I remember when I had my first homemade bean burger; I was shocked at the amazing flavor and texture. Those frozen patties are, I’m sorry to say, a poor imitation. Perhaps the mistake is trying to mimic meat as closely as possible when, in actuality, you can get much more creative with bean burgers. This version, while a little more time consuming than most (which often only involve blending together a variety of ingredients), uses caramelized onions and mushrooms to add extra depth of flavor, alongside cumin, paprika, and chipotle pepper. This versatile mix can be used not only to make burgers, but also for “meat”balls or even to replicate ground beef (cook loose in a pan, letting sit until browned and then stirring). These can also be formed into patties of whatever size you want and eaten plain, over salads, or on sandwiches. As you can see in my photo, I chose a simple preparation, topping the patties with alfafa sprouts and serving with a couple different salsas (including avocado salsa verde) and sour cream to go along with the light Mexican spicing in the patties themselves. Of course, you can easily change the spices to suit your taste and intended purpose. All in all, this is a great recipe that’s really worth adding to your repertoire.
Mushroom Black Bean Patties (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 lb mushrooms, diced
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large (28 – 32 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat, then add 2 onions, diced, and sautee until translucent and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
- Add 1 lb mushrooms, diced, 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, 1 tsp ground cumin, and 1 tsp smoked paprika, and sautee until the mushrooms brown and release their juices, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
- Using a food processor, blender, or immersion blender, combine the cooked onions and mushrooms with 1 large (28 – 32 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed and 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, and blend until combined but not smooth, leaving some chunks.
- Sir in 1 cup panko bread crumbs and 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated. Add salt and pepper, to taste. You can make patties immediately or refrigerate the mix for up to a week (the refrigeration makes the patties slightly easier to shape as well).
- When ready to make the patties, use dampened hands to shape the mixture into your desired size and shape (burgers, smaller patties, balls, etc).
- Bake at 425 degrees until thoroughly heated with the outside darkened and crisped, about 15 – 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Alternatively (although I found it a lot harder to keep the patties intact with this method), fry in a skillet with a little vegetable oil over medium heat, again flipping halfway through and looking for the outside to be darkened and crisped, about 10 minutes.