Some nights I feel like I’m on a Food Network challenge show: prepare a meal only using ingredients available in your fridge. Today I had started a slow cooker project a little late in the day, and realized the dish wouldn’t be ready until 11pm. So… it was on to Plan B. I opened the fridge, hoping something would magically appear, when there they were, looking up at me. Earlier in the week I had made dried black beans to have as a side dish, and was reminded that half a package makes a LOT of beans. I had been wanting to explore a black bean burger recipe, so today was as good a day as ever.
Black beans are a powerful combo of fiber and protein. The fiber found in black beans helps keep the digestive tract healthy and yes, encourages us to go #2. Plus, that fiber will fill you up, so you’ll be less likely to have an after dinner snack. The starch found in black beans act as a prebiotic, which helps form healthy bacteria in the gut. For those concerned about high blood sugar, black beans help keep the blood sugar steady. And yes, beans are in fact good for your heart- the soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and are a rich source of folate, which helps fight against heart disease. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients found in black beans may also help prevent certain types of cancer, such as colon. While there has not been significant nutritional differences found between canned and dried beans, canned beans can be higher in sodium, which is why it’s encouraged to rinse beans before use.
In addition to the beans, I added some extra veggies to the burger by mixing in some frozen corn kernels (I always have them on hand in case of emergencies) and peppadew peppers (a staple in our house for salads). English muffins also have permanent residency in our house, so that’s what was used in place of buns. Top with a little avocado, and voila, a meal that came out of thin air!
My husband and I like to spice things up, so I added some extras to this burger to up the heat factor. Our absolute favorite is a local hot sauce made in Asbury Park, NJ called Mazi, made from the piri-piri pepper. The Habanero Harvest version is a must-try for any hot-sauce fan. The end result? One bitchin’ burger!
- 2 cans (14.5oz each) black beans OR 8oz dried black beans, cooked per package instructions (See Notes)
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (See Notes)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 2TB peppadew peppers, coarsely chopped w/ seeds removed OR chopped red pepper
- 1 whole egg (See Notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Fresh ground pepper
- Hot Sauce (Mazi Habanero Heat is a fav!)
- 1-2 TB Olive Oil
- 4 whole wheat buns or English muffins
- Optional toppings: cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onions, Mazi
- Drain, but do not rinse, the canned black beans (OR drain the cooked black beans reserving 1/4 cup liquid). Place them in a bowl and use a fork or potato masher to mash the beans. Keep mashing until they're mostly broken up, but still have some whole beans visible. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until everything is combined, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat 1-2 TB of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
- Form the bean mixture into patties slightly larger than the buns you're using (the patties will not shrink when they cook). Allow to sit for another 5 minutes for the shape to set.
- Place the patties in the skillet and cook them about 5 minutes on the first side. Flip them to the other side. If using cheese, place on top of burgers and cover skillet with a lid to allow cheese to melt. Cook another 5 minutes or until heated through.
- Prepare the buns are desired and decorate with toppings of choice.
Dried black beans can be prepared several days in advance. When storing, reserve some of the water from cooking the beans and add about an inch of liquid to the storage container. Reheat beans in the microwave to soften before mashing.
For a gluten-free or additional protein option, replace the seasoned breadcrumbs with cooked quinoa.
These burgers can be made vegan by replacing the egg with a mixture of 1 TB chia seeds + 3 TB water (allow to sit 5-10 minutes before using)
For a low carb option, place cooked patty on top of mixed greens and enjoy as a salad.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.
1 burger (no bun)= 249 calories, 7g fat (1g sat fat), 37g carbs, 7g fiber, 11g protein, 250 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)