Dinner / Food / Recipes

Black (Bean) Magic

Who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into a juicy, meaty, grill-charred burger in the summer?

Vegetarians, I suppose. Buzzzz kill. At any rate, veggie lovers, this one’s for you.

But before we get to the recipe, I have to show off this incredible summer spread from yesterday’s Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. Does it get prettier than this?


Local inspiration

I have to admit the Ferry Building Market is a bit of a tourist trap. Pricing is definitely not competitive, unless the vendors are competing for most expensive in which case they’re all winners. And I guess that makes me a loser. Or at least a sucker. Either way, I’m happy about my six dollar heirloom tomatoes.

Back to the burgers…


Deep down, food just an excuse for condiments.

This recipe was inspired by other fellow bean burger enthusiasts who have thrown recipes on the web. I found that the recipe base (beans, panko, egg, onion) is pretty standard and everything is else really up to you.

What I like most about these black bean burgers:

  1. prep is easy, just some washing and chopping
  2. everything gets dumped into 1 bowl
  3. ingredients are flexible
  4. 10 min cooking time
  5. ‘make ahead’ approved

What you’ll need:

  • one 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and thoroughly drained
  • 1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, grated or minced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/2 green or poblano pepper
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce of your choice (I use Chalula)
  • Spices of your preference; mine include:
    • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp ground oregano
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  • sandwich thins, buns, or lettuce cups
  • avocado, tomato, favorite condiments, etc…



  1. rinse, drain, and mash beans with back of a fork
  2. mince garlic, onion, and pepper
  3. combine all ingredients
  4. form into patties
  5. pre-heat an oiled non stick pan over medium heat
  6. cook each patty 5 minutes per side
  7. that’s it.

I’ve made these twice, both times a little different based on what was on hand at home. The first time I added 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1/2 juiced lime, and 1/4 cup leftover lentils (mashed) to the mix. Yesterday, I didn’t have cilantro or lentils and completely spaced it on the lime juice.

The greatest thing about these black bean burgers is that just about anything goes. I think next time I’ll try them with Worcestershire instead of hot sauce.

Get creative and remember: beans, beans, they’re good for your heart…

Update (10/02/2017): We make these regularly – still a crowd pleaser! Photo from last week’s dinner. My sister just made and approved them too. 





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