean Burgers
These extra easy black bean burgers taste amazing and come together in minutes! These are dairy, egg, and gluten-free and will make both the meat eaters and non-meat eaters in your life happy! You can make these by hand or with a food processor. Both methods work well, but for the most consistent interior texture, use a food processor.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed or use 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
2 medium cloves garlic
2 scallions, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup (30 grams) walnuts
1/2 cup (50 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon light soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon oil for cooking
- Make the Burgers Using a Food Processor
- Alternate Method: Make the Burgers By Hand
- Cook Burgers
Add the garlic to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add the scallions, and then pulse until chopped small. Scrape down the sides, and then add the oats, walnuts, chili powder, smoked paprika, tamari, red wine vinegar, and maple syrup. Process into a fine texture that looks like breadcrumbs.
Measure about 1/2 cup of the black beans and set it aside. Add the remaining black beans to the food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth with some texture. See our video for reference.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and fold in the reserved 1/2 cup of beans. Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes so that the oats have a chance to absorb any excess moisture in the mixture.
Mince the garlic and scallions, and then finely chop the walnuts.
In the bottom of a wide bowl, mash the black beans with a fork. Stir in the oats, chopped walnuts, garlic, scallions, spices, tamari, vinegar, and maple syrup. If the mixture does not hold together, mash the beans a little bit more. Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes so that the oats have a chance to absorb any excess moisture in the mixture.
When you are ready to make the burgers, divide into 2 equal portions for 7-ounce patties or 4 equal portions for 3.5-ounce patties. Form each portion into a round patty, firmly molding and pressing the mixture together so that it does not fall apart.
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, and then place patties in one layer. (We use about 1 tablespoon of oil to cook 4 burgers). Cook until heated through, firm and browned on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. If any bits fall from the sides as you flip, press them back into the sides of the patty. Be careful when flipping so they stay together.
To bake the patties, drizzle or spray with olive oil, and then bake on a baking sheet in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes on each side (or until heated through). For an outdoor grill, we recommend placing a cast iron pan or griddle over a low fire to cook the burgers.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Make ahead: Refrigerate the black bean burger mix up to 24 hours. Or make patties, cook them and freeze wrapped in foil up to 3 months. To reheat frozen cooked burgers, bake in a 350 degree F oven until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Or reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes on each side. We do not recommend microwaving the patties (they steam and become floppy).
- Walnuts add a lovely meatiness and texture to the burgers. They can be substituted for other nuts or left out.
- Pure maple syrup adds balance to the burgers, we prefer the flavor of these burgers with maple syrup, but they can be made without.
- Add extra umami with mushroom powder (1-2 tsp) — this can be purchased online or made at home. See this seasoning recipe to see how we do it.
- The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.