Black Bean Burger Recipe

Mary McCartney shares a recipe for delicious hearty burgers

Black bean burger. Picture / Supplied.

As my dad’s from Liverpool and my mum was from America, I grew up telling anyone who asked where I was from that I was half American and half Liverpudlian. Mum was the main cook in our home, and my cooking style is influenced and inspired by her. This menu is based around what we would make for a barbecue at home. As a vegetarian family, we never liked to feel we were missing out by not eating meat. Traditionally, Dad is in charge of the barbecue when we make this wonderful feast.

I make these burgers with black beans because they are packed with protein and fibre. If you don’t have black beans, then kidney beans are a great alternative. I love them sandwiched between a burger bun with all the toppings – sliced pickles, tomato, onion, lettuce, Thousand Island dressing (or mayo and ketchup) and mustard. My advice is to never skimp on the toppings!


Makes: 6 burgers (approx. 8cm wide and 1.5cm thick)
Prep time: 20–30 minutes
Cooking time: 5–10 minutes

• 400g tin black beans or kidney beans, drained
• 2 tablespoons light olive oil, or 30g butter, for cooking
• 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
• 140g mushrooms, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons tamari (for gluten-free option) or soy sauce
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
• 1 spring onion, finely chopped
• ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
• 4 tablespoons buckwheat flour (for gluten-free option) or plain or spelt flour 
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes, or ½ teaspoon Marmite (optional)
• black pepper, to taste
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (if not cooking on the barbecue), for frying

1. Put the beans into a large bowl and roughly mash them with a potato masher, or blend them in a food processor for a few seconds. You want them to keep some texture, so do not over-mash them.

2. Heat the olive oil (or butter) in a medium frying pan, then sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tamari (or soy sauce) and fry for a few more minutes, until most of the mushroom juice has evaporated.

3. Stir in the garlic, herbs, spring onion, chilli flakes and mashed beans, then allow the mixture to cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and leave to cool slightly before mixing in the flour, nutritional yeast flakes (or Marmite) and black pepper to taste.

5. Divide the mixture into six portions and, using your hands, mould each portion into a patty shape (about 1.5cm thick and 8cm wide).

6. To fry the burgers, heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a medium to large frying pan and cook the burgers over a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown all over.

7. If cooking on the barbecue, chill the burgers in the fridge or freeze them for a couple of hours. Then grill on both sides until golden brown and cooked through.

Black bean burger. Picture / Supplied.

Reproduced with permission from At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends by Mary McCartney. Published by Chatto & Windus, Penguin Random House NZ. $56. Copyright  Mary M.cCartney, 2015.

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