Grilled Black Bean Burgers

When my friend told me this was the first intentional vegetarian meal that he’s ever cooked, I was shocked. What I wasn’t too surprised about was how well the meal turned out.  When it comes to summertime grilling and bean burgers, I’m generally satisfied.

However, when he sent over the recipe for his first debut on my blog, and I saw where it came from, my initial shock value tripled.  I was told the recipe was picked up from the Food Network. What I was not told was that it was a Sandra Lee original. It’s probably for the best that that tidbit of information was left out prior to eating.

To put it shortly, I’m not a Sandra Lee fan. She’s carved out her own signature approach to cooking, which is fine, but it’s just not my style. I generally don’t like using packaged foods, which is the key to her semi-homemade meals.

That’s exactly why I would’ve never guessed this was originally her vegetarian creation! The only processed component of this recipe was the food processor working its magic on the fresh ingredients that made these taste so good. Sandra Lee, you actually use real ingredients?

We decided to throw some blue cheese on top for an extra punch of flavor. Brie and arugula would be a nice duo, too. Or maybe grilling the tomatoes before using them as a topper. With a grill, the options really are endless, so let whatever veggies you have on hand be your inspiration.

Grilled Black Bean Burgers

Yield: Yields 5-6 large burgers


  • -1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • -1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • -2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • -2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • -2 tsp. parsley, chopped
  • -1 egg
  • -1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • -1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • -Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • -Hamburger rolls
  • -Blue cheese, optional
  • -Lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, etc.


  1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
  2. In a food processor, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add 1 can black beans, cilantro, parsley, egg and red pepper flakes, and pulse to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, and add the remaining can of black beans and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix until well combined.
  4. Form mixture into round patties. Place on hot oiled grill* over medium-low heat and cook about 6 minutes a side or until heated through. Add blue cheese, if using, and let heat through. Toast hamburger buns on a grill. Place a burger on the bottom of each bun. Top with lettuce, tomato and ketchup, if desired. Cover the burgers with the top of the bun and serve.
  5. *Since bean burgers have a tendency to fall apart, consider using a pan on top of the grill. This will make it easier to flip the burgers and keep them together.

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  • Reply
    A Table in the Sun
    July 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I have been wanting to try black bean burgers for the longest time. I like that you added plenty of fresh flavorings. I just need to adapt for gluten free, which is easy. How about goat gouda for the cheese… current favorite.

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