Black Bean Burgers

black-bean-burgersDo these taste like a regular hamburger? Nope, not even close. If you expect black beans to taste like beef, you’ll find these black bean burgers disappointing. However, they are tasty enough that you’ll eat them because you want to, not because you can’t have what you really want.

Throw these on the grill for your next cookout, or pan-fry them in a skillet. You can use this mixture to fill burritos or quesadillas (omit the breadcrumbs, if you like). To boost the heat, stir your favorite hot sauce to taste into the egg mixture. And instead of ketchup, try these with taco sauce or salsa.

Serves 4

1 can (16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

½ red bell pepper, seeded and very finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 egg

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup panko or regular breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

½ Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 8 wedges

4 hamburger buns or English muffins

  1. If you’ll be grilling, preheat the grill to medium-high and spray a 12-inch square of foil with nonstick cooking spray. If you’ll be frying, set a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
  2. Put about half of the beans in a medium bowl and mash them with a potato masher into a paste. Stir in the remaining beans and mash once or twice, then stir in the bell pepper and garlic.
  3. Beat the egg, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cheese in a large bowl. Add the bean mixture and about half of the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. You want to mixture to be sticky but not gloppy.
  4. Put the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate or shallow bowl. Form the bean mixture into 4 patties, then set them in the breadcrumbs and coat them lightly top and bottom. Set on the foil or slip into the skillet. If grilling, cook about 6–8 minutes on each side; if frying, cook about 5 minutes on each side. Use care when turning these over so they don’t fall apart.
  5. Serve, topped with avocado slices, on the buns or muffins.