The Search for the Best Black Bean Burger Concludes
Cheap Food Here has been on the hunt for the perfect black bean burger recipe ever since eating at the Original Penguin restaurant in Charlotte, NC (I say ‘Original’ because there was an issue with the original owners of the brand who were leasing it to the ones running the restaurant and to make a long story short, management changed, the charm and delicious food was downgraded to less than mediocre and thus, I wouldn’t guarantee the new Penguin black bean burger is the same as it was. See newer reviews here.) who could tout the most fabulous bean burger on the planet. Having eaten it a few times and trying to dissect it before inhaling it, I decided it probably had black beans (duh!), mushrooms, beets (this was an educated guess because of the color) and some kind of chili pepper in it because they packed some heat. Plus, I have a suspicion that the patties were deep fried because they were crispy on the outside and no matter what I’ve tried in the past, they just never get crispy in the pan, on the grill or in the broiler.
I’ve tried plenty of recipes, some with eggs, some with bread crumbs some with Portobello mushrooms; the list goes on and on. They’ve all been edible, but nothing was even coming close to the coveted Penguin black bean burger. The black bean burgers that I was making were mostly mushy and couldn’t be flipped without them falling completely apart, which I tried to remedy in every way I knew how. Nothing seemed to work and now I’m convinced it was two things: the lack of a filler like rice and leaving the black beans course rather than completely mashed. This speculation was confirmed after finding BrownEyedBaker’s black bean veggie burger recipe.
I do believe the best part about a meal is having leftovers that taste as good, if not better, than the original meal and these black bean burgers have that exact promise (hello freezer meal!). After I pattied them all out, we only cooked two for each of us so that left us with four more leftover (this recipe makes a total of 8 black bean burgers). With the extra patties, before cooking them, I placed them on a plate with parchment paper and froze them. Once they were frozen (2-3 hours) I transferred them to a freezer storage bag and we just thawed them out and cooked them the next time we were ready for them (only a few days later because we just absolutely loved them).
These hearty, full, nutritious black bean veggie burgers are one-of-a-kind and this recipe has me thinking about a ton of other bean burgers we can create off of this base. I’m thinking lentil patties and garbanzo burgers just off the top of my head. I think it’s time for a bean burger series. Okay, so here is our rendition of the famed recipe:
Black Bean Burger Recipe Ingredients
- 2 tsp grapeseed oil (or other saute oil)
- 1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup coarsely grated carrots
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 C. cooked black beans, rinse and drained (we used dried bean to cut down on cost, but canned works also)
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
- 1½ cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (adjust to desired heat level)
- 1 Tbsp additional grapeseed oil
Black Bean Burger Recipe Directions
- In a large skillet heated to medium-high heat, add the grapeseed oil and allow to heat up for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent, but not brown. Turn the burner off.
- Add the grated carrots, chili powder and cumin and cook for 5 minutes on risidual heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the black beans, mustard, soy sauce, and parsley.
- Mash together with a potato masher or your hands, making sure not to over work the mixture. Lumpy is good.
- Stir in the cooled onion and carrot mixture. Add the cooked brown rice and chopped mushrooms, stirring to combine. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Form 8 patties and make sure to press the edges to make a clean edge so the form holds during cooking.
- Heat the remaining grapeseed oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5 to 8 minutes per side turning only once, very carefully (reshaping them after the flip if needed).
- Remove from heat and enjoy on a bun or simply by itself with a fork!