Simple Bean Burgers Recipe

May 14, 2011 1:00 pm

A basic vegetarian burger made with beans

This is the way to go when you want a burger and have neither the time nor the inclination to fuss. When made with chickpeas, they’re golden brown and lovely; with black beans, much darker; with red, somewhere in between. Lentils give you a slightly grainy texture.

There are, of course, an infinite number of ways to jazz these up, but this has good flavor and texture and is excellent served on a bun with the usual fixings.

If you start with beans you’ve cooked yourself—especially well-seasoned ones—the results will be even better, and you can put the bean-cooking liquid to good use (I usually don’t use the liquid from canned beans, which often has a tinnier taste than the beans themselves). Like almost all veggie burger mixtures, these will hold together a little better if you refrigerate them first (ideally you’d refrigerate both before and after shaping, but that’s only if you have the time).

photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/2701320177/">lara604</a> on Flickr
photo: lara604 on Flickr
 
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups beans of your choice, well-cooked
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 cup rolled oats, preferably not instant
1 tablespoon chili powder or spice mix of your choice
1 egg
stock, if necessary
like grapeseed or corn, as needed
Directions: 
  1. Combine the beans, onion, oats, chili powder, salt, pepper, and egg in a food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed, adding a little liquid if necessary (this is unlikely but not impossible) to produce a moist but not wet mixture. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if time allows.
  2. With wet hands, shape into whatever size patties you want and again let rest for a few minutes if time allows. (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to a day or so in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Film the bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with oil and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the patties. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned.
  3. Serve on plates with any of the accompaniments listed in “Serving Burgers”, or on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Bean-and-Cheese Burger: As a flavor-adder, cheese can’t be beat, plus there are two bonuses: You don’t have to mess with melting cheese on top of the burger, and for the most part—it acts as a binder. Add 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, Jack, mozzarella, or other cheese to the mix (you can omit the egg if you like).

Bean-and-Spinach Burger: Of all the veggies you can add to a burger, I like spinach. You can leave it uncooked and just shred it if you prefer (figure about 2 cups), but this gives better results; it’s great with a little garlic added: Squeeze dry and chop about 1 cup cooked spinach (you’ll need about 8 ounces of raw spinach to start, or you can use frozen spinach); add it to the mix and proceed with the recipe.

Bean-and-Veggie Burger: Many options, but don’t overdo it or the burger will fall apart: Add up to 1/2 cup carrots, bell peppers, shallots, leeks, celery, potato, sweet potato, winter squash, zucchini, or a combination. Cut into chunks as you do the onion and grind with the beans or shred or mince and add afterward.

High-Protein Bean Burger: The soy gives it just a little boost: Instead of rolled oats, use rolled soy (soy flakes).

Level of Difficulty: 
Easy
Prep Time: 
10 minutes
Cooking Time: 
10 minutes
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