I’m still tweaking the taste of these burgers, but I’ve finally found the perfect texture. They are even firm enough to grill, and they don’t crumble or get mushy when you bite into them. Black bean burgers that don’t fall apart or squish down? Hallelujah!!
You can either pan-fry or grill these burgers. I think I love them made in a skillet best though, because of that little bit of crisp crust you get when you pan fry them. My husband prefers them grilled, so next time I’ll just do them half-half.
These do have cilantro in them, but I’ve added some alternative suggestions in the recipe notes if you aren’t a fan of it. I can’t believe I really like cilantro now. I used to absolutely hate it! If there was even the tiniest little speck in my food I couldn’t eat it, because it tasted like dish soap to me. Then a couple of years ago my daughter had me try something with it in the starring role. The only reason I did take a nibble was because she grew up with me always telling her to just try a bit, because your tastes change. I loved that dish! After that I tried it by itself, and it didn’t taste like soap anymore. Wow, my advice really was true. haha
I still haven’t gotten the flavor exactly right, at least to me. (Everyone else loves it.) I have some vegan Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke that I might try in it the next time I make it. Since this is vegan you can taste the mixture and season it how you like. If you aren’t going to cook them right away, just know that the flavor will intensify a bit. You might want to go lighter on the seasonings and make adjustments right before you make them into patties. I didn’t put any spicy hot seasonings in my recipe, because I like doctoring the sauces instead. Like mixing some Sriracha with vegan mayo, or stirring some dry Jamaican jerk seasoning into ketchup. That way I can use it to slather on the buns and also dip some baked sweet potato fries in them too.
Oh, and one last thing. I made these burgers with red onion and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and I put the onions in the mix raw. It was a little too strong for me, so the instructions below say to use sweet onion and sauté it with some fresh garlic instead. My husband loves onions though, and he thought it was perfect the way I made them. So if you love onions, then just make the burgers like I described them above.
Grillable Vegan Black Bean BurgersPrint Recipe
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 (15.25 ounce) can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1/4 panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 slightly heaping cup roasted cashews
- 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- sea salt and ground pepper or to taste
Stir the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I've made flax eggs and stored them in the fridge for 5 days before, and they were still fresh and worked perfectly.
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spread black beans in a single layer on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast until beans are mostly split open, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
While the black beans are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until tender. Lower the heat to medium if they start to brown too fast. Turn off the heat and add the garlic, cooking until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Scoop into a small bowl; set aside.
In large bowl bowl, whisk the oat flour, panko, Old Bay Seasoning, cumin, and chili powder. Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse just until they are broken down into coarse small pieces; stir into the oat flour mixture.
When the beans are cooled, transfer to the food processor and pulse a couple of times just until beans are roughly chopped. You only need to pulse a couple of times, because you don't want them mushy; add to the oat mixture.
Finely mince the cilantro and add them, the onions, flax egg, and mayonnaise to the oat mixture and fold the ingredients gently together with your hands. Taste a bit and season with salt and pepper if needed. At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight, or form them into 4 patties of equal size. (The burgers become more flavorful when the ingredients have time to meld and can be refrigerated up to 48 hours.)
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until well browned, about 4-5 minutes. If the burgers brown too fast, then turn the temperature down to medium low. Flip the burgers and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes. Since it's still winter here I grilled them on my indoor grill for about 6 minutes each side (or 7-10 minutes if the patties are cold) on medium heat (350 degrees F). Serve immediately.
Note: If you don't like cilantro you can use fresh parsley or I guess up the amount of the mayo by 1 tablespoon. I haven't done the latter, so I would start out with maybe 1/2 tablespoon first.