There's no better summer food than a big juicy burger, right? These mushroom black bean burgers are the perfect option for Meatless Monday as they are vegetarian and even vegan. They are packed with umami flavors to make them more savory, like soy sauce, smokey spices, and mushrooms.
If you're looking for more ideas for Meatless Monday during summertime, I can definitely point you in the direction of one of my favorite pasta salads, namely zucchini and tomato healthy pasta salad. Another great option is this roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad, or an easy lo mein.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this recipe if you're looking to reduce your intake of meat but still like the meaty flavor. They are also healthy and easy to make.
There are no funny ingredients so you don't have to worry about what they do to your body nor go to the trouble of finding these ingredients.
You will also love it for its versatility. You can top these burgers in any way you want (see Expert tips) and they can transform into whatever it is you crave that day!
It is also delicious summer food, and summer makes us happy, right? Make sure you check out my other summer recipes too to ensure you have something for any summery occasion.
As I mentioned, no funny ingredients are needed for these mushroom black bean burgers. Let's see:
- Oil: A necessity to make the burgers not stick to the pan and to cook the onions without burning them.
- Yellow onion: One of my very favorite vegetables as they provide delicious umami and savory flavor.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a great vegan alternative to Worcestershire sauce which is also good for umami.
- Chipotle pepper paste and smoked paprika: For heat and a smoky flavor. These black bean burgers are so soft that I wouldn't place them on a charcoal grill. They will most likely stick to the griddles and it will become a mess. To mimic the smoky charcoal flavor, we add chipotle peppers and smoked paprika.
- Paprika powder: Additional flavor and color.
- Garlic powder: More umami! You can add 2 cloves of garlic at the last minute of cooking the onion if you prefer.
- Mushroom: My favorite vegan meat replacer! So flavorful and soaks up all the flavors you put into it. Hence why this mushroom lo mein works so well too.
- Black beans: To make the patties more sturdy and meaty. Black beans are very filling too, so you won't need to go hungry after eating these burgers!
- Cashew nuts: Food-processed cashew nuts are also used to make the patties more sturdy and textural. They will soften in combination with the other ingredients but will provide more of a bite to the burger.
- Breadcrumbs: Are used to combine everything together. It is a vegan egg replacer, so to speak. Other options include cornmeal or cooked quinoa or cooked rice. You can choose one or the other and it should be fine. 1 egg is good too, if it doesn't need to be vegan!
- Herbs, salt, and pepper: More delicious flavoring. You can choose whatever herbs you like. I really like to use cilantro or thyme. I actually use my mushroom salt - just because I can.
Start by heating a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. On medium-high heat, sautée the diced yellow onion for 7 minutes or until slightly golden and translucent (1).
Add the soy sauce, chipotle pepper paste, smoked paprika, garlic powder, paprika powder, and diced mushroom (2). Sautée for another 5 minutes or until the mushroom has browned. Set aside to cool slightly (3) while doing the next steps.
In a food processor, pulse the black beans until a coarse bean texture (A). Do not turn it all to mush. Take the beans out and do the same with the cashew nuts (B), until coarsely chopped.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together (4-5). Shape into either 4 or 5 patties (6). They are quite filling, but making them smaller can make them less "tempting" as a big juicy burger can be. I like to shape them to the size of my burger buns and no more than ¾ inch thick.
Heat an indoor grill pan or non-stick skillet to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. You will need more oil for veggie burgers because they have less fat in them. Once hot, add the burger patties and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until crusty (7-8).
These burger patties can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep them covered. When ready to reheat simply do the same as the first time you cooked them. 2 tablespoons of oil on an indoor grill or non-stick pan and 2-3 minutes on each side to warm it back up.
Are veggie burgers healthier than other burgers?
This will depend on what the veggie burgers are made of. In general, veggie burgers are higher in fiber, but usually also higher in sodium and saturated fat. Depending on what it is made of, it can be more nutritious than other veggie burgers.
This mushroom black bean burger contains black beans which are high in protein and fiber and mushrooms are low in calories but high in protein and fiber as well. Mushrooms are also high in vitamin B, riboflavin, and other important nutrients.
Make sure you rinse the canned black beans well because they are stored in a ton of salt!
What holds black bean burgers together? The binders.
Traditionally, it is the egg that holds the burger together. So what we need is an egg replacer.
I use breadcrumbs to hold this black bean mash together, but you can also use cornmeal for a gluten-free option, or cooked quinoa or cooked rice.
There's no problem in using an egg instead of the breadcrumbs either if you don't mind using it - just keep in mind that it is no longer vegan.
The more pureed the black beans are, the better they will stick together too. But that will mean that the burger patty turns mushy so we want to avoid that.
No matter what you choose, the texture will not be the same as a juicy beef burger. It will be softer with less of a bite, but still dense, tender, and moist.
What do you eat with bean burgers?
I definitely prefer to eat these bean burgers as a sandwich with vegetables and dressing.
- You can choose whatever type of bread you like, from brioche to sesame and sourdough, gluten-free burger buns, and regular burger buns. Whole wheat bread rolls could also work for a healthier treat!
- Fresh vegetables like spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and cucumber. The sky is the limit here!
- Dressings like salsa, guacamole, mayonnaise, spicy tomato aïoli, special sauce, or even raita or compound butter. On these burgers, I mixed 50/50 sour cream and salsa.
And then there are the side dishes. French fries or zucchini fries are the most obvious choices. All sorts of potato dishes work great. However, I actually think these mushroom black bean burgers are enough on their own (as a sandwich), so you don't have to overthink sides.
Dry out the black beans
If you dry out the black beans before mixing them with the other ingredients, the chances for a mushy bean burger are even slimmer.
After you drain and rinse the beans, place them on a baking sheet and dry them in a 325℉ (160℃) oven for about 15 minutes.
Variations to spices
I really like this smokey and savory spice blend that I use in the recipe card. However, you can choose other spices to have variety in your burgers. For example:
- A Middle Eastern tweak with either za'atar, harissa paste, shawarma, or Arabic 7 spice
- Texmex or Mexican with fajita seasoning or taco seasoning
- Italian flavors through Italian seasoning or sun-dried tomato pesto
- Chinese five spice or Indian spices
- Orange pepper
- Jamaican jerk seasoning
Spices for Arabic 7 Spice
Because you can alter the choice of toppings for these bean burger patties, you can get away with either of these flavors!
Variations to toppings
I was talking a bit about this in the What to serve with bean burgers? section above, but about the variations of spices, I can give my 2 cents on topping variations:
- Middle Eastern: roasted eggplant or zucchini, spinach, pomegranate, and a mint sauce.
- Texmex: like I served these burgers (see recipe card). You could also add some baked beans or coleslaw!
- Italian: Fresh tomatoes, arugula, and mozzarella on sourdough bread, with a garlic dressing and a thin spread of sun-dried tomato pesto or tomato jam.
- Indian: Nestle the burger in a naan with raita and mango chutney and some fresh vegetables.
- Chinese: A spicy Sichuan chili sauce, pan-fried zucchini and green onion in soy sauce, ginger and garlic, and fresh cilantro and mung bean sprouts. Served in a bao bun, perhaps!
- Orange pepper: Keep it simple and autumnal with cranberry sauce and pan-fried mushrooms and onion.
- Jamaican: Thin slices of pineapple, grilled plantains, sautéed callaloo, and a spicy habanero, or scotch bonnet sauce on coco bread.
If you are now in the mindset of exploring more burger recipes, check out these 16 burger recipes for your summer party!
No matter how you choose to eat these mushroom black bean burgers - enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more recipes for your BBQ party:
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