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How To Make Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers

The bean burger is a staple of most vegetarian diets but shop bought versions can be a bit disappointing and home-made ones are often mushy and fall apart when cooked. Not so with this version! These black bean burgers are full of flavour, hold together in perfect patties and are good enough to tempt even the most avid of meat eaters.

How to make vegetarian black bean burgers

I’ve made (and eaten!) a lot of bean burgers in my time and after lots of testing I think I’ve come up with a pretty foolproof recipe which wont fall apart when you cook them. There are three things that ensure that these burgers hold together perfectly when cooked and are moist but not mushy, they are:

  1. Drying the beans out in a pan before mashing them to get rid of any excess moisture.
  2. Adding dry breadcrumbs to the mix to soak up even more moisture.
  3. Adding an egg to bind everything together.

Following these steps will guarantee you a perfect burger every time!

Easy bean burger recipe

These burgers are big on flavor too, with spices, soy sauce and cilantro to delight your tastebuds. This is also a really great ‘base’ recipe that you can easily adapt to suit your tastes; a couple of ideas for adaptations are:

  1.  Increase the spices or swap them for others – Cajun seasoning works well.
  2. Add some chipotle paste for a delicious smokey/spicy hit.
  3. Add a dash of lime juice for more of a tangy flavor.
  4. Add in some cooked sweetcorn to pack in some extra veggies.
  5. Toss in some finely sliced scallions.
  6. Swap the cilantro for parsley, basil and/or oregano.
  7. Add in some crumbled feta cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes (lovely with basil and oregano; top the burger with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese – yum!).

Vegetarian black bean burgers

The burgers are not only delicious but easy to make too and the mix can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. To serve you will need six burger buns of your choice and I advise going crazy with the toppings! I like to top mine with cheese (I place a couple of slices on top of the cooked patty then pop it under the grill for a minute to melt the cheese), salsa, sour cream, pickles, lettuce and sliced avocado and tomato; it may be a bit messy to eat but boy is it good!

Simple vegetarian black bean burger recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the burgers (makes six):

  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 100g/3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (not fresh)
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying

Bean burger ingredients

To serve:

  • six burger buns
  • cheese slices (I like extra mature cheddar or smoked Applewood)
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced tomato
  • lettuce
  • pickles

Burger toppings


1.Peel and finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic cloves, finely chop the cilantro.

Bean burgers step one

2.Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion, cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and spices to the pan and cook for another minute.

Bean burgers step 2

3.Add the black beans to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes until the beans have dried out a bit.

Bean burgers step 3

4.Use a potato masher to mash the beans, you don’t want them to be completely smooth so make sure you retain a bit of texture.

Bean burgers step 4

5.Allow the beans to cool a bit before stirring in the breadcrumbs, soy sauce, egg, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

Bean burgers step 5

6.Divide the mixture into six equal parts then roll each into a ball. Use your hands to flatten the balls into patties, press around the edge to keep them circular. At this point the patties can be placed on a tray lined with baking parchment, covered with clingfilm and refrigerated for up to a couple of days.

Bean burgers step 6

7.Heat a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Cook the patties for about 5 minutes per side until nicely browned and warmed through.

Bean burgers step 7

8.Serve the burgers with the buns and your selection of toppings.

Delicious vegetarian black bean burgers that don't fall apart when cooked