Black Bean and Corn Veggie Burgers

September  5, 2013

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Not crumbly, not mushy, and certainly not pre-frozen -- this is the bean burger you've been waiting for.

Black Bean and Corn Burgers on Food52

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Labor Day weekend may have come and gone, but grilling season will linger for at least a little while longer. So will corn, which pairs perfectly with black beans -- and a bold mixture of spices -- in one of my favorite meatless burger recipes.

More: Another way to pair corn and black beans? Vegan tostadas.

Smoked paprika in particular gives these burgers authentic, grill-ready flavor. This spice is one of my "secret weapon" ingredients: it creates smoky flavor in lentil soup and hearty stews, in dips and dressings, and in Tex-Mex dishes. A little goes a long way, and it's easy to find online if you can't hunt it down nearby. 

Black Bean and Corn Veggie Burgers on Food52

All vegan burgers require a little finesse when it comes to texture. Without meat or egg to bind things together, they can get a little mushy; or, if you use too much grain or bread crumbs, they can turn out stiff. If the burgers aren't firm enough, add more of the quick oats or bread crumbs called for in the recipe. If they're crumbly, you can add a little water. 

More: See Gena's other tips for building a perfect veggie burger.

To keep things easy for you, I've given you three different cooking options: one for your grill, one for your stovetop, and one for your oven. If you are lucky enough to share these at a cookout or barbecue soon, be sure to chill them before grilling. Then, watch with a smile as your friends marvel at how good homemade meatless burgers can be.

Black Bean and Corn Veggies Burgers on Food52

Black Bean and Corn Veggie Burgers

Serves 4 to 6

1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups (or 2 cans) cooked black beans, divided
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
2/3 cup quick oats or bread crumbs, plus extra as needed
3/4 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) corn

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Christine E.P.V. Culver
    Christine E.P.V. Culver
  • barbara king
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  • PaigeP
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  • CookOnTheFly
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


Christine E. September 17, 2017
I'm late to the party but I noticed that you are in DC. I'm looking for a black bean and corn burger recipe because last night I had the most amazing burger at Hawk n Dove in Capitol Hill. Is that? Because that burger was crazy good.
barbara K. May 8, 2014
I am going to make this but add 1 egg I dont have a blender so I would need this to stick together and add jalapeno or what ever else sound good to put in it :) will let you know how it was .
PaigeP September 18, 2013
I add a a small handful of cilantro, some peppers - depending on my mood - green, red, poblano or jalapeno - and some fresh lime juice to this -
Gena H. September 22, 2013
That sounds great!
speacock1 September 8, 2013
Used Trader Joe's Cuban Black Beans and their Corn Salsa. Really good dinner.
Gena H. September 22, 2013
So glad you enjoyed :-)
CookOnTheFly September 8, 2013
How about red bell pepper instead of corn, or yellow pepper. Sweet, adds crunch, and the yellow pepper would preserve the colors. Just a thought.
[email protected] September 8, 2013
anything that be used as a corn substitute?
Gena H. September 22, 2013
You can just omit it, if you like! You could also use chopped bell pepper.
Sarah J. September 5, 2013
I'm always on the search for more veggie burger recipes. I can't wait to try this one!
Marian B. September 5, 2013
It's so good! And you can use your brand new food processor in the common room!