Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole and Griddled Onions

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Katherine Gillen

Veggie burgers bear a heavy burden: They’re either too dry, too soft or not “meaty” enough for the folks who think they’re supposed to be a stand-in for beef. (Spoiler: They’re not.) These homemade black bean burgers offer the best of what everyone wants. They’re tender, moist and flavorful, with no mystery ingredients like the kind you buy in the freezer aisle. Do they taste like beef? No—but that’s the point.


Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

½ small yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise

⅓ cup breadcrumbs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, sliced

Toasted burger buns, lettuce and guacamole, to serve


1. In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about two minutes more.

2. Add about two thirds of the black beans to the skillet; stir in the cumin, chili powder and paprika. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until the beans are warm, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

3. Transfer the bean mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add the breadcrumbs and mayonnaise and pulse until fully combined and mostly smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining beans.

4. Form the burgers into 4 large or 6 small patties. At this point, you can individually wrap the burgers in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.

5. To cook the burgers, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the burgers and cook until golden brown on one side, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

6. In the same skillet, add the red onion slices and cook until caramelized on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes more.

7. Assemble the burgers on toasted burger buns with lettuce, guacamole, the griddled onions and any other desired toppings.

Note: If you prefer it, cooking the patties in the oven will yield a slightly drier burger. To do so, preheat the oven to 375°F and arrange the burgers on a baking sheet. Bake until browned and heated through, flipping halfway, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
  • 240 calories

  • 5g fat

  • 36g carbs

  • 12g protein

  • 1g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...