Spiced Black Bean Burgers (a.k.a. the Instant Classic)

In all my years as a vegetarian, I have never made a veggie burger this good. It held its shape when cooking, tasted amazing, it’s high in protein and nutrients, and it stands its ground in the burger game. From now on I’m going to use this as my base for burgers and go from there—if you can’t tell I’m seriously happy with the results.

I need you to understand how hungry I was when I was taking these photos. I get pretty excited over a good veggie burger, especially when they’re homemade and don’t fall apart on the grill or pan. I took a bite half way through shooting and sloppily took the remaining shots while trying not to get burger crumbs all over my camera lens (unsuccessfully, may I add).

I wrote up this post, saved it as a draft and it all got deleted (gah)! So in a fit of tired half-assed rage I re-typed it (never as good as the original rantings, of course) and that’s what you’re looking at now. I based my recipe off of this one from The Pioneer Woman, but instead of cooking mine all up at once I froze or refrigerated most of mine; I separated them with parchment paper to make sure they didn’t all stick. I found that after a day in the fridge the patties really firmed up and the flavours developed even more.

Sidenote: My friend and I started up a little photography business in Toronto called Social Imagery, give us a look!

Black Bean Burgers


Serves 6

  • 2 (19 oz.) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp. grated white onion
  • 3 tbsp. green onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tsp. hot sauce of choice (optional)
  • 6 burger buns (optional)
  • Toppings of choice for garnish (e.g. avocado, spinach, jalapeno)


Place black beans in a large bowl and use a potato masher to mash them. Work them until they’re mostly broken up, but still have some whole beans visible (imagine “smashed” not “mashed”). Add panko, both onion types, jalapeno, egg, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until everything is combined, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil with an equal amount of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat (if using cast iron, heat the pan before adding oil or butter to avoid sticking). Form the bean mixture into patties slightly larger than the buns you’re using; the patties will not shrink when they cook (this is a great tip from The Pioneer Woman).

This was taken with my phone in the making--not the best quality but it gives you an idea of what the patties should look like!
This was taken with my phone in the making–not the best quality but it gives you an idea of what the patties should look like!

Place the patties in the skillet and cook them about 5 minutes on the first side, covered with a lid. Flip them to the other side and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the burgers are heated through and browned on the outside.

If using, grill the buns until golden. Spread the buns with your favourite toppings (I used avocado and hot sauce), then place the patties on the buns. Finish up your toppings and you’re all set!

Black bean burgers

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Excellent – especially with the liquid smoke. Great addition!

    1. Every once in a while it comes in handy!

  2. My husband and sons are a little hesitant when I give them an alternative to meat when they expect meat in a dish. This one may actually pass the test. Looks great!

    1. I hope it does! I have a few friends that are the same way, I’m pretty sure they would devour these. Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. I have tried a ton of veggieburger recipes & often found them to be lacking in texture & they always fall apart. Gonna give these a go, they look great

    1. You should definitely give these a go and let me know how they turn out! It’s so annoying to spend all that time on something that turns out “meh”–it’s happened too many times.

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