Easy Bean Burgers

Picture of Easy Bean Burgers

These bean burgers are super easy and very quick to make - not to mention you can add in so many things to suit your tastes! This is just a base recipe, so go wild. :D

These take about 30-45 minutes to make, and have a very short ingredient list. One can of beans can make four burgers!
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Step 1: Ingredients + hardware!

Picture of Ingredients + hardware!

  • 1 14 oz. can OR 2 cups beans of your choice (I'm using chickpeas & black beans)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 tbsp spice of your choice (I'm using chili powder in the black beans, cumin in the chickpeas)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • oil for cooking (olive or canola)
  • large pan for frying
  • food processor
  • spatulas, forks, etc.
  • cutting boards

Step 2: Assemble the bean mixture!

Picture of Assemble the bean mixture!

(Get out your food processor - if you have one that's 4+ cups, feel free to dump everything in. If you're working with a little tiny one like me, first mix everything together in a bowl and do it in two batches.)

Open your can of beans and drain it - reserving the liquid, just in case. (I've not had to use it, but who knows!) Cut your onion into chunks.

Combine the beans, 1/2 cup of oats, spices, the egg, onion, salt, and pepper in your bowl and mix together.

The first picture is chickpeas with cumin, the second picture is black beans with chili powder.

Kozz3 years ago
I've got a black-bean burger recipe that's very close to Mr. Bittman's. I like to try to do things as inexpensively as possible, so I would prepare my own black beans from a bag of dry beans, and I mash them by hand (potato masher) also.

My burgers were good (enough), but frequently far too dry and crumbly. Do you have any suggestions on how to make the burgers a bit more moist and less prone to falling apart? I've heard some suggestions that crumbly burgers may have been made with too MUCH moisture. I've tried adding oil and so on, but without much success. I think the best for holding them together has been shredded carrots, but dryness was still a problem.

Jessie, have you got any advice?
jessyratfink (author)  Kozz3 years ago
Well, a few things:
  • mash some of the beans extra fine and add a little extra (a tablespoon at a time) of the bean cooking liquid to those to act as a extra binder, maybe? Since you're mashing by hand it might not be coming together as finely as it would in a processor.
  • let it set up in the fridge, like jrossetti suggested. I put my second batch of patties in the fridge while the first cooked and they were much easier to work with
  • try to limit the amount of extra veggies you put in to 1/2 cup - too much extra stuff will break up the bean and oat holding power and it's almost impossible to get them to go back together.
xeslaro had awesome recommendations as well! Hopefully one of these will work for you. :D
I'm definite guilty of trying to put lots of extra veggies in them. Excellent advice, and next time I make them, I'll use a food processor *and* let them set up in the fridge. Thanks, Jess!
xeslaro Kozz3 years ago
I use this recipe all the time -> and there are no added liquids other than soy sauce and mustard. Crumbly and dry might mean that you need another binder, like leftover mashed potatoes. I almost always puree everything together (veggies, beans, oats, etc.) and then mix it with my hands. Coating in flour and frying in a little oil helps bind them too since it creates a crust.

Sorry if this wasn't helpful.
Kozz xeslaro3 years ago
Excellent ideas. Thanks!
jrossetti Kozz3 years ago
if you get the mixture cold (put it in the fridge for a while), it'll tend to move and fall apart less freely, so you have a bit more time to work it into a patty shape and slap it in the fry pan quick enough. Also, try mixing in another egg, this should help too.

One trick you might also try, unless you're opposed to cheese, is to add some shredded cheese, mix it in well, and then put it in the fridge for a while. I do this with my blackjack quesadilla mix (because I'm anal about having the perfect thickness to that recipe), and it helps a ton, and adds a lot of nice flavor. Might be worth a try.
Davey_Tab made it!1 month ago

I mixed black beans with gonzo, and these turned out really well. My only question is, what else can I do to keep the patties together? The burgers that I put in the fridge over night seemed to stay together better when I fried them up.

jogauth3 years ago
For a crumbly burger I have added 1tbs of ground flax seed And 3 tbs of water ,which are first mixed then let set for 5 min, before adding with other ingredients. Good binder and added nutrition of flax.
EllieRose3 years ago
These look really easy, definitely gonna try them :) a lot cheaper than buying ready made bean burgers too!
kitwah3 years ago
Made a chickpea version this weekend with cumin and paprika and fresh coriander, and some lemon juice. Well I guess thats pretty much falafal! I hadnt noticed. Anyway they worked well, its helpful to have proportions, thanks!
jessyratfink (author)  kitwah3 years ago
You're welcome! :)
jrossetti3 years ago
Nice I'll try this for lunch tomorrow. Looks good!
This was awesome. I found a can of chili beans in red sauce at the store thinking that'd add to the flavor, and it did! But I couldn't drain them too well and ended up adding some corn meal and more oats than I probably should have, to compensate.

But still, tasted great! Thanks for sharing!
jessyratfink (author)  jrossetti3 years ago
I did add a little more oats to the black beans... I think that just tends to happen when you get thicker bean liquids that don't drain as well. :) But I liked the nuttier flavor I got when the oats were fried, so it was win-win.

Happy you liked the recipe, though! :D
billbillt3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
jessyratfink (author)  billbillt3 years ago
Haha, they definitely were!
SHIFT!3 years ago
Looks delicious! Beans very well might be the new tofu for meat substitute!
jessyratfink (author)  SHIFT!3 years ago
They definitely are in my house... as much as I like tofu, it's too expensive and normally comes with too much sodium. :)