A few months ago I ate the best black bean burger I had ever tried.  It was thick and hearty, perfectly spiced, and not dry at all, served on a brioche bun (similar to the ones I make) and topped with havarti cheese and roasted bell peppers.  Really fantastic.  I’m guessing part of the reason it tasted so fabulous was that I was in the midst of a very busy night on call.  I ordered it from the restaurant across the street, practically inhaled it, and kept right on working.  Unfortunately this restaurant isn’t in the habit of giving out their recipes (I can’t blame them), but ever since that night I was dying to be able to make an equally good version at home.  I tried several recipes.  Some were complete disappointments, some were just so-so, but finally I found a version that I am satisfied with.

In addition to the fact that this is a tasty and healthy meatless meal, a bonus is that the patties can be made in advance, refrigerated, and cooked later.  I had some cooked patties leftover that I rewarmed for lunch the following day, and those were great too so I think you can do whichever method is most convenient for you.  Next time we host a cookout, I’ll be sure to have these available as a vegetarian entrée option.  Though the patties are probably a bit too soft to go straight onto the grill, you could cook them in a skillet and then put them on the grill for a minute or two before serving.


¾ cup panko
3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 shallot, minced


  • 01

    Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Combine the panko with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend.  Add the mixture to the skillet and toast the panko, stirring frequently, until light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

  • 02

    Place 2½ cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the oil, cumin, salt and cayenne.  Whisk to blend.  Add the egg mixture, toasted panko, the remaining ½ cup beans, bell pepper, cilantro and shallot to the bowl with the mashed beans.  Stir together until evenly combined.

  • 03

    Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about ½ cup each.  Lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties.  (At this point the patties can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking.)  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total.  Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and repeat with the remaining oil and bean patties.  Serve warm.

  • looks so yummy! we must try this burger!

  • Look so yummy! We must try this burger!

  • These look great! And, most ingredients are ones you’d have on hand anyway. Nice recipe!

  • I had a black bean burger the other night that was fantastic… going to try your version to see if it is just as good!

  • We had a similar black bean burger yesterday, and I agree…they are fabulous!

  • Nicole

    These are going on the menu next week for sure! I was just reading an article in Women’s Health about the top “super” foods that should be in our diets, and beans was on the list. My family doesn’t eat them nearly enough, so I’m determined to have them at least once per week now. This yummy sounding burger makes it easy! Thanks!

  • Deanna

    I’ve been veg for years and love black bean burgers. One tip I found is if you freeze the burger first, you can toss them on the grill and they will hold their shape :)

  • Black bean burgers are a go-to summer food in our house. I’ve heard adding mushrooms to black bean burgers is a must – though I’ve never tried this before.

    These look delicious! You could whip up a few patties and freeze them for a quick dinner later in the week.

  • I’ll definitely make this soon! I love vegetarian burgers!

  • GAH! This said restaurant also runs out of these burgers from time to time. Every time I go there, this is what I order…SO GOOD. I don’t know what it is about them, either. I love the Havarti on them…I think I will be making your brioche rolls and freezing them so I can have a quick weeknight meal sometime. Miss you!

  • I’ve never tried a black bean burger but after seeing yours I really want to! I love all the flavors in it and on it :) Thanks for the delicious and healthy dinner idea!

  • I’m imagining these as some kind of Mexican burger, topped with some guacamole or something. This is such a great vegetarian option!

  • Awesome. I wonder how rich the black bean flavor is? I love black beans, but my husband is not a huge fan. He will eat my black bean burritos; but they have salsa and cheese.

  • So funny you that you post these today because I had a mild kitchen disaster making black bean burgers last night- I will have to try this version next time!

  • I’ve been thinking that the addition of cooked bulgur wheat would be good in a black bean / veggie burger, and this post reminded me to try it out!

  • I have a long list of black bean burger recipes to try, but I think this one is getting bumped to the top – I love the southwestern flavor profile. On an unrelated note, I’m making your bacon lover’s mac & cheese tonight!

  • I was vegetarian for 3 years and I never found a black bean burger I liked. They were either too spicy or too dry so I ate veggie burgers instead. I’m very intrigued by this recipe, and panko bread crumbs are delicious.

  • Stephanie

    Ahh! I have Bren hoping you would post a veggie burger for so long! I stopped eating meat back in Nov and I’ve made it through every major holiday but I thought if I don’t eat a delicious burger this summer I don’t know how long I’ll last! Thank you!

  • Crystal Power

    These look so good! I had a black bean burger at a diner in Carbondale, CO, when I was 16 that I still think about sometimes. I can’t wait to try these!

  • These are fantastic! There is nothing like a good black bean burger.

  • I can’t wait to try these! Even though I love beef, I enjoy trying different types of burgers. And the fact I can make these ahead of time is fantastic!

  • Rebecca B

    Dear husband is trying to get me to eat more vegetarian here and there so we’ll have to give this a try.
    Two questions though: 1) I have a jar of roasted red peppers in the pantry. Would they make the mixture too gummy or runny you think if I chopped those?
    2) Do you need to put a little indentation in the middle like you do with beef patties so they don’t get too “ball” shaped rather than “disk” shaped?

  • Mary L.

    My boyfriend loves black beans! And burgers! What a great idea!

  • I had a really disappointing black bean burger a few weeks ago and I’ve been hoping to make a more satisfying one…. thanks for sharing!

  • These look amazing! Can’t wait to try them but I’ll have to do some math b/c in Canada our tins are 19 oz. Thx for sharing another great recipe!

  • Annie

    I think you could probably use the roasted peppers, but I would blot them really well to remove as much excess moisture as possible. I didn’t do the indentation trick and these kept their shape nicely. Enjoy!

  • Veronica

    Looks tasty! Thanks for sharing :)

  • I’ve been on the hunt for a good black bean burger recipe for a while too. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

  • Erika

    Annie, do you think that you could prepare these but freeze them before cooking?

  • This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Great recipe!

  • Annie

    I don’t see why not, though I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say how they will turn out. Good luck!

  • Marthe

    hi! I was wondering if you could write about how to make different decorations / garnish and such?
    had been very helpfull because i’m having a dinner-party next month, and i want to impress the guests!

  • We must be on the same wavelength — Alex and I are also working on a veggie burger recipe! We’re trying to make it grillable, so we’ve had an additional challenge in trying to get a cohesive texture. Hopefully one of these days we’ll get it right so we can post it! :)

    Thanks for this recipe – it looks delicious, and I love the idea of Havarti!

  • Man oh man, I go out of town for one day and you bloggers come up with some fantastic stuff. By the way, this is one of them.

  • Annie

    I’m not sure I understand your question. What exactly are you interested in?

  • Bec

    Yum! Thanks Annie. I’m always looking for something to add to the repertoire of vegetarian meals in my house.

  • I’m definitely making these! I’ve been wanting to try a homemade veggie burger for awhile but I’ve been completely intimidated by long ingredient lists full of things I know I won’t use for anything else. These look absolutely do-able and I only need to buy a couple of ingredients. AND they look ten times tastier and more substantial than anything you can get in the frozen foods aisle.

  • I was soaking my black beans for burgers tomorrow with a recipe in hand and now I’ve changed my mind adding some of your ingredients in there too. These look so pretty. You have THE very best photos to showcase your food. I can’t wait to get my new camera this weekend and attempt to have better photos on my freezer cooking blog. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  • Annie

    That is very sweet of you to say! Thank you so much :)

  • These look great! Mom is vegetarian and I’m always struggling to come up with food for her when she’s here. This is perfect!

  • This looks SOOO GOOD!!

  • Stephanie

    Made these tonight, they were delicious!!

  • These look amazing, Annie! I love a good black bean burger… maybe I’ll even get my husband to enjoy one of these. Would it be okay if I featured this recipe as part of my Friday Favorite Finds? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Sure, go for it!

  • I’ve been looking for a good bean burger recipe forever. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried off your website, so this is next. Thanks for tinkering to get things right on these recipes so the rest of us don’t have to!

  • These look fantastic- I’m hoping my “carnivore” husband will be into them, as well!

  • Mary

    Making Hamburger buns and these burgers for dinner! Can’t wait to eat.

  • Tara

    I made these last night and they were so delicious! However, I found them a little soft. Any tips? I had tried to add more breadcrumbs (I didn’t have panko on hand), but I don’t think it made a difference. Our canned beans are slightly larger in Canada though, maybe that did it. Thanks for a great blog! :)

  • Annie

    They are a softer burger – I think that’s just the nature of bean burgers. I didn’t want to add too many more breadcrumbs because I was worried it would make them too dry and detract from the flavor.

  • Thanks, Annie!

  • I’m all about bbq, meat and grilling but that is one gorgeous looking black bean burger, Annie!

  • Lydia B

    I made a double batch of these yesterday for a party, and they were a big hit. I’m going to try freezing the rest of the uncooked patties and see how it works out cooking them from the freezer.

  • Nicole

    What type of cheese did you end up using? I know you mentioned havarti was on the restaurant burger. I am making these tonight, and forgot to buy cheese! I will probably just go w/ Swiss, since I have some on hand. But was curious what type you used.

  • Annie

    I used Havarti but they would be great with cheddar, pepper jack, etc.

  • Laura

    I’ve made black bean burgers before, but these were really, really good. We melted some sliced cheddar on top and served them with red onion, arugula and homemade guacamole as toppings…delicious! I am so happy I made extras, so I can freeze them for the future. Thank you!

  • Karianne

    Do you think hummus be a good topping for this burger? I can’t imagine how it would taste…but I’m trying to think of some sort of sauce to use on these.

  • Annie

    They would really be great with anything you would normally put on a burger, but I think hummus would be a nice idea or maybe an avocado cream sauce…they are very versatile. I’ve also topped them with salsa – yum!

  • Ashley

    Made these last night and they were so good that I had to eat 2! I used green bell pepper, and added some canned dice green chiles. Topped with a sauce of 3 tbs sour cream, 1 tbs light mayo, 1 tbs chili paste, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder to make it spicy! Absolutely LOVED them and can’t wait for dinner tonight. :)

  • I made your burgers last night, they were a HIT! Even for the biggest meat eaters!! Thank you for the great recipe :)

  • MaryEllen

    These were delicious! My fiancee has been a vegetarian for 9 years and I have been one for 5, and they were some of the best I’ve had! She gave them a 9/10!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • patty

    These are spectacular! Tomorrow we’re adding pepperjack cheese & guacamole! Thank you!

  • Kimberly

    Would you say that you could freeze the patties as well?

  • Kimberly

    Nenermind I should have read all the comments first… Thanks!

  • I am so excited to have found you! Love healthy really really yummy food. Found you via pinterest for your southwestern egg rolls that I can’t wait to try. EXCITED! Will be following! Kristy

  • Made these tonight and they were DELICIOUS! I added some feta into the mixture and served on Arnold Sandwich Thins. I also made your sauteed zucchini dish–both were well received. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Danita

    Just discovered your blog yesterday and I’ve bookmarked several items (including this one) that I want to try. We rarely eat meat and I’ve tried a couple of other black bean burger recipes with mixed results. Can’t wait to try this one. The brioche buns look fantastic too.

  • Stacie A.

    Made these tonight. They weren’t as “robust” in flavor as I was hoping. A good base recipe though. Next time I will double the cumin, salt and shallots. I like the idea of adding cheese to the patty too. I will say though, I made your hamburger bun recipe and it was phenomenal! Thanks for awesome recipes!

  • Mallory Lawrenchuk

    These were great! Thanks for the recipe.

  • vegiemom

    How did freezing turn out for you? Did you thaw completely or cook frozen in the pan?

  • Kristin

    Made these tonight. They were DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the great recipe that will for sure go into my dinner rotation :)

  • Walshfam4

    this sounds amazing! do you have any suggestions for using dry beans? I try to avoid canned goods when I’m cooking for the kids. :)

  • Anonymous

    I use 1.5 cups cooked beans when a recipe calls for 1 15 oz. can. Hope that helps!

  • Alicia

    These look great! What are the fries you pictured?

  • Anonymous

    They are baked oven fries. You can find them via the search bar. Enjoy!

  • ruth barnett

    this was delicious. i have recently went on a diet and this burger was on it. great

  • Anonymous

    I just printed this out, I am really looking forward to trying these!!

  • Peggyrogers

    just made these, very happy, 2 out of 3 kids ate the whole thing! That says it all ;)

  • Melanie Allen

    I can’t say enough great things about this recipe. My husband is an avid meat-eater and veggie-hater, but even he loved it! I will be making these again in the future. I’m planning to do a double batch next time and freeze some, so anyone who has feedback on how freezing theirs turned out… please share!

  • annieseats

    I freeze them often and they are great!

  • annieseats

    I freeze them often and they are great!

  • Brenna J

    I just had to comment on how amazing these burgers are!! I made these last night and they turned out great! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I did… but I DID love them and they will be making a regular appearance on our household menu…. especially during Lent! Thank you so much for sharing, these were awesome!

  • Chris

    Loved the black bean burger-ate it without the bun, etc. had some leftover pasta with it.
    With the leftover, my husband came up with the idea of filling an omelet with the black bean mixture with muenster cheese. Yum!
    Thanks for the healthy recipe! My husband just had heart bypass surgery, so this makes eating healthy more interesting!

  • Heather

    This is the burger of my dreams. Thank you!

  • Sunny

    Tonight will be the third time I’ve made the yummy burgers. They have become a regular on the dinner rotation. Even my teenagers love them.

  • Hi Annie,

    I used this recipe as a base for some black bean sliders I served at a party tonight. I didn’t have all the exact ingredients, but was able to make some substitutions, and they were delicious! Served with a roasted red pepper aioli and muenster cheese on slider buns. Tasty little bites! I also kept them in a 220F oven for a while when waiting for the guests to arrive, and they didn’t dry out. Great recipe, thanks!

  • Haylea

    I just made these, and they are so delicious! I baked instead of fried, and they turned out great. Baking gave me time to make homemade guac :) Anyway- awesome recipe- thanks!

  • I was very happy with the results!!

    i had some stale tarragon crackers, so I crushed them up and did half crackers, half panko. Didn’t have a bell pepper, so chopped up about a half an onion and some fresh garlic. I didn’t have cilantro, either. I might reduce the cumin the next go around (just a little) and I had to add another couple of shakes of salt. Everything else was pretty much the same. I got 8 patties out of the recipe instead of 6.

    the first batch I cooked in the skillet were a little thicker than the second batch. They were firm on the outside and almost creamy in the center. I thinned them out the second go around, and they got a little crumbly, so I would say the 1in thickness is going to yield the best results. We stuck them on wheat bread with cheese, mayo, ketchup and spinach and they were great! Not exactly a burger – I don’t know if it would satisfy your craving for meat… but they stand on their own. Eating one for lunch today, actually!

    I’ve given this recipe to 3 people already, and I just made them 2 days ago!

  • This is what I made for dinner tonight. I’m actually getting to try some of the recipes that I’ve placed on my “Recipes to Try” board on Pinterest. We all enjoyed them very much. Will definitely make them again. I used gluten-free bread crumbs and served them on brown rice wraps so they were completely GF friendly for my daughter. Next time I might try to make a chipotle mayo to go with. :) Very Happy with the results!

  • Coby

    I made these for lunch today, and made them as little “sliders.” I really enjoyed them – the flavor was great, and even my husband – who grew up on cattle ranch and is suspicious of meatless meals – liked them!

  • Molly Lupo

    These were delicious! We made them tonight for dinner along with your Oven Fries….it was like a guilty pleasure, without the guilt! :)

  • Patrick

    I made these. Awesome. I added a little fresh corn off the cob. Very, very tasty. Good bye BOCA and Morningstar.

    Any tips making them a little more meaty and less likely to fall apart? Don’t get me wrong, I love them. But the center is a little creamy.

  • annieseats

    Maybe try mashing a slightly lesser portion of the beans? Or just cooking longer so the center is more cooked through. Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Conniem

    We are having a family camping event next week…my daughter & her husband and a few others are vegetarians…she requested black bean burgers and this recipe sounds great…any idea how these would freeze as i would like to make them several days ahead of time. Thanks

  • annieseats

    Yes, they freeze well.

  • Rachael

    I am new to your site, but you have truly inspired me. I am having a personal, hard week…it has been rough…but I am cooking this weekend, if it kills me. I have gotten away from detailed cooking and baking so on my list for this weekend…diy graham crackers, vanilla bean marshmallows and tonight black bean burgers. Thank you!

  • annieseats

    Sorry for your rough week. Hopefully cooking and baking will be therapeutic. We’re having these tomorrow night :)

  • Melanie

    What can I use as a substitute for eggs?. These look great.

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page for substitution info. Thanks.

  • Becca

    What temp and how long did you bake them?

  • Nick

    After months of dragging my feet, I finally made these last night for our family. They’re incredible! And incredibly easy to make. Everyone at the table loved them, including our 2-year-old twins. Can’t wait to make them again soon (probably this weekend)!

  • Emily

    I am a college kid and I don’t have time to cook a lot, but I absolutely LOVE these! I make the whole batch, portion them, and freeze them to cook later! I love when I remember I have a delicious meal already in the freezer!
    Thank you so much!!

  • Emily

    I like to top them with pepperjack cheese and jalapeno slices. They could also be good with some sort of ‘chipotle sauce’ which most restaurants make by mixing some version of a taco seasoning with ranch dressing.

  • Kristy

    Just wanted to tell you that for well over a year now, I’ve make these burgers for my family at least twice a month. We eat vegetarian and this recipe covers so many things– (burgers of course), a topping for nachos when crumbled, filling for any Mexican dish, replacement for ham or bacon in omelets, served extra-protein sandwich style with a fried egg on top after a jog… We’ve mixed in: spinach, quinoa, lentils, white beans, any veggie I want to dice up and use up…one time we even used crushed goldfish crackers when (sigh) we were out of bread crumbs! I’ve shared this recipe (and your website) countless times. My three-year-old may even have this recipe memorized. Thank you for a staple in our kitchen, Annie!

  • Jodi

    I made these over the weekend, but froze the patties instead of making them right away… Any idea how I prepare them now that they are frozen? Should I thaw them first, put them in the oven, thoughts? Thanks! :)

  • annieseats

    Usually if I know in advance that I’m going to make them, I leave them in the fridge to thaw. If not, I use the defrost setting on the microwave just until they are no longer frozen (but not cooked). Then just cook as normal. Hope that helps!

  • Cara

    Just wanted to let you know that I am OBSESSED with these burgers!! They are delicious and so flavorful!! I have made these for my family several times and recently just passed on this recipe to a bride-to-be :) Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

  • Marisa

    I made these burgers recently, and I LOVED the flavor! But I had issues with the burgers falling apart while cooking (and I was very careful during the flipping process). Any ideas on what went wrong? Would it have helped to mash up the mixture more?

  • annieseats

    I’ve made these tons of times, and I’ve definitely experienced what you are talking about a few times. I think it is usually a situation of needing a little more of the mashed bean mixture to help hold them together. Also if you cooked dried beans (I do), I think sometimes they are more cooked than other times and that can play a role as well. Glad you enjoyed them anyway!

  • Devin Arielle Carr

    Love these! Do you have a recipe for the delicious looking fries you photo’d with?

  • annieseats
  • Steph

    I made this last night and it was THE BEST black bean burger I have ever made. It stuck together very well and tasted amazing. I will literally be raving about this recipe to everyone I know. THANKS!

  • Brianna Squire

    Hi! I had a great black bean burger with creamy goat cheese and roasted red peppers at a restaurant near my house. I decided to recreate it at home, using your black bean burger recipe….it was so, so much better! If you like goat cheese, try it with the peppers the next time you make these….it just takes it to a
    whole new level. I love every single one of your recipes that I’ve made, and I
    have a lot more on my list to try. Thank you so much for sharing; you are so
    talented and creative in the kitchen. :)

  • annieseats

    I’m so glad to hear it was a hit! That combo does sound amazing – adding to our menu for next week!

  • Jennifer Kelly

    OMG. I have been a vegetarian for 11 years and I have NEVER tried a veggie burger or a black bean burger. I just made these today for lunch! I am OBSESSED! They were so good. I am so glad I found this recipe. Best part is I have 5 patties in the freezer for future meals! I topped mine with lettuce, tomato and mayo and it was the most delicious thing! Haha thanks for this recipe!

  • annieseats

    Yay! So glad to hear it!