This Homemade Southwest Black Bean Burgers recipe is filled with canned black beans, garlic, onion, pepper, breadcrumbs, and a hearty dose of Mexican-inspired spices. It's then topped with fresh guacamole! This protein-packed and healthy vegetarian burger option is a tried and true family recipe.
Southwest Black Bean Burgers
You might be surprised at how easy it is to whip up homemade Southwest Black Bean Burgers. Yes, there are some great store-bought options BUT there is nothing like a thick and flavorful HOMEMADE black bean patty. They are a totally unique foodie experience.
They really don't take a lot of time, are pretty simple, and are super tasty. My burgers are not mushy and packed with flavor from onion, pepper, cilantro, cumin, oregano, and optional hot sauce! If you are a vegetarian, you need this recipe in your bag of tricks. It's one of my favorite go-to meals. These burgers can be easily grilled OR cooked on the stove top.
I've been making these hearty, healthy, and delicious black bean patties for cookouts for years and years. They are a staple of any summer party at my house. These vegetarian burgers would be a perfect addition to Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or even Labor Day!
Why You'll Love These Black Bean Burgers...
These Black Bean Burgers are just one of those recipes you NEED to know. I'd even venture to say even if you do eat meat you should make these Southwest Black Bean Burgers part of your cooking repertoire. They obviously don't taste like a real burger, but they are flavorful and delicious from the cilantro, cumin, and oregano.
Whether you are vegetarian or not, you can enjoy the packed flavor and plant-based switch-up for burger night.
It's a nice healthy alternative to red meat and something different to make for Meatless Monday. Plus any vegetarian who comes to your house for a cookout will be super impressed with your efforts. You can grill them or cook them on the stovetop!
Are Black Bean Burgers Healthy?
YES! Black Bean Burgers are much healthier for you than a traditional hamburger. Black beans are packed with fiber, minerals, and fiber. They are also much lower in fat and cholesterol than meat-based burgers.
My Southwest Black Bean Burgers are a hearty and filling portion but only around 160 calories!
For the Black Bean Burger:
- Black Beans: I use canned black beans for my Southwest Black Bean Burger recipe. Just be sure to rinse, drain and dry them.
- Onion: I use finely chopped onion in my recipe to bring out lots of flavors. You can use the same red or purple onion from the guacamole, but any onion will work.
- Red Pepper: Red pepper adds more flavor and pop of color to these burgers.
- Garlic: I use minced garlic but you can also use garlic powder.
- Egg: One egg binds this burger together.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Light panko bread crumbs help bring the right consistency to the burger.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a pop of color and more SW-inspired flavors to this burger.
- Spices: To keep the flavoring of this burger Mexican-inspired I use chipotle pepper, cumin, oregano, and optional hot sauce in the recipe.
- Salt & Pepper
For the Guacamole:
- Avocado: A fresh, ripe avocado is the perfect base for a delicious guacamole.
- Red Pepper: Red pepper adds a touch of texture to the guacamole. You can also use jalapeno in this if you like spicy food.
- Red Onion: Red onion makes the guacamole pop with texture, flavor, and color.
- Tomato: A bright red tomato adds more flavors to this guacamole.
- Cilantro: Cilantro is the key flavor that makes guacamole taste like guacamole.
- Lime: Lime brings all the flavors together.
- Salt & Pepper
Black Bean Burger Toppings:
There are so many great black bean burger toppings! My recipe includes a simple recipe for fresh guacamole BUT there are so many ways to switch up the flavors with this. Here are some ideas.
- Sliced Tomato
- Sliced Onion
- Pimento Cheese
- Chipolte Mayo
- Sliced Avocado
- Hot Sauce
- Melted Cheese - Cheddar, Colby Jack, Swiss, Goat
- BBQ Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Grilled Pineapple
- Pineapple Salsa
How to Make Black Bean Burgers:
- Before you get started making the burgers rinse, drain and let your black bean dry a bit. The drier the beans and ingredients are, the better they will stick together.
- Put ¾ of the black beans in a food chopper or food processor. Mix until they are well mashed. You can also use a potato masher to do this.
- In a bowl combine all of the beans including the processed and whole ones, cilantro, onion, red pepper, panko, hot sauce, and spices. Add salt and pepper and then taste to check the spice level.
- After you get the right flavors add your egg and mix it together.
- Divide the black bean mixture into four balls. Use your hands to flatten it to a patty around ½ inch thick.
- Place the burgers on a baking sheet and allow them to chill for around 30 minutes. This helps them stick together.
- While they are chilling make the guacamole.
- To cook the burgers, heat a non-stick skillet or grill to medium heat. Use cooking spray or a bit of oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Cook the burgers for five minutes on each side.
- Top with guacamole, your favorite toppings, and serve with a bun. You can also serve the patties on top of a salad or lettuce wrap!
Tips & FAQ
How do I make these vegan black bean burgers?
To make these black bean burgers vegan you can substitute one flax egg for the egg. To make a flax egg combine 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 1 tablespoon of water. This works but they do stick together a little better with the egg.
How do I keep black bean burgers from falling apart?
There are a few tricks for keeping a black bean burger from falling apart. The first is to dry off your ingredients. You want to limit the moisture from the black beans, peppers, and onions. Second, it helps to use a food processor to mash your beans into smaller pieces. Finally chilling the burgers before cooking helps dry them out further. When you chill them do not cover them so the moisture can come out.
When cooking your burgers try not to move them around a lot. That can break up the patty.
Are black bean burgers supposed to be mushy?
NO! If you work to get some of the moisture out of your ingredients that will keep your burgers from being mushy and bring more of a meaty texture to them. When made correctly my Southwest Black Bean Burgers are not mushy!
Can you make these ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the patties ahead of time and store them in the fridge. If you want to make them more than an hour ahead of time I'd cover them with something. You want to first leave them in the fridge uncovered so they can try out.
Can you freeze these burgers?
Yes! You can freeze these burgers after cooking them. Wrap them individually and freeze them for up to three months.
Southwest Black Bean Burgers
My Southwest Black Bean Burgers are topped with fresh, homemade guacamole... so really how can you go wrong here? I've honestly been known to eat these without the buns if I'm not feeling the carbs. They honestly don't even need the bread. You can even make a big batch and freeze them. AND just if you weren't convinced enough, my meat-loving hubby gives these 2 thumbs up!
Southwest Black Bean Burgers are one of my classic Running in a Skirt recipes. If you are a newer reader, I really hope you enjoy them. If you've been a loyal fan from the beginning, I hope you enjoy seeing the transformation the blog has made and watching these old posts get a little makeover!
I've been making this recipe for so long that one of my friends liked it so much they even put it on their restaurants menu! It's called the Wunder Burger if you ever get a chance to go to Southern Porch in Canton, North Carolina.
Make it a Meal:
Here are some yummy side dish ideas to turn this burger into a meal!
- Baked Sweet Potato Chips
- Healthy Coleslaw
- Low Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Grilled Southwest Sweet Potato Wedges
- Watermelon Blueberry Feta Salad
- Fresh Peach Salsa
More Vegetarian Burgers & Sandwiches:
- The Best Portobello Mushroom Burger
- Buffalo Chickpea Burger with Blue Cheese Coleslaw
- Southern Style Black Bean Burger
- Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Herbed Goat Cheese
- The Best Vegan Grilled Cheese
Southwest Black Bean Burgers
For the burgers:
- 2 15 ounce cans low sodium black beans, rinsed, drained and dried
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ onion (about ¼ cup), finely chopped & pat dry
- ¼ red pepper (about ¼ cup), finely chopped & pat dry
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 large egg , beaten
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne or chipotle pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼- ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 tablespoon Cholula or Chipolte Cholula
For the guacamole:
- Put ¾ of the black beans in a chopper or food processor. Process them until they become well mashed.
- In a bowl combine all of the beans (both the processed and the whole beans), cilantro, onion, red pepper, garlic, panko, cayenne, cumin, oregano and optional Cholula. Stir mixture well. Add salt and pepper. Check spices now before you add the egg.
- Whisk the egg in a separate bowl. Add the egg to the black bean mixture in the big bowl and combine well.
- Divide the mixture in 4. Use your hands to form 4 balls out of the mixture and then flatten into a patty. They should be about a ½ inch thick. Place the burgers on a cookie sheet and put in fridge. Allow burgers to chill for approximately 30 minutes if you can. This helps them stay together.
- Make Guacamole! Dice avocados. Add all other guacamole ingredients in another bowl and combine. Place in fridge to chill.
- Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet on medium heat. Add the burgers to the pan. Cook 5 minutes each side. You can just as easily cook these on a grill. Just be careful flipping because they are not as study as regular burgers.
- Top with guacamole and serve on your favorite buns.
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