Southwest Black Bean Burger


Before I was a chef, my only experience with black bean burgers was a disappointing one. I used to buy frozen patties at the grocery store that were bland, dry and flavorless. It felt more like a punishment to eat them than any kind of nourishment for my body! It wasn’t until I had a brilliant chef instructor in school reacquaint me with how delicious and amazing black bean burgers can be. I have tinkered with a couple of recipes, but this one is definitely a favorite. Spicy, bursting with flavor and the perfect dense texture, these burgers will leave you full and happy! As an added bonus, you can make the patties in big batches and freeze them for several months for fast dinners or lunches. 

The key to success with these burgers is to make sure they are frozen before you cook them and to make sure your burger mixture isn’t runny! Finally, toppings are what really compliment any meatless burger, so have fun adding any other toppings you think would be yummy on this burger!! 

Southwest Black Bean Burger
Makes 4 servings

1 (14.5oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
½  red bell pepper, cut into big chunks
½ green bell pepper, cut into big chunks
¼ cup shallot, chopped into big chunks
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
½ to 1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg
1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste  

Whole wheat hamburger buns
1 ripe avocado, cut into slices
½ cup arugula
3 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce
Pinch smoked paprika
For the burger,
dump beans into a large bowl and smash with spoon until creamy. In a food processor combine remaining ingredients except egg. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped and combined. Add egg and pulse until combined. Dump mixture into bowl with beans and stir until combined. At this point, if your mixture is runny, add more bread crumbs. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add water one tablespoon at a time just until it is moist enough to shape patties.

Shape 4 patties by hand and place on a baking sheet, cover and place in freezer until patties are solid (about an hour). At this point, you can wrap up any patties you want to save in plastic wrap and place in airtight ziplocks for further use. To cook burgers, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Cook patties until a nice brown crust forms and center is hot. 

For the toppings, mix together mayo, hot sauce and paprika. Spread on hamburger bun. Place burger on bun and top with avocado and arugula. Enjoy!