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This black bean burger recipe is hearty and satisfying! Pile ’em high with toppings for a meal that pleases everyone.

Black Bean Burger
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Everyone has their own favorite black bean burger recipe…and at long last, here’s ours! Here’s the thing with bean burgers: you either love ’em or you hate ’em. But a good one can be fantastic. This one is hearty and savory, spiced with cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika. Walnuts give it texture so it’s not just mush on a bun. Top it with cheese, guacamole and all the burger fixin’s, and it’s pretty darn satisfying. We always polish these off quickly: and leftovers last in the fridge for days!

What’s in this black bean burger recipe?

There are many variations on a black bean burger recipe. This one is mostly beans, walnuts, and spices, held together with breadcrumbs and egg. It doesn’t have the texture of an actual burger, so don’t expect that! But it’s hearty and satisfying when served in a bun with toppings. Here are the key ingredients you’ll need:

  • Black beans
  • Onion and garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Soy sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Panko
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Egg
Black Bean Burger

Methods for cooking a black bean burger

There are a few methods for cooking a black bean burger: baking, pan frying, and grilling. In our experience, pan frying a black bean burger can come out mushy and not cooked through. So our favorite method is baking! But you can grill it as well. Here’s what to know:

  • Baked: Bake the burgers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes on each side. This cooks them through perfectly. They’re even better after they rest for about 10 minutes to firm up.
  • Grilled: Pre-bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes per side. Then you can go right to the grill and grill 5 minutes per side on medium high heat, or refrigerate until grilling. The smoky char of the grill adds unreal nuance to the burger!

Sauces and topping ideas

Once you’ve whipped up this black bean burger recipe, the fun part is the toppings! The best bang for your buck? A great burger sauce recipe. Often times we go simple and just slather the bun with guacamole (as you see above), but there are lots of other great sauce ideas. Make sure to pair this burger with a sauce or spread: it’s much too dry otherwise. Here are some options:

Black bean burger recipe

Leftovers and make ahead instructions

This black bean burgers recipe stores very well and is ideal for making in advance! The texture of the burgers firms up the longer they sit, so they’re great after refrigeration. They even work well frozen! This recipe makes enough for 8 burgers, so you can have leftovers for days. Here are a few notes on storage:

  • Burgers last well refrigerated up to 5 days. Eat them cold, room temp, or re-warm them before eating (in a skillet, oven, broiler or on the grill).
  • Or, freeze burgers you don’t plan to eat right away for up to 3 months. Stack them with parchment paper in between each and freeze in a sealed container.

More veggie burger recipes

There are lots of ways to make a burger without using black beans! Here are a few more options you might enjoy:

This black bean burger recipe is…

Vegetarian and dairy free (without cheese).

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Black Bean Burger

Favorite Black Bean Burger

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 7 to 8 burgers 1x
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This black bean burger recipe is hearty and satisfying! Pile ’em high with toppings for a meal that pleases everyone.


  • 2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 garlic cloves (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1/2 onion)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 cup panko
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • Cheese slices, for serving (optional)
  • For serving: Buns, guacamole, Burger Sauce or Chipotle Sauce, pickles, red onion, tomato, ketchup


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. 
  2. Mince the garlic and finely chop the onion, making sure the pieces are small (avoid random large ones which can break up the texture). In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for for 2 more minutes until golden and translucent. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a fork, keeping some whole– the texture should be mostly mashed with chunks and whole beans remaining. Add the sauteed onion and garlic, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, soy sauce, ketchup, panko, chopped walnuts, kosher salt, and egg. Mix to combine until a dough forms. 
  4. Use a ½ cup measuring cup to portion the dough into patties: 7 burgers with a full ½ cup or 8 burgers measuring a scant ½ cup. Shake the patty out of the measuring cup, then place it on a parchment lined baking sheet and gently press it until it’s 3/4” thick. When the dough starts to stick to the cup, wash out the measuring cup. 
  5. Place the burgers in the oven. Bake 15 minutes on one side, then flip and bake 15 minutes on the other side. If using, add cheese slices and bake 3 minutes more until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately or wait about 10 to 15 minutes until the burgers firm up. Place on a bun spread with guacamole and layered with pickles, ketchup red onion and tomato. Leftover burgers last well refrigerated up to 5 days. Or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months, stacked with parchment paper in between each in a sealed container. Reheat or grill prior to serving (see below). 
  6. Alternative grilling instructions: If you plan to grill the burgers, first bake the burgers for 20 minutes: 10 minutes per side. Then grill the burgers over medium high heat for about 5 minutes per side.  
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Paul Mooney says:

    These burgers are AMAZING period! I have made them twice now and they are a big favorite with my vegan son and myself… Love them

  2. Megan says:

    I can’t wait to make these. What size of can are you using for the beans? ( the cans I have are 540 ml)
    Thank you!

  3. J Sinnwell says:

    Ads cover the page when I try to print. I reported the ad, but it’s super annoying.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I’m sorry!

  4. J Sinnwell says:

    Do you think these might bake ok in an airfryer under the bake setting? Have you tried them in an airfryer?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      That should work fine but we don’t have an air fryer so I’m not sure on timing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Making these tonight! If only plan on eating half today do you recommend baking them all off and then freezing? Or freezing the leftover burgers before baking? Thank you

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Bake them all, then freeze the leftovers! You can reheat them in the oven or a skillet once they are defrosted. Hope you enjoy!