- 1 cup cooked brown rice*
- 1 cup raw walnuts (or sub bread crumbs)
- 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil (plus more for cooking)
- 1/2 medium white onion (finely diced // 1/2 onion yields ~3/4 cup)
- 1 Tbsp each chili powder, cumin powder, and smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more for coating burgers)
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub organic brown or muscovado sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans* (well rinsed, drained and patted dry)
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (if gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs)
- 3-4 Tbsp vegan BBQ sauce
- If your brown rice isn’t cooked yet, start there by following this method for the best results. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add raw walnuts and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown. Let cool and move onto the next step.
- In the meantime, heat the same skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and onion. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is fragrant, soft, and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once walnuts are cooled, add to blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and coconut sugar and blend until a fine meal (see photo) is achieved. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add drained, dried black beans and mash well with a fork, leaving only a few whole beans (see photo).
- Next add cooked rice, spice-walnut mixture, sautéed onion, panko bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, or until a moldable dough forms. If dry, add extra 1-2 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) BBQ sauce. If too wet, add more panko bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- For larger burgers, divide into 5 patties (1/2 cup in size // amount as original recipe is written), or form 10 smaller burgers (1/4 cup in size // amount as original recipe is written). To help form the patties, line your 1/2 or 1/4 measuring cup with plastic wrap and pack with burger mixture. Press down to pack firmly, then lift out by the plastic wrap’s edge, and slightly flatten with hands to form a 3/4-inch thick patty. Set on a baking sheet or plate for grilling.
- If grilling, heat the grill at this time and brush the grill surface with oil to ease cooking. Otherwise, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat.
- Once skillet is hot, add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet, then add your burgers – only as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. Otherwise, add burgers to the grill and close lid.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until well browned on the underside, then flip gently. They aren’t as firm as meat burgers, but will definitely hold their shape. Reduce heat if cooking/browning too quickly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.
- Remove burgers from heat to let cool slightly, and prepare any other toppings/sides at this time (such as grilling/toasting your buns).
- Serve burgers as is, or on toasted buns with desired toppings. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. See notes for freezing/reheating instructions.
*To cook rice, I recommend this method from Saver. It yields fluffy, perfect rice, which is key to keeping these burgers from becoming too wet or gummy in texture. // Prep time does not include cooking rice.
*One 15-ounce (425 g) can of black beans yields only 1 1/4 cups black beans. So if using canned, be sure to grab two cans (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)! Also, if black beans are unsalted, add 1/4 tsp extra salt to burger mixture (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
*For a simple burger sauce mix 2 parts vegan mayo and 1 part ketchup. Add hot sauce or Sriracha for extra heat.
*To freeze for later, cook burgers as instructed on grill or skillet. Then set on a baking sheet or plate and freeze. Once frozen completely, seal in a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 weeks. Reheat in a 375 degree F oven on a bare baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through and golden brown (or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of BBQ sauce and without a bun or toppings.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 5 burgers)
- Calories: 314
- Fat: 15.9g
- Saturated fat: 1.6g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 10.19g
- Monou Saturated fat: 3.19g
- Sodium: 550mg
- Potassium: 395mg
- Carbohydrates: 36.5g
- Fiber: 8.4g
- Sugar: 5.4g
- Protein: 9.4g
- Vitamin A: 975IU
- Vitamin C: 2.36mg
- Calcium: 76.95mg
- Iron: 3.25mg