These sticky BBQ vegan black bean burgers are sturdy enough to grill, flavourful, and satisfying for all types of eaters. This hearty veggie burger recipe only has 10 ingredients with major flavour assists from vegan worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, spice-roasted onions, and garlic. Serve on burger buns, with regular/sweet potato fries, or on top of a green salad.
I’ve made a lot of veggie burgers over the years (including in my cookbook!), but classic black bean ones are making their debut today! I wanted this recipe to be minimal on the ingredients front, while also delivering on big flavour and a toothsome texture. I think we’ve achieved that! Drying out the black beans in the oven is a crucial step that cannot be skipped. I learned this secret tip from Serious Eats, and am dreaming of all the other bean-y things I can apply it to.
Black bean burgers that don’t fall apart:
- These homemade black bean burgers are held together by a couple of crucial binders. Ground flaxseed, oat flour, and cooked mashed potato all play important roles. These naturally plant-based ingredients substitute perfectly for eggs, which are used in a typical black bean patty.
- The nutty flavour of flax and oat flour is surprisingly complimentary here. Plus the added fiber is a nice healthy bonus.
- I also insist on popping the finished patties in the freezer for 20 minutes! This helps to rest the patties and firm them up. Use this time to get your buns and toppings sorted.
- I grill these on the lower end of medium heat. No ripping hot grills here please! The lower temperature browns the exterior and helps to cook the interior a bit more evenly as well.
Since we use so few ingredients in this recipe, I like to utilize the barbecue sauce in two ways (pick your favourite brand or use a homemade option like this date-sweetened one). We work it into the patties themselves and also brush it on both sides of the patty for a caramelized, sticky, and robustly-flavoured finish. For me, this little extra step makes it the best black bean burger recipe it can be.
Keeping this down to 10 ingredients was tough for me! Maybe you already know that I love to add all the things haha. Feel free to change up the spices or to add more if you’re feeling it! Even a few dabs of hot sauce can be extra nice.
Hope you give these a try at your next cookout!
Vegan Black Bean Burgers (10 Ingredients)
Vegan Black Bean Burgers
- 19 oz (561 ml) can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 ¾ cups beans total)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup oat flour
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, plus extra
- 2 teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup cooked mashed potato
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- burger buns or big iceberg lettuce leaves
- sliced tomato
- sliced red onion
- ketchup, mustard, vegan mayo etc.
- Drying out the beans in the oven is an important step, so please don’t skip it! It removes excess moisture which helps the burger bind and taste better. We also use the oven time to roast the onions and garlic in spices for an extra edge of flavour.
- My favourite vegan-friendly worcestershire sauce is Lord Sandy’s.
- To make these completely sugar-free, I recommend seeking out a date-sweetened barbecue sauce like this one from Good Food for Good, which is what I used here.
- The grill really needs to be on medium (even the lower end of medium) to cook these. The lower heat still browns the outside while getting the inside cooked through as well. Do not rip it on high!
- To cook these without a grill, I recommend heating a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in some olive oil and swirl it around. Sear the burgers for 5-7 minutes per side–until evenly and deeply golden brown. Then brush a side with BBQ sauce, flip it over to caramelize for about a minute, and repeat with the other side.
- These burgers can also be baked in a 400 oven for about 15 minutes! Brush a bit of oil on each side and flip them over halfway through.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the drained black beans on ⅔ of the baking sheet, spreading them out into a single layer. Place the chopped onion and garlic on the other ⅓ of the baking sheet. Sprinkle the paprika and cumin over the onions and drizzle with the olive oil. Give the onions a toss until all evenly coated and spread out into a single layer.
- Pop the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until beans have dried up/cracked open significantly and onions are slightly browned and soft. Allow to cool.
- While the black beans and onions are roasting, place the following items in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade: ground flaxseed, oat flour, 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce, vegan worcestershire sauce, cooked mashed potato, and a good amount of salt and pepper.
- Once the black beans and onions have cooled, transfer them to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes thick and slightly unified. Avoid over processing! There should be whole black beans in the mix still and it should hold together when pinched. Give the mixture a taste. It should be flavourful and well seasoned! Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Portion the black bean burger mixture into 4 even patties that are about ¾ of an inch thick (I don't recommend going thicker than this). Place the veggie burgers on a plate or baking sheet and pop in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium for 10 minutes and oil the grates see notes for non-grill options). Retrieve the burgers from the freezer and place them on the grill. Brush the top facing sides with oil. Let the burgers cook on one side for 6-7 minutes, or until browned and releasing from the grates. Flip them over and repeat the 6-7 minute cooking process on the other side.
- Brush the browned, top facing side with barbecue sauce and flip over to get some caramelization for about 1 minute. Repeat this process with the other side.
- Serve the vegan BBQ black bean burgers hot with buns, toppings, and sides!