Black Bean Burgers with Smoky Red Pepper Sauce
Serves: makes 8 patties
  • 3 Tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil + more for cooking patties
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more if you like them spicy)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, or 2 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs or almond meal (to make them GF)
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more if using unsalted beans)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Smoky Red Pepper Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Hamburger bun of choice or whole wheat pita (optional)
  • Accompaniments: grilled onions, avocado, tomato, sprouts
  • SMOKY RED PEPPER SAUCE (double this if your family likes a lot of sauce):
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped -- you can buy these already roasted or you can roast them yourself (see below)
  • ¼ cup raw, creamy almond butter (or 1 cup feta cheese and omit the salt)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  2. Place 1 ½ cups of beans in a bowl and mash them to a chunky puree with a potato masher or in a food processor (a fork also works just fine.) Add the rest of the beans to the bowl along with the rice, onion mixture, eggs, bread crumbs or almond meal, parsley, cilantro, salt and pepper and blend together. Take a scant ½ cup of the mixture and form into a patty. I like to put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight.)
  3. In a large skillet or on a griddle pan, heat an ⅛ of an inch of oil. Add the patties and cook over medium heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes. Serve with desired accompaniments. Or preheat an oven to 350 degrees and brush a baking sheet with oil or line it with unbleached parchment paper. Place the patties on the sheet and brush the tops with oil. Bake until heated through and lightly golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  4. To make smoky red pepper sauce, puree everything in a mini food processor until well blended.

1 pound of dried beans will yield approximately 6 cups of cooked beans.

Let's do the math. 1 pound dried costs about $1.00. 6 cups is about 4 cans. 1 can of Eden Organic costs about $2.29. Times 4 equals more than $10.00. Way cheaper to make your own.

Place the dried beans in a large bowl or pot and add enough cold water to cover by at least three inches. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours, or overnight. The countertop is fine, but if your kitchen is very warm, stick the beans in the fridge.

Drain and rinse the beans in a colander. Transfer beans to a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by three inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and lower to a simmer. Skim any foam off the top while they are cooking.

Start testing them after 50 minutes. Cook until tender. This can take anywhere from 50 minutes to 2 hours (the older the beans, the longer they take.) When they are tender, turn the heat off and add a tablespoon of kosher salt to the water and allow the beans to cool slightly in the cooking liquid. Drain and use immediately or refrigerate and use within 3-4 days. Cooked beans also freeze beautifully.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at