Black Bean Burgers

Here’s my inspiration (as usual, found at Epicurious), as well as my personal editing (I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts), based on what I actually have on hand:

Black-Bean Burgers

Gourmet  | February 2009 by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

yield: Makes 4 servings – active time: 10 min – total time: 15 min


  • 2 (1415-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, or more for consistency
  • 1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs 1 slice sandwich bread, crust removed and torn in quarters
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, leftover from the pack you bought for regular hamburgers earlier this week

Optional Accompaniments: sour cream; salsa; lettuce; sliced avocado; dijon mustard


  1. Pulse bread in the food processor until it forms crumbs.  Add Pulse 1 can beans in a food processor with mayonnaise, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cilantro and cayenne until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cilantro and remaining can beans. Form mixture into 4 patties as best you can.  The mixture will be more like burger batter than like anything that can be formed into patties.
  2. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total or possibly considerably longer, if you’re trying to wait until they’re solid enough to flip. Serve on buns with optional accompaniaments as desired.

The Verdict:

Althougth Travis balks at vegetarian versions of meat products, he will go along with using the food we have at home rather than going out to buy more meat.  He did have a good point that thinking of these as burgers will lead to a bit of dissapointment.  They’re really more “Black Bean Sloppy Joes,” but with less sauce.  I added mustard, sour cream, and avocado to mine, and I thought it was fine.  It wasn’t wonderful, and I would have rather had a real hamburger or even a gardenburger, all things being equal.  The fact that all things were not equal and that we used items entirely from our pantry and refrigerator made this a meal I was happy about.  It’s shocking how much better average food tastes when it helps you meet the challenges you’ve put in place for yourself!

I wondered why they wanted me to chop cilantro and add it in later, and decided the recipe writer was a little crazy.  After I’d made bread crumbs, I just threw the one can of beans and all the spicing/binding agents together in the food processor until I thought it looked good.  The cilantro flavor came through fine, and I had one less dirty knife and cutting board than I would have had if I’d followed the recipe.

I would forsee, since we do always have canned black beans on hand (we always stock up when they go below $1 per can at the grocery store), and since we do occasionally splurge with hamburger night purchases, we may try something like this again.  This was actually the second time for this recipe, and I wasn’t really amazed either time.  I’m the one that doesn’t mind eating vegetarian, so the fact that I’m ambivalent doesn’t bode well for the future of this recipe!  However, when Trav was pulling the epicurious app up on his phone, he said he’d found 4 other recipes as well, so maybe we’ll see what they call for and try one of them out!


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