black bean burger with cheese

Black Bean Burgers

We have family coming to visit for the 4th of July. Many of them are meat eaters, so I will cook turkey burgers on the grill for them. But some of us are plant-based vegetarians and vegans, so I will also grill black bean burgers. Then we can all eat basically the same meal, just some of our burgers will be whole foods plant based alternatives to the meat.

My daughter, Annie and I have tried a few different black bean burgers recipes that we discovered on Pinterest. This is the one we liked best. We found this recipe at The Pioneer Woman’s blog. I will include my variations on the recipe as well as a vegan option . The original recipe uses eggs.

Serves 4


  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 *egg
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • hot sauce – optional
  • canola spray for grilling
  • whole wheat hamburger buns
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • romaine lettuce or sprouts
  • sandwich sliced dill pickles
  • spicy mustard

*For vegan option, substitute 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water for the egg.


  1. Grate onion, I used a box grater. Press garlic, set aside.
    grated onion   minced garlic
  2. Drain black beans, but don’t rinse them. Place them in a medium sized mixing bowl, and mash them with a fork or potato masher, leaving some of the beans still in large pieces.
    mashed black beans
  3. Add the breadcrumbs, minced onion, garlic, egg (or for vegans, the flax seed/water), chili powder, salt and pepper. If desired, also add the hot sauce. Stir until well combined. Let rest about 5 minutes.
    bread crumbs
  4. Form the bean mixture into patties. I make extra patties and place them between sheets of wax paper. I then freeze them in a container to use another time. This container is a sandwich container, the perfect size!
    black bean burgers in wax paper   black bean burgers in wax paper
  5. Spray pan or grill with canola spray. Turn on heat and let pan/grill get hot for a minute. Add the black bean burgers. Let cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook about 3 minutes more.
    black bean burgers
  6. If you desire, add sliced cheddar or swiss cheese on top for the last 2 minutes. Place a lid over the burgers, cheese will melt quicker.
    pan lid  black bean burger with cheese
  7. If desired, grill the buns a few minutes, face down. Then spread with avocado. Add the cooked black bean burgers, then layer with tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, sprouts…
    avocado on bun  black bean burger  black bean burger with cheese
  8. I like to spread spicy mustard on the top bun. I’m not a big fan of ketchup or mayonnaise.
    mustard on bun

black bean burger with cheese


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