Black Bean Burgers

posted in: Burgers, Main Dish, Vegetarian        date:

Black Bean Burgers

First of all, I want to thank all of you for the words of encouragement you sent to us through your comments and emails. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful and caring readers, and I appreciate you letting me tell Clara’s story. To those of you that shared your personal stories with us, thank you. Your words have touched us in ways I can’t begin to describe.

Since Earth Day is this weekend, I want to share a few of our eco-friendly habits with all of you. Being green is important to us. We’ve reduced our garbage to only one bag a week because we recycle everything we can. Now that we own our own home, we’re hoping to reduce our waste even more by composting. We’ve got plans to set up a rain barrel soon, which will hopefully provide enough water for our garden. We’re also hoping to grow even more produce this year, possibly in a raised bed garden. Also, when the season is right, we try to buy local foods whenever possible. Virginia is rich with agriculture, which means we have easy access to local produce, dairy, meat, etc. There are so many small things that each of us can do to reduce our impact on the planet. Perhaps the biggest change we’ve made this year is to use cloth diapers and wipes on Clara. It’s been fantastic, and she looks darn cute with her fluffy bum. (You may have seen a few pictures of her in them if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram.) I won’t go into the details here; this is a food blog after all. But if you ever want to know about our experience, feel free to send me an email or a message on Facebook. We’re also into refurbishing old furniture and giving new life to things so that they don’t end up in a landfill. Check out this before and after of Clara’s dresser:

One easy way to make a difference is to eat less meat. Eric and I have significantly reduced our meat consumption over the past few years. We used to have meat with almost every meal, now the opposite is true. At first, our meatless meals were mostly pasta dishes, but this changed as our tastes and skills developed. We’ve got several vegetarian recipes in our repertoire now, but these burgers are my favorite. I posted a recipe for black bean burgers a couple years ago, and that was my go-to recipe until now. Those are delicious but probably work better for lunch. These burgers are thick and hearty, making them perfect for a meatless dinner. They’re moist and flavorful, just like any burger (even a meatless one!) should be. Not only are they delicious, but they’re healthy to boot! Bonus: they can be made ahead of time and cooked later. This recipe just wins all around. I made a batch of these to freeze before Clara was born, and they reheated wonderfully in the oven. I haven’t tried letting them thaw and cooking them in the skillet, but I’ll update this post if I do.

Black Bean Burgers

  • YIELD: 6 burgers
  • ¾ cup panko

  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1

    Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Using a fork, toss together the panko and 2 teaspoons of oil in a small bowl. Add to the skillet and stir frequently until light golden brown and toasted. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

  • 2

    Set aside ½ cup of the beans and place remaining beans in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 tablespoon of oil, cumin, salt and cayenne. Add the egg mixture, toasted panko, remaining beans, bell pepper, garlic, cilantro and shallot to the bowl with the mashed beans. Stir until evenly combined.

  • 3

    Divide mixture into 6 equal portions, about ½ cup each. Shape into patties about 1-inch thick. (If not cooking immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Alternately, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze, then store in an airtight plastic bag.)

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully place three of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate, tent with foil and repeat with remaining oil and patties.

  • Leanna

    I want to drive less by walking and biking to nearby stores.

  • Katie

    Use my reusable bags more:)

  • Kelley

    I’d like to reduce our meat consumption. I’ve gotten my hubby to agree to one meatless meal a week, but he won’t let me go to two just yet:)

  • We really want to get a rain barrel for our gardens too. It saves on water bills & helps the environment. We also reuse our grocery bags for things around the house, and I’m just starting to use reusable bags (I know…super late on that one.), so I’d love more bags since I just have a few!

    I love how your dresser came out! I did the same thing with a nice wood sewing desk I found on Craigslist, and it’s sturdier than the desks they sell at stores nowadays! I love the quality of older furniture!

  • These burgers look great, been wanting to try black bean burgers for a while now.

    We’re looking forward to composting too. Like you guys, we recycle where we can. So, I feel like a huge doof throwing away banana peels and egg shells when I know they’d make killer compost.

    Happy Earth Day!

  • Michelle

    I would love to reduce my garbage bag waste by using reusable more often.

  • These look great! My husband and I will try to expand our garden this summer if the weather and soil cooperate. I hate buying herbs at the grocery store and not being able to use them all!

  • Danielle

    I want to start making my own yogurt so we don’t waste multiple small containers every day!

  • I’ve been meaning to get rain barrel since buying my house two years ago. Perhaps now is the time!

  • Becky

    I make my own yogurt and put it in Mason jars to eliminate waste (and save money)!

  • Laura H

    I’m going to put off buying a bus pass for the summer and borrow a friend’s bike, instead.

  • Now this is a fiiiine burger! Yum!

  • we will be using reuseable bags now for all purchases! 🙂

  • I’m planning to take the train this summer to work instead of driving.

  • Katie

    We are putting in raised garden beds close to the house. We’ve had a garden for years, but the deer always get more than we do! Here’s to hoping moving everything closer to the house works!

  • Shira Blank

    first and foremost, i love your blog. and i think something that i want to do that is a bit more eco-friendly is to buy reusable water bottles and place them in all my bags so i become less reliant on disposable plastic water bottles. i drink a lot of water!

  • Amy

    We are using cloth diapers also and started when our now seven month old was 4 weeks. We were a bit nervous at first but love it more than we realized we could when we made the decision to avoid the waste and cost of disposables. I would like to grow more of our own produce this year and find a local source for the meat we already try to buy organic.

  • sara

    I am going to try to reduce/eliminate the number of plastic baggies we use.

  • Kristen

    We are using cloth diapers for our little guy, 4.5 months old. Not only are they super cute, but we’re helping save the environment!

  • Marion Chaloux

    I’ve been following this blog for quite some time and I just love it! I use quite a few of your recipes!

    My husband and I (also in Virginia) are also really focused on doing what we can for the environment. We’ve also cut down our meat consumption, but this years biggest challenge: finding both a healthy/safe (but eco-friendly!) kitty litter and cat food for our furry friend.

  • Linda

    I’m going to start using more “earth friendly”cleaning products. I don’t want those products in my environment. The warning labels on the back of the products are proof enough of the hazardous contents. Love your website!

  • Emily

    I already use reusable big bags at the grocery, but haven’t made the switch to the reusable produce bags…I need to get some!

  • Tiffany

    I am trying to re- use and recycle more.

  • Yasmine

    I want to recycle more and try to buy more organic products!

  • Vanessa

    Love these bags! I’m trying to buy more foods in bulk to save money and packaging

  • Ashleigh

    I want to start using non-plastic grocery bags! 🙂 I don’t have any at the moment, so this would be the perfect addition to my shopping trips!

  • Wonderful post 🙂 It’s funny, I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years now and I still don’t have a go-to veggie burger recipe. This recipe looks great though and I cannot wait to try it out! Looks like it’s a nice filling, juicy burger but still has some crunch to it. I find that the veggie burgers I’ve made at home can be quite mushy.

    I’ve never been preachy/pushy about people becoming vegetarian or eating less meat throughout the week. But this movement across the blogs to have more meatless meals is so wonderful 🙂 I love it!!! 🙂 I think it’s not only great for health and the environment, but it’s also great to see so much variety! 🙂

  • Annie

    Bring my lunch to work and only use reuseable coffee cups to reduce waste.

  • I want to make more homemade goodies to cut down on pre-packaged foods. I hate all the packaging they use!

  • Katie

    We recycle everything. I also do all my washing in cold water.

  • Joanna F


  • Kimt

    I try to eat what is local and fresh and use bags like these for all my shopping.

  • Christine

    Id like to incorporate more DIY ingredients into my meals to create healthier dishes AND to eliminate unneeded packaging. I have plenty of freezer space that could welcome homemade sauces and broths on days that don’t allow enough time to cook full blown meals 🙂

  • Cori

    We’re planning on recycling our old electronics at a community-sponsored event.

  • Lauren

    We’re working on reducing waste and transitioning from sandwich baggies and paper plates.

  • Emilee

    To be more ecofriendly this year, I want to stop buying coffee in the morning (so many disposable cups!) and bring my own everyday. I also want to bike/walk to work instead of driving/taking the bus!

  • Jennifer

    The most eco-friendly thing I want to do is FINISH SCHOOL, which is over an hour away by car, and get a job close to home again. I miss the days when I only needed to turn on the car a few days a week!

  • sarah

    Great to read all the fabulous ideas! We are going from part time vegetarians to all vegetarian this year! Cant wait to try the recipe!!

  • Oh I am seriously so excited to make these black bean burgers!!!
    So glad I stopped by FoodGawker so that I found your site.
    Bonus giveaway! 😉
    I’m already pretty Green but I need to practice reducing my car trips by planning out my errands ahead of time.

  • karen

    I’ve been working towards being more environmentally friendly for a long time, but can always do better. My focus lately is on not wasting. trying to use everything I buy.

  • Kathy S

    Rain barrels to collect water from our new gutters and then use the water on our raised bed garden.

  • I started a garden last weekend and can’t wait to be having some veggies come out of it!

  • Sara Dankert

    Wow, those are so cute! I want to plant more herbs and veggies in my yard this year – we have wonderful soil and great sun, it’s a waste not to grow our own!

  • Wow, the burgers look so hearty and delicious!!

  • Mary

    The burgers look delicious! Perfect timing – I’ve been meaning to try making my own meatless burgers. To be kinder to this earth, I plan to eat less packaged food.

  • Joselyn

    I am making a garden this year and hope to bike more now that it is summer to cut back on gas and save money.

  • Clohee

    We are using more green cleaning products in our household. We also recycle bottles and cans at the end of the year and donate that money to charity.

  • Carly

    To be more ecofriendly, I want to petition my county to start city pickup recycling (my hometown has recycling bins that are bigger than the trash bins!!).

  • sara

    I plan to try to use less plastic storage bags.

  • Francesca

    I’d like to compost. Right now we save most of our food scraps and take it out to the woods for the animals. In addition, we have been eating less meat. I actually just made Southwest Pinto Burgers last night. I made a large batch…40 burgers! I cook them all and then freeze them…perfect! 🙂 Makes for a great lunch!

  • My biggest environmental push right now is convincing my boyfriend to stop drinking bottled water!

  • I’ve just started (this past weekend, actually) to try to make my own natural cleaning products. It really wasn’t hard so I’m looking forward to making more and more of them!

    LOVE that dresser by the way! Amazing job.

  • Joanna

    I want to try to help cut down the waste at work…get us to stop using so many plastic water bottles, plastic utensils, etc.

  • Laura

    My husband and I got married 1 1/2 years ago, and now have a blended family of 9 (yep, you heard it right – 9!) kids, 7 of whom live with us. We started a vegetable garden last year and hope to expand it this year. One of the eco-friendly things we are going to do this year is use newspaper to block the weeds in between our plant rows, and put grass clippings on top of them to hold them down, rather than using the landscape tarp. The newspaper and grass clippings can be tilled under in the fall.
    Love your blog! And your adorable princess, Clara!

  • Beth

    I’ve started taking the train to work. It’ll reduce my driving by 5,000 miles per year! That’s a pretty good start, huh?!?! 🙂

  • Jennie

    Trying to be more “green” by using all of the produce from our CSA and never letting any of it go to waste!

  • Kathleen

    What a great give away! I’m starting my own garden this year!

  • Michelle

    I already bike to work everyday so to be more eco-friendly I plan on recycling more.

  • Michele Jacques

    I would love to not have to drive as much as I do.

  • I saw these burgers on Tastespotting and I just HAD to come over to get the recipe. I’ve been on the hunt for a good, flavorful, hearty veggie burger and this looks like quite the winner 🙂

  • Joann

    I am planting herbs in my garden so I can stop buying those wasteful plastic packages! 🙂

  • Shelly

    I would like to find uses out of jars, plastic containers, and other food containers. I always end uplooking at an empty container wondering what I could do with it. When I can’t think of anything I end up recycling it. Recycling is good, but if I could reuse it multiple time before throwing it away I would be a lot happier!

  • I want to eat more local produce. I live in the NC mountains, we have so much great stuff. I would grow it myself, but I’m hopeless at gardening!

    I followed the foodgawker link to this recipe, they look amazing!

  • Katelyn Rose

    I drink so many beverages from cans and don’t recycle them! Horrible! I want to recycle those cans or reduce my consumption. PS Love the dresser!

  • EG

    I was going to recommend Annie’s black bean burgers recipe, then I remembered that you’re friends, then I saw that this IS her recipe! It’s a good one!

    We should really do a rain barrel. My husband I’m sure is NOT interested in that but I have a friend who knows how to do them!

  • These look incredible! Can’t wait to try them!

  • Claudi Neff

    I have gone back to canning. Even though it is just my husband and I, it is something i have always loved. I am using reusable produce bags that i found on Etsy. I am using ALL that i buy and making a concentrated effort to not allow things to go to waste. I have made a garden using things I have found or things I already had (like to old sinks). I shop at the farmers market to support small plots and make a list so that i am not wasting. We have reduced our meat consumption to 3 times a week and I am sharing my canning abilites with a program to help shut in elderlies take back their lives.

  • Sherry

    We have four children in our family which has made me an avid recyler as well to minimize our trash. Two of my children also bring their lunch to school each day. We use only reusable containers now, and I no longer even purchase any plastic sandwich or freeser bags. I am also frustrated with the over use of disposable plastic bottles in our world today! Our family uses only reusable nalgene bottles and we bring them every where we go. Sometimes we mix in powdered drink mixes for flavor. Imagine if we all stopped purchasing disposable plastic bottles how much less waste there would be. The Nowicki family

  • jeanett

    hi there, i made the black bean burgers last night and loved them. slight problem, they tended to fall apart when i flipped them over. any suggestions?

    • That can happen with black bean burgers, but I’ve never had it happen to these. Make sure you’re getting a good sear on the first side before flipping, and try to flip them quickly. You may also need to pat them together a little more firmly when forming the patties. Hope that helps!

  • That can happen with black bean burgers, but I’ve never had it happen to these. Make sure you’re getting a good sear on the first side before flipping, and try to flip them quickly. You may also need to pat them together a little more firmly when forming the patties. Hope that helps!