My first post-grad apartment in Boston was nestled above a spin studio on Union Park St in the South End. My best friend and I loved it there and had a laundry list of restaurants and local bakeries that we frequented, and at each one had favorite items that we still go back for when we can. At the top of that list for me was the black bean burger at The Gallows, a local haunt (they take that word very seriously) with amazing burgers, poutine and cocktails. Someday soon I’ll post a serious copycat recipe where I’ll do my best to break down each element of the Gallows black bean burger to recreate the original as accurately as possible, but while I’ve been developing that I have perfected my southwest style black bean burger and just can’t wait to share it with you.
This recipe takes some planning and quite a bit of time, but most of it is ‘inactive’, meaning you aren’t actually cooking or working so much as waiting patiently. I’ll offer some methods that cut way down on that inactive time if you prefer, but your patience will pay off if you take the long road. The recipe makes 6 burgers that will be roughly 4 ounces each. Alex and I freeze the four patties we don’t use right away uncooked and air fry them on demand for lunch or dinner during the week when we want something flavorful but easy to prepare.
These burgers get their flavor from a mix of fresh and dried peppers, yellow onion, cumin, and slowly soaked black beans.
We recommend using dried black beans for this recipe, despite the extra time you will have to spend soaking and cooking them. Dried black beans are extremely inexpensive and by soaking and cooking with aromatics you can impart flavor to them throughout the cooking process leading to a more complex and delicious burger. If you prefer to use canned to save time, we recommend upping the measurements for garlic and adding a third chipotle pepper.
Chipotle peppers are actually dried and smoked jalapeños. They lend a smokiness to the burgers without overwhelming heat, even when you include all of the seeds. We add two chipotle peppers to the beans while they soak overnight and cook to infuse the beans with that smokiness.
We love poblano peppers for their mild taste and incorporating them into the black bean burgers adds to the texture and depth of flavor. In this recipe we mince the peppers and sweat them with yellow onion to bring out the best flavor before incorporating them into the burger mix.
Alex and I probably go through 4 to 6 jalapeños each week, so I couldn’t leave them out of the black bean burger mix even though we are also using chipotle peppers. (I also add pickled jalapeños as a topping!) For my perfect burger mix I mince one jalapeño and include about half the seeds, but you could either completely de-seed it or leave it out altogether if you prefer a mild burger.
In the recipe outlined below I use half a cup of panko breadcrumbs as a binder in my burgers, and leave out quinoa. However, if you’d like to bulk these up or increase the protein content you can do so by adding 3/4 cup cooked tricolor quinoa and leaving out the panko. If you do so, I recommend adding an egg or another binder to help hold the burgers together.Print
Southwest Black Bean Burgers
Incorporating fresh and dried peppers along with garlic, onion and cumin delivers a smoky, delicious black bean burger.
- Prep Time: 9 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 9.5 hours
- Yield: 6 burgers 1x
- 1 cup (140g) dried black beans
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 cup (30g) panko breadcrumbs
- 1–2 cloves garlic
- 1 T cumin
- 3/4 t kosher salt
- Soak your black beans, covered, in 3 to 4 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight with two chipotle peppers.
- Transfer beans and peppers to a larger pot, add another 2 cups of water and any desired aromatics (garlic cloves and bay leaves, for example) and bring to a rolling boil for two minutes. Turn down to a simmer and leave simmering and covered for an hour.
- While the beans are simmering, prepare your vegetables. Finely mince the poblano and jalapeno peppers, yellow onion and garlic cloves. Add the pepper and onion mix to a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil and cook until onions are translucent and peppers softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Check your beans by tasting one or two at a time until they are soft. Remove them from the heat, drain and separate the poblano peppers.
- Mince the poblano peppers and add all ingredients including spices to a large bowl. Using a potato masher or your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients and mash the beans until more than three quarters of them are broken. Mashing the beans like this creates a paste that, when mixed with the panko, helps to hold the burgers together.
- Form six patties. My mix typically turns out to be six burgers that are roughly 4 ounces, or just below 120 grams each.
- Heat a neutral oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan. When sparkling hot, carefully lay burgers in pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until evenly browned and crispy. Remove from pan and allow to drain excess oil on a paper towel before serving.
- Serve on a bun, a salad, or in any way you like!
We love to top these with mashed avocado mixed with plenty of lime juice and salt, our pickled jalapenos, and cabbage slaw or crunchy lettuce. You could go low carb with a lettuce bun or on top of a salad. Or if it’s really been a day, take a page from Megan’s book and put one of these on top of some Annie’s mac n’ cheese.
- Serving Size: 1 Burger
- Calories: 101 kcal
- Sodium: 306mg
- Fat: .8g
- Carbohydrates: 21.7g
- Fiber: 4.4g
- Protein: 6.5g
Keywords: southwest, black bean burger, vegan, vegetarian