Barbecue season is in full swing over here, and luckily our friends love patio dinners just as much as we do. When we’re hosting, the drinks are always the easy part: ice cold beer and a good wine for sipping. But because barbecue is almost always associated with meat, the meal itself can feel like more of a challenge. What can vegetarians make when cooking for a not-so-vegetarian crowd? These Chipotle Black Bean Burgers of course.
If you’ve been over to your place for a BBQ dinner, there’s a good chance you’ve had these burgers. They’re easy to make, can be prepped in advance, and make for flavor-packed patties that can satisfy a crowd. They hold up well on the grill which is often half the battle with homemade plant-based patties, and their sturdiness means that can handle a mile high stack of toppings (like chipotle mayo *drool*). And here’s for the best part: all our meat-eating friends love them! Seriously.
If you’ve made our Smoky Mushroom Tacos before, then you’ll probably love these burgers too. This Chipotle Black Bean Burger recipe relies on a similar mix of spices to pack in the flavor without needing a ton of ingredients. The trick? A can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can find these in almost every grocery store, so keep your eyes peeled near the other Mexican ingredients. There’s both peppers and sauce inside each can, and you’ll need both for this recipe. In total you need a dozen ingredients both for the burgers and the chipotle mayo.
Making them is drop dead easy - there’s only a few steps required. First you need to brown the onions and mushrooms. Then, you’ll dump these into the food processor along with the rest of your ingredients. Whiz together, then stir in the breadcrumbs and form into patties. We like these best when grilled on the barbecue, but in case a grill isn’t accessible to you, you can also sear them on the stove (and bake them in the oven). We’ve included instructions for both. These patties are super flexible - and while intended to be piled high in a burger, you can most definitely eat them on their own! We like to chop up extras and serve them in salads, or eat them alongside grains and veggies in a bowl. They also make for a quick high-protein add-in for busy weekday lunches.
While the chipotle mayo is of course optional, it takes only two ingredients and we promise you it’s totally worth it. The chipotle mayo is delicious when slathered on top of the burgers. It adds a creaminess that makes you totally forget this dish is entirely vegan. Sweet potato fries are a great thing to serve on the side (because who doesn’t like sweet potato fries?!). And they just so happen to go perfectly with extra chipotle mayo. Coincidence? We think not.
Chipotle Black Bean Burgers
Chipotle Black Bean Burgers
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil, more for brushing)
- 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
- 1½ cups chopped cremini mushrooms
- ⅓ cup raw pepitas (untoasted pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 chipotle peppers + 1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can, see note 1)
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 (15 oz/14 fl oz/398 ml can) black beans, rinsed
- 1½ cups cooked short-grain brown rice (see note 2)
- ⅔ cups breadcrumbs (gluten-free if needed)
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise (vegan if needed)
- 3 to 4 teaspoons adobo sauce (from can)
For serving (optional)
- Burger buns (toasted, gluten-free if needed)
- Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Sauté vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté until golden at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until onions have browned and mushrooms have released their moisture, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor.
- Start mixing burgers: To the food processor, add pepitas, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cumin, and salt. Pulse until nearly smooth (there should be no full pumpkin seeds left), scraping down the sides a couple times to incorporate.
- Finish mixing burgers: Add black beans and pulse until they’re mostly pureed (some bits are fine, for texture). Add cooked rice and pulse until evenly distributed. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to fold in breadcrumbs.
- Form patties: Divide the mixture into 6 tightly packed balls (approximately ¾ cup each). Use your hands to flatten and shape each ball into burger patties (no more than 1-inch / 2.5 cm thick).
- Grill patties (see note 3): Preheat a grill over medium. Brush patties generously on both sides with oil (to prevent sticking). Grill, covered, until browned on the outside and firm to the touch, about 5 minutes on each side.
- Make Chipotle Mayo: Meanwhile, whisk together mayo and adobo sauce. Taste and add more adobo sauce if you'd like.
- Assemble: Spoon chipotle mayo onto burger buns. Add a burger patty and and toppings of your choice (quick pickled red onions, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes).
- Adobo sauce: If you like spicier burgers, use the higher end of the range; if you prefer less heat, use the lower end of the range.
- Short grain brown rice: Short grain rice is stickier than longer grain varieties, so it helps with binding. To get 1½ cups cooked short grain brown rice, start with about ¾ cup uncooked rice. Measure after rice after cooking for this recipe.
- Alternate cooking instructions (stove top and/or oven): You can also cook these burgers without a grill. Use a well-seasoned cast iron (or nonstick) skillet over medium-high heat. Add oiled patties, cover skillet with a lid, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side (8 to 10 minutes total). You can eat the patties as is, but if you want firmer patties, bake them in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- Nutritional estimate includes burger patties and chipotle mayo. Excludes burger buns and optional toppings.