This vegetarian black bean burger recipe is easy and delicious! Made with savory spices, lime zest, cilantro and scallions, it’s vegan-adaptable.

a vegetarian black bean burger with bun.

The shortest interval between two points is the awareness that they are not two.
Eric Micha’el Leventhal

You’re looking at our all-time favorite black bean burger recipe! We’ve made these hundreds of times in our catering business through the years, and they are perfect for making ahead and even grilling! What I love best about these vegetarian black bean burgers is how flavorful they are! They are also very versatile-make them vegan or gluten-free, no problem!

Pan-sear the burgers, add melty cheese if you like, and serve them on a sourdough bun with our chipotle mayo, avocado, and this quick Mexican Slaw for a flavorful, satisfying, meatless meal!

Why You’ll love these!

  • Healthy! Full of fiber, high in protein, and full of wholesome ingredients, these black bean burgers are indeed a healthy alternative to overly processed veggie burgers from the grocery store. Vegan and gluten-free adaptable.
  • Quick and easy! Made with simple ingredeints in 20 minutes!
  • Great for meal prep! Make them ahead for the busy week- store them in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze them.

What you’ll need (ingredients)

  • Black beans – used canned black beans or cooked dry black beans. Opt for organic if possible.
  • Olive oil for sauteing and richness.
  • Onion and garlic cloves- for depth and umami flavor. Or sub garlic and onion powder!
  • Optional additions: feel free to add sauteed bell pepper, poblano chili, or jalapeno chili, or if you’re in a hurry, leave them out!
  • Spices: ground cumin, smoked paprika, coriander , chipotle powder, or use cayenne or chili powder
  • Lime- zest and juice for bright flavor!
  • Egg– used as a binder here. (Or use ground flax– see notes)
  • Cheese- grated cheddar, jack or vegan cheese.
  • Cilantro and scallions– for extra fresh flavor.
  • Panko bread crumbs or gluten-free bread crumbs (or see notes)

How to make Black Bean burgers

mashing the black beans.
  1. Saute: In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic and optional bell pepper, until tender, then add the spices and salt and pepper and toss with the drained black beans.
  2. Combine and Mash: In the pan, mash the black bean mixture with a potato masher, then add the remaining ingredients to the mixture, or alternatively use a food processor, leaving a little texture.
  3. Shape: Shape them into 4 black bean burger patties.
  4. Bake or pan sear. Pan-sear the burgers in a skillet until golden, about 7 minutes per side, or bake in the oven. Once baked or seared, you can chill them and grill later!
searing the black bean burgers in a skillet.


The black bean burgers will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator (reheat on the grill, or toaster oven, or in a pan) or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Chef’s Tips

  1. How to make them firm and not mushy? Sear the black bean burgers first, then chill. At this point, they can be reheated or even grilled and will remain firm.
  2. Can these be frozen? Yes. Sear the black bean Burgers, then wrap them tightly and freeze them for up to 3 months.
  3. Vegan-option. These can be made vegan with ground flax seeds and vegan cheese.
  4. Bake? Yes, these burgers can be baked in the oven, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 375F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  5. Gluten-free. Use gluten-free panko or bread crumbs.
black bean burgers stacked on a plate.

Quick and easy, these black bean burgers hold their shape without being too dry and crumbly.

Serving Suggestions

More healthy Burger Recipes!

Happy week friends.

PS: The quote above (by Eric Micha’el Leventhal) officially blew my mind. Let it soak in. Brilliant. Especially when you consider that two points could be two individuals.

Love and hugs. xoxoxo


Black Bean Burger video

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A quick and easy recipe for the best Black Bean Burgers that can be made in under 30 minutes! Vegan adaptable and perfect for weekly meal prep!

Black Bean Burger Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 38 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: vegan burger, burger, vegetarian burger
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegetarian black bean burger recipe is easy and delicious! Made with savory spices, lime zest, cilantro and scallions, vegan-adaptable.


Units Scale
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • optional: 1 cup bell pepper, small dice, or sub poblano pepper or half a jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, more to taste (or use cayenne or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed, drained well (3 cups cooked), pat dry.
  • zest from one small lime
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • —-
  • 1 egg (or use ground flax– see notes)
  • optional: 1/2 cup grated cheese ( cheddar, pepper jack, vegan cheese) or leave it out.
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or see notes)

Serve with Mexican Slaw or Curtido, avocado slices and chipotle mayo (vegan adaptable) either on a bun or over greens.


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, and optional bell pepper until fragrant, tender, and golden, about 8 minutes.  Add the spices and salt, and saute 1 minute.
  2. Add the drained black beans, zest and lime juice to the pan. Stir well, then mash with a potato masher until mostly mashed, leaving a little texture, then stir until combined. (You could also pulse in a food processor). Taste and adjust the salt and heat level.
  3. At this point you can add ¼-⅓ cup ground flaxseed if you want this vegan. Otherwise, let this cool, add the egg, optional cheese, cilantro, scallions and the bread crumbs and mix well until combined well.  Let stand 10-15 minutes in the fridge so the breadcrumbs or/flax have a chance to absorb moisture. If the mixture still feels wet, add more bread crumbs as needed.
  4. Using clean damp hands, form and compress tightly into 4 large patties (or 5 or 6 smaller ones), smoothing the edges. If the mixture still seems too soft, refrigerate to firm up, for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, over medium heat. Sear each side 5-7 minutes, or until golden and heated all the way through (you want the egg to cook though). Place in a warm oven until ready to serve – and feel free to top with melty cheese. Alternatively, you can bake these on a parchment-lined sheet tray ( spray the tops with olive oil) and bake for 20 minutes at 375 F , flipping halfway through.
  6. Refrigerate the black bean burgers for up to 4 days. ( Or freeze for later)
  7. To reheat, warm in an oven, toaster oven or on the grill. (Great for making ahead)

Serve on toasted buns, with chipotle mayo, Mexican slaw or Curtido and avocado if you like, or over a bed of dressed greens and/ and grains with fresh veggies!


VEGAN: Instead of the egg, replace with 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds and wait to add bread crumbs. Let stand 10 mins so flax seed is fully hydrated. If the mixture seems overly moist when forming a patty, add bread crumbs as needed- you may not need the full ½ cup.

Gluten Free: Instead of the bread crumbs- feel free to sub-cooked brown rice, gf oats, or cooked quinoa or do the flax version.

If you have time- an easy way to “dry out” the rinsed black beans is to spread them out on a sheet tray and either let them air dry or stick them in a warm oven for 15 minutes.

If you don’t have time to saute onions and garlic, replace with one teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder, and just mash everything together.


  • Serving Size: one ex-large burger patty with egg and breadcrumbs
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 627.9 mg
  • Fat: 9.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.5 g
  • Fiber: 15.4 g
  • Protein: 14.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 35.3 mg

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  1. The Black Bean Burgers are delicious, a recipe I will use regularly for my family and grandchildren. The recipe made about 7/8 fair sized patties. A tasty recipe to share!


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