I’m not much of a meat eater. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a vegetarian, but when it comes to meat, I never crave it and I rarely enjoy it. However, I’m married to someone who just so happens to like meat, and I kind of like him, so we met in the middle with this recipe for homemade black bean burgers. Carnivores, I hope you haven’t left! The simple, yet flavorful ingredients in this recipe will have you going back for seconds and seriously debating whether or not a real beef burger is actually any better.
When I worked at Whole Foods a few years ago, there was a week long period of time where two incredibly darling, yet powerfully persuasive people came to our store giving live demonstrations of the wonderful magic that is the Vitamix. For those of you who might not know what a Vitamix is, it’s an industrial strength blender that chops, pulses, grinds and purees its way into your heart. Oh the things it could do! I watched in awe as whole raw vegetables turned into savory, rich soups. Fruits and milk swirled together into a sweet smoothie of bliss. Oats became flour. Peanuts became peanut butter. I watched, I sampled, I drooled, I blew my whole paycheck and bought one. And I’d do it all over again if I had the chance! It is this little joy of a machine that makes these burgers so smooth and this recipe so simple. If you’re deeply attached to your food processor, and I know some of you are, that will work just as well. No hatin’.
This is a meal fit for a group. Call up your friends, your family, your neighbors, your swim team, whoever, go grab some wine, toast some buns and get ready for a good night ahead. Our friends from out of town came over a few weekends ago and before we got crazy killing off each other’s mob families in Family Business, we scarfed down nearly eight of these little patties without guilt or shame. And the FRIES! Soft, salty, savory, perfect with little mountains of ketchup. I tend to overcook my fries because I’m one of those weird people who likes nearly burnt food (I’d definitely be Chopped for this), but as long as your potatoes are cooked through, you’re in for some serious nomming.
What to Bring to the Store
You will need one or two reusable produce bags for your potatoes, garlic and rosemary. IF you’re the coolest person ever (and if you are, we should meet), then you might need a reusable bulk bag for some dried black beans. Honestly, I have failed multiple times at successfully cooking dried black beans, but it can be done and it will save you some recycling in the end. Here is a great step-by-step guide for cooking with dried black beans by Annie’s Eats. If you’re lacking on any of the spices needed for these recipes, then be sure to bring your reusable spice bags or jars!
- 2 cans of black beans, drained
- 1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (for extra flavor, get the Italian flavored kind)
- 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Put the black beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or back of a fork until they form a paste (there will still be chunks). Add the garlic, eggs, salt, black pepper and paprika. Mix well. Then add the breadcrumbs and stir until combined.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan on medium heat. Form four black bean patties with your hands, rolling into a ball, then flattening. Once the oil is warm, add the patties to the pan and allow to brown for two minutes. Flip and cook an additional two minutes (this is a good time to add a slice of cheese). Transfer the four patties to a cookie sheet and put into the oven to finish cooking through, an additional 4 minutes.
- Repeat with the rest of the bean mixture, making four more patties.
- Top with avocado, lettuce, condiments, and anything else you love on your burger!
- We each usually eat two patties per serving. You an make four larger patties instead of eight smaller if you prefer.
If you went the dried black bean route, then the only thing that you might need to recycle is your breadcrumb tub. If you made both your beans and your breadcrumbs from scratch, then you’re looking at zero waste! I didn’t have time to do the dried black beans, but I did make my breadcrumbs from scratch, so my only waste here are two recyclable aluminum cans. Not bad!
Frozen black bean burgers come in plastic wrapping that has to be thrown out. Similarly, frozen french fries, and most frozen food packaging, is made of a thinner plastic that can be difficult to recycle. By making this recipe from scratch, you are saving this gnarly plastic from going into the garbage. Frozen foods are also usually filled with many unnatural preservatives that you can’t pronounce and who knows where they came from?! Save yourself the headache and the plastic.
— Bon Appetite!