Looking for an amazing Black Bean Burger recipe? This is it! These Black Bean Burgers are super easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients, and they're naturally gluten-free and vegan. Full of protein and flavour, this is the only spicy black bean burger recipe you'll ever need!
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There are two kinds of vegetarians in this world: those who want their veggie burgers to taste like a beef burger and those who want them to taste like anything but.
Personally, I prefer that my veggie burgers are made from whole foods and taste like whole foods. You know, ingredients you can relate to, like beans and oats and vegetables.
While I know that the perfect veggie burger can be an elusive thing, I've been around the block enough times that I feel 100% validated in making this statement: These are THE BEST black bean burgers you'll ever eat.
- They're made with only real food ingredients, and things you've probably already got on hand.
- These black bean burgers are gluten-free, and they don't contain any bread crumbs.
- They're freezer-friendly, so they're perfect to bulk prep.
- And, you guys, you can actually GRILL these Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, and they won't fall apart.
That last one is the holy grail, I know. But stick with me and I'll show you how.
Ingredients for Black Bean Burgers
You’ll find specific quantities in the printable recipe card at the end of this post (just use the “jump to recipe” button to skip right on down) but here’s a quick overview.
- Black beans --> Canned beans are fine, or you can cook dried black beans too (related: how to cook black beans from scratch).
- Oats --> This is going to replace breadcrumbs for a healthier and gluten-free veggie burger.
- Carrot --> Shredded up like whoa.
- Onion --> A big one all diced up.
- Garlic --> Don't mind if I do.
- Chipotle pepper --> This adds some smoky flavor to these spicy black bean burgers.
- Ground flax seed --> We're using this to make a flax egg, which will be our binder. If you're not vegan, you can use a large egg.
- Sunflower seeds --> For a little crunch and healthy fats.
- Soy sauce --> I like to use Bragg's liquid aminos, but you can use regular soy sauce or tamari sauce instead.
- Olive oil --> A little healthy fat to keep these vegan black bean burgers from being dry.
- Cilantro --> But you can use parsley instead if you're one of those cilantro haters.
- Spices --> To take the whole thing home.
How to Make Black Bean Burgers
Mix the ground flax seed together with water. Set it aside while you're getting everything else ready. It'll thicken and turn into a gel that will help bind your veggie burgers together.
Put the oats into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until you've got a coarse oat flour.
Transfer the oat flour into a bowl so your food processor is ready for the next step.
Add 2 cups of the black beans to the same food processor bowl (don't bother rinsing it out or anything), along with the chipotle pepper (or peppers if you like it hot hot hot).
Pulse the beans and chipotle together a few times, then run the food processor until you've got a fairly smooth looking bean paste.
Add the remaining beans to the food processor and pulse just a few times to combine. You want these to add some texture here, so some should be a bit broken up and some should be whole.
Scrape the bean mixture into the bowl with the oat flour. Add the carrots, onion, sunflower seeds, garlic, cilantro, liquid aminos, olive oil, spices, and your flax egg.
Give the mixture a good stir.
Form the veggie burger mixture into 12 equal patties.
Transfer the patties to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that's been brushed with a bit of olive oil. Lightly brush the tops of the black bean burgers with olive oil as well.
Bake your burgers! You'll be baking 'em for about 30 minutes, until they're nicely golden brown.
Tips for the Best Black Bean Burgers
Use wet hands to shape the patties
I know it sounds weird, but if your hands are just a little bit damp when you form the patties, the burger mixture won't stick as much.
Smash them together a little
Compacting the mixture by patting and squeezing will help your burgers stay together. Even on the baking sheet, you can use your spatula to press down on the tops and push in the sides before you put them in the oven.
Don't skimp on oil
A little bit of oil will help crisp up the exterior, making your chipotle black bean burgers extra delicious.
Taste and adjust
Because there's no egg in this recipe, you can taste and adjust the seasonings before cooking. Add more chipotle for spicy black bean burgers, throw in another pinch of salt - have it your way!
The main ingredients that help hold these black bean burgers together are the ground oats and flax egg. Pureeing some of the beans is another trick to help keep your burgers from falling apart.
If you were to puree all of the beans, your burgers would be mushy; coarsely smash or pulse the beans and your burgers would fall apart. That’s why I like to puree some, while pulsing the rest. This, along with the addition of veggies and sunflower seeds, results in the perfect black bean burger texture.
Yes, but here's the thing: you still have to bake them first. Otherwise they will fall apart on the grill and make a mess and you will be sad.
If you want to grill your chipotle black bean burgers, reduce the baking time by 5 minutes. Allow the burgers to cool slightly, brush with a bit of oil, and finish them on the grill. You can also grill previously-frozen burgers.
You can, it's just not quite as efficient. You'd need to buy pre-ground oat flour to start with, and mash your beans really well with a potato masher or fork, but it's definitely possible.
I do love my food processor for this job, though. I have this one and it's a total work horse.
As long as you use gluten-free oats, then yes. However it's worth noting that some people who have celiac disease can not tolerate even gluten-free oats. In that case you'd want to sub in gluten-free bread crumbs for the oats.
Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K.
The protein-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains 15g of fiber and 15g of protein. The protein-fiber combination is key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. The soluble fiber is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.
How to Freeze and Reheat Veggie Burgers
Freezing Veggie Burgers
If you're going to freeze the black bean burger patties, let them cool completely on a wire rack before you transfer them into an airtight container or reusable freezer bag (I love reusable silicone freezer bags for things like this).
Sometimes I also cut up the parchment paper I baked them on and separate the burgers with little squares of parchment, but that's not necessary.
Reheating Veggie Burgers
I've found that it's best to thaw veggie burgers before reheating them. This will help them reheat more evenly and avoid the whole burnt-outside-frozen-inside deal you sometimes get when cooking frozen veggie burgers.
Thaw your black bean burgers by leaving them in the fridge overnight or microwaving them for a few seconds at a time until they’re no longer frozen. Then, simply cook them in a skillet with a bit of oil or pop them on the grill until they're crisp on the outside and heated through.
Best Toppings for Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Obviously, you want to start with a killer bun. These Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns are my go-to recipe. Here are some more toppings for your consideration:
- Spicy Pickled Onions, or thinly sliced red onions
- Your favorite cheese or vegan cheese
- BBQ sauce
- Peach Salsa
- Guacamole or sliced avocado
- Chipotle Hummus (double down on the chipotle!)
- We also love this Black Bean and Corn Salsa on the side. More beans!
- Lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles, and all of the usual burger toppings work too!
Spicy Black Bean Burger Recipe
- 3 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ⅓ cup warm water
- ¾ cup rolled oats use gluten-free oats if you like
- 3 cups black beans soaked and cooked or canned is fine
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 cup grated carrot
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 large cloves garlic crushed or finely minced
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon liquid aminos or tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat, and brush with olive oil. Set aside.
- Combine the ground flax and ⅓ cup water in a small bowl. Set aside for about 10 min while it firms up into a gel.3 tablespoon ground flaxseed, ⅓ cup warm water
- Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and process into a flour. Remove the oat flour and place into a large bowl.¾ cup rolled oats
- Now put 2 cups of the black beans into the food processor, together with the chipotle peppers. Pulse a few times, then run the food processor until they are well combined and the beans have a bit of a paste-like consistency.3 cups black beans, 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Add the remaining 1 cup of black beans, and pulse a few times to combine. You want the beans to be a bit broken up, but still have some texture to them.
- Scrape the bean / chipotle mixture into the large bowl with the oat flour, and then add all remaining ingredients together with the gelled flax seed mixture.1 cup grated carrot, ⅓ cup chopped cilantro, 2 large cloves garlic, ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion, ½ cup sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoon liquid aminos, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- Use a wooden spoon or your clean hands to mix everything together until well combined.
- Using your hands, form the mixture into 12 patties - wet hands help make this easier.
- Place the patties onto the prepared baking sheet, and brush the tops with a bit of olive oil.1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and very carefully turn the patties over. Bake for an additional 15 - 20minutes, until they are nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy them hot!
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- To freeze the veggie burgers cool completely on a wire wrack before transferring to a freezer container or freezer bag.
- To grill the burgers reduce baking time by 5 minutes. Brush cooled patties with a bit of oil before grilling.
This recipe was originally published May 3, 2014 It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on July 9, 2019. Most recently edited and updated April 30, 2023.