Black Bean Veggie Burgers

December 20, 2012

TriptichI’m so excited to share this recipe with you. Anna Dvorak, a friend of mine from Minneapolis has just written a cookbook called “nourish: winter” (nourish: cooking with love in four seasons), which is a four-part seasonal cookbook, released in sequence. Lately I have been on a black bean kick. When I purchased Anna’s book on kindle I went right to the black bean recipes and oh was I ready to try some of these Black Bean Veggie Burgers. So I went right to it I started soaking a full bag of black beans. I made the burgers, Anna’s Black Bean hummus and saved the rest of the beans for a salad. We made the burgers this afternoon and shared them with a friend and yes, living in a small town on a snow day, we’re all family. Everyone that has tried them has been amazed that a Black bean Veggie Burger could taste so good! This recipe is one of our new favorites. Thanks Anna, looking forward to your new release of the season.

We made the burger with three different toppings, one with sautéed mushrooms, one with a yogurt cucumber onion salad and one with a fresh green salad.

Check out Anna’s website also:

These are my “fast-food” – easy to make and easy to store and reheat for quick meals. I’ve come to prefer their neutral flavor, assuming that they will be fried and dressed up with burger toppings, but you could add toasted ground cumin, coriander or chile powder to spike the base flavor if you like. I almost always double this recipe and freeze extra leftovers. I stuff the fried burgers in a pita pocket with lettuce, tomatoes and a tahini dressing, eat them on top of a big green salad, or top them with a fried egg and salsa for a hearty post-hike breakfast.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes for 4 servings

Yield: Makes 12 – 20 burgers, depending on how large they’re formed.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free


2 cups cooked brown rice (leftovers or cooked from scratch with salt – recipe below)

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained)

1 1/4 cups mixed raw nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts, or almonds)

1/2 cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for frying burgers

1 medium onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

1 small green pepper, minced (about 1/2 cup)

1 mild green chile (Poblano or Anaheim), seeded and minced, optional

3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, washed, stemmed and shredded

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup cornmeal, for coating

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Roast the nuts on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly toasted and smell roasted – don’t burn. Let cool and then chop by hand or in a food processor or grinder. (Don’t wash the food processor.) Add to a large bowl with the raw seeds, cooked beans and rice.

2. Heat a  medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and onions and sauté onions until golden. Add green peppers, green chiles, garlic, and carrot and sauté until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Season with smoked paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper, remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl with the rice and bean mixture.

3. Take one third to one half of the burger mix and add to the food processor (you may need to do this in batches). Pulse to grind, and then add back to the mixture. This will activate the starches in the rice and help bind everything together. *If burgers won’t hold together, you can also add an egg to bind or 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour.

4. To form burgers: Pour cornmeal onto a large dinner plate and shake to distribute. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to measure out roughly 1/4 cup of burger mixture and place onto the cornmeal. Lightly press mixture into a burger shape, turning to coat second side with cornmeal.  (A large jar lid works great for forming the shape.) Transfer formed burger to a cookie sheet.

5. To fry burgers: Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron pan or non-stick pan.  When a drop of water sizzles, place burgers in pan and fry until lightly browned on each side.  Keep warm in a 170º oven until all the burgers are ready, or serve immediately.

To store uncooked burgers: Freeze uncooked, formed burgers on an ungreased cookie sheet overnight. Loosen with a metal spatula and transfer to a zip-lock bag or yogurt container for up to 4 months.

To cook frozen burgers: Fry covered over medium-low heat in a large cast-iron pan with oil for the first side to cook and thaw at the same time. Remove cover, flip burgers and cook uncovered on the second side to create a crispy crust.



Black-Bean-Veggie-Burger-wiBurger-with-LettuceSubstitution possibilities are myriad:

Swap out half of the brown rice for wild rice for more nutty flavor.

Use red beans, pinto beans or chickpeas (garbanzo beans), instead of black beans.

If you’re cooking all of the burgers fresh, you could add fresh cilantro or parsley to the mix.

Swap out 1/2 to 3/4 cup roasted New Mexican green chiles for the fresh mild green chile for a more Southwestern flavor.

Add 1-2 teaspoons of chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce for spicy, smoky flavor.

Form burger mix around 1/2 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese before frying for a veggie “Juicy Lucy” (don’t freeze them this way – they won’t be very good).

Kitchen tip: Cooking whole grains with salt in advance of using them in different dishes throughout the week will help build better flavor, eliminating the need to add all of the salt or seasoning to the final dish before serving.

Yogurt cucumber onion salad (Raita)

1 English cucumber, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups), I use a zyliss julienne tool

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups whole-milk yogurt

1/2 cup sliced finely red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seed

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of Cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

  1. Place cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss well; drain for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water; drain. Place cucumber on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, and remaining ingredients

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