Black bean burgers

When I first started cooking I cooked Rachael Ray and Food Network recipes almost exclusively.  For the record, 30 minute meals took about an hour and a half.  Though I still like some of those recipes, they’re not my primary source for ideas anymore.  Instead I tend to turn to America’s Test Kitchen, my cookbooks and blogs.  They’ve just become more familiar, far less vast, and tend to use the types of ingredients we generally have around the house.

Black bean burgers are a hold over from the Food Network days.  And they’re one of our go to meals.  They are also, for some reason, one of my mom’s favorites.  I think I’ve sent her the recipe for, but let’s be honest.  It’s just never as good when you make it yourself as when someone is making it for you.  We were lucky to have her visiting for her birthday, and in addition to carrot cake, she requested this as a meal.  She helped out, and if I do say so myself, they turned out great!

burger on the bun with chips and pickle

Black Bean Burgers

Adapted from Sandra Lee

Makes 6 burgers

Notes: We’ve made these and frozen them individually.  Just thaw them in the fridge and cook them up as normal.  The spices are definitely to taste, so feel free to add more or less to suit your taste buds.  If you are serving fewer people, the recipe cuts in half well.  Finally, we use the food processor but have also used a mini chopper and just transferred the individually chopped items to the bowl.  Of course it could easily be done by hand, too!


  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained or equivalent amount of dried and cooked beans
  • 2 T  cilantro
  • 2 T parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 T cumin (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • Few dashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, or more as needed
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 6 hamburger rolls
  • 6 slices cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • lettuce, tomato and other toppings you might want (try sprouts!)
  1. Place onion and garlic in the food processor and pulse until chopped.chopped onion and garlic
  2. Add 1 can (or half of them) beans, cilantro, parsley, egg, red pepper flake, cumin, chili powder, Frank’s and salt and pepper to taste.  I usually smell it here to see if it smells like a good balance of flavors.  Helpful, right?other ingredients added to food processor
  3. Pulse a few times until everything is finely chopped and well combined.finely chopped ingredients well combined in food processor
  4. Transfer mixture to bowl and add bread crumbs and the remaining beans.  Mix thoroughly, adding more bread crumbs if needed so that the mixture is cohesive – not too wet or too dry or else they’ll fall apart.mixture with bread crumbs
  5. Separate the mixture into 6 and form each into a patty about 3/4 inch thick.formed patties
  6. Heat nonstick pan or griddle over medium low heat with some cooking spray.  You could probably grill them, but we usually use the griddle so they get crisp all over.
  7. When pan is warm, add burgers.  Cook on first side until well browned, about 6 minutes.  Flip and continue cooking until the second side is also brown, which should take a little less time.  Add cheese a few minutes before they finish cooking if desired.burgers cooking
  8. Place on rolls with your desired condiments and eat.  Yum.

burger on bun

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