This Black Bean Burger with Seared Apple and BBQ Sauce is both hearty and packed with flavor! You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy this burger!
My black bean burger is a tried and true recipe I've made for years. I actually developed this recipe when I briefly owned a food "truck". Truck is in air quotes because I think a vehicle should actually have to run in order to be deemed a "truck". Nonetheless, the moral to this story is my Black Bean Burger recipe won't leave you stranded in Georgia while waiting to be rescued by a castmember from Deliverance.
Ingredients for your black bean patty
- Black Beans - I recommend using canned beans as they are already softened from being cooked. Just make sure to rinse and drain them.
- Green Pepper - Substitute sweeter peppers like red and yellow peppers if desired.
- Red Onion - Any other onion can be substituted as well.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is best, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Egg - Egg is a binder that holds the patty together.
- Breadcrumbs - Breadcrumbs combine with the egg to work as a binder.
- BBQ sauce - Homemade or storebought is fine.
- Seasonings - I use a blend of salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, paprika, and dried oregano. These can all be modified to fit your tastes.
How to Make a Black Bean Burger
As the name may allude to, black beans are the most important ingredient. That is what constitutes the "meat" of this vegetarian burger. You'll want to ensure you sufficiently mash up the beans into a chunky paste when making this recipe. Failing to do so will result in an overly crumbly black bean burger.
However, you don't want to over mash them either because you want to retain some texture from the beans. You can use a fork to mash the beans, but I find a potato masher works more efficiently. It does a good job mashing a wide area while still leaving some beans intact.
Similar to making a classic meatloaf, breadcrumbs and egg will hold the black beans together as a binder. You will want to use classic breadcrumbs. If you substitute Panko, you will need a different ratio.
Once you master this recipe, be sure to try my Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger too! It has a similar flavor, but a slightly creamier texture as it is fortified with sweet potatoes!
Buns and Toppings
In my humble opinion, serving this hearty patty on a pretzel bun makes the best black bean burger! The chewy texture of a pretzel bun is a great compliment to the hearty vegetarian burger patty. I also believe the tart flavor of a Granny Smith apple pairs best with this burger and also stands up well to cooking.
Additionally, I find using a sweet and slightly spicy BBQ sauce to be the ideal condiment. I recommend my Homemade BBQ Sauce. It plays really nicely with the hearty burger and the sweet Granny Smith apples.
Green leaf lettuce is my favorite to use on any burger. I tend to stay away from romaine in particular because its large, crunchy vein detracts from the texture of the burger.
Can these be made in advance?
Yes, you can make the burger mixture and the patties in advance. The patties can stored in the refrigerator for a few days prior to cooking, or freeze for longer storage.
What to Serve with Black Bean Burgers
Serving up fatty classic french fries would feel out of place with this healthy black bean burger. Instead, pair this meal with Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream Sauce for dipping. Alternatively, sweet potato hash browns would be a perfect hit too, and you could still top them with the same sauce!
No, of course not. Anyone trying to convince you a meat substitute tastes like meat is trying to sell you a truckload full of tofu excrement. Black bean burgers do not taste like beef, but that doesn't mean they don't still taste great! Black bean burgers are full of contrasting textures and packed with seasoning, there is no reason not to enjoy them exactly for what they are.
Black bean burgers are full of black beans, fresh produce, and seasonings, making them exceptionally healthy. If you want to make your black bean burger even healthier you can remove the bun and replace it with a healthy wrap instead.
Adding egg and breadcrumbs to your burger mixture will act as a binder to hold all of the ingredients together. It is also important to ensure your mash your beans properly. If they are not mashed enough they will not hold together. However, for the best texture, you should not mash the beans completely smooth.
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Black Bean Burger with Seared Apple and BBQ Sauce
- 15 oz can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
- ⅓ Green Pepper (seeded and diced)
- ½ Red Onion (diced)
- 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ cup Breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons BBQ sauce
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh Black Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Oregano
- Oil for skillet
- 4 Hamburger Buns
- 4 Leaves Green Leaf Lettuce
- 1 Granny Smith Apple cut into 16 slices
- BBQ Sauce
- Drain and rinse beans and then mash in a bowl to form a chunky paste.
- Add all remaining ingredients, minus oil, to the beans and combine thoroughly.
- Form into four patties.
- Place in lightly oiled skillet, working in batches as needed, and cook on medium heat until brown crust forms, flip and repeat. Patty should firm up during cooking, if not, turn down the heat and let it cook through.
- Lightly butter inside of buns and toast in heated skillet until buns begin to brown..
- Add apple slices to skillet and sear until tender, but not mushy.
- Place one slice of lettuce on each bun, top with black bean burger, 4 apple slices, and BBQ sauce.
- Serve Immediately
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com January 6, 2016.