Smoky Vegetarian Black Bean Burger

Ryan Eckles, Project Bread

School-sized School Lunch

Vegetarian & Vegan Instructions

Smoky Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers

The keys to this recipe are dehydrating beans, the feta cheese for instant flavor, the sautéed peppers, onions and spices for smokiness, and the chopped nuts for contrasting texture. The vegan version of this recipe also calls for nutritional yeast. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend stocking it in your pantry because of its versatility. It gives you that cheesiness when you need to make vegan mac and cheese and is also used as an alternative to table salt for seasoning.

This is an easy recipe your school nutrition team can make in bulk then freeze the patties for longer storage. These are good on burger buns, in wraps, or as tacos. We’ve even modified this recipe to make “meatballs,” and they were delicious! 

Intro to Vegetarian Cooking workshop
Chef Ryan plates a black bean burger in a demonstration to school nutrition staff in "Intro to Vegetarian Cooking" workshop series.

YIELD: 8 SERVINGS, 6 OZ. PORTIONS

Vegetarian Ingredients

Use the below ingredients list to make these burgers vegetarian.

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided

1 medium onion, finely chopped or 3 cups frozen pepper & onion mix, roasted for 10 mins @ 420°F.

1 large pepper (bell, poblano, Anaheim), finely chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 1 tsp sauce, or 1 1/2 TBSP chipotle powder

3/4 cup roasted cashews or chopped sunflower seeds

1/2 cup crumbled feta

2 Tbsp mayo 

1 whole egg 

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

8 slices cheese, such as pepper jack, cheddar, muenster, or Swiss (optional)

8 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Optional :

  • Condiments such as a specialty vegan chipotle aioli, or ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, etc. 
  • Toppings as desired, such as shredded lettuce, sliced onions, tomato, avocado and pickles 

YIELD: 8 SERVINGS, 6 OZ. PORTIONS

Vegan Ingredients

Use the below ingredients list to make these burgers vegan.​​​​

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided

1 medium onion, finely chopped or 3 cups frozen pepper & onion mix, roasted for 10 mins @ 420°F.

1 large pepper (bell, poblano, Anaheim), finely chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 1 tsp sauce, or 1 1/2 TBSP chipotle powder

3/4 cup roasted cashews or chopped sunflower seeds

1/2 cup nutrition yeast + 3 Tbsp water, mixed

2 Tbsp vegan aioli (vegan mayo recipe)

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water, well mixed)

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

8 slices vegan cheese

6 to 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Condiments such as a specialty vegan chipotle aioli, or ketchup, mustard, vegan mayonnaise, etc. (optional)

Toppings as desired, such as shredded lettuce, sliced onions, tomato, avocado and pickles (optional)

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spread black beans in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast until beans are mostly split open and outer skins are beginning to get crunchy, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  2. While beans roast, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. If you’re using the frozen then roasted peppers and onions then cook at the same time as the garlic. Add chipotle chili/sauce and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  3. Place cashews or sunflowers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped into pieces no larger than 1/3-inch, about 12 short pulses. Add to bowl with onions and peppers.

  4. When beans are slightly cooled, transfer to food processor. Add cheese/nutritional yeast. Pulse until beans are roughly chopped (the largest pieces should be about 1/3 of a full bean in size). Transfer to bowl with onion/pepper mixture. Add mayonnaise/vegan mayo, egg/flax egg, and bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Fold together gently but thoroughly with hands. Patty mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days at this stage.

  5. Form bean mixture into 8 patties as wide as your burger buns. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 4 patties and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until well browned and crisp on first side, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until second side is browned, about 5 minutes longer, adding cheese if desired. If cooking more than 4 burgers, cook in batches, keeping cooked burgers on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven while second batch cooks.

  6. Spread top and bottom buns with chipotle mayonnaise or other condiments as desired. Add toppings to top or bottom bun as desired. Place patties on bottom buns, close burgers, and serve immediately.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Nutritional information for vegetarian black bean patty, not including bun or toppings*

Calories 360 calories Saturated Fat 3.68 g Sodium 653 mg Carbohydrate 35.3 g

* nutrient data and allergen information may vary depending on the specific ingredients and equipment used in your location.

 

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