We eat a lot of meatless meals around here. We’re not vegetarians, we just eat meat sparingly. As a bonus, it also saves us money. And when we do eat meat, we’re able to afford higher quality cuts from more sustainable-friendly sources. Black bean burgers, when done right, are fabulous in place of their ground beef cousins. As I was making these I had a dishwasher repair man fixing a leak. He asked what I was making and when I told him they were black bean burgers he was surprised. “Wow, they actually look AND smell great!” I chuckled. I ate one for lunch that was just the plain burger, a little cheese and honey mustard and that’s it. It was delicious! The burger has so much flavor itself that any toppings are just a bonus. The patties freeze really well and it isn’t much more effort to make extra and pop them in the freezer. Give them a try on homemade buns for a truly special treat.
Makes 1 dozen patties
6 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup corn kernels (thawed if from frozen)
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1. Mash the black beans in a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, you can mash them in a food processor, but by hand with a masher or a fork works just fine.
2. Stir in the chopped onion, minced chipotle, minced garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
3. Stir in the panko, corn, and eggs until well combined.
4. Use your hands to form 12 patties.
5. When ready to cook you have several options.
a. Heat a lightly oiled skillet to medium high heat. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
b. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes each side.
c. Cook on an outdoor grill for 5 minutes each side.
If cooking from frozen, add a couple minutes to the cooking time.
Cooking beans is super easy and super cheap. Black beans are the favorite bean in our household. Rinse the beans before cooking and pick out any weird looking ones. I fill up my crockpot 2/3 of the way with beans and then fill to the top with water. Throw in a teaspoon or two of salt. It takes about 6-8 hours on high for them to get soft. I then freeze them in 2 cup increments (because that is the same size as a can of beans).
You’ve probably heard that you need to soak beans before cooking. This is a debated topic in culinary circles. The official position of the Culinary Institute of America is that it can be done either with soaking or without. Soaking definitely decreases the cooking time on the beans. There are other reported benefits to soaking your beans like decreasing gas and increasing nutrient retention. If you want to try soaking, then soak them overnight or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse before cooking. Cooking time in a crockpot with soaked beans would be about 4 hours on high. Ultimately, you can cook your beans without soaking them with no problems. The choice is up to you!