Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Burgers

Updated 8.17.2019.

Oh my. I didn’t think I would EVER say this about a veggie burger but I am in LOVE with this burger. While my best friend was visiting me, I made us what was supposed to be a very easy black bean burger. I added spinach to the recipe and the black bean burgers became green black bean burgers. I wasn’t overly fond of the burger itself. It tasted good (once I doused it in salt, which was not an ingredient featured in the recipe I was following!). But the thing that struck me/annoyed me about the burger was the texture. I had to add three times the amount of oats to be able to slightly form a patty. The mixture was very sticky and not very structurally sound. Still, the burgers held up during cooking and tasted really pretty good despite their structure. Which got me to thinking … maybe I could find a better bean burger than the one I had made.

Enter the Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I googled “Black Bean Burger” and this was the first recipe to pop up. Whenever one of the Pioneer Woman’s recipes come up in my google search I immediately peruse the recipe because … the Pioneer Woman and her food are both fantastic. So if she’s endorsing a black bean burger (and she heavily endorses her burger), I have a feeling I’m going to like what she’s selling me.

Yeah. I didn’t like her burger. I LOVED it. It was pretty much heaven on Earth. I love that this burger mixture has structure. Nothing flimsy or mushy about it. It holds up so well it actually resembles a real (well-done) burger. I also think that from far away, the black bean burger looks like a real burger. The black beans look like grill marks.

Oh and did I tell you how easy this recipe is to make? All you do is mush the beans. Oops. I mean mash. Then you mix in the remaining ingredients and let it sit for a few minutes before forming into patties and frying. Hello! Does it get more simple than that?

My recipe is gently adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s and serves two instead of four. But they are two HUGE burgers. We served ours with sriracha mayo, melted havarti cheese, tomato slices, arugula and avocado. Yum!


  • 1 14.5-oz can black beans (or 1 ¾ c. cooked beans)
  • ¾ c. Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T. grated red onion
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 4 slices cheese
  •  canola oil
  •  butter
  • 2 artisan hamburger buns
  •  mayonnaise or mustard
  •  lettuce or other greens
  •  sliced tomato


  1. Drain the black beans; do not rinse. Place beans in a medium-sized bowl and use a fork to mash them until they’re mostly broken up, but still have some whole beans visible. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until everything is combined, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a tablespoon or two of canola oil with an equal amount of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Form the bean mixture into patties slightly larger than the buns you’re using. Place the patties in the skillet and cook about 5 minutes on each side or until heated through.
  3. When you flip the burger over to cook the second side, place 2 slices of cheese onto the patty if you’re adding cheese. (Place a lid on the skillet to help the cheese melt if needed.) Grill the buns on a griddle with a little butter until golden. Spread the buns with mayonnaise or mustard, then place the patties on the buns. Top with lettuce, tomato and any other burger fixings you like. Pickles? Avocado? Fried egg?

I like burgers made of bean! I do! I like them a lot, I mean! I would eat them in a car. I would eat them driving far. I would eat them every night. I would eat them on a flight. I would eat them here and there. I would eat them anywhere! I do so like burgers made of bean. Thank you! Thank you. I love them, I mean!

Recipe rating: 

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