Black Bean Burgers


The Weavers were back!

June is a full and demanding month for me but I get to end it by providing meals for a lovely group of basket weavers from around the world at the Willow Gathering.  This session I peeked in on traditional basket styles from the Catalan region of Spain, and I’ll post the photos from two other sessions later…





The fresh willow is soaked in water so it bends easily, then kept wrapped in plastic during the classes to maintain its pliability.  The Bonus is that the room is filled with the aromatic herby scent of the stems—truly a heavenly sensory perk of hanging around people involved with willow.



It’s a good thing I took these basket shots because there are no photos of the bean burgers!  But that’s okay, dark blue-gray nuggets are not the most photogenic of foods.  Baskets are much more visually fun.


I had scheduled Black Bean Burgers on the menus of two different events—for 300 people at the Village Fire camp and then 35 people at the Willow Gathering—-so I needed a reliable bean burger that would freeze well and hold together without crumbling to pieces.  And taste good, let’s not forget that.

But did I have a reliable recipe?

Well…of course not.



Friend and chef Mattias Kremmelmeier came to the rescue and lent me his Wellness Chickpea Burger recipe that seemed to fit all of my requirements, which I then promptly altered to use black beans instead of chickpeas, sunflowers instead of walnuts, and a few other changes, additions and tweaks.  I’m especially grateful for his use of the flax meal in his recipe—these buddies remain chewy and almost creamy while maintaining their shape.  Bean burgers are not always known for good texture…

I had intended to do a trial run of my alternate recipe but of course I was too busy, so these were made on a massive scale without testing!  Fortunately for all involved the original recipe was great so all went well.


I remember Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks made a veggie burger recipe where the burger became the bun—it was sliced in half so veggies, cheese, and condiments could go inside.  Her reasoning was that there is always too much bread with these burgers so why not forget the bread and make the burger into the role of the bun. I thought it was brilliant, and it may actually work with these if you make them nice and plump.



Black Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 30 minutes (not including cooking the beans)

Bake Time: 30-40 minutes


Mix in a large bowl:

5 cups Black Beans, cooked and mashed or pulse chopped in a food processor

1 cup Sunflower seeds, finely chopped or pulse chopped in a processor

1 cup Flax Meal or ground Flax Seeds

1/2 cup GF Tamari

1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour

1/2 cup Onion, minced

1/4 cup Parsley, minced

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum (optional, but good to use if not using eggs)

1 1/2 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Coriander, ground

1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

2-4 Tablespoons Louisiana Hot Sauce (depending on your tastes!)

Mix together well, then taste and adjust.  When ready, mix in:

2 Eggs (or egg alternative)

Form into 1/3 cup balls, flatten on a well oiled sheet pan.  

You have many options: Freeze for later; bake, cool then reheat later; or bake and enjoy immediately. 

To bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes then flip the burgers and bake another 15 or so minutes, until firm and with a little browning. 



People using their creations from over the years…



2 thoughts on “Black Bean Burgers”

  • 2 questions, 5cups of cooked black beans? How much dried do you start with. About how many burgers does this make?
    These were so very good. Now that I know they can be made ahead, thinking about doubling the recipe.

    • Cooked beans yield approximately 3x the dry bean, so for 5 cups cooked you would want about 1 2/3 cups dry beans. Or you could just cook 2 cup (1#) and have a little extra for a salad. I converted this from a large recipe so it is perhaps not as small-kitchen friendly!
      If you make them 1/3 cup this may yield around 20-22 burgers. They freeze well!

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