Black bean quinoa burgers made with southwest spices are loaded with plant-protein and veggies. In this step by step tutorial I’ll show you how to make black bean burgers that are moist, delicious, and satisfying.
My husband is a burger guy. He loves a juicy burger topped with cheese and bacon. Fortunately or unfortunately for him (depending on how you look at it) I don’t make beef burgers, but I do make killer black bean burgers.
Living in a mixed diet house has its challenges. I only prepare plant-based meals, but when you’re married to an omnivore and have two picky kids, it can be a challenge to find meals everyone loves.
So when I created this recipe for black bean quinoa burgers that was well received by everyone, I was thrilled to have an easy weeknight go-to meal I could add to my meal planning rotation.
Recently my husband was away for a work trip, and when he came home and saw these in the fridge it didn’t take more than 5 minutes for him to heat one up and make his own specialty burger with tomato, guacamole, lettuce and onion.
While my husband still enjoys a real burger every so often, my kids are not fans of beef burgers. They don’t like the texture, but black bean quinoa burgers are another story. They love them!
These black bean quinoa burgers aren’t too spicy for the kids, but they’re also not lacking in flavor with the chili powder and paprika giving it a nice smokey flavor to make the adults in the house happy.
This is one of my go-to meals that I know everyone in my family will eat. This recipe makes 8 burgers, so for our family of 4 I know we’ll have some leftovers I can either freeze, save for lunches, or eat on leftover night!
What is a black bean burger made of?
- Beans (black, chickpea, lentils, white beans, etc.)
- Binder (chia, flax or tapioca starch)
- Grain (quinoa or breadcrumbs)
- Flavor add-ins (chopped vegetables, herbs, spices)
Black bean burgers are made with black beans as their base, a binder, vegetables, and spices. Since these burgers are vegan I don’t use egg as a binder. Instead I make a chia egg with ground chia seeds and water. You can also use flax or tapioca starch, as a binder.
After you have your black beans and a binder you can add a grain or dry ingredient to further bind them together and help balance the moisture. In these black beans burgers I used quinoa to make them gluten-free.
Then you can get creative adding your favorite ingredients to create different flavor combinations. I made a Southwestern flavored black bean burger with red peppers, corn and scallions.
Some of my favorite add-ins include…
- Onions or chives
- Jalapeño peppers
- Squash or Zucchini
The ingredients in my black bean quinoa burgers include:
- Black Beans
- Red Peppers
- Spices: chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder
- chia seeds and water (for binding)
What toppings do you put on black bean burgers?
I love making plant-based burgers for my family because everyone can make them their own by choosing their favorite toppings. You can get creative with your toppings. Some of the toppings we enjoy include…
- Sliced avocado or guacamole
- Cashew Cheese
- BBQ Sauce
Tools and Equipment
To make these black bean burgers it is helpful to have a food processor. You’ll also need a good grill pan if grilling inside, or a baking sheet for baking in the oven. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to help keep the burgers from sticking to the pan when baking.
For other equipment to help build your plant-based kitchen check-out my 10 Essential Vegan Kitchen Tools to Make Plant-Based Cooking Easier.
How do you make black bean burgers stick together and not fall apart?
In order to make your black bean burgers stick together you need to add a binder. That can include chia, flax, tapioca starch, wheat germ, breadcrumbs, or oats.
You also need to have the right balance of moisture. If your burgers are too dry they will fall apart. The beans, quinoa, and chia egg work well to create the right balance of moisture, and a binder to keep these burgers together so that they can be grilled without falling apart.
How do you prevent your burgers from becoming mushy?
Your burgers can also turn out mushy if you include vegetables that contain a lot of water. To prevent mushy burgers, sauté vegetables that contain a lot of water prior to combining them with your bean base.
You also need to make sure that you’re forming well combined patties. I do this by first forming a ball, then firmly pressing and forming the ball into a patty without any cracks.
Are black bean burgers healthy?
Yes, black bean burgers are healthy! They are low in fat and calories, especially when compared to a beef burger. They are made with all whole food plant-based ingredients.
You’re getting protein and fiber from the black beans and quinoa, and servings of vegetables with the add-ins you put into your burgers.
Homemade black bean burgers are much healthier and tastier than store bought. They don’t include any of the processed ingredients such as soy protein and stabilizers.
Not only are these burgers all natural, but they also taste so much better than anything you can buy in the store.
How to Make Black Bean Burgers – Step by Step
Prior to preparing your black bean quinoa burgers:
- Preheat your oven to 375 F if baking.
- Prepare quinoa according to package instructions.
Step 1: Combine ground chia seeds and ¼ cup of water in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Step 2: While chia egg is setting, chop red peppers. Sauté in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce for 5 minutes on medium heat or until peppers soften and release water. Add ½ cup of frozen corn and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Step 3: Add spices. Cook an additional minute. Add an additional tablespoon of soy sauce if too dry.
Step 4: Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Stir to combine.
Step 5: In a food processor combine 1 can of black beans, or 1 ¾ cups of black beans. Pulse until beans become a ball.
Step 6: Combine whole black beans, scallions, quinoa mixture, chia egg, and black bean paste.
Step 7: Using your hands combine all the ingredients.
Step 8: Measure ½ cup of the mixture and form into a ball using your hands.
Step 9: Firmly press the ball down to form patties.
Step 10: Repeat steps 8 and 9 for all 8 patties.
How to Store and Keep
If you’re like me and enjoy prepping meals in advance to help with weeknight mayhem, you can prepare these black bean burgers and freeze them to use later. Here are some tips to freeze and prepare your black bean burger patties.
- Form into patties
- Wrap each patty individually in plastic wrap
- Store in an air tight freezer container
- Take out the morning you want to make them and defrost in the refrigerator OR defrost at room temperature an hour before you want to cook them
- Bake or grill 15 minutes on each side
If you’re going to use your patties in the next few days you can store them in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Eat within 3 days. For a more moist burger, don’t pre-cook as they can dry out in the refrigerator. Visit this post for more information on how long quinoa lasts.
This recipe is great to prepare in advance and make at the start of the week when you’re planning your vegan prep meals!
Check out these other family favorite recipes!
If you’ve tried my Black Bean Quinoa Burger recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
- 3.5 cups cooked black beans or 2 15 oz cans
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 2 tbsp chia seeds ground
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup scallions
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 8 whole wheat or gluten-free buns
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Rinse beans and set aside.
- Prepare chia egg by whisking together ground chia and water. Let sit for 5 minutes to gel.
- Chop red pepper. Sauté peppers in 2 tbsp of soy sauce on medium heat until tender. Add frozen corn and cook an additional minute. Add spices and cook for an additional minute. Add quinoa. Stir to combine.
- Process 1 can or half of beans in the food processor until it creates a large ball.
- Combine quinoa mixture, bean paste, the rest of the whole black beans, scallions, and chia egg in a large bowl, using your hands to combine.
- Using a measuring cup scoop a ½ cup of the mixture, form a ball, and gently flatten with your hand to make patties. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes on each side. You can also choose to grill these on a grill pan using olive oil. Cook on medium heat 12-15 on each side.
- The chia egg will help the ingredients stick together.
- Handle with care if using a grill or grill pan. Don’t flip too early. Cook 12-15 minutes on each side when grilling and baking.
- Nutrition facts are an estimate and do not include the bun.