Get a load of these delicious and nutritious black bean burgers – lightly toasted on the outside and tender in the middle, they combine aromatic spices and umami flavours for a healthy option that's both vegan and gluten-free.
As someone who does generally enjoy meat-free products designed to resemble the real thing, I used to think veg and bean burgers were just token attempts to create something marketable to people who didn’t eat animal products.
But I’ve really come round to the idea and I have to say I enjoy these things in their own right. They're not meant to be 'meaty' and that's absolutely fine. The best part? They're crammed full of stuff that's good for you.
I create new content every single week. Subscribe to keep in touch and get a free download of The Vegan Kitchen – My Top 10 Tips.
Why you'll love these black bean burgers
- This is a gluten-free recipe
- It's a healthy option that's high in protein and fibre and low in saturated fat
- The burgers have a great depth of flavour from all the ingredients working together
- They're delicious for several days after cooking – use leftovers in wraps or sandwiches for a speedy lunch
- Your kitchen will smell amazing thanks to the glorious symphony of aromas during cooking (I'm looking at you, fennel seeds)
Recipe testing notes
- Black beans: You'll want to drain and rinse the canned beans to remove excess liquid and preservatives.
- Mixture: I tested this several times and the recipe should work well as written, but you can always add small amounts of water (if mix is too dry) or extra oats (if mix is too wet).
- Oven temperature: I found that these turned out better at a moderate temperature (180°C / 360°F).
- Avoid overcooking: Once you reach the 20-minute mark, you'll want to keep a close eye on the burgers to make sure they're not overdone.
Are black bean burgers healthy?
The nutrition info for this recipe has been calculated on the assumption of making six burgers, which means the numbers will be even higher if you were to simply eat a couple (I often do) or make four larger burgers, for example.
In each burger (without any serving suggestions or sides), you'll find:
- Calories: 217 kcal
- Protein: 10 grams (20% of RDA)
- Fibre: 7 grams (29% of RDA)
- Iron: 3 mg (17% of RDA)
Amounts based on a third-party nutrition calculator.
Canned vs. dried black beans
Canned black beans are handy since they've already been cooked as part of the canning process and can be stored for a long time. This makes it easy to quickly throw together these burgers, a black bean curry, black bean dip, breakfast black beans, or black bean soup.
That being said, dried beans are usually an even cheaper alternative if you want to prepare these separately before using in this recipe.
If using dried black beans, you'll want to soak and/or pre-cook these until soft before using here. For more info, check out my beginner's guide to pulses.
Which spices go in?
This recipe uses a nice mix of herbs and spices to create a flavourful final burger. You could take it in any direction you like, but here's what I go for:
- Fennel seeds (these are blended along with the dry ingredients)
- Ground cumin
- Dried sage
- Garlic powder
- Smoked paprika
What you'll need
In addition to the herbs and spices mentioned above, you'll need:
- Canned black beans that have been drained and rinsed
- Rolled oats to bulk out the mix (certified GF if necessary)
- Red onion, mushrooms, and walnuts for their various textures
- Ground flaxseed to help bind the mix
- Umami flavours in the form of tomato puree, nutritional yeast, and yeast extract (GF if necessary or just use miso paste)
- Tahini for added nutrients and binding properties
- Fresh parsley for its herby notes
How to make black bean burgers
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
Add the oats, walnuts, and fennel seeds to a food processor.
Pulse these dry ingredients until you have a finely ground mix.
Add all the remaining ingredients along with a good pinch each of salt and pepper.
Blend until everything is well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time as you go.
You can also add a tablespoon or two of water to help things along, but I found that this wasn't necessary and I just needed to persevere until I had a thick mix.
Transfer the mix to a bowl. If you have time, it can help to place the mix in the fridge for up to half an hour to firm it up before shaping (but this step is entirely optional).
Get your baking sheet ready by drizzling with a little oil or lining with greaseproof paper.
Depending on whether you want to make 4 or 6 burgers, take ¼ or ⅙ of the mix at a time and shape into patties roughly ½ inch thick. Place these on the baking sheet.
While shaping the patties, it can help to wet your hands by dipping in a separate bowl of water.
Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once during cooking.
Once ready, remove from the oven and serve.
For the classic option, serve these burgers in buns (gluten-free if necessary*) along with trimmings such as sliced gherkin, tomato, lettuce, red onion, vegan mayo, and ketchup.
*Note that some gluten-free bread products may contain ingredients such as egg white or honey, so you may want to ensure that these are both gluten-free and vegan.
If you want to add cheese slices, you can lightly melt these on the burgers in the oven for the final few minutes of cooking time.
You can also serve the burgers without buns (something we often do) with sides such as fries, baked wedges, sweet potato mash, potato salad, corn on the cob, vegan slaw, sliced avocado, guacamole, hummus, or any other salads that take your fancy.
The combination of pulsed oats, ground flaxseed, and a few 'sticky' ingredients helps to give these burgers their shape.
These are not the same as 'meaty' burgers and so I wouldn't recommend cooking from scratch on the grill. If you like, you could cook them as per this recipe and then grill for a final couple of minutes to add a few char marks and extra flavour.
Yes – you'll just want to make sure you use oats and a yeast extract that are certified GF (same goes for things like the bread bun when serving). For people who have a gluten intolerance as opposed to Coeliac disease, the ingredients above may not be a major concern since the oats and yeast extract would constitute a relatively low level of gluten in the final burgers.
Once cool, store the cooked burgers in the fridge for up to four days. They're arguably even nicer once they've firmed up in the fridge and are great to use in wraps or sandwiches.
Once cool, you can store these in the freezer for up to several months. Simply defrost and heat through or reheat from frozen in the oven.
Variations and tips for black bean burgers
- Other spices: You could try adding other spices such as ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, or cinnamon.
- Fresh herbs: This recipe uses parsley but herbs like coriander would also work well.
- Other beans: You could make a similar version of these burgers with virtually any canned beans that have been drained and rinsed.
Keep in touch
Subscribe below to get your free download of The Vegan Kitchen – My Top 10 Tips, featuring 10+ pages of personal experience and advice to set you up for success with your plant-based cooking. 👇
Black Bean Burgers (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
- 1 cup (100 g) gluten-free rolled oats (see notes)
- ½ cup (60 g) walnut halves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ red onion, roughly chopped
- 5 oz (150 g) mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1x 14 oz (400 g) tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (a.k.a. tomato puree)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free yeast extract (or miso paste – see notes)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Small handful fresh parsley, coarsley chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
- Add the oats, walnuts, and fennel seeds to a food processor. Pulse these dry ingredients until you have a finely ground mix.
- Add all the remaining ingredients along with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Blend until everything is well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time as you go. You can also add a tablespoon or two of water to help things along, but I found that this wasn't necessary and I just needed to persevere until I had a thick mix.
- Transfer the mix to a bowl. If you have time, it can help to place the mix in the fridge for up to half an hour to firm it up before shaping (but this step is entirely optional). Get your baking sheet ready by drizzling with a little oil or lining with greaseproof paper.
- Depending on whether you want to make 4 or 6 burgers, take ¼ or ⅙ of the mix at a time and shape into patties roughly ½ inch thick. Place these on the baking sheet.While shaping the patties, it can help to wet your hands by dipping in a separate bowl of water.
- Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once during cooking.
📩 Fancy keeping in touch? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter.
📖 Find out more about my story.
🍽️ Want to get straight to the food? Hop aboard the recipe train.
🌿 Got a question about veganism? You might find the answer in these vegan FAQs.