When you bite into this Southwestern black bean burger, the first thing you’ll notice is the flavor. That’s because this black bean veggie burger is packed with tortilla chips, corn kernels, cilantro, and cumin.
To keep with the Southwestern theme, add your favorite cheese and this four-ingredient guacamole or my mango pico de gallo. And the next thing you’ll be amazed by is that these black bean burgers are sturdy enough to hold up to all your favorite burger toppings.
There’s no mushy bean burger here.
As an infectious disease doctor in Seattle, I started posting about COVID-19 right from the beginning of the pandemic. And at the beginning, there was a lot of fear and uncertainty.
So one day early on, I posted the following on Facebook, “I feel bad about only posting about coronavirus recently, so here’s an unrelated question. Why do my bean burgers always come out mushy, and how do I minimize that?”
That mushy burger was what ultimately inspired me to start this blog.
Are black bean burgers healthy?
In general, yes, these Southwestern black bean burgers are a healthier option compared to a cheeseburger. But you could make even these veggie burgers unhealthy by topping them with a ton of cheese or bacon or a mayonnaise-based sauce.
Tips and tricks
How to avoid a mushy black bean burger
Prior to asking that question, I had tried frying my bean burgers in cast iron with a thin layer of oil. I had tried baking the black bean burgers in the oven. I always ended up with a mushy bean burger.
Other suggestions came pouring in, because in March 2020 all my foodie friends were happy for anything to divert their attention. Coat it in corn starch like my crispy baked tofu, they said. Add vital wheat gluten to bind and firm up the burgers. Use dried beans rather than canned like when making falafel.
And then someone suggested that drying the black beans in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Bingo.
Making the black bean burgers
There isn’t anything difficult about making these Southwestern black bean burgers. Once dried, the black beans are mixed with garlic, frozen corn, an egg, spices, and maybe a smidge of hot sauce.
To continue the Southwestern theme, crushed tortilla chips are used for binding, just like in my taco meatloaf. I have also added a half cup of cooked quinoa to give these bean burgers a firmer mouthfeel.
Tip from the wise quacker: if you have the time, let the black bean burger mixture rest in the refrigerator before cooking. This will firm up your burger even more.
Fry them up on a griddle with a thin layer of oil. Then serve these Southwestern black bean burgers with a cheddar or your favorite cheese and all your favorite toppings.
What to serve with Southwestern black bean burgers
- Make homemade pretzel rolls or challah buns.
- Top with spicy pickled onions, this four-ingredient guacamole or my mango pico de gallo.
- Serve patty pan squash patties on the side.
- Quench your thirst with a spicy margarita or jalapeño raspberry bramble.
You can use tortillas. Slice them into strips, spray or coat them with a thin layer of vegetable oil, salt them lightly, and bake them for about 10 minutes until crisp. Or use one half cup of regular or gluten-free panko instead.
Yes. You can freeze veggie burgers either before or after cooking, and they’ll keep for about three months. Just double wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag.
Southwestern Black Bean Burgers
- 2 cans black beans
- 1 ounce tortilla chips
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh
- 2 green onions, tops only, chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or other chile pepper optional
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil like vegetable, corn, or safflower for frying
- Rinse the black beans and drain. Put them in a large roasting pan and bake at about 375°F for about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool at least slightly.2 cans black beans
- In a large bowl, use your hands to crumble the tortilla chips into very small pieces. You can use a food processor for this, but why get one more thing dirty.1 ounce tortilla chips
- Add the beans and mash with a potato masher or fork until the beans are mostly mashed but some large pieces remain.
- Add the quinoa, corn, green onions, garlic, and cilantro, and mix.½ cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh, 2 green onions, tops only, chopped fine, 1 garlic clove, minced, ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, ½ cup cooked quinoa
- Add the flour and spices (cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper). Feel free to add a pinch of hot stuff (e.g. cayenne or chili powder) if that makes you happy. Mix until uniform.1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs for a few seconds to combine and then add it to the bean mixture. Stir the eggs into the mixture until it comes together. This can be made ahead and held in the refrigerator for a few hours. This is not critical but may help them firm up even more.2 eggs
- Form into patties of desired size and fry in a thin layer of oil on a griddle, cast iron skillet, or other frying pan, about 5 minutes on one side. Flip and cook an additional 3 or so minutes until browned.1 tablespoon neutral oil like vegetable, corn, or safflower
This Southwestern black bean burger recipe was originally posted March 9, 2021. It was last edited on December 20, 2022.
If you make these quinoa black bean burgers, please leave a comment and rating.
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