Make Ahead

Bean Burgers

June 19, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by Romulo Yanes
  • Makes 4 to 8 servings
Author Notes

These are amazing—so good you'll want to double the recipe and freeze some. Canned beans work well here, since their super-soft texture and their mild flavor makes them very amenable to other seasonings. Letting the bean mixture and the patties rest for a few minutes helps keep the burgers from falling apart. If you have time, you can put he patties in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate them for an hour (or up to a day), or freeze for up to a month; let them return to room temperature before cooking. —Mark Bittman

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups cooked or drained canned white, black, or red beans or chickpeas or lentils
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, or as much as needed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Bean-cooking liquid or water as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Put the beans, onion, oats, and chili powder in a food processor with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Let the machine run, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, until the mixture is thoroughly combined but not puréed, about a minute. (If you don't have a machine, use a potato masher and a large bowl.)
  2. Let the mixture sit in the processor for 5 minutes. You want a moist consistency that will easily form cakes. If the mixture is too wet, add more oats, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it's too dry, add bean?cooking liquid or water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pulse (or mash) after each addition.
  3. Shape the bean mixture into 4 large or 8 small patties and put them on the baking sheet. Let them sit for another 5 minutes.
  4. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the patties. Cook, undisturbed, until brown and crisp on one side, 3 to 8 minutes. Add more oil if the pan looks dry, then turn them over carefully with a spatula and cook on the other side until the burgers feel firm and are browned on the other side too, another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot or warm with side dishes or on buns with the usual burger fixings.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • robin lewis
    robin lewis
  • loubaby
  • lapadia
  • chichi
My books include the bestselling How to Cook Everything and Vegan Before 6 P.M. (VB6), where I provide all the necessary tools for making the switch to a Flexitarian diet with lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action.

9 Reviews

robin L. September 16, 2015
First batch I made, I ruined them because the recipe sounded so simple that I skimmed it too quickly and missed the detail not to 'puree' the bean mixture. Next day I took a few more minutes (duh!) to read the recipe thoroughly, and this batch turned out delicious. Like other comments posted here, the burgers were a little mushy, but because this recipe is so simple, with a simple list of ingredients, and the outsides were crispy and overall the burger was yummy, I am willing to try these again. Maybe next time I'll try to blend them even a little less. (Maybe the potato masher MB suggests might work better than a food processor, to be able to control how mushy the centers are...)
chichi May 23, 2014
i think that if you add more rolled oats and things like mushroom. and try a bread crumb batter it would be a little or solid on the inside
allie July 16, 2013
I found these were even better the next day - firmer too.
loubaby July 16, 2013
I would not make these again because we don't like the texture of soft mushy burgers...the flavor was good, but being more meat eaters than vegans, these are for toothless people. I dolled them up with all sorts of toppings and yet the mushiness of the whole thing was disagreeable. I ended up spreading the remaining two on 2 large burrito size tortillas as a bean spread before I adding other fillings for a burrito.
lapadia July 16, 2013
I have been making these Vegetarian Black Bean onsite recipe here on F52, by MadisonMayberry and they are worth a try, IMO.
In all fairness I have not tried this recipe...
lapadia July 16, 2013
PS-can't edit but you know what I mean :)
allie July 1, 2013
I baked these (spread olive oil on the lined baking sheet and a bit on top) - it worked, though I made smallish patties, but they weren't quite firm enough inside - I liked it, but I suspect the texture would be a bit more burger like if cooked in a skillet.
Jil July 1, 2013
Can these be frozen? And if so, would it be best to freeze them after cooking or before?
jeanne G. June 29, 2013
Can you bake these also?