Barbecue/Grill/ Burgers

Classic Spicy Black Bean Burgers

spicy black bean burgers

These spicy black bean burgers really hit the spot with flavour and texture. They’re spicy, nutty, crispy and have a secret umami ingredient.

I’m a huge bean burger fan, I think they’re truly a genius creation. Yes they’re sometimes messy to eat but a spicy burger cushioned between a soft buttery bun is always the right decision to make.

Throw in some fresh salad, maybe some coleslaw or perhaps some spicy mayo and you’re on to a total winner!

We’re big foodies in my house and I’ll be honest, we love all food. We throw ourselves head-first into new cuisines and dishes and we love exploring different flavours. But when it comes to burgers we’re pretty particular… especially spicy black bean burgers!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been served a spicy black bean burger that’s:

  1. Not spicy
  2. Dry
  3. Mushy
  4. Bland

My spicy black bean burgers tick every box on my unofficial ‘good bean burger checklist’. They’re also cushioned between my Homemade Burger Buns which mimic the texture of a potato roll.

Basically a buttery bun that’s incredibly light and won’t turn into mush when you go to grab it!

These Spicy Black Bean Burgers are:

  • Easy
  • Spicy!
  • Juicy but not mushy
  • Crisp
  • Freeze-able
  • Hearty

These burgers hold their shape whilst having the perfect amount of moisture that a bean burger should. I’ve added in some textural ingredients to provide a little crunch plus the perfect balance of spices.

These burger patties have a subtle crisp coating and a hearty interior. They’re honestly incredibly easy to throw together and they don’t require a huge amount of ingredients.

spicy black bean burgers

What you’ll need to make the best bean burgers ever

  • Black beans – you can substitute these for kidney beans/pinto beans. But black beans definitely taste the best in my opinion! I’ve used tinned in this recipe, but you can also boil some dried black beans. I’ve used both many times in the past with no noticeable difference to texture
  • Red pepper – adds a little sweetness and freshness
  • Carrot – more sweetness and freshness
  • Fresh jalapeno – the main spice provider! This adds a lovely heat and freshness that’s unparalleled. If you can’t get hold of fresh jalapenos you can substitute for pickled jalapenos and omit the vinegar in the recipe
  • Walnuts – these add a nutty earthiness to the burgers. Their contribution to the flavour is subtle but noticeable. However they make a huge difference texturally by providing a necessary crunch. (substitute these for sunflower seeds if you have a nut allergy)
  • Tomato purée – a concentrated tomato paste that adds umami-ness whilst providing a deeper, richer flavour
  • Mushroom sauce – adds a ton of umami-ness and provides an incredible earthy flavour. You’ll find this at your local East Asian supermarket and it makes a huge difference. The closest substitute would be dark soy sauce… but it’s not the same
  • Balsamic vinegar – a little acidity to cut through the beany richness. A decent malt vinegar or some lemon juice will also work well
  • Garlic powder – this works far better than fresh garlic here
  • Ground cumin – adds earthiness and a subtle warmth to the burgers
  • Smoked paprika – adds smokiness, but if you’re not keen on the smoky flavour then the best substitute is paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder
  • Dried parsley – adds a very subtle herbiness. It’s far more muted in comparison to its fresh counterpart but it works well here
  • Plain flour – for binding
  • Oats – for binding
  • Salt – everything is better when it’s seasoned!
spicy black bean burgers

How to make the Spicy Black Bean Burger mix

It’s super simple and doesn’t take long at all! As long as you’ve got a food processor, this will be easy work. I’d recommend using hand-masher for mashing the beans rather than the food processor as it leaves different sizes of beans which works well for the texture.

The food processor breaks the beans down a little too much and it turns the texture of the burgers into a mush.

1) Blitz the red pepper, carrot, jalapenos and walnuts in a food processor
2) Transfer this mix to a bowl and add in black beans, sauces and seasonings

3) Roughly mash the mixture to breakdown some of the black beans, but make sure to leave some whole for texture
4) Add in flour and oats, and mix

How to shape the Spicy Black Bean Burgers

By hand!

Grab a handful of the mix and start to form it into a ball in your hands. Press this down between your palms to flatten into a burger shape. It’s honestly very easy and doesn’t take long at all. It does not matter if they’re not 100% perfect. That’s the beauty of a rustic bean burger recipe!

If you’re finding the mash a little sticky, lightly oil your hands and continue shaping. These need to be immediately cooked after shaping as they’ll stick if you put them down again.

How to cook the burgers

There are a few different ways so I’ll cover all of them below:

Pan frying

This is my preferred method of choice. Simply pan fry the burgers in 2-3tbsp of oil on medium heat in a wide frying pan. This should take 7-8 minutes in total, flipping the burgers half way through.

Then allow the burgers to cool for 2-3 minutes and they will start to firm up. This produces the most crisp exterior and I normally cook 4 burgers in my pan at a time.

Baking

Place the burgers on a greased oven tray, brush the top surface of the burger with oil and bake at 180’C fan/200’C conventional for ~40 minutes, flipping over half way through.

Be careful with flipping these over as they’ll still be quite soft at the 20 minute mark. The exterior doesn’t get as crisp as pan frying and the burgers are marginally drier, but overall still moist.

Grilling on the barbecue

These need to be precooked before placing on the barbecue as the burger mix is quite soft. First pan fry the burgers in 2-3 tbsp of oil on high heat for 2-3 minutes, flipping over half way. This is just to seal the exterior so they hold shape.

Let them cool for 5 minutes to start firming up and then they’re ready to transfer to a barbecue to continue cooking. This par-cooking method allows the burgers to firm up prior to transferring to the grill. This can be done on the day or even the day before.

Pan frying works brilliantly!

spicy black bean burgers

Baking works fine too, just make sure to grease your tray and brush oil on the burger

Assembling these Spicy Black Bean Burgers

I’ve started with a spicy vegan mayonnaise which was simply a mixture of vegan mayonnaise and chilli oil. Some fresh lettuce is always essential, followed by the burgers themselves. A few red onions for that spicy crunch and finally a slice of tomato.

I don’t add any more sauces but feel free to add in chilli sauce or ketchup if you desire. You can also melt some cheese on top of your spicy black bean burger – that’s always a good shout.

Toasted burger bun lathered with a spicy vegan mayonnaise

Fresh lettuce and the burger patty placed, along with red onion and a slice of tomato

spicy black bean burgers

Burger lid on and good to go!

To cook the vegetables or not?

I don’t.

I don’t think there’s any need to for my recipe. A lot of recipes call for sautéing or roasting the vegetables (or even the beans) to remove excess moisture. I’ve been making these for years and have never found them too moist, I love them as they are.

I like the rawness of the vegetables as it does add a necessary freshness to an otherwise very hearty burger. Plus it’s an additional step, I’m happy with keeping this fairly simple.

The plain flour and oats are sufficient to bind this together and they soak up residual moisture. They also aid in crisping these up.

Can I freeze the spicy black bean burgers?

Yes, but it’s best to cook them first using the methods above.

First place your cooked (and cooled) burgers spaced apart on a flat tray/plate. Pop them into the freezer for 1-2 hours to freeze completely.

Then transfer them to a freezer safe container or bag. This method of freezing prevents the burgers from sticking together.

These will last 4-5 months frozen. To reheat, simply pop them into the oven at 200’C fan/220’C conventional for 10-15minutes, and enjoy!

Can you coat the burgers in breadcrumbs before cooking them?

Yup and it works brilliantly. I rarely ever do, but it does work really well. Have a wide bowl filled with breadcrumbs of your preference and place the burgers directly into them after shaping.

Cook immediately with either of the methods mentioned above.

What is mushroom sauce? Where do I find it?

Mushroom sauce is a thick seasoning sauce made from mushrooms. It’s often used as a vegetarian oyster sauce due to its consistency and flavour. It packs a high amount of natural glutamates which provide a deep and rich umami flavour to any dishes it’s used in.

I always purchase my mushroom sauce from my local East Asian supermarket, it’s very easy to find. Some brands may contain wheat so do check the ingredients if you’re gluten intolerant.

The closest substitute would be dark soy sauce, however it’s not the same and will not provide the same flavour.

mushroom sauce

How to prepare the spicy black bean burger mix in advance

Prepare your entire filling and follow the recipe up until the shaping stage. At this point seal your mix in an air tighter container or cover with clingfilm, and transfer to the fridge until you want to shape and cook them.

This actually allows the mix to firm up a little more and you’ll find the shaping stage less sticky. This can be left in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When you want to cook the burgers, these can be shaped and cooked immediately. There is no need to wait for the mix to come to room temperature.

What if I want to make the burgers mild?

Substitute the jalapenos for a mild chilli, alternatively you can de-seed and de-vein the jalapenos as this is where the main spice chemical is found. Otherwise feel free to omit entirely if you’re making these for children or want no heat at all.

Can these be made gluten free?

Yes, use a gluten free flour blend and gluten free oats. Chickpea flour also works really well here in replacement for the plain flour.

I’m allergic to nuts, what should I use?

Use sunflower seeds instead of walnuts, having some form of seed or nut is crucial for texture so I wouldn’t recommend omitting. However if needs must, then omit.

Are the oats essential? Can I use more flour instead?

The oats help to bind these without making them dense as well as helping to crisp these up. I would definitely recommend using oats as per the recipe. They don’t impart any flavour if that’s your concern!

I would avoid using more flour as that will make it more dense.

The closest substitute would be breadcrumbs but it wouldn’t be an equal measure. I can’t give you an exact amount as I’ve always made these with oats.

spicy black bean burgers

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

dishbyrish
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course dinner, lunch
Servings 8 burgers

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g tinned black beans equivalent to 200g dried black beans
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 fresh jalapenos or around 8-10 pieces of pickled jalapenos
  • 1 small carrot
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp mushroom sauce or 3tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika optional, or Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 45 g plain flour
  • 80 g rolled oats
  • Oil for pan frying e.g. vegetable, sunflower, rapeseed etc

Instructions
 

  • Drain your black beans from the tins and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Alternatively if using dried black beans, boil them until cooked through and drain
  • Place the red pepper, carrot, jalapenos and walnuts in a food processor and pulse till finely minced
  • Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the tomato puree, mushroom sauce, vinegar, black beans, salt, garlic, cumin, paprika and dried parsley. Mix to combine
  • Roughly mash the mixture whilst making sure to leave some of the black beans whole for texture
  • Add plain flour and oats, and mix to combine
  • Form burger patties to desired size and pan fry in 2-3tbsps of oil for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat. Flip the burgers over and continue to cook for a further 3-4 minutes. (Baking and grilling instructions are in the recipe notes)
  • Layer the burgers up in your buns with mayonnaise, lettuce, red onions and tomato

Notes

Baking:
Place the burgers on a greased oven tray, brush the top surface of the burger with oil and bake at 180’C fan/200’C conventional for ~40 minutes, flipping over half way through. Be careful with flipping these over as they’ll still be quite soft at the 20 minute mark. The exterior doesn’t get as crisp as pan frying and the burgers are marginally drier, but overall still moist.
Grilling on the barbecue:
These need to be precooked before placing on the barbecue as the burger mix is quite soft. First pan fry the burgers in 2-3 tbsp of oil on high heat for 2-3 minutes, flipping over half way. This is just to seal the exterior so they hold shape. Let them cool for 5 minutes to start firming up and then they’re ready to transfer to a barbecue to continue cooking. This par-cooking method allows the burgers to firm up prior to transferring to the grill. This can be done on the day or even the day before.
Keyword bean burger, black bean burger, burger, spicy bean burger

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Homemade Burger Buns - Dish by Rish
    June 30, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    […] Keyword buns, burger, burger buns, dough, yeast June 23, 2021 By dishbyrish 0 Classic Spicy Black Bean Burgers […]

  • Reply
    Anika
    August 30, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Best black bean burger recipe ever! Just loved it ❤️

    • Reply
      dishbyrish
      September 1, 2021 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you so much Anika, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the burgers!

  • Reply
    Siya
    September 22, 2023 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    Love all recipes shared by you…. Thank you so much for sharing these delicious treasures

    • Reply
      dishbyrish
      September 23, 2023 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you so much Siya, this has literally made my day! Cannot thank you enough

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