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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
Makes: 4 to 8 servings
cups cooked or drained canned white, black, or red beans or chickpeas or lentils
cup rolled oats, or as much as needed
tablespoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bean-cooking liquid or water as needed
tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.