Weeknight Meals: Black Bean Burgers

Finally, a post that isn’t 100% about dessert. This is hard for me to do, because baking things that aren’t good for you seems to be something at which I excel. I was inspired by this food52 article on how to create your own veggie burgers without using a recipe. The first logical step to creating your own type of veggie burger is deciding what the flavor combinations will be, and since corn is my lifeblood, I decided to go with southwest black bean and corn veggie burgers, using (you guessed it), farm-fresh corn.

Other ideas that I had for veggie burger themes included Mediterranean veggie burgers with chickpeas, olives, mint, and feta, or maybe a more farm-fresh Italian-themed burger with white beans, fresh oregano and basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, served with fresh mozzarella melted over top. These are totally customizable, you guys. Go crazy.

Black Bean Burgers with Fresh Corn

Black beans! This recipe was really a test of my TINY food processor.
Beans get pulsed with shallots, spices, and garlic. It’s not really the prettiest process.
Add in the corn! I made two ears, but the second one didn’t end up going in the burgers.
Burgers are shaped and ready to fry! Hands are sticky and need to be washed.
Fry fry fry.
Ta da! Not pictured: me getting 50 mosquito bites while I enjoyed this burger in the garden.


Makes 4-5 burgers

For the burgers:

  • 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 C cooked brown rice
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C cooked corn kernels (I cooked fresh corn and chopped off the kernels, but frozen would also work)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Accoutrements (suggested):

  • Buns for the burgers
  • Lettuce
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Pico de gallo
  • Cheddar cheese

To make the burgers:

In a food processor, pulse beans, shallots, garlic, and spices, until they are well mixed and the shallots and garlic begin to break up into the beans. Add the eggs and pulse until incorporated, then add the rice and breadcrumbs and pulse until just mixed together. You might even want to mix these in by hand. Add the corn by hand to keep the kernels whole, so you really get a burst of fresh corn flavor when you are biting into the burger.

Use your hands to shape the burgers, making them roughly the size of the buns you will be using, and set them aside until you are ready to cook them.

To cook the burgers:

Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the burgers in the oil and fry until browned, then flip. Continue to cook until browned on both sides. Remove from pan.

If you were feeling especially adventurous, you could grill the burgers. Before grilling them, however, make sure that they are VERY well held together. It would be a real tragedy if they fell apart mid-grill.

Assemble the burgers:

In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork (it can still be a little chunky). Mix in lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste. Toast the buns for added deliciousness.

Burger assembly order could look like (but is not limited to): bun-lettuce-burger-cheese-avocado-salsa-bun.

Ideas for Customization:

To customize these burgers, simply swap out your favorite ingredients for the ones included. Roughly, the recipe should look like:

  • 2 C beans (chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, etc.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked grains (farro, brown rice, barley)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko, traditional, or homemade)
  • Spices, seasonings, herbs
  • Alliums (onions, peppers, garlic)
  • Optional ingredients such as chopped nuts, nut butters (tahini, peanut butter)



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