Recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

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Grace Elkus
Sep 20, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

I became a vegetarian around the age of 12, so I've made my fair share of veggie burgers throughout the years. The funny thing is, I still don't have a go-to recipe. That's because most homemade veggie burgers call for a laundry list of ingredients (often upwards of 10), or a long refrigeration time to bind the patties together. I set out to make one with easy-to-find ingredients that's ready to devour in less than 30 minutes. And that's exactly where these black bean burgers come into play. The secret? Ripe and creamy avocado, which gets mashed into the patties as a binder, then spread onto the burger buns alongside chipotle mayo.

These aren't just good veggie burgers — they're good burgers, period. They're spicy, smoky, and packed with protein. And, unlike so many veggie burgers, they don't fall apart in the skillet. In fact, as they cook, they take on a deliciously crispy outer crust that makes every bite that much better. Depending on your hunger level, you can opt to make six smaller patties or four larger ones. Save leftovers for crumbling over salads or stuffing into quesadillas.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers: Watch the Video

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3 Smart Tricks for Better Black Bean Burgers

1. Dry the beans: Spreading a few cans of rinsed and drained black beans onto a sheet tray and popping them into the oven dries them out, ensuring your patties won't be mushy. You'll know they're ready when the beans feel dry and are beginning to split. Let cool on the tray for a few minutes before adding them to the food processor.

2. Use avocado as your binder: Many veggie burger recipes call for an egg or breadcrumbs as a binder, but I wanted to keep these vegan and gluten-free so that as many people as possible can enjoy them. (Use gluten-free buns or make lettuce wraps if you're gluten-free.) Creamy, ripe avocado not only helps bind together the patties, but you can also use the other half to spread onto your burger buns.

3. Make your own 2-ingredient chipotle mayo: This recipe calls for one chipotle in adobo and a tablespoon of the sauce, which is a cheap and easy way to add bold, smoky flavor to your burgers. (For gluten-free folks, check to make sure the brand you're buying is gluten-free!) Wondering what to do with the rest of the can of chiles? I like to stir a bit of sauce into mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise) to create my own chipotle mayo. Start with a little and add more to taste — this stuff is pretty powerful. Use the rest of the can to make chili or chilaquiles, or stir the sauce into marinades or dips.

Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Makes 4 large patties or 6 small patties

Prep time: 10 minutes ; cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans

    black beans, drained and rinsed (about 3 1/3 cups)

  • 3/4 cup

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1

    canned chipotle in adobo chile, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    large avocados, divided

  • 1/4 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons

    olive or canola oil

  • For serving: Hamburger buns, chipotle mayo (see above for a homemade version), sliced red onion, tomato slices, and Bibb lettuce leaves

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Spread the beans onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry to the touch and beginning to split, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.

Place the cooled beans, oats, adobo and sauce, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the beans and oats are broken down and mixture begins to come together, scraping the sides as needed, 15 to 20 seconds; set aside.

Place half of 1 avocado in a large bowl and mash with a fork until smooth (you should have about 1/2 cup mashed avocado). Reserve remaining half for topping the burgers. Add the bean mixture to the bowl and stir and fold with a rubber spatula until a cohesive mixture forms. Add the cilantro and stir to incorporate.

Shape the mixture into 4 (2/3 cup) patties or 6 smaller (1/2 cup) patties. Let rest for 5 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the patties and cook until a dark crust forms on the bottom of the patties, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until crisp on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more (if making 6 burgers, work in batches, adding 1 tablespoon oil to pan for second batch). Coarsely mash the remaining avocado half and as much of the second avocado as you desire. Spread mashed avocado onto buns. Serve burgers on buns with chipotle mayo, onion, tomato, and lettuce.

Recipe Notes

Freezing burgers: These burgers can be frozen raw or cooked. Wrap each burger individually in plastic and freeze. Thaw raw burgers in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. Cooked burgers can be reheated in the oven, a toaster oven, or the microwave.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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