Black bean burgers

Black bean burgers

Spicy burgers for grilling, vegetarian optional 🌶️🍔


  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6-ish tablespoons of fat, divided (bacon fat or neutral oil)
  • 2 poblanos, finely diced
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6-7 cloves)
  • 1 (7 or 8 ounce) can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cups roasted cashews
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1.5 cup panko bread crumbs (have some spare to adjust consistency)
  • 2 eggs
  • 0.25 cup mayonnaise


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain and rinse the beans. Arrange on two half-sheet trays and bake for 20-30 minutes, until beans are starting to split and look somewhat dry.
  2. Pulse the onion and poblano in a food processor a few times until finely diced. Put a tablespoon or two of fat in a pan and start to cook. Cook until edges are browning and most of the liquid has evaporated from them, perhaps 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Turn the heat off and place into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Pulse the cashews in the food processor until they’re broken into small chunks, but nowhere near dust yet. Fold into the veggie mixture.
  5. Puree the chipotles in the food processor. Fold into the veggie mixture.
  6. Fold in the cheese, panko, eggs, and mayo.
  7. Fold in the beans once they’ve cooled enough to handle.
  8. Pat into patties and cook a bit cooler and longer than a regular beef burger or freeze as noted below.


  • Yields 12 6-ounce burger patties
  • Cook on the less hot side of the grill, as they tend to fall apart on high heat.
  • The entire can of chilis is somewhat spicy for kids, but mild overall. Adjust as you’d like with other chilis, less or more, adding some hot sauce, etc.
  • To freeze, place 12 ounces into a plastic bag or wrap tightly with cling wrap. Thaw, shape, adjust consistency with a touch of panko/mayo if needed, and cook as usual.
  • Adapted from Serious Eats to be freezer friendly and the level of spicy that I like. You should read the link instead for the science of how and why this works.