Basic Black Bean Burgers
I had a discovery last week – Black Bean Burgers are not hard to make at home! Yay! I have had my share of veggie burgers from restaurants. I’ve also tried most of the frozen varieties sold in grocery stores. Last weekend we had a BBQ here at the house. We had a funny menu of steaks and veggie burgers. For years (and years! …going on 20 years next month actually!) Bob and I have been grilling chicken…I just wasn’t in a chicken mood. Bob loves a good grilled steak and I don’t mind a few bites myself. However, since childhood my body doesn’t digest red meat well – even when I might be in the mood for steak and red meat, I can’t have more than just a bite or two. Most of my friends are either vegetarian or close to it like me. For our party we picked up a big box of yummy veggie burgers from Costco. Taking a look at the ingredients list I was impressed that the ingredients list looked decent and simple. It stirred a curiosity in me about making them from scratch.
It doesn’t happen often that the first time I make something it’s good. In this case it did. I used a recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman – I thought it amusing that a rancher woman with a beef eating husband would be making black bean burgers. Turns out I’m not the only one that has a carnivore spouse but likes to eat on the veggie side. The main thing I switched up was using whole wheat bread crumbs as well has whole wheat/grain buns (Whole Foods has ’em). They are good basic and they are good spiced up. As with any hamburger, half the fun is loading them with the fixin’s.
On burger nights at our house we have a condiments try and a fixin’s tray. Everyone builds up their burger to their personal liking. Guac is our latest favorite burger topping. If you are sensitive to gluten or if you simply are trying to cut down on excess carbs, skip the bun altogether and load up on more veggies. Burger bowls are always a good option.
Making home-made black bean burgers is so much easier than I expected. I imagined needing a bigger Cuisinart and all the washing that goes with using such appliances. I was happy to learn that all you do is mash the beans with a fork, add in all the ingredients, and stir!
I mainly use my indoor grill pan to cook up black bean burgers. The first time I made them they were a bit too mushy inside. The next time I added more bread crumbs and cooked ’em a few minutes longer on each side with a lid on the pan to keep in the heat. They cooked through better.
Today my adorable mom came over for a visit. Being just a few days past Mother’s Day I felt like treating her to a home cooked lunch.
She tried to take half a burger but it didn’t take much convincing to get her to eat a whole one, and have bites of a 2nd to boot! Yay, I love feeding my mama 😉
This weekend we had beautiful weather. We got the hot tub/pool going and grilled up a storm. It feels like summer is here already. I made a big batch of black bean burgers in the morning, stuck them in the freezer to get firm, and had Bob grill them up for us later in the day. Freezing them helped hold them together on the grill. Loved the smokey flavor! Cooked them alongside some 95% lean beef burgers (yellow light in Kurbo!) with some low-fat cheese for the meat and cheese eaters in the family.
Now comes the nutrition talk. The biggest reason I love black bean burgers and servin’ them up to my family and friends is that they are so good for you. Black beans have protein – great for vegetarians out there. Black beans have tons of fiber – they will fill you up! Black beans are also a good source of iron – for those verging on anemic all the time folk (like me!) so they’ll give you energy. Lastly, black beans taste good and smell great, almost like actual meat burgers when they are cooking…win, win.
- 2 cans organic black beans, drained
- 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated onion (about ½ an onion)
- 1 whole egg
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use chipotle Choloula)
- low-fat slices of cheese
- sliced tomatoes
- red onions
- low-fat mayo
- Drain the black beans
- Mash them in a big bowl with a fork
- Leave some black beans still intact (leave some whole beans visible)
- Add all the ingredients - breadcrumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, salt, and hot sauce
- Stir until combined and let sit a few minutes
- Shape into patties (they will not shrink when cooked)
- Heat an indoor grill pan with liberal amounts of spray oil
- Cook about 5 minutes per side
- Place lid on pan to heat through and to melt cheese on top
- If grilling black bean burgers on outdoor grill, freezing the patties beforehand helps to keep them intact
- Toast buns in pan or grill
- Choose your fixin's!