I’m excited to share this one, because it’s one of my staple recipes! I haven’t eaten meat in so many years that I don’t have a great comparison point, but my meat-loving hubby, daughters, and even my dad really love these flavor packed black bean burgers, so I am hoping you will too if you give them a try! Another reason these are on frequent rotation is that we almost always have all the ingredients on hand and they come together really quickly once the rice is cooked. Mix up the other ingredients while the rice cooks and you’re ready to go! If you’ve been vegetarian for any amount of time, you know that veggie burgers are often dry and bland, but I’ve tweaked these over time to (hopefully!) avoid those traps.
There are really two ways to make these, and I mix it up depending on how much time I have. The first way is to bake them, which is the version I have listed below. It uses flaxseed instead of egg, and has no added breadcrumbs. This version is baked for about 30 minutes, which is the longer of the two methods, but is best if you’re looking to avoid added oils (from pan frying) or if you eat vegan. Flaxseed is commonly used in vegan baking/cooking to replace egg. Here, you add 3 Tbsp warm water to 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal in a small bowl, stir, and allow to sit for 10 minutes to thicken:
To cook them in a skillet: use all the same ingredients but replace the flaxseed mixture with one egg, add 1/3 – 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (just enough to form them into patties), and cook in an oiled skillet over medium for 4 minutes each side. Also so good! These have a little more moisture because of the small amount of oil used in the pan and the shorter cooking time, but they do have added breadcrumbs which are pretty much just used to hold it all together and don’t bring much to the table flavor-wise. When I cook them this way, I use Whole Food’s 365 brand breadcrumbs, which have just 2 ingredients: whole wheat flour and yeast. Also, when you flip them, if they come apart slightly, just use your spatula to gently re-shape them and they’ll firm up as the other side cooks.
When I use the baking method, I use a mold that I found for a few dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond, but you can definitely just form them into patties with your hands too. No fancy tools required!
The patties are really good on their own, but everyone in our family likes to customize them a bit with their toppings. I always think that toppings can really take a veggie burger to the next level, and for this one, I recommend cheese (I love white cheddar on them), lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sauce (red onion too if you like it!). It kind of kills me a little inside when the kids smother these with ketchup (seriously?!), because they have a Mexican flair and are so much better with cilantro sauce or chipotle/adobo sour cream, but at least everyone’s eating the same meal, so we’ll call it a win.
If you add some sauce, these get the best kind of messy once you start biting into them….
Although these are really good on your favorite bun, if we don’t have buns on hand, we’ll roll them up in a whole wheat tortilla or just eat the patty plain, with melted cheese and whatever toppings and sauces we want to mix up with them (ketchup anyone?!) I serve them with a cooked bag of frozen sweet potato fries (homemade is even better but time saving is key some days! Most days?!) for a healthier twist on a burger and fries.
Now for the sauces! I do either cilantro sauce or adobo sour cream. The cilantro sauce I have mentioned before and will be posting soon, but basically it’s just Greek yogurt, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and optional garlic processed in a blender until smooth. It’s amazing and we use it all the time when we eat veggie burgers or all kinds of Mexican.
And the adobo sauce is so easy it’s not even a recipe! Just take sour cream and mix it together with some sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. That’s it. The adobo sauce is pretty spicy, so add a little at a time and taste as you go. Another option would be to use Greek yogurt if you don’t like sour cream, but I can’t say that it will taste as good. Just saying.
Final notes: I recommend toasting the buns in a toaster or just sticking them into the oven for a few minutes (assuming it’s on if you baked the burgers). Also, I usually use homemade salsa for this (see the recipe in this post), because we typically have a batch in the fridge, but if I don’t, I just use a can of Rotel tomatoes + cilantro processed in the blender until it’s not chunky. If you decide to use store bought salsa, I would also puree it in the blender to avoid chunks in the burgers.
If you make these, tag me on Instagram @feed_me_greens or #feedmegreens!
These vegetarian burgers pack a ton of flavor and come together quickly once the rice has cooked. I highly recommend using the toppings for the most messy and delicious results! See my post for details on how to pan cook these, which is a quicker method but has a few small ingredient changes.
- 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 3/4 cup corn (I used thawed frozen) (dry thoroughly/remove moisture with paper towel)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup salsa (see my notes at the end of the above post)
- 4 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a small bowl or cup, mix the flaxseed meal with 3 Tbsp warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
Ensure that the black beans and corn have been dried thoroughly (I use a paper towel to blot the beans dry, and for the corn, I wrap it in a paper towel and squeeze the water out). Add to a large bowl.
Add brown rice, salsa, cilantro, spices, and flaxseed (after it has thickened for 10 minutes), and stir to combine.
Form into patties and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 20 - 25 minutes. With my oven, they are ready to flip after 23 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip the burgers (re-shaping slightly with the spatula if needed) and continue to cook for another 5 - 8 minutes. If you are using cheese, I add it in the last minute of cooking to allow it to melt on the burgers.
Once done, add the burgers to a bun and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sauce!