Best Black Bean Burgers
One of the best parts of my job, is that I work with a bunch of doctors, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants. This is great for me, because as a “junior” hypochondriac, I have free access to medical advice and check ups whenever I “need” them. Since I’ve worked for my current company, I’ve gotten my gallbladder scanned, a broken toe fixed, un-diagnosed of a blood clot and most recently been treated for a wonderful upper respiratory infection that has turned into bronchitis. (I currently sound like a 12 yr old boy going through a voice change. It’s awesome.) None of this required me to miss work or make a doctors appointment!
But in addition to getting all this medical help, I get a black burger on occasion too! It’s much more pleasant than getting my broken toe realigned. That’s for darn sure. Last Friday our PA and fellow dog lover brought in this amazingly delicious black bean burger. It was freaking awesome for something made out of beans. I ate it in like 3.5 seconds and was immediately disappointed that my bean burger experience was over. Luckily, she gave me the recipe which I took home and of course whipped up a batch for myself!
Per the usual, I didn’t follow the recipe to the tee. Never happens. I took my own little spin on it, but kept a few major things the same – like using tortilla chips for bread crumbs. Genius idea right there. But there are a few important things in this recipe that will ensure you have the best black bean burger ever!
- Grate the onions. The difference between grating and just chopping up the onion, is that the grated onions release a LOT more juice. This adds a lot of moisture and flavor to the burgers which is important since black beans don’t really have much moisture themselves.
- Use the tortilla chips sparingly. Using corn chips as a replacement for breadcrumbs gives these burgers a wonderful flavor. But just like any breadcrumb, they absorb moisture. You add too much, you get a dry burger. So per the instructions, add them in slowly, mixing thoroughly. Stop adding them in when the mixture just begins to hold together.
- Let the burgers sit. Yes, this requires some patience. But this step is really important. First, it lets all the flavors merry and steep together. It also allows the burgers to firm up and all the moisture distribute evenly throughout. Don’t skip this part!
- Change it up! While this isn’t a “step” per say, if you’re not a fan of these flavors or spices, you can change the spice profile to whatever you like – try an Italian spin. Or even a Caribbean twist!
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup grated red onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cilantro, minced
- 1 tsp smoked hot paprika
- 1 tbsp hot sauce (I like Frank’s Hot Sauce)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp fresh lime zest, plus the juice
- 6 oz tortilla chips, crushed into fine crumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 whole wheat hamburger bungs
- 2 avocados
- 4 slices muenster cheese
- Optional: sliced red onion, lettuce, tomato or pickles!
- Add black beans through lime zest into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mash together the black bean mixture. You want all the ingredients thoroughly combined. Mash at least 50% of the beans to help the burgers stay together, but leave some whole for good texture!
- Slowly add in the crushed tortilla chips – mixing as you go. You want the black bean mixture to stay together in a mass when squeezed with your hands. You may not use all of the chips.
- Form the burgers so they are about 1/2″ thick. This makes about 4-5 burgers. Put burgers on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat the olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add 2-3 burgers at a time and cook for 1-2 minutes on first side. Flip and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. If you want cheese on your burger, add it now so the hot side facing up can melt the cheese! (Cover with lid to speed cheese melting).
- While the burgers cook, cut up avocados into a small mixing bowl. Mash with the back of a spoon to form a chunky paste. Add in additional lime juice and salt if desired.
- Assemble the burgers – top with avocado, red onion and lettuce or any other favorite topping! Serve immediately!