When I was once a vegetarian in my twenties, veggie burgers were a staple in my life. As a meat eater in my forties, they still are. Since Colin and I really like black beans, I created these budget-friendly, freezable black bean burgers - topped with guacamole and pico de gallo. The result? Pure beany deliciouness - with some attitude! And if you freeze these bad boys, you can reheat them in the microwave in their frozen form at 100% power and they'll maintain their firm texture (I reheat one frozen burger for about 90 seconds, but cooking times may vary). Winning!
This recipe makes six burgers. When I first began creating these, I found that if I just made four burgers, they were too thick and didn't cook all the way through - which gave them a mushy interior. Yuck! By making these burgers thin enough to create six of them, you'll find that they cook evenly in the skillet and have a firm texture. Plus you get more bang for your buck!
By the way, when I'm cooking veggie burgers in a skillet, the last thing I want is to have them crumble into pieces as I'm flipping them over! Some of you have endured this maddening experience, right?! In order to avoid the dreaded burger fail, I made three different rounds of black bean burgers until I found the right combination of ingredients that could deliver deliciousness, a firm texture, and the ability to stay in one piece in my cast iron skillet and non-stick skillet. I am happy to report that these burgers - with the help of gently flipping them over in the skillet with a spatula - meet all three requirements!
The egg in this recipe serves as a binder to keep the burgers together. For a vegan binder, you could use ground flax seeds combined with water to create a flax gel/flax egg or chia seeds combined with water (I have not tested vegan binders yet for these burgers, but will in the future). To read more about the flax egg and how to keep veggie burgers together, click here.
For the oat flour, here's a money saving tip: You can MAKE your own oat flour by pulsing oats in a food processor or a high-powered blender! I pulsed a few cups of the old-fashioned oats that are pictured below in my food processor for about 1-2 minutes.
You can see in the picture below that the consistency of the oats is fairly powdery. After transforming the whole oats into oat flour, you can just take what you need for the burgers and store the leftover oat flour in an airtight container for future use! You can also try just using the whole oats - versus turning them into flour - but I prefer the finer consistency in my burgers.
If you don't have time to make both the guacamole and the pico de gallo, make the guacamole (You can always add a slice of tomato, some extra onion, cilantro, etc. to the burger)! And if you're having one of those days in which you're so exhausted that you'd rather get hit by a bus than stand long enough to make guacamole, grab an avocado and put some avocado slices on top of the burger along with some tomato and some extra onion (I typically don't like store-bought guacamole so I would go with avocado slices if necessary)!
But this burger will be so yummy with both the guacamole and pico de gallo! And best of all, you can enjoy the leftover guacamole and pico de gallo with chips or whatever makes your heart happy! Click on my links for my recent blog posts for guacamole and pico de gallo. Enjoy!
Yield: 6 burgers
1 15.25 ounce can of black beans, rinsed, drained, and wrung out with a kitchen towel (Or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans)
1/4 cup white onion, finely minced
3/4 cup oat flour (Or 3/4 cup breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided (Or olive oil)
Pico de gallo, garnish
6 Cheddar cheese slices (Or Monterey Jack) (Optional)
6 toasted hamburger buns
1. Place the wrung out beans in a large mixing bowl. Mash the beans with a fork, smashing most of them and leaving a few in tact.
2. Next, pour the onion, oat flour, cumin, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and egg into the large mixing bowl containing the mashed beans. Stir until well-combined. If the mixture looks dry, add 1-4 teaspoons of water to the bowl, stirring a few times (You don't want the mixture to be at all watery, just slightly wet so that the burgers will stay together).
3. Using the mixture, make 6 balls of equal size, and form 6 patties.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet using the medium heat setting. When the oil is hot, place three to four burgers in the skillet - making sure that they do not touch (Too many burgers will cause the texture to become soft from accidentally steaming them). Cook until both sides are lightly browned (Around 3-4 minutes on each side). Remove the first batch of cooked burgers from the skillet and transfer to a clean plate. Next, cook the second batch of burgers - repeating the previously mentioned steps.
5. Place the cooked burgers on toasted hamburger buns. Add a slice of cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo to the top of each burger. Serve the burgers with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!