If you don’t have (or want to use) a food processor, just swap in 1/4 cup nut or seed butter and 1/4 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds. A few great options that you can mix and match: sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. The blend of nuts makes for a more exciting flavor overall, but you can just go with your favorite. Pre-toasted nuts and seeds are perfectly fine here; however, toasting your own (at 325°F for 7 to 15 minutes depending on the nut) brings more depth of flavor—and wouldn’t you want all that toasty goodness in your burger? —Rebecca Firkser
mixture of unsalted, toasted, chopped nuts and/or seeds (see Author Notes for ideas), divided
(14.5-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
finely chopped shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
garlic cloves, grated
3 to 5 tablespoons
Whole-wheat English muffins, or your preferred burger bun (these burgers are on the small side)
Burger fixins: lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, pickle chips, ketchup, mustard, special sauce, yogurt sauce—whatever your heart desires!
To make in a food processor: Pulse 1/4 cup nuts and seeds in a food processor until a smooth paste forms. (Feel free to skip this step and just place nut butter in the container). Add half the beans, mushrooms, garlic, chile powder, and pulse until mixture is combined and the beans have started to slightly puree (you’re not looking for chopped beans here, but you’re also not looking for bean dip). Add in remaining half of the beans and pulse once or twice more (this time, you do just want to chop/gently mash). Turn the mixture out into a large bowl.
To make by hand (see Author Notes): In a large bowl, mash beans most of the way with a potato masher. Stir in 1/4 cup nut butter, mushrooms, garlic, and chile powder.
Mix in chopped nuts and seeds, 3 tablespoons almond flour, and season with salt. Pick up a bit of the mixture and squish it—if it holds together, move onto the next step. If not, add more flour by the tablespoons. Form into 10 patties (about a heaping 1/4 cup of mixture each). If not cooking right away, refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 3 months.
To cook the burgers, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook patties in batches for 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning carefully, as these burgers are a bit tender, adding more oil for each batch.
Serve burgers on English muffins with your desired fixins.
Rebecca Firkser is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, among them Food52, TASTE, Edible Manhattan, Extra Crispy, The Strategist, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl.