Spicy Black Bean Patties


Spicy Black Bean Patties

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My temporary roomie Jeff and his girlfriend Bethany like to play backgammon and they get kind of intense about it. They are very competitive people and backgammon is one of those games that fosters competition. Normally, it’s played for money, but they make other bets based on individual games or a series of games.

Bethany lost a series recently and had to make dinner for Jeff (and me because, well, I live here). When she told me what she was going to make I thought it would make a great post! She chose to make a spicy black bean patty with a cilantro yogurt sauce. It was really good and healthy!

We ate these with lots of the cilantro sauce and a simple side salad. When I tried this patty the first thing that came to mind was how delicious this would be as a veggie burger.

Spicy Black Bean Patties

Makes 10-12 patties
Prep Time:
Total Time:
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Helpful Equipment:

cast iron skillet

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2 Cups dry black beans (or 2 16 ounce cans)
2 Jalepenos, diced but keep the seeds
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 Cup breadcrumbs
1 Teaspoon cumin
1 Teaspoon chili powder
1 Teaspoon oregano
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:

2 Cups yogurt, Greek works great
1/2 - 3/4 Cups cilantro, chopped loosely packed (if you hate cilantro, maybe try parsley)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt


1) Chop the veggies.

2) Sauté the veggies in a few tablespoons of oil until they are a bit soft, but not browned at all. Just a few minutes should do the trick.

3) Cook the beans according to the directions on the package. If you are using dry beans, which I recommend, you’ll want to soak them overnight so plan for that.

4) Add the breadcrumbs and using a masher or large spoon, mash up the beans and breadcrumbs.

5) Mix in the sautéed veggies and all the other spices.

6) Form about 4 ounce patties with the mixture.

7) Sprinkle the chili power and cumin on each patty.

8) Cook them in a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes a side.

9) Stir all of the sauce ingredients together.

10) Serve with a small green salad using the sauce as salad dressing!

This recipe is definitely not hard, but it does require some serious chopping. For the peppers, we took out the seeds, but kept them so we could add some of them later to make the patties spicier. Use them or toss them depending on how much heat you want.

Chopping lots of stuff.
Chopping lots of stuff.

Making the patties

Once your veggies are chopped, saute them in a few tablespoons of oil until they are a bit soft, but not browned at all. Just a few minutes should do the trick.

Soften these up a bit.
Soften these up a bit.

Cook the beans according to the directions on the package. If you are using dry beans, which I recommend, you’ll want to soak them overnight so plan for that.

Once your beans are cooked, add your breadcrumbs and using a masher or large spoon, mash up the beans and breadcrumbs. I wouldn’t use a food processor for these because you run the risk of over-processing the beans. You want them to still have plenty of texture, but just broken up a bit.

Breadcrumbs never looked so good.
Breadcrumbs never looked so good.

Mix in your sauteed veggies and all your other spices. Feel free to adjust the spices if you want the patties even spicier.

Then form about 4 ounce patties with the mixture. You should be able to get about 10-12 patties out of the mixture. To finish these guys off, cook them in a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes a side. These will give the burgers a good crust on the outside and heat them up all the way through. We sprinkled some more spices (chili powder and cumin) on each patty before frying them up.

These were getting a little too healthy.
These were getting a little too healthy.

Making the Sauce

Ok. Well, there isn’t much to explain for the sauce. Basically, just stir everything together. The good news is that you can definitely make it ahead of time. In fact, if you let this sit for a few hours it gets even better.

Nothing like a good light dressing.
Nothing like a good light dressing.

These were really spicy and delicious and the sauce compliments them really well. Bethany was feeling very healthy and served this with a simple salad, using a bit of the sauce as a dressing also.

Also be good on a burger.
Also be good on a burger.

If you’re a regular Macheesmo reader, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to eat less meat this year (and so far succeeding I would say). These were exactly what I look for as a meat substitute. They had a ton of flavor and spice and were very filling actually even without a bun.

If you are vegetarian or are planning on going to a bbq were people would be open to a really good homemade veggie burger, I recommend these guys very highly.

17 Responses to “Spicy Black Bean Patties” Leave a comment

  1. Looks pretty good. I don't know if I could finagle Nick into eating these though.

    I will have to try them out one day when he is not around. I am totally obsessed with the veggie burger at Houston's, and I have been trying to replicate it. Their burger is a mixture of black beans and brown rice, and they also add chopped beets which would probably be delicious in these as well.

    Boo to cilantro yogurt sauce. Booo! I'll have some barbecue sauce on mine, thank you very much.


  2. Excellent! It’s always great to find a recipe for bean-based patties that aren’t held together with eggs. They look great!

  3. These look delicious!!! Could they be grilled (or baked/broiled) instead of fried in the oil, though?

  4. @Jenna. Definitely. These are pretty sturdy. I think you could cook them with any of those techniques.

    Might be a bit tough on the grill but if you have a good flipping technique you can probably give it a shot!

  5. These look so good! It’s always nice to see a nice substitute for veggie burgers; I’ll have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I made these last night for my husband and myself. OMG! these are good! I cut the recipe in 1/2 since there are only 2 of us eating, but I will not do that again. I am making the entire recipe and then we can snack on the leftovers. Please note that we are a meat eating family but will happily substitute these burgers on a regular basis – they are that good. Thank you thank you for the recipe!!

  7. Ohhhh my wife is going to LOVE these! Great recipe and post! I’ve dropped you into google reader because I love your photography, writing and cooking.

    These remind me of a black bean burger I got many years ago in Gainesville, FL. I had it right after a deposition for work and it totally erased all the bad stuff I just had to deal with because it was that good.

  8. I tried these, and they're good; but I think they could uses a little more on the flavor side. Beans, in my opinion, need a great deal more help than most people give them.

    I also wanted to respectfully point out that you are perpetuating two food myths in this recipe.

    1. You need to soak dry beans. This does nothing more than reduce cooking time, and not by that much. The same effect can be achieved by bringing dry beans to a boil, setting them aside for an hour, draining them, and cooking them with fresh liquid. Or, for that matter, you could just slow simmer them for a very long time.

    2. The heat from chiles is in the seeds. The heat from chiles comes primarily from capsaicin which is concentrated almost exclusively in the white ribs or placental structure of the chili. When you scrape out the seeds you remove heat by removing the connective tissue that contains the capsaicin. The seeds themselves have no inherent heat.

    I just wanted to bring these things up because I feel like the perpetuation of these myths often makes cooking seem harder than it needs to be.

    Thanks for the recipes, and good job on the blog.

  9. @ Vic. Thanks for the notes man. You definitely don't need to soak the dry beans. On the back of most packages they have directions for quick cooking which are basically as you say.

    If you are going to be crunched for time though I find it's actually easier to soak them overnight and then they take less time to cook the day of.

    I've heard that before on the pepper thing. I need to do some pepper testing I think :) Thanks for the comment!

    1. Yea… that would probably work okay. If you have a food processor, I might give the oats a spin just so they aren’t so big…

  10. Hey Nick!! These look amazing. I was wondering if I would be able to double the recipe and then freeze the patties before they’re cooked so my husband could have an easy meal to make while I’m at work? Thanks! :)

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