The black bean burger is a staple in the vegan dining scene. In my opinion, burgers beat hot dogs in every category. They are hearty, flavorful, and have way more epic topic choices. (This is very un-Chicagoan, but I never understood the Chicago style hot dog… don’t hate.) This week I went to the farmers’ market and found the mother of all zucchini. It was the size of my forearm! So I thought, let’s make a zucchini black bean burger!
This zucchini black bean burger has a meaty texture, a spicy kick, and is easy to make! In less than 40 minutes you can devour the burger, loaded with all your favorite toppings.
Zucchini Black Bean Burger: Visual Directions
I prefer to bake the zucchini black bean burgers to cut down on the fat. If you prefer, you can fry them in a bit of oil; I have never tried that method before, but I would imagine you could do 3-5 minutes each side. If you stick with baking, preheat oven to 400.
In a food processor, grate the zucchini. Then, SUPER IMPORTANT: squeeze out as much of the zucchini’s excess water as you can. Otherwise your black bean burgers will be black bean mush. This is particularly important if you are going to be using canned black beans because those tend to be wetter/mushier than black beans cooked from bulk. If there is too much water, the black bean burgers won’t hold together well; they’ll crumble all over and you won’t have anything that looks like a burger.
You can squeeze the liquid out with a cheesecloth or, let’s be honest, do you think I am fancy enough to have one of those?!? HELL NO. If you’re poor and live in a studio like me, you’ll do it with a strainer and a paper towel. It works just as well.
Next, chop and sautee the onion and garlic clove in a bit of oil for 5 minutes, or until translucent and edges are slightly brown. In a bowl, add 3/4 the can of black beans (about 1 cup canned), sauteed onions and garlic, chilli pepper, ground black pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, and hot sauce. Mash until a sticky paste begins to form.
**Pro tip: I prefer to mash the spices with the beans instead of waiting until the last step to add the spices. That way, the flavor really gets integrated into the burger.
** Pro tip: If you are using bulk cooked beans, grind 1 1/2 cups black beans in the food processor with the spices and 1-2 tablespoons of water. The food processor makes it easier to break down, unless you are the hulk and have incredible mashing strength. Since bulk beans are drier than canned, the water will enable to paste to form.
My personal preference is to use a mix of canned and bulk black beans. I’ll mash 1 cup of canned beans and then in the later step, I will add 1/4 cup bulk beans. I find that combination lends itself to the best texture for the burger. Either way you do it, and whether you use canned black beans or ones you’ve cooked from scratch, the bottom line is you want a paste to form. This is key to binding the black bean burgers.
Add in the remaining black beans, shredded zucchini, corn and mix well.
Add 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and mix well, until the batter is coated with flax. This binds the black bean burgers together. **Pro tip: it’s best you use your hands. Taste test here and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Since my hands were all sticky, I don;t have a picture of the batter at this point, so instead here’s what ground flax looks like:
Form into 6 patties and place them on parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes and then flip and bake for an additional 12 minutes.
Voila! Delicious spicy vegan black bean burgers!
Now the best part: the toppings! My personal favorites are grilled onions and mushrooms, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and tomato, on a vegan pretzel bun. After one bite, you’ll be dreaming about a black bean burger all day long.
Vegan Zucchini Black Bean Burger
This vegan black bean burger is spicy, meaty, and full of flavor. The zucchini and corn add a hearty texture that will leave you full and satisfied.
115 oz canblack beansIf using homemade beans, use 2 cups
1 mediumzucchinishredded and drained of liquid
1 Tbspchilli powder
1 tspblack pepper
1/2tspred pepper flakes
2Tbspnutritional yeastoptional, adds cheesiness to burgers
3dasheshot sauceoptional, for extra spicy burgers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (If frying the burgers skip this step).
In a food processor grate the zucchini and squeeze out the excess water. **See Note 1
Mince and sautee the onion and garlic clove.
In a large bowl, place 3/4 of the can of black beans and all the spices. Mash until a sticky paste begins to form. **See Note 2
Add in remaining black beans, zucchini and corn. Mix well.
Add 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and mix well, until the batter is coated with flax.
Adjust seasoning to taste as necessary.
Form into 6 patties
Bake on parchment paper for 12 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 12 minutes.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
** Note 1: Squeeze out as much of the zucchini's water as you can. You can do this with a cheese cloth or a paper towel and strainer work just fine. This is a key step to make sure your burgers don't crumble into mush when you bake them.
** Note 2: 3/4 of a can of black beans = ~1 cup. You will have about 1/4 - 1/2 cups left in the can for Step 5. If you are using canned black beans, grind 1 1/2 cups in the food processor with the spices AND 1-2 Tbsp of water. Leave 1/2 cup for Step 5.