Black Bean Burger (Homemade Veggie Burger Recipe)

Black Bean Burger (Homemade Veggie Burger Recipe) Recipe

Have you started preparing your 4th of July menu? I always plan ahead, because along with ribs, burgers and hot dogs, I have come up with a vegetarian option as well. As always, there's going to be a platter of grilled vegetables, corn on the cob and fire-roasted sweet potatoes but I still wanted to make a "main course" worthy vegetarian dish that's substantial and filling.

After polling the herbivores in my house, I settled on black bean burgers. They're just seasoned, mashed black beans bound together with lecithin and xanthan gum. You could always use an egg instead if there are no dietary restrictions or allergies to contend with. A couple of minutes on the grill and they're good to go. You could also opt for other legumes such as pinto beans, chickpeas, kidney beans or fava beans.

I'll probably grill the veggie burgers first, then cook the regular meat burgers and let each guest assemble their sandwich with tomato slices, greens and onions. What could be better on Independence Day than a little freedom?


Yields: 6 burgers

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
2 cloves fresh garlic, cut into quarters
6 tablespoons fried yellow onions (see tips)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon liquid lecithin
2/3 cup one-day-old bread
1/3 cup milk (see tips for vegan version)
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (see tips)
1 sprig oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly ground
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
3 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1 teaspoon salt
½ red onion, sliced
¼ cup ketchup
3 tomatoes, sliced
2 cups sautéed spinach (or lettuce leaves)
6 bread buns, toasted


Soaking the bread:

Cut up the slice of bread and place it in a bowl. Pour the milk on the bread so it will get mushy as you mash it with your hands.

Preparing the black bean veggie burger mixture:

In a small pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the small pieces of fresh garlic and fry until golden. Add the ginger garlic paste, paprika, cayenne powder, ground cumin and oregano. Set aside.

Lightly oil the bowl of a food processor with a silicone brush. Combine the black beans, the fried garlic and seasoning with the flavored oil. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and pulse 3-4 times. Transfer the black bean paste into a bowl.

In a bowl, combine the xanthan gum, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and liquid lecithin (or one lightly beaten egg, see tips). Add the xanthan gum / lecithin mixture to the mashed black beans. The mixture will thicken. Add ¼ cup fried onions, garlic powder, soaked bread and mustard. Mix well.

Checking the seasoning: In a small pan, heat about 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the black bean mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes. Taste the burger. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary. Finish by adding a drizzle of oil to the black bean mixture.

Assembly time:

Grease disposable gloves with oil. Form 6 round patties and place them on a tray. Chill them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (this step will make the cooking of the patties much easier).

Remove the patties from the freezer. Brush them with a little oil (you could also dust them with a little all-purpose flour).

Brush a griddle pan with the remaining canola oil. Grill all the bread buns. Transfer to a platter.

In the same pan, place the patties (add more oil if necessary). Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until a crust is formed on both sides of the patties. Transfer to a platter.

Spread a thin layer of ketchup on each bun. Stack a few thin slices of red onions, a veggie burger, tomato slices and sautéed spinach (or lettuce leaves). Spread 1-2 teaspoons of caramelized onions on the other bun side. Finish with the top of the bun.

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


For a vegan burger version, replace the milk with soy milk.

You've probably noticed I use ginger garlic paste a lot in my cooking. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean the ginger, carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife or the edge of a spoon, then finely chop it. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender and, add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Xanthan gum is a fine powder used as a binder and emulsifier. If you look at the list of ingredients for salad dressings and ice cream at the supermarket, you'll find that they contain xanthan gum. I use it for texture and as an egg white substitute. You can find it online or in any specialty food store such as Whole Foods.

I use liquid lecithin as an egg yolk substitute. You can also find this online or in specialty food stores like Whole Foods. You can replace both the xanthan gum and lecithin with one lightly beaten egg.

I buy Maille brand horseradish mustard at Safeway. You can also find it in specialty stores such as Whole Foods and in many regular grocery stores.

How to caramelize onions: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Add thinly sliced onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. To save time, I often have already-caramelized onions on hand in the freezer. I suggest making them in advance in large batches. Just place about 1 tablespoon of tightly packed fried onions per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn.

You could also store the remaining un-seared veggie patties in the freezer. Using a tray, chill the patties (placing little squares of parchment underneath each patty) for about 1 hour in the freezer. Once hardened, stack the patties with the parchment squares between them to prevent them from sticking to each other. Place the stack in a large re-sealable bag (remove as much air as possible from the bag). The burgers can be stored up to 1 month in the freezer. Don't forget to label your food with the date!

You could also serve these as mini appetizers using mini hamburger buns.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 30, 2011.


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