Introduction: Easy Bean Burgers

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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!

Step 1: 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!

(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.

Step 3: Pulse Pulse Pulse Pulse Pulse

Once you get a reasonable amount of the mixture into your food processor, you'll start to pulse. Pulse a few times, take the top off, scrape down the sides, repeat.

You only want to do this until things start to break down - you don't want things to get pureed. It still needs to be slightly chunky and have good body. :)

Also - don't add any liquid at all if you can help it. The mixture is wet enough as-is and should mix up on its own... but if, for some odd reason, your food processor starts smoking and screaming, add a tablespoon or so of liquid.

The last picture shows you what you should end up with - a good, firm, chunky consistency.

What do do if it gets too thin, or you got too excited while pulsing:
Put a tablespoon or two of extra oats in your second batch if you have a small food processor, or just empty everything but a small amount of the mixture and add in the oats.

Step 4: Form the Patties!

Wet your hands and shake off any excess.

Wet hands are especially important for this bit - otherwise you just get gloppy bean hands, and no one wants that.

I had the best luck making four patties out of the mixture, but you can make up to six. Divide the mixture into equal parts and roll into balls and then flatten carefully into patties.

I found it was easiest to do this on a big flexible cutting board that I could carry around with me - I'd just make them into balls and then flatten them while they were on the board.

Don't make them too thin or they become very hard to pick back up and they'll start to break. And don't press too hard into the surface you're working on either, or they'll stick like crazy!

Step 5: Cooking the Patties!

Now the best part!

Heat a pan over medium heat with your oil of choice. Once the oil is nice and hot, coax the patties off your work station (keep in mind you can reshape them a little in the pan if you need to) and into the pan. Don't overcrowd them, though - 2-3 patties is the maximum - if they're touching too much they will not get crispy, they'll just steam.

Cook for five minutes on one side, flip, and cook for an additional five minutes.

Make sure to move them around a little during this time - stove tops and pans can be finicky, and you don't want one to get burnt while the other stays golden brown. ;)

And if a patty breaks during flipping, no worries, just craft yourself a falafel-esque bite and consider that your tip for cooking.

Step 6: Toppings + Other Ideas.

Top these as you would any other burger - I suspect almost anything would be good on them!

The black bean ones were my favorite, but the chickpea ones are also quite good. I can't wait to try additional combinations and I'm looking forward to trying more veggies and fresh herbs in there!

The original recipe came from one of the kings of cooking, Mark Bittman, and you can check out more ideas on his bean burger recipe page - he gives a lot of great substitution ideas!