Vegan and oil-free, these simple black bean burgers are made with only 8 ingredients and can be on your plate in about 30 minutes. Gluten-free option, too!
Let’s face it: When you follow a plant-based whole foods diet, there are some things you miss. I’m not talking about rich desserts and fried snacks. What I sometimes miss is the convenience of packaged foods, especially the ease of pulling a veggie burger out of the freezer and cooking it in the microwave in under two minutes. That’s why I decided to create a faster, easier black bean burger.
Maybe I shouldn’t be confessing this on my food blog, but the older I get, the less time I want to spend cooking. Often, it’s just a mental hurdle—once I decide what I want to make and get into the kitchen, I enjoy putting a meal together, especially if my husband is available to help with the chopping.
But for some reason, not having a child around to cook for has made me less eager to spend more than about 30 minutes on meal preparation. Maybe I’m just getting old; maybe I miss daughter E’s critical palate. Who knows? The upside is since she went away to college, I’m creating more Ridiculously Easy recipes for those of you who feel the same way about cooking.
Like this recipe for 8-ingredient black bean burgers (7 if you skip the corn.) I have lots of incredible burgers in my archives, but all of them require some vegetable chopping or cooking some ingredients in advance. My African-Inspired Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers, for instance, are amazing, if I do say so, but they require cooking sweet potatoes and chopping 4 different vegetables.
Instead of all that chopping, this easy black bean burger uses prepared salsa and just a few potent seasonings to create a burger that is firm yet moist, simple yet flavorful, in the least amount of time possible. I start by slightly grinding regular oatmeal so that some of it becomes powdery, helping the burgers stick together without added thickeners like flour or cornstarch.
I’ve made these burgers twice now—first on the bake setting and then on the air fryer setting on my Breville Smart Oven Air—and they came out equally well both baked and air-fried. Since all of the ingredients are already cooked (or don’t require cooking, like oats and corn), they only need to be cooked long enough to crisp up the exterior and warm the interior; letting them “meld” in the fridge for at least 15 minutes insures that they will hold together.
The first time I made these chipotle-flavored black bean burgers, I skipped the usual condiments and topped them with Green Tomato Pepper Butter, a tangy sweet-sour sauce that brought out their spiciness. (Check out the recipe plus a photo of our new puppy!)
The second time, I treated them like regular old burgers and topped them with ketchup and mustard. I think you’ll love them with whatever condiments you use.
P.S. I made the oil-free fries in my little Phillips air fryer, making this a two air fryer meal. I simply cut thin fries (I use a food processor) from Yukon gold potatoes, toss them with about a tablespoon of aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas) and some seasonings. Then I air fry at 360F for 18 minutes, tossing and stirring every 6 minutes.
Simple Black Bean Burger
- 1 1/3 cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats) (use certified gluten-free oats to assure that the burgers are gluten-free)
- 16 ounces black beans (1 can, well drained)
- 3/4 cup salsa
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari or 1/2 teaspoon salt, for gluten free)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons mild chili powder
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed) optional
- Place the oats in a food processor fitted with an S-blade and pulse 5 or 6 times until they are partially chopped (some will be powder, some will be whole.) Add all ingredients except the corn and pulse until most of the beans are blended.
- Pour bean mixture into a bowl and stir in the corn. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form bean mixture into six patties using a scant 1/2 cup for each. Bake for 20-30 minutes, being careful not to overcook and dry them out. They're done when the outside is beginning to get crispy and they hold together well.
Air Fryer Cooking Instructions
- Preheat the air fryer to around 375F. Place the burgers in a single layer and air fry until slightly crispy on the outside, about 15 minutes. (They have a tendency to stick, so consider using perforated parchment paper underneath them.)
Nutritional info is approximate.
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airfryerOctober 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm
What a delicious recipes you always place on your website. Where do you, if I may ask, get these ideas?
MelinaNovember 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm
Hi! Did you used to have a second recipe for black bean burgers? It had a salsa recipe with it? I’ve gone nuts trying to find it, and every since you updated the site I just can’t
Susan VoisinNovember 30, 2018 at 4:44 pm
I have this one that I served with salsa, but it doesn’t include a salsa recipe: https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/01/hash-browns-and-black-bean-burgers.html
Or maybe it’s this one that was contributed to my site. The burger has salsa in it: https://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2011/11/20/southwestern-black-bean-burgers/
Let me know if it isn’t one of those and I’ll keep looking.
MelinaDecember 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm
Thank you for trying. it’s neither of those burgers. I’m starting to think I’m confusing websites but because yours was one of the first I followed when going vegan (and I love your recipes!), I thought I had the recipe from here. I remember a blog post about black bean burger that referred to an older recipe and I then followed that link. I somehow preferred the older version haha. But this one is very close to what I remember so I will go with that. Thanks anyway!
MelinaDecember 11, 2018 at 3:12 pm
And it was specifically a pineapple salsa. But truthfully I’m starting to think I am confusing matters. I will use this recipe and report back
Sandy SteeleFebruary 5, 2019 at 12:09 pm
Love these burgers! So easy, just the right amount of spice, and healthy to boot!
index academicFebruary 12, 2019 at 6:07 am
I also love these burgers, they are simple to make and absolutely healthy. I will definitely use this recipe sooner or later.
Barbara FioreMarch 7, 2019 at 3:33 pm
I have a question.. what type of bun are you suggesting since this is a vegan burger?
Susan VoisinMarch 7, 2019 at 3:36 pm
Any bun without dairy and eggs in it. Most supermarkets have several options.
JcbJuly 2, 2019 at 6:11 am
If you can find it, Silver Hills ancient grains has a terrific vegan, oil free bun.
Robin WongJune 28, 2019 at 11:34 pm
These burgers were a hit. Great flavor, easy to prepare with all the ingredients easy to keep on hand. Thanks Susan!
SusyJune 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm
Has anyone cooked these burgers on the grill? Wondering how they’d hold together.
Since I’m in search of a (relatively easy) delish homemade veggie burger, the reviews encourage me to try this no matter how they need to be cooked.
Karyn HJuly 22, 2019 at 6:07 pm
This is my go to burger recipe. I have used it for a long time and I don’t know if I ever thanked you for sharing this with us ❤️ ❤️ ❤️.
Thank you so very much 😊 🤗❤️
I never measure the ingredients anymore and I sometimes add a spice or forget a spice and they are always so very, very good. I am partial to using fresh corn cut right off of the cob and mixed in with the beans. Sometimes I have to use some frozen or canned corn and they are still very good.. I have been known to use green salsa and / or some green chiles and they are always yummy.
I have to admit that I am a bit of piggy, because I can never get 6 burgers from the recipe, only 5 burgers when I make them 😊.
I love all of your recipes and you are the 1st place I look for a great, healthy, vegan recipe.
Thank you so much.
Susan VoisinJuly 22, 2019 at 7:29 pm
Thank you so much for this lovely comment, Karyn. It does my heart good to know that my recipes are a trusted part of your cooking and that this recipe is so versatile. ❤️
JudyFebruary 29, 2020 at 1:27 pm
This is a simple, amazingly tasty burger. I topped mine with some sweet relish and red onion and loved it so much I had two! Thank you so much for this, it’s easy for me and I love a good burger now and again.
C.Y.March 18, 2020 at 8:20 pm
It really was as easy as the recipe says! Much easier than any other bean burger I have made and just as good. I think with a fresh tomato…my husband would;d be hard pressed to dislike it!
Paul KunzMay 24, 2020 at 10:31 pm
I made these burgers tonight and my wife and I both loved them! So simple with great flavor. We love the fact that they are also oil-free. Highly recommend! And yes… thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!
GsleJuly 27, 2020 at 1:14 pm
I’m trying this tomorrow night. It looks so easy. Unrelated question. I have never used an air fryer Would I be able to cook frozen hash browns s to crispy in an air fryer. I had terrible luck trying to pan fry and don’t own a griddler or panini press. Thanks!.
Susan VoisinJuly 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm
I found that the kind of hash browns that are shredded got hard in the air fryer—sort of like potato chips but not as tasty. When you pan-fried, did you try spreading them to cover the whole non-stick pan, covering them, and turning the heat down? I get them started that way so they thaw and begin to steam-cook. Then I uncover and cook them on both sides until brown. If the pan is large, I cut them into quarters using the edge of a plastic spatula before turning.
BillyAugust 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm
Love the recipe! I make a batch at least once a month. It’s so hard to come up with vegan dishes and this is one of my favorites! I mash an avocado with some cayenne pepper for a spread on Ezekiel English muffins with the burger.
Christine siroisSeptember 2, 2020 at 7:11 pm
These veggie burgers were delish!!!! Such a wonderful taste! I loved them!!
Mary McKinneyDecember 5, 2020 at 1:25 pm
Do you think rice would work in this? I can’t do oats to quinoa.
Susan VoisinDecember 5, 2020 at 1:40 pm
I haven’t tried it with rice, so I can’t say for sure. Rice flour would probably work, though.
CindyLuDecember 10, 2020 at 4:54 am
Delicious and easy recipe! The burgers held together very well, too! Bonus!
AlocasiaFebruary 25, 2021 at 5:18 pm
These are fantastic. I followed the recipe as written and I air-fried them. They came out perfect. They’re so moist. This will definitely be our go to for bean burgers. Have you ever tried them with salsa verde?
Theresa ShayFebruary 26, 2021 at 6:35 am
Making these burgers now for the second time. I have made several black bean burgers in the past few weeks that require a lot more work and this easy recipe was by far my daughter’s favorite as well as mine! I used a large red bell pepper for the bun and it was delicious!!!
Susan HalversonFebruary 27, 2021 at 8:59 pm
I don’t have a food processor. How would you suggest I process the oats, etc.? Recipe looks delicious and I look forward to making it.
Susan VoisinFebruary 27, 2021 at 9:05 pm
You can also grind the oats in a blender, if you have one, or you can buy oat flour instead.
ShannaMarch 4, 2021 at 4:47 pm
If I substitute oat flour, would I still use the 1 1/3 cups?
Susan VoisinMarch 4, 2021 at 5:44 pm
I’d start with 1 cup and see if you need more to make them the right consistency.
Arthur HughesMay 5, 2021 at 3:27 pm
I am not vegan, but we wanted to try something different and less fatty. This turned out to be fantastic and it is now our preferred “burger” recipe (most of the time). It is easy to prepare, cooking can be a small challenge if you don’t chill the mix in the fridge just because it is sticky, and really quick to bring together. The flavor is excellent and fairly mild – and easy to adjust to your own liking.
SbJune 3, 2021 at 4:32 pm
Excellent bean burger! Thank you.
MaryJuly 1, 2021 at 5:28 pm
I wanted to say thank you for this wonderful recipe. My mom is in her mid-eighties and on a low fat, plant based diet – and these are her all time favorite. I’ve tried a few other burger recipes for her, just for variety, and she’s not having it. It’s always these! She doesn’t eat corn and we chop up some red bell pepper into small pieces and she loves the flavor it adds. Also sometimes we add a bit of chopped parsley or cilantro. She eats these in lettuce wraps with the fixings., including organic hatch green chile. :). And – they freeze well, with parchment in between. Just wanted to chime in for anyone else who is looking at this recipe and also say thank you again.
Susan VoisinJuly 1, 2021 at 6:54 pm
Thank you for posting! I’m so happy your mother likes them. Your comment really made my day!
Bett BJuly 24, 2021 at 2:30 am
I had a whim to make WFPBNO burgers and this recipe came up first. They were very good although I screwed them up in several ways during production 😀
Next time I’ll get them right and am sure they will be even better!
Thanks for an easy and quick recipe that tasted great! I posted the link in the Vegan Beans group on facebook as well.
JulesSeptember 8, 2021 at 12:42 pm
I don’t own an air fryer (yet) can I cook this recipe without? Thanks new to vegan food transitioning slowly 😊
Susan VoisinSeptember 8, 2021 at 2:12 pm
Sure! Step 3 gives the instructions for cooking them in the oven. Hope you enjoy!
JessicaJuly 11, 2022 at 6:49 pm
My husband and I found this recipe while doing the Daniel diet. We still make them years later, at least twice a month. I love how easy they are.
MerrileeSeptember 2, 2022 at 1:15 pm
(First time viewer of your site!) My brother made these and said that he really liked them! I was intrigrued and had everything on hand, so I made them and LOVE them as well! This is my first time ever making a vegan burger. I’m so glad that I tried it! This recipe is a keeper! Now I will definitely be checking out your other recipes! Thank you!
MaggieDecember 29, 2022 at 5:08 pm
This has been my go-to black bean recipe for years. If I pressure cook 1 c. of dried beans the day before, it turns into 3 c. of cooked, which is perfect for a double-recipe of these burgers.
We mix up the spices (often making them spicier, or adding other herbs/spices), but the core of the burgers is always black beans-oats-salsa, from this recipe. I do a big cookie sheet of them in the oven, but I cook them a bit longer because I don’t care for mushy-middle burgers (but that’s just personal preference), and I flip them in the middle.
In this era where very basic processed veggie burgers cost well over $1 each at the supermarket, being able to make organic burgers at home for about 30 cents each is fabulous!