Black Bean Burgers


Most veggie burgers are a pale imitation of the all-beef original, but even with ordinary black beans, these robust patties with roasted red pepper spread are moist and delicious. The spread doubles as a fantastic dipping sauce for French fries.

Black Bean Burgers
These vegetarian burgers make thick, delicious patties that stay tender. The roasted red pepper spread doubles as a fantastic dipping sauce for french fries. Photo: © Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
8 servings


  • 1 1/4 cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over, then soaked for 4 hours and drained

  • Kosher salt

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup farro

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for sautéing

  • 8 toasted buns

  • Thickly sliced red onions, for serving

Smoky Red Pepper Spread

  • 1 small red bell pepper

  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)


Make the spread

  1. Roast the pepper over a gas flame until charred and softened. Let the pepper cool; peel, seed and chop. In a food processor, puree the pepper with the feta and pimentón; transfer to a bowl and serve.

Make the burgers

  1. In a saucepan, cover the beans with 2 inches of water. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 hour; add water as needed to keep the beans covered by 2 inches. When the beans are tender, season them with salt and let stand for 5 minutes; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the farro and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the grains are al dente, 30 minutes.

  3. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.

  4. In a food processor, pulse all but 1/2 cup of the beans to a chunky puree; transfer to a bowl. Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of beans, the farro, the onion mixture, eggs, bread crumbs, basil, cilantro, pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Form the mixture into 8 patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  5. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1/8 inch of vegetable oil. Add the burgers and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the burgers to the buns. Top with the red pepper spread and the onion slices, close the burgers and serve.

Make ahead

The burgers can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.


One serving 436 cal, 68 gm carb, 11 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 17 gm protein, 11 gm fiber.

Suggested pairing

Earthy and spicy, these bean burgers will pair well with an equally hearty red wine, like a peppery old-vine Zinfandel. Try one from the up-and-coming Paso Robles region in California.

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