Vegetarian Black Bean Burger Recipe | Wine Enthusiast
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Vegetarian Black Bean Burger Recipe

Courtesy Jenn de la Vega, Showdown: Comfort Food, Chili and BBQ (Page Street Publishing, 2017)

“I was paralyzed by the idea of grilling a substantial vegetarian option, let alone a vegan one. I faced a bit of criticism about a lack of diversity on my menus, so I was determined to give our veggie-eating friends more than just sides. All of my early tests for burgers were either crumbly or not holding together in a patty enough to put on a grill. The solution was to mash half the beans into a paste! These burgers freeze very well, so if you’re not serving them all at once, wrap them individually in plastic wrap.

Nutritional yeast pulls double duty in helping thicken the burger mix and has a cheesy, fatty umami flavor that meat usually provides.” —Jenn de la Vega

Total Cooking Time: 45 minutes


1 red onion, diced
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
2 chopped chipotle peppers
3 cups cinnamon black beans
½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
2 cups panko bread crumbs


Sauté the onion on medium heat with a swirl of olive oil for 3 minutes until translucent and tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until it is fragrant. Add the cumin, salt and chipotle peppers and stir to incorporate.

Move these vegetables to the bowl of a food processor. Add half of the black beans and the nutritional yeast. Pulse into a paste and transfer it to a large bowl. Fold in the remaining black beans and 1 cup (59 g) of the bread crumbs. Put the other cup of bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Form 8 patties and coat each one in crumbs. Set each burger on a wire rack to dry out at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Technically, these burgers are ready to eat. But to serve hot, brush the grill with oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it is heated throughout. Serves 8.

Project Parlor 2012 Summer BBQ Competition Winner