Mashed black beans and cheese coated with panko breadcrumbs make a perfect vegetarian alternative for a hamburger. Don’t want spicy? Just substitute your favourite cheese for the pepper jack in this Black Bean Burger With Pepper Jack recipe.
I know that this will surprise many people, but I used to be a vegetarian. I was vegetarian for about two years when I was in my mid-20’s and then off and on several times after that. So when my blood sugar started getting really out of whack, my endocrinologist partly blamed my meat-free diet. Since I wasn’t eating a lot of protein, I was filling up with carbs which are turned into sugars when you digest them.
At the time, I did not like beans in pretty much any form, but, to be fair, my only exposure to beans were in prepackaged items. My thought process was something along the lines of “If I don’t like frozen bean burritos, why should I hassle myself by cooking beans to make them at home?” This was true of other frozen bean-based items such as black bean burgers.
I would try bean-based items at restaurants now and then and would be disappointed every time. Black bean burgers always seemed to be flavourless mush that would squeeze off the bun like toothpaste when bitten into or would so dry and hard that there wasn’t enough ketchup in the world to save them.
After making slow cooker “refried” beans, though, I realized beans weren’t as bad as I thought they were. When cooked properly, they were downright amazing, which is why I started adding them into other recipes, like enchiladas.
I went out for lunch the other day, and on the menu, they had Black Bean Burger With Pepper Jack. I’d had them there before, and they fell into the flavourless bean mush category. So I commented that I could make them better.
So, I did this better Black Bean Burger With Pepper Jack.
I wanted to make a patty that was firm but not dry, moist but not mushy, and flavorful. I was scared that the patty would dry out if I cooked the patties until the outside was crunchy. But then I figured a panko coating on the patty’s outside would help give this Black Bean Burger With Pepper Jack a crunch without drying the patty out.
It worked! Yay! I hope you’ll like this Black Bean Burger With Pepper Jack recipe I made.
Satisfying Black Bean Burger With Pepper Jack
- 15 ounces black beans drained
- 4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup bread crumbs divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 pieces burger buns
- In a medium bowl, mash your beans with a fork until mostly smooth.
- Add ½ the pepper jack cheese, ¼ cup of the panko, garlic, salt, cumin, and oregano to the bowl. Use the fork to mix well. Portion the mixture into 4 and form each into a ½-inch patty, packing well to keep together. Place the patties on a plate.
- Stir together the remaining ¾ cup of panko with the garlic powder on another plate.
- In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg with the water.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the top of one patty thinly with the egg mixture. Place the patty egg-side down on the panko-garlic mixture. While the patty is still on the panko mixture, brush the plain side of the patty with egg wash and carefully flip the patty to coat with panko. Gently place the patty back on the plate and repeat with the remaining patties.
- Heat a nonstick pan over med-high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Put the patties and fry for 3 minutes. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and carefully flip the patties. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining pepper jack cheese. Cook for 2 minutes, then cover the pan with a lid or cover with a large metal bowl if using a griddle pan. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve on buns with your favourite burger toppings.