One of my all time favorite meals is a nicely done black bean burger topped with melted cheddar, sliced avocado, fresh greens, and garlic mayo. It doesn't hurt if it is served with homemade sweet potato fries on the side.
While store-bought black bean burgers can be ok in a pinch, a homemade black bean burger can offer much more depth of flavor and toothsome satisfaction than its frozen counterpart.
Luckily, making your own black bean burgers is super simple; all it takes is the right combination of wet to dry ingredients to be sure you don't end up with a burger that falls apart when you take a bite (a really annoying problem with many veggie burger recipes). I've been experimenting for years and have landed on this recipe that includes just a small list of reliable ingredients. It seems to work every time, and pleases kids and parents alike, so why mess with a good thing?
A few notes and hints:
Freezing veggie burgers before you cook them can really help make the cooking or grilling process smoother;
Making veggie burgers can be more art than science; if you feel like your mix is coming together but is a little too moist, go ahead and sprinkle some more bread crumbs but don't make it too dry - trust that the freezing step will help to solidify a moist patty;
Seasonings are also an art - we use cumin and salt and pepper along with the garlic and scallions to make a simple tasty burger, but if you like a little spice go ahead and sprinkle in some red pepper flakes or experiment with a little ginger.
Go ahead and double (or triple, if you're feeling wild) this recipe and fill a freezer bag with ready-to-cook patties. There is no better satisfaction on a busy weeknight than opening the freezer to find that your dinner is basically ready to go.
Recipe: Simple Black Bean Burgers
Makes about 6 medium patties
One 25oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, pressed (or 2 t roasted garlic)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (we prefer Panko)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cumin
dash of freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil (for brushing patties)
Mash the black beans about 3/4 of the way (leaving some whole beans for added texture); add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
Form into about 6 medium patties (or whatever size your family likes); place the patties on a plate or pan covered with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 1 hour or up to a few months.
To bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush patties with vegetable oil on both sides. Bake for about 20 minutes, carefully flipping once about half way through.