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Santa Fe Black Bean Burger (Easy + Vegan)

Full of protein, fiber, and flavor, this Mexican-inspired Santa Fe Black Bean Burger is a vegan pantry recipe that’s easy to make, ready in minutes, and will leave you completely satisfied!

head on view of plated vegan black burger.

Why We Love This Recipe!

When you need a delicious, healthy meal fairly quickly, without breaking the bank, this easy, vegan black bean burger is a great go-to meal on the fly!

Full of plant-based protein, black beans are a staple in my pantry and make awesome black bean burgers that are full of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins.

This recipe requires minimal ingredients, and the burgers can be cooked on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop.

And for those looking to cut the burger bun – try placing a patty on top of leafy greens for a fresh take. It’s delicious!

Any way you have it, this is an awesome and simple Mexican black bean burger to pull together in a cinch!

top down view of ingredients used to make santa fe vegan black bean burger patties.

Ingredient Notes

  • Black beans – Use canned or fresh cooked beans. Feel free to sub with adzuki, pinto, or your favorite bean.
  • Salsa – Use bottled or homemade chunky salsa. You can also sub with Pico de Gallo.
  • Flaxseed meal – I used to make this recipe using flour but have changed it up with flax meal which adds a healthy dose of omegas, fiber, and vitamins. Plus, it’s gluten-free. You can easily sub with flour of choice, as noted in the recipe card.
  • Oats – Both rolled and quick oats work well, so use whatever is handy.
  • Spices – Cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt all add lots of flavors!
side by side photos showing process of mashing black beans in a bowl.

How To Make Easy Black Bean Burgers

Here is a quick overview of the process with a few stop photos for reference:

Mash most of the beans with the back of a fork or slotted spoon. You can also use a food processor as noted below and in the recipe card notes.

side by side photos showing the process of making black bean burger mix.

Add the flax meal, oats, salsa, and spices, mix well to combine.

side by side photos of black bean burger patties before and after cooking.

Shape into 2 jumbo burger patties (or 3 – 4 small ones) and cook on the stovetop for 5 minutes on each side.

And that’s it! These are just about the easiest burgers ever, and they hold together well and cook up beautifully. ❤️

Now you’re ready to add your fixin’s and enjoy!

Top Tips

  • Cook on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill. As noted in the recipe card, you can easily cook these in the oven for an oil-free black bean patty.
  • Sub with chipotle powder in place of cayenne for a deeper, smokier spicy heat.
  • Use a food processor if you don’t feel like hand mashing and mixing by hand. Start with the beans first, giving a few pulses. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until just combined, leaving it a little chunky.
  • Double or triple the recipe so you have them on hand for a quick meal. They store and freeze well as noted below.

top down view of black bean burgers with toppings surrounding.

Serving Suggestions

Bun or no bun! Serve your black bean burgers on a traditional burger bun or sandwiched between leafy greens for a low-carb burger.

Seve it on greens or grains. Top your patty on a bed of fresh leafy greens or grain of choice, such as rice or quinoa, and top with sliced avocado, Corn Salsa, or Pico de Gallo, and chopped red or green onions. It may sound strange, but it so good – trust me!

My favorite fixings! I enjoy these with sliced tomato, avocado, red onion, and smeared with Vegan Aioli or Vegan Mayo. You can use Sriracha Cashew Cream!

head on view of plated santa fe vegan black burger.

Storing + Freezing

How long will leftovers last? Uncooked and cooked black bean burgers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 – 6 days. You can easily double the recipe, so you have extra burgers for later.

Can you freeze black bean burgers? Yes, both uncooked and cooked patties can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months using freezer-safe containers or baggies. To freeze, place parchment paper between each patty so they don’t stick together as they freeze. Let cooked patties cool completely before freezing. Let thaw before heating.

More Black Bean Recipes!

head on view of sliced and stacked vegan black bean burger.

If you try this easy black bean recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.


Santa Fe Black Bean Burger (Vegan)

Easy to make, these hearty Mexican-inspired vegan black bean burgers are spicy and delicious as can be. They can stand alone topped with salsa and avocado, or serve them with a nice salad or placed on a bed of quinoa if you don’t want to make it a burger.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 jumbo patties 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: mix, stovetop, grill, oven
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican, Vegan


  • 1 can (14 oz) organic black beans (about 1.5 cups), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup oats (rolled or quick)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal or flour of choice (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1/4 cup chunky salsa or pico de gallo, give or take
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for pan-frying
  • cornmeal, for dusting (I used coarse grind) (optional)


Mash black beans: In a medium-size bowl, mash black beans with a strong fork or use a potato masher, leaving some chunks for texture if you like.

Make patty mixture: Add oats, flour, spices, salt, and salsa, mix again, feel free to use your hands if you like to. If the mixture is too wet, add more flax meal/flour to the mix, but really it should be ok. Taste for flavor.

Shape patties: Divide the mixture and shape your patties into whatever size you like. I like to make 2 jumbo-sized burger patties, but you can make 3 – 4 smaller ones. Give a light dusting of cornmeal if you have it. It will give a nice crunch, flavor and cook up crispy.

Cook on the stovetop, oven, or grill:

  • Stovetop: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet on medium. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. It’s ok if the cornmeal gets a little crispy. Trust me, it’s delicious!
  • Oven (oil-free): Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Place patties on a baking sheet, place in the oven on the center rack, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, flip and repeat.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments such as red onion slices, leafy greens, salsa, or Vegan Mayo. Add some mashed avocado as a spread or sliced avocado if you prefer. Or serve on a bed of leafy greens. 

Makes 2 jumbo-sized patties or 3 – 4 smaller ones.


Flour can be all-purpose, whole wheat, oat, rice, gluten-free flour blend, or almond flour.

You can easily make extras and refrigerate them for snacking, lunches, or dinners.

Store: Patties can be stored cooked or uncooked in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 2 – 3 months. Let thaw before heating.

Food processor instructions: Add the beans to the bowl of your processor and give a few pulses, careful not to over-process. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until just combined, leaving it a little chunky.

Updated: Santa Fe Black Bean Burger was originally published in August 2012. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in June 2021.

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  1. Loved the recipe! I was short on salsa so I added organic ketchup . . . then I added some more! What an added kick! The corn meal coating made it crispy and this has become an all-time-favorite ❣️❣️❣️

  2. These burgers are delicious, even got great reviews from non-vegans, am excited to make them tonight on whole wheat english muffins.

  3. This is the best black bean burger I’ve found!! Absolutely delicious and easy to make. My meat-eating husband loved it!!! Thank you!

  4. Way better then store bought…Best black bean burger ever!!! Not to take away from this recipe but I add a little pecan liquid smoke.
    I gotta say every Simple Veganista recipe I’ve used so far have been outstanding.

  5. I have made so many veggie burgers over the years that I’ve lost count… if numbers even were able to reach that high, which is only theoretical at this point. :) And now it’s time for a PSA:

    These are the best veggie burgers in terms of texture and speed of preparation that I’ve ever made, and they’re also potentially one of the best in taste. The taste is largely dependent upon the salsa one chooses, so choose wisely! I think next time I might add a bit of chopped onion to the mixture, as it’s a flavor I love, but I will be sure to mince it and not add too much so as not to ruin the excellent texture.

    Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s already a staple at my house.

  6. i honestly love your blog. i was wondering what kind of a bun did you use for this recipe? is it store bought or is there a recipe for it? :)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Mihika! I used store-bought sandwich thins instead of buns. A bit unconventional, but they worked great, without all the breadiness. :)

  7. Could I sub adzuki beans for the black beans? Love this recipe – thanks for all you share with us!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Liz! Yes, you can switch up the beans with your favorite or whatever you have on hand. Enjoy!

  8. “Wow!” “Amazing!” “Incredible!” That is how my family described these bean burgers. The flavors are bold with just the right amount of spice. Each bite will leave your taste buds wanting more! My 11 year old daughter is requesting these to be made again real soon:) This recipe is a keeper!

  9. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

    I took a look and fixed it. The sodium now reflects using black beans made without salt, using 1/2 teaspoon of salt (which can be adjusted) and salsa (maybe you can find low sodium). I hope it better suits your needs now! And thank you so much for pointing that out so I could correct it! Cheers :)

  10. Samantha L. says:

    Hands down this is my favorite vegan burger recipe because I always have these ingredients on hand and the flavor is great. I also love that the burgers keep their shape so well!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, so glad you love these! One of my favorites too. Cheers :)

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