Easy Black Bean Burger

This chipotle black bean burger recipe comes together in under 30 minutes! Make it once, and it'll have a permanent place in your regular rotation.

Black bean burger

This black bean burger recipe is going to be your new best friend. The hearty patties are charred on the outside, tender in the middle, and packed with bold, smoky flavor. But that’s not all. They’re also easy to make! You won’t need to haul out the food processor or dirty 3 pans to whip them up. Nope – this black bean burger recipe comes together in one bowl in under 30 minutes, cooking time included.

Lately, Jack and I have been cooking the burgers outside on the grill, but they come out just as well in a cast-iron skillet on the stove. Make them for a laid-back summer cookout or for a quick weeknight dinner at any time of year. They’re the newest addition to our regular recipe rotation, and once you try them, they’ll have a permanent spot in yours, too.

Black bean burger recipe ingredients

Black Bean Burger Recipe Ingredients

Another great thing about this recipe? It uses basic ingredients! You likely have all of them on hand already:

  • Black beans, of course! Use canned, or cook your own.
  • Onion – I grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater before mashing it with the other ingredients. When you grate it, the onion will release a lot of liquid. That’s normal! Add the moist onion pulp to the black bean mixture, leaving excess liquid behind on your work surface.
  • Garlic – Along with the onion, it gives this black bean burger recipe sharp depth of flavor.
  • Canned chipotles and adobo sauce – They add smoky flavor and a little heat.
  • Balsamic vinegar and tamari – They make the patties tangy and savory.
  • Panko bread crumbs – They give the burgers their hearty texture.
  • An egg – To bind everything together!
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Black beans, onion, and spices in a bowl

Combine the black beans, onion, garlic, chipotles and adobo sauce, cumin, balsamic, tamari, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Mashing black beans with onion and spices

Use a large fork or potato masher to mash the mixture until it starts to hold together but still has visible chunks of black beans. Fold in the egg, followed by the panko bread crumbs.

Hands forming black bean patties

Form the mixture into 6 patties, about a heaping 1/3 cup each. Then, cook! You can use a cast-iron skillet or an outdoor grill for this step. Either way, the patties should be well-charred, crisp on the outside, and tender in the middle. Enjoy!

Black bean burgers on a baking sheet

Best Black Bean Burger Recipe Tips

  • If the black bean mixture is too wet to handle, pop it in the fridge. It firms up nicely after chilling for just 20 minutes!
  • Or mash it more. The mashed black beans play an important role in making these patties firm and cohesive. If your mixture won’t hold together, continue to mash the beans until you’re able to form patties.
  • Can’t flip them? Keep cooking. If you’re grilling your patties, make sure to cook them for a full 8 minutes on the first side. If they’re sticking to the grill, keep cooking! Chances are, they’ll be easy to flip in a minute or two, once the first side is nice and charred. I also recommend brushing the patties with olive oil before putting them on the grill to prevent sticking.
  • Charred burgers are better burgers. This black bean burger recipe comes out best when the patties have a really nice char. If you’re cooking them on the grill, look for distinct grill marks and crisp edges. If you cook them in a skillet, each side should be crisp and blackened. For the best results, make sure your skillet is hot when you add the patties, and cook them for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Get ahead. This is a great recipe to make in advance! If you want to cook the burgers right before you eat, mash together the beans and seasonings, fold in the egg and panko, and form the burger patties. Then, transfer the patties to a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate them for up to a day before cooking. Otherwise, cook the patties in advance and reheat them before serving. Store the cooked patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Best black bean burger recipe with buns and toppings

Black Bean Burger Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve cooked your patties, it’s time to eat! I love to serve this homemade black bean burger with chipotle sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion or pickled red onion, and dill pickles for crunch. Use your favorite burger buns, or make homemade hamburger buns to take your black bean burger over the top.

Round out the meal with mixed grilled vegetables or grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, or a summer salad. Any of these 37 Best Summer Salads would be great, but I especially love these salad recipes with this black bean burger:

And of course, you can’t go wrong with fries! My air fryer French fries or sweet potato fries would both be delicious with this chipotle black bean burger. Grilled potatoes would be a great choice too.

Best black bean burger on a bun

More Favorite Veggie Burger and Sandwich Recipes

If you love these homemade black bean burgers, try one of these veggie burger or sandwich recipes next:

Best Black Bean Burger

rate this recipe:
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Serves 6
Hands down, this black bean burger recipe is the best one I've tried. The patties are hearty, well-charred, and packed with bold flavor. They're delicious with classic burger fixings like ketchup and mustard, but if you ask me, a slather of chipotle mayo or a scoop of guacamole really takes them to the next level.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • cup grated yellow onion*, (about 1/2 medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers from a can of chipotles in adobo, diced, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg**
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Cooking spray, if grilling
  • Hamburger buns and desired fixings, for serving

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the beans, onion, garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, tamari, balsamic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher to mash until the mixture holds together but still has some visible chunks of black beans. Add the egg and use a spatula to fold until combined. Then, fold in the panko.
  • Use your hands to form the mixture into 6 patties. The mixture should be cohesive and a little wet. If it’s too wet to handle, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up or mash your beans a little bit more.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Brush with a little oil and cook the burgers for about 5 minutes per side, until charred on both sides, turning the heat down as necessary. The exact timing will depend on the heat of your stove and cookware.
  • Alternatively, preheat an outdoor grill to 400°F. Lightly brush the patties with olive oil, spray the grill grates, and grill for 8 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the second side.
  • Serve with hamburger buns and desired fixings.

Notes

*Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater. As you grate it, the onion will release a lot of liquid. That's normal! Add the wet onion pulp to the black bean mixture, leaving excess liquid behind on your work surface.
**These can be made vegan by replacing the egg with a "flax egg" (mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons warm water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken). The vegan burgers are cohesive and they cook/grill well, but they're not as firm in the middle as the egg version. I recommend increasing the cooking time slightly on the grill - I do 8 minutes on the first side and 6 minutes on the second side. They're tasty, but my Best Veggie Burger is still my favorite vegan burger.
If you're looking for a gluten-free veggie burger try my Quinoa Burger

24 comments

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  1. Elizabeth
    07.12.2020

    Looks delicious. Do you think this would work with a Flax Egg?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      I think it might, I’m going to test it this week, I’ll report back! In the mean time, the other 2 veggie burgers I list at the bottom of the recipe are both vegan.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        07.12.2020

        Hi Elizabeth, see the notes I just added to the bottom of the recipe.

  2. Dolores
    07.12.2020

    Hi Jeanine, I would like to know also if this will work with a flax egg.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      Hi Dolores, it works but check out the notes that I just added to the bottom of the recipe.

  3. Amanda
    07.13.2020

    Hey there!!
    What can I add in place of tahini?? Also can I omit/replace the chipotle as I will be making them for my son?
    Thanks😉

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.13.2020

      Hi Amanda, I haven’t tried that, let me know how it goes?

  4. Dennis Yannakos
    07.13.2020

    5 stars
    That’s so creative. I’ll give it a try. thanks

  5. Deb
    07.13.2020

    Is there a substitute for the chipotle peppers?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.13.2020

      Hi Deb, I think tomato paste could work, about 3-4 tablespoons but I haven’t tested it. If you go that route, you might want to add some chili powder or other spices for flavor.

  6. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    07.13.2020

    thank you, I really appreciate the walk through starting with whole black beans, the black bean patties I’ve seen pre-made don’t look very appetizing by comparison since there’s no way to tell what’s in them, this is nice since I eat a lot of black beans, almost daily, but always just whole so a nice change

  7. Ru
    07.13.2020

    What might you substitute for Panko crumbs! Grazi

      • Ru
        07.14.2020

        I like the all bean burger recipe. To make this recipe GF might you sub oats or GF breadcrumbs? Or gf cracker crumbs? Grazi

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          07.14.2020

          I think GF panko will work.

  8. Triz Tan Barreno
    07.15.2020

    This one looks very delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  9. Alexa [fooduzzi.com]
    07.15.2020

    5 stars
    These were great! I used Bob’s Red Mill’s Vegan Egg Replacer in place of the egg, and it worked like a charm. Really tasty, GRILLABLE, and so simple. Thanks!

  10. Kelsey Burnell
    07.18.2020

    5 stars
    These were delish! The chipotle flavor makes these so smoky and delicious. The leftovers were great wrapped in tortillas and topped with taco toppings.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.19.2020

      Hi Kelsey, I’m so glad you loved them!

  11. Hayley
    07.20.2020

    How spicy are these with the 2 tablespoons of whole adobo Chiles and sauce? I want to make these for my family on the weekend, and they’re not spice “wimps” but they can’t handle a ton of heat either.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.20.2020

      I’d say they’re mild, especially once assembled onto buns with other fixings. The chipotle adds nice smoky flavor more than super spicy spiciness. It’s a high bean to spice ratio so I think you should be fine.

      • Hayley
        07.25.2020

        5 stars
        Thank-you! We all loved them. They were more smoky then spicy, and perfect on the grill. Can’t wait to make them again.

  12. Angela
    07.25.2020

    5 stars
    Made these tonight as written and they were sooooo good. Very little spice from the chipotle in adobo, just a nice smokey flavor. The recipe didn’t specify how much salt (just says “1/2” sea salt”) so I put half a teaspoon and I probably could have used a little more. Other than that, these were so easy and delicious.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.25.2020

      I’m glad you loved them! I meant 1/2 teaspoon, thank you for pointing that out.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.