Black Bean Burgers

by Marsie

Sometimes I prefer the side dish more than the main dish. Vegetables, beans, and sautees can hold so many flavors, from simple to complex, depending on the seasonings and ingredients. One restaurant I like serves a side of cooked black beans and onions with their chicken-steak quesadilla. I found myself ordering the quesdillas because I wanted the beans. Realizing this, I started experimenting with recipes including black beans.

Now black beans become the main dish. As I toy with becoming a vegetarian (for a multitude of reasons beyond merely enjoying beans or side dishes over meat, another story for another day) I have flipped through many cookbooks and magazines and websites for recipes for black bean burgers. There are many delicious recipes; however, too often they require more ingredients I readily have on hand. Then I came across this recipe – actually mom showed it to me – a simple recipe for black bean burgers. Easily vegetarian and can also be prepared vegan. But do not let the title of vegetarian/vegan scare you away!

I have a friend who often scoffs at my preference for vegetables and meat-less meals. Last Saturday, with a another friend, we went out to dinner. The other friend and I choose a restaurant we deemed to fit all of our taste buds (knowing full well he would detest anywhere without a supple meat selection); however, when we called the meat-loving friend and told him we had picked a restaurant, his immediately asked, “do they serve meat?” We assured him of the meat selection, and laughed at the predictability of his taste buds.

At dinner, I ordered a black bean burger, served with avocado, cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and a tortilla in lieu of a bun. As often happens when eating out with friends, we all gave each other samples of our meals, eager to share the tastiness of what we ordered. He actually liked the the taste of my black bean burger, saying it was more like a quesdilla and how he would not miss the meat in my dish. Victory for the black bean!

Though my friend has not tried this recipe, I am sure he would enjoy it. This recipe is my go-to when I am craving black bean burgers. Enjoyable with various condiments, I prefer serving it with avocado and salsa, and/or with a cheese quesdilla.

Black Bean Burgers

Adapted from Cookouts Veggie Style! By Jolinda Hackett


  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp minced onions
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (I prefer less salt, especially when I include chilli powder, which already has some salt)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1-2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • olive oil or brushing

Mash black beans with fork. Add minced onions, salt, garlic, seasoning/herbs, chili powder, and cumin. Mash to combine.

Add flour, a little at a time, mashing to combine. Optional: add egg help bind ingredients. Beans should stick together completely.

Form into patties and brush with olive oil on both sides. Place on heated skillet, griddle, or grill medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes per side.