I love me a good juicy meat burger, but if I’m in my vegetarian mood (which I have been lately) then I’m looking for a good fix to satisfy my “burger” craving. There are a lot of pre-made vegetarian burgers in the stores, and let’s just say I don’t tend to seek them out. This time I’m turning to my kitchen and going the homemade route. Black beans are notorious in Mexican cuisine and since it’s Cinco de Mayo today, it only seems fitting to make my veggie burger out of those hearty beans.
These black bean burgers are loaded with veggies and topped with avocado slices and blue cheese crumbles.
Black Bean Burgers Recipe
- 2 slices hearty white bread, torn into pieces
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided per the directions
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 avocados, sliced lengthwise
- about 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 6 rolls
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the pieces of bread into a food processor and process them until they are coarse crumbs.
- Spread the bread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. (Once they are done, let them cool.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set it aside.
- Place 2 and 1/2 cups of the black beans into a food processor and process them until they are mostly smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, egg mixture, the processed black beans, the remaining whole black beans, chopped red bell pepper, minced shallot, and chopped cilantro.
- Form the bean mixture into 6 thick patties. I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to portion them out and then rolled them up into balls and flattened them with the bottom of the measuring cup.
- In a medium skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over Medium heat. Cook the patties until they are well browned (about 5 minutes per side). (Cook about 3 patties at one time.)
- Repeat the process, adding the remaining tablespoon of olive oil when needed.
- To build your “burger,” place the cooked black bean burger onto the bottom side of the roll. Top each black bean burger with about 1/2 of one sliced avocado. Top the avocado slices with about a tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles. Sprinkle additional chopped cilantro. Then add the top of the roll.
These “burgers” come together pretty quickly. In fact, you even have time to make your own homemade bread crumbs without making them take too long to prepare. I think they add to the flavor and you can really use any kind of bread you have laying around. I recommend white breads, but it’s not required.
Chop, chop, chop. Mash, mash, mash. And I’m just moving right along with all the steps. I used my hands to mix all of the ingredients together. There is something primal and fun about getting in there with your bare hands. 🙂
There are a lot of bean burger recipes out there so I had a few requirements for what makes a fabulous one.
- To start off with, they have to be quick (relatively) and easy to make. Check. Meat burgers can be made in minutes so I sort of have a mental block that all “burgers” should be similarly timed. There are more moving parts with bean or veggie burgers so I know I’m not going to find a 5 minute recipe (at least not a good one). I made these black bean burgers in about 30 minutes and that’ll do.
- Just because there is no meat does not mean that there should be no flavor. Bland food is bland food whether it’s got meat in it or not. Some people seem to think that things made out of veggies have to also be boring and it’s just not true. The spices in these bean burgers are awesome and give it a Southwestern flare.
- They must hold their shape. Seriously, I accept a little bit of crumble, but if they totally fall apart, well then preparing dinner is more of an exercise in frustration than in cooking. The first trick to prevent the mess is good ingredients. Having a good binder like eggs and fresh and toasty bread crumbs really help them hang together. The other “secret” is that you need to make sure to squeeze the patties together really tightly. You know, use good old fashioned physical force. I don’t mind eating a delicious veggie burger, but I don’t want to feel like I’m just eating a pile of beans and veggies. After all I’m making a burger here. I want it to be burger like. Something you can throw on a bun and enjoy like a burger. I can make a delicious bean salad some other time so that’s not the goal here.
Now that I’ve got an awesome bean burger, how do I top these bad boys? We’ve got a Mexican theme going on here with the spices in the patty so let’s top it with things that go well with that. I often eat guacamole with my Mexican food and of course guacamole is about 95% avocado so it wasn’t much of a leap to stack avocado on a Mexican inspired burger. Who needs mayo when you’ve got creamy avocados? 😉
Why blue cheese? I realize it’s not very “Mexican-y.” The other night I saw a restaurateur on Diners, Drive Ins, And Dives make blue cheese guacamole. (Love that show, but it never seems like any of his finds are located near me… that’s probably a good thing though. 😉 ) I thought that sounded unique and tasty so I was inspired to try adding blue cheese on top of the avocados. If Guy Fieri loved it then I figure it is a killer combo right out of flavor town. Take it easy on how much blue cheese you lay on because it is a strong flavor. While it tastes amazingly great here, you don’t want it to overpower the sandwich.
The black bean patty is super versatile so if you don’t like avocados and blue cheese, then skip it and make the burger your own. My husband had it as left overs for breakfast and topped the bean patty with an egg and provolone cheese. See, a completely different sandwich, but equally tasty. 🙂
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Black bean patty source: America’s Test Kitchen: The Best Simple Recipes
Black Bean Burger source: Tina’s Chic Corner
Here are some other delicious Mexican meals.