Easy Bean Burgers




About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

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!



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17 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

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?

5 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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!


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I use this recipe all the time -> http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=24665.0 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.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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.


3 years ago

I am gonna totally try this, garbanzo jajajajaja.


7 years ago on Introduction

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.


7 years ago on Introduction

These look really easy, definitely gonna try them :) a lot cheaper than buying ready made bean burgers too!


7 years ago on Introduction

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!

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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!


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

They definitely are in my house... as much as I like tofu, it's too expensive and normally comes with too much sodium. :)