Bean burgers are a staple in most vegetarian diets but it can be difficult to find a good recipe, many of them end up being a little, shall we say, squishy? As in they have a tendency to fall apart when you cook them. After trying many recipes over the years I think I've finally settled upon one that is reliable, tasty and holds together perfectly when cooked.
There are three things that ensure that these burgers hold together perfectly when cooked and are moist but not mushy, they are: drying the beans out in a pan before mashing them to get rid of any excess moisture; adding dry breadcrumbs to the mix to soak up even more moisture and adding an egg to bind everything together. This is what I've found gives the best results (after years of testing!); I like a moist bean burger, but not one that disintegrates while you are trying to eat it; there's no risk of that with these!
These burgers are pretty flavourful as they are, with spices, soy sauce and coriander; but this is also a really great 'base' recipe that you can easily adapt to suit your tastes; a couple of ideas for adaptations are:
- Increase the spices or swap them for others – cajun seasoning works well.
- Add some chipotle paste for a delicious smokey/spicy hit.
- Add a dash of lime juice for more of a tangy flavor.
- Add in some cooked sweetcorn to pack in some extra veggies.
- Toss in some finely chopped spring onions.
- Swap the coriander for parsley, basil and/or oregano.
- Add in some crumbled feta cheese and chopped sundried tomatoes (lovely with basil and oregano; top the burger with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese – yum!).
The burgers are not only delicious but easy to make too and the mix can be made in advance, shaped and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. To serve you will need six burger buns of your choice and I advise going overboard with the toppings! I like to top mine with cheese (I place a couple of slices on top of the cooked burger then stick it under the grill for a minute to melt the cheese), salsa, sour cream, pickles, lettuce and sliced avocado and tomato; it may be a bit messy to eat but it certainly is good!
I originally made these vegetarian black bean burgers for DIYs, check them out for some awesome craft and recipe ideas
Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers
- 1 medium brown onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- a small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 400g (15oz) cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 100 g (¾ cup) dry breadcrumbs (not fresh)
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper
- 6 burger buns
- cheese slices
- sour cream
- sliced avocado
- sliced tomato
- Peel and finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic cloves, finely chop the coriander.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion, cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and spices to the pan and cook for another minute.
- Add the black beans to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes until the beans have dried out a bit. Use a potato masher to mash the beans, you don't want them to be completely smooth so make sure you retain a bit of texture.
- Allow the beans to cool a bit before stirring in the breadcrumbs, soy sauce, egg, coriander and salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the mixture into six equal parts then roll each into a ball. Use your hands to flatten the balls into patties, press around the edge to keep them circular. At this point the patties can be placed on a tray lined with baking parchment, covered with clingfilm and refrigerated for up to a couple of days.
- Heat a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Cook the patties for about 5 minutes per side until nicely browned and warmed through. Serve the burgers with the buns and your selection of toppings.