This black bean burger recipe has recently become one of my staples. I make batches to freeze and they’re really good reheated in the oven.
But here’s the thing with nearly every single bean burger recipe out there. If I’ve learned anything in vegan cooking, it’s that even with egg substitutes, grain and seed additions and all manner of leavening agents, bean burgers smush out the sides of the bun when you eat them.
It’s not terrible, but it’s the nature of bean burgers. However, we can mitigate this bean burger shape-shifting in a few ways.
First, make smaller patties and have a few at a time. They can’t spread as much if they’re tiny!
Next, use a pita instead of a bun. That way, when the bean burger smushes, it stays somewhat contained.
Also, make sure the beans (and all ingredients) are well drained. Having made this recipe a few times, I’ve found that removing excess moisture from the beans helps a LOT. In this recipe, I keep about one-fourth of the beans whole which also helps the burgers maintain their shape.
Finally, if you have time once you form the patties, place them in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. Cooking lore states that this can help them stay firmer throughout cooking.
And so what if the bean burgers smush a little? They’re still good.
A few notes on ingredients…
This recipe calls for breadcrumbs. Much to my annoyance, you’ll find many commercial breadcrumbs contain dairy. However, panko breadcrumbs don’t usually contain any animal-derived ingredients.
Flaxseed meal mixed with water functions as the “egg” in this recipe. It binds the ingredients and helps the bean burgers to keep their shape.
For me, condiments are compulsory on bean burgers. I like these with avocado, greens and a chipotle dairy-free mayo. Ketchup, mustard and vegan cheese are good, too.
These aren’t particularly spicy. For some heat, add an extra chipotle chili or pinch or two of cayenne to the burger mixture before forming into patties.
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (I use panko)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely minced
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 separate tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- buns, pita for serving
- avocado, non-dairy cheese, or other favorite burger condiments for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine flax seed meal and 6 tablespoons of cold water. Mix well and refrigerate until you are finished preparing the other ingredients. (at least 15 minutes).
- In a large bowl, place three-fourths of the black beans and mash them with a fork until mostly smooth. Stir in remaining whole beans. Add breadcrumbs, red bell pepper, chipotle chiles, red onion and fresh cilantro and stir to combine.
- Remove flaxseed mixture from refrigerator and add to it 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ground cumin, and salt. Stir well and add it to the bean mixture. Mix well.
- Form into 8 patties, about ½ cup each. Transfer patties to the refrigerator to chill for 10-15 minutes, if you have the time.
- In a large pan, heat 1 remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Over medium heat, cook patties about 4 minutes on each side, or until burgers are browned. Serve with bread or roll and garnishes of your choice.