Quarantine Cookbook | The beauty of the black bean burger

We’re sharing some of our favorite delicious, easy-to-make recipes for the hungry at home.

By Leah Mensch, Contributing Editor

All I’ve done since March is cook beans. Actually, all I did before March was cook beans too, but because of the ongoing pandemic, my excess bean cooking is now socially acceptable. I think?

When making black bean burgers, you can find my simple black bean from scratch recipe here, or you can just buy canned beans. I’ve made the burgers both ways, and they’re delicious regardless. Right now, I’m enjoying making the beans from scratch, because my high school cross country coach always told me to “find ways to make your sport harder,” and my sport is beans.

If beans are my sport then black bean burgers are my speciality. Without further ado, here’s how I make them:

Total Cook Time: 20 minutes to cook, 15 minutes to prep

Servings: 4 burgers


16 oz can of black beans (about 1 ¾ cups cooked)

1/2 small bell pepper

1/2 onion 

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs 

2 eggs

3 cloves of garlic 

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin (cumin is my one and only true love in life, so I use way more.)

1 tsp hot sauce (optional for added spice)


Step 1: If you’re using canned beans, rinse them in a colander and mash them in a bowl until they are thick and pasty.

Step 2: Chop the bell pepper, onion and garlic finely. Sometimes I like to add jalapenos, too. If you have a food processor, it makes this step way easier. If you don’t, just chop the veggies up as small as possible.

Step 3: In a small bowl, scramble the raw eggs and mix in the chili powder, cumin and hot sauce, if you decide to use it.

Step 4: Dump the spice and eggs mixture into the bowl of mashed beans. Mix in the breadcrumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds. You might need more than ½ cup, so don’t be afraid to add as much as you need.

Step 5: Divide your mixture into four patties and prepare to cook. My preferred way of cooking is frying in a pan with a generous amount of olive oil. You can also deep fry them, or bake them in the oven. But let’s be honest, nothing that’s supposed to be fried tastes as good when it’s baked.

Step 6: In a pan, pour a generous amount of olive oil (or any other kind of oil) and cook the burgers for about eight minutes on each side, or until they’re slightly charred.

Serving Suggestions: 

As you can see in the photo, today I decided to eat these with some classic cheddar cheese, spinach and sriracha on a bun.

I often eat them cooked in a slice of pita with feta cheese, for a more Mediterranean-style meal. Sometimes I crumble a leftover one over a salad, but that’s less fun. I almost always cook potatoes on the side — usually sweet potatoes, although today, I used white potatoes.