Meatless Monday: Spicy Smoky Black Bean Burgers

My college had amazing dining halls. Each one had 4-5 different stations with varied entrees, a complete salad bar, and one dining hall even had a taco/tostada bar. Oh and unlimited fro-yo or ice cream, depending on which dining hall you chose.

There may have been fruit too. But I (along with the Freshman 15 I gained in 2006) wouldn’t know anything about that. 😉

One of the coolest things about our eating options was that each section offered a vegetarian alternative alongside each carnivorous entree. Most of the time, I would scoff at these options. But there was one thing that always caught my eye: black bean burgers. More flavorful than their typical veggie burger counterpart, I always looked for these guys and grabbed one every chance I got.

Living on my own in the “real” world, I no longer have the luxury of someone to do my dishes 3 meals per day, or cook 4 different options for me for every meal. Most of my meals are are more like an episode of Chopped: “You have beans, sesame seed paste, and breadcrumbs in your pantry…You have 20 minutes to make an entree…GO!!”

Enter: Black Bean Burger.

When Ashley at Edible Perspective declared she had created a simple black bean recipe, I was all ears. I didn’t have all the same ingredients, so I improvised. The kicker in this recipe, as Ashley discovered, is using almond butter to bind the burger, instead of an egg. Genius! I used tahini paste, which is very similar and gave great taste to the burgers. Try this recipe!!

Spicy Smoky Black Bean Burgers
adapted from Edible Perspective’s Simple Smoky Black Bean Burgers
Makes about 4 patties

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs or rolled oats (Either is fine)
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 large jalapeno, very thinly diced
1/2 onion, very thinly diced
chili powder
garlic powder
caynne pepper (optional)
your choice of oil, for cooking

Mash about half of the beans with a potato masher or fork. I used a soup ladle, which worked great. Make sure not to mash them up too much, though, or the inside of the burger will be mushy. Add remaining unmashed beans and carefully mix together.

Add in a pinch of each spice and the diced onions and jalapeno, and mix to combine with a fork. Feel free to add other textures to your burger. I didn’t have much else on hand, but Ashley suggests corn and sunflower seeds in her recipe, which sounds amaaazing.

Add in tahini and mix to combine, being careful not to over mix. Then add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or oats), one tablespoonful at a time, until everything reaches a moldable consistency.

Looks gross, I know! Mine was a little on the mushy side (but the flavor was off the chaaain!), so be sure not to over mix/mash.

Form into patties and heat up oil in your pan if you’re using the stove. Add patty to hot oil, and flip once browned, about 3-4 minutes. Cook until browned on the other side and heated through. It’s important to get a nice sear on these so they stay together.

Admire your burger:

Then dig in.

Like these? Check out some of my other Meatless Monday recipes:

17 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Spicy Smoky Black Bean Burgers

    • If you can get him to just take one bite, I swear he’ll love ’em! The flavors are crazy good!

      Unfortunately my boyfriend doesn’t like beans, so I think there’s no swaying him on this one!

  1. You lost me at “My college had amazing dining halls,” that just isn’t something I can relate to! 🙂 Just kidding, this sounds pretty good! Thanks for sharing, Katie!

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  3. I’ve made a million black bean burgers over the years and never found one that we would make again…until this one. Off the chain does not even describe it. I sauted the onion and some garlic first, added some mexican corn to the mix and some fresh parsley from my herb garden. Oh, and I roasted the jalapeno. My husband ate it as a burger with all the fixins and I ate it with plain with a dollop of sour cream with chipotle chili on top. This will be a weekly staple. Thank you so much.

    • Thank you so much, that is a HUGE compliment! Making good veggie burgers that taste good and aren’t mushy is seriously challenging…I’m glad you liked them!

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