A tasty, solid gluten free and vegan black bean burger recipe is a bit tricky to find. No longer! The trick here is to use slightly sticky short grain (brown) rice to hold everything together without eggs or strange binding ingredients, and bake the burgers instead of frying them.
If you’re like me and keep containers of cooked rice and beans in the freezer, these take no time at all to pull together. If not, you can use canned beans and use leftover rice or cook it ahead of time. The flavours in the burgers are pretty simple, but you could add some herbs or extra spices as you’d like, as long as the base stays the same. No flour, no oats, nothing. Super simple stuff.
I sandwich the burgers in these spelt buns and top them off with plenty of crunchy seasonal veggies and red cabbage salad, some sweet potato lentil hummus, and pickled onions. A rainbow in the middle of winter, all with local ingredients! You can, of course, also top with some ketchup and mustard and call it a day.
For some more great black bean recipes (cook a big pot! Freeze them for later!) try my black bean sweet potato chili, vegan black bean meatballs, or, if you’re reading this in the warmer months, a summery vegan burrito bowl.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Black beans: use canned or cooked, it doesn’t matter. If using canned, drain and rinse well before adding to the mixture.
- Rice: short grain brown rice is perfect for this recipe, but other types of rice can be used in a pinch. Note that you may need extra binding ingredients (like chickpea flour( if using something like long-grain rice, which is less sticky. Don’t rinse the rice before cooking it.
- Sunflower seeds: to add a bit of texture, and can be subbed with other seeds if preferred, or left out altogether.
- Spices: adjust the spices to your personal preference. This is a fairly typical combination with black beans – a hint of cumin, a little spice – but you could add some fresh herbs or something like garam masala.
If your burger mixture is too soft, add a tablespoon or two of chickpea or spelt flour to thicken it. This might be due to a higher water content in the rice, for example.
Of course you can shape the patties to be the same size as your buns, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
While you can take the extra time to cook the onion and garlic before adding, it’s an unnecessary step as the burgers are baked for half an hour. If you want to boost the onion flavour more, try adding some caramelised onions to the mix.
How to Store
Storage: if you know that the baked burgers will be too much for you, I recommend storing the unbaked mixture in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days and baking when needed. The cooked burgers tend to dry out a bit when stored.
Freezing: shape the mixture into patties and freeze on a parchment-lined tray until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes extra onto the cooking time.
- Use day old rice: this is perfect, and great if you’re looking to use up some leftovers. Day old rice is a little dryer than fresh, so you get good solid burgers.
- Don’t over-bake: keep an eye on the burgers close to the end of the baking time – if you cook them for too long they’ll become dry.
- No food processor, no problem: while it’s harder to make these without a food processor, you can do it by hand. Simply chop the onion and garlic very finely, then mix in the other ingredients with your hands, squeezing to crush about half of the beans, until the mixture holds together well.
More Burgers and Patties
If you make these Black Bean Burgers or any other vegetarian mains on Occasionally Eggs, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email.
Black Bean Rice Burgers with Rainbow Toppings
- 1 small yellow onion ~60 grams
- 3 cloves garlic
- 300 grams cooked black beans
- 200 grams cooked short-grain brown rice
- 40 grams raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the onion and garlic into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until finely chopped. Add the beans, rice, seeds, olive oil, vinegar, spices, and maple syrup. Pulse until a thick mixture with some texture forms. It should be slightly sticky and hold together very easily.1 small yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, 300 grams cooked black beans, 200 grams cooked short-grain brown rice, 40 grams raw sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Form large balls, about 1/3 cup each, and flatten them into large patties about 2 cm thick and 10 cm wide. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-35* minutes, or until the outside is golden and slightly crispy.
- Serve immediately with buns and plenty of toppings.Sweet potato lentil hummus, Dijon mustard, Cabbage salad, Shredded carrots, Rucola or another winter green, Pickled onions
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.