Southwest Black Bean Burgers

Black bean burger on an english muffin

Incorporating fresh and dried peppers along with garlic, onion and cumin delivers a smoky, delicious black bean burger. 


  • 1 cup (140g) dried black beans
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup (30g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 T cumin
  • 3/4 t kosher salt


  1. Soak your black beans, covered, in 3 to 4 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight with two chipotle peppers. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Form six patties. My mix typically turns out to be six burgers that are roughly 4 ounces, or just below 120 grams each. 
  7. 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. 
  8. Serve on a bun, a salad, or in any way you like! 


Serving Suggestions:

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.


Keywords: southwest, black bean burger, vegan, vegetarian