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 the other recipe card in this post for details on how to bake these burgers.
Add the black beans to a mixing bowl and pat dry with a paper towel. Use a fork or wooden spoon to smash the beans. (Note: they don't need to be fully smashed, maybe 60/40 smashed versus none. See the pic of the mixing bowl in my post.)
For the corn, I use frozen corn and run hot water over it in a colander. Then I wrap a paper towel around it and squeeze the water out. Add the corn to the bowl with the beans.
Add brown rice, salsa, cilantro, spices, and salt, and stir to combine. Mix in the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Note: Start by adding 1/3 cup breadcrumbs. At this point, it should be "moldable" into patties. If it feels too loose to form into patties, add the rest of the breadcrumbs.
Heat a skillet over medium (I like cast iron but not necessary). Add a little bit of olive oil (1 - 2 tsp) and ensure the oil is lightly coating the bottom of the skillet. I form the burgers into patties using my hands right before I add them into the skillet. You should get 4 - 5 burgers out of this recipe, depending on the size you form.
Cook each burger for 4 minutes per side. Note: if the burgers start to fall apart when you flip them, use the spatula to push them back together. They'll be fine as the other side cooks! If you want to add melted cheese, add it once you have flipped them. I cover the skillet with a lid to help the cheese melt if I'm using.
Once done, add the burgers to a bun (optional) and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sauce!
Regarding the salsa: I usually use homemade salsa for this, 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. You can definitely use your favorite store bought salsa, however, I recommend pureeing it in the blender or food processor to avoid chunks in the burgers.