Smoky Black Bean Burger

head on view of smoky black bean burger on a wooden cutting board.

5 from 12 reviews

Simple and delicious, these smoky black bean burgers are 100% vegan and can be made in the oven, on the stovetop or grilled to perfection!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 2 tablespoons water (for water saute)
  • 1 small onion (about 1 cup), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (packed) or brown rice*
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal or panko/bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or cumin (or 3/4 teaspoon both)
  • 1/2 mineral salt, or to taste


  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon tamari, coconut aminos of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/21 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce of choice

To serve

  • hamburger buns
  • leafy greens
  • sliced red onion
  • tomato slices
  • Garlic Aioli


Saute: In a small pan or skillet, heat oil/water over medium heat, add onion and saute for about 5 – 7 minutes, onions should be tender and slightly golden on the edges. Let onions cool a bit before moving to the food processor.

Glaze: Next, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, tomato paste, and sriracha. Mix well, and set aside to let the flavors mingle. Taste again, adding more of any ingredient to suit your taste.

Process: Using a food processor, add slightly cooled onions, quinoa/rice, black beans, flaxseed meal, and spices/herbs. Pulse for 5 – 6 seconds at a time, until about half the mixture is combined. Be careful not to over-process, you want some chunkiness from the beans and onions.

Mix: Place mixture in a mixing bowl. You’ll notice once you remove the mixture, the underneath part will be more processed than the top. Using your hands or spatula, mix together well.

Patties: Form 4 round jumbo balls, making sure to pack the balls together well. Flatten each ball into a patty, about 3/4 inch thick, and smooth any cracks along the edges. Place on prepared baking sheet. Alternately, you can make 6 regular-sized patties or 8 sliders.


Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silpat, parchment paper, or lightly grease with oil. Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Using a spatula, gently flip patties and bake another 12 – 15 minutes. Brush tip and sides with balsamic glaze. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Stovetop: Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat, add patties, and cook 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Carefully flip patties and cook another 5 minutes. Remove, brush with balsamic glaze.

Grill: Preheat grill to medium-high heat, on greased grill, place patties and cook 5 minutes, carefully flip and cook another 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and/or charred. Remove, brush with balsamic glaze.

Serve with fixins of choice and enjoy!

Makes 4 jumbo or 6 regular patties, or 8 sliders.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months (thaw before cooking).

Pair your burgers with these Homemade Baked Potato Chips, Vegan Coleslaw, Classic Potato Salad or Healthy Baked Beans!


*If using brown rice, but don’t feel like cooking it, you can use packaged precooked rice for ease. Use one whole package (5.5 – 5.8 oz) for this recipe, no need to heat first. It’s what I started with and had great results.

For the sauteed onions, you can skip this step and just add the raw onions to the food processor. I started my recipe testing this way but decided I preferred the flavor of the sauteed onions. Both ways are good, and this option is totally up to you.

Make the patties ahead of time, storing them in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Nutrition information is calculated using quinoa, flaxseed meal, and no added oils.