Cooking these earthy-tasting burgers in a very hot skillet creates delightfully crispy edges. All you need to make the delicious patties are five simple ingredients, plus salt and pepper. Serve with homemade ketchup, fresh-tasting mustard, Cheesy Caesar Dressing, Vegan Cheesy Sauce, or other condiments of your choosing. 

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,



  • 2 cups no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 4 100% whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 4 leaves leaf lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 red onion slices, separated
  • Condiments of your choosing (see headnote)


  • In a food processor combine the first five ingredients (through chili powder). Cover; pulse until chunky but not pureed. Add a small amount of reserved bean liquid if mixture seems dry or isn’t sticking together. Mixture should be moist but not wet. Season with salt and pepper.
  • With wet hands, shape mixture into four 3½-inch patties. Chill at least 20 minutes.
  • In a large nonstick skillet cook burgers over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until burgers are lightly browned and cooked through, turning once.
  • Serve burgers on hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato and onion slices, and desired condiments.

Comments (116)

(5 from 36 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I've made these multiple times. Soo yummy!


How does the black bean mixture bind together?

Megan Edwards

Hi Randy, The natural moisture and starch in the beans makes them sticky once blended, and the oats add extra structure to bind everything together. If it seems like the mixture isn't coming together, you can always add a small amount of the liquid from the bean can to help form a moist, dough-like mixture. Let us know how it goes!


If you overblend, you can still cook on the stovetop. Refrigerate and then a coop out patty size and flatten in the pan. Don’t use your fingers or hands to shape. They browned beautifully and tasted great!


The link to print the recipe does not work.


Link doesn't work to print this recipe.


How much protein is in the 5-ingredient veggie burger?


I found this recipe very tasty. thanks


Mixture was complete mush and I wasn’t able to get the patties to cook in a pan. Thankfully I read the comments and chilled them for a half hour before baking them in the oven. Was able to salvage them but I wouldn’t make this recipe again. Using cooked vegetables is typically a no no in veg burgers anyway because of the water content. Flavor was just meh as well

Jorge R Lopez

Looking up online about protein content, but maybe these numbers are off. There are 2 cups of black bean which contains 29g of protein. So each of the 4 patties (6.5 oz ea.) in this recipe contains 7.25g of protein. In comparison with a 4oz lean beef party which contains 7.15g of protein.

Jorge R Lopez

Looking up online about protein content, but maybe these numbers are off. There are 2 cups of black bean which contains 29g of protein. So each of the 4 patties in this recipe contains 7.25g of protein. In comparison with a 4oz beef party which contains 7.15g of protein.


Good, easy burger. Basic without being bland. That makes it very versatile. This recipe's a keeper.


I’ve been doing this and it might work for you also. I dump the can of beans into one of my colanders and then mash with a potato masher. The extra liquid from the beans drains out. It seems to be the perfect consistency to mix with the rest of the items and comes out great; not mushy at all. Another tip is to save the stems from your mushrooms and chop them up in small pieces to add to the burger as well. Not too much because mushrooms have a lot of liquid and then once they’re cut. Definitely refrigerate your patties before cooking. I cook mine in the air fryer.


These burgers are great, and so easy to make. I make 3-4 batches at a time and they freeze wonderfully. Keep buns on hand and make french fries in your NuWave and warm your burgers and buns below your fries cooking. Lunch or dinner in no time! 5 *****


These burgers were so easy to make and super tasty! So happy I never have to buy another frozen veggie burger. I made another batch to stick in my freezer for a quick dinner.

Nicki Luescher

This was much easier than I imagined. I never liked processed food and comparing the beef, the packaged vegan meat, with this recipe the nutritional values win. I put too much bean liquid into the mixtured but added some ground chia seeds to thicken it back up. Thank you for this recipe! It was delicious!


Followed the comments and used oat flour and added seasoning. They were 'okay'. I also chilled them to help with not falling apart. They fell apart when I flipped them anyway. I'll probably play with the seasoning, but they weren't my favorite.


Followed the recipe exactly and let the patties chill for an hour on parchment paper. Baked for 12 minutes at 375 and I couldn’t even flip them. Complete mush. Don’t waste your time.


After reading a bunch of comments, I decided to go with this method: "I refrigerated the mixture for 40 minutes. Finally I made patties and put them on parchment paper using a baking sheet. Baked them 12 minutes then turned them over for another 15 minutes. 375 oven." They turned out great. It wasn't too much work, and it's an easy recipe to change according to your tastes. I ended up not having enough black beans (I used leftover Instant Pot o' beans) and used chickpeas for the other half. I will definitely make them again.

Yahoo! Allison Aitkens

I will definitely try this recipe.

Amy S

Followed the recipe exactly and these came out mushy and not very flavorful. Ended up throwing most of this out. Am still on the search for a homemade veggie burger that tastes good and holds together.


Was inspired to be creative: 2 cans of Black beans. Pulse together in processor: 2 white onions (or red for less sharpness) 1 BALL of garlic, 1 red pepper. Dry ingredients: 1/4 cups oat flower, 1 cup walnuts (pulsed til grainy), 3/4 cups Edward & Sons Organic Bread Crumbs Italian Herb, paprika, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic & onion powders, Cumin, 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast, and salt all to taste... I'm heavy on the spices ;-D Blend together and adjust to YOUR taste. Oh and a dash of lemon juice. I measured level 1/2 cup portions, placed in fridge for 20 mins and cooked in a hot non-stick frying pan about 15 mins each side to get a good outside crisp. You can lower temp to cook inside more if preferred. Makes about 10 burgers. Served with a mixed salad of kale, sweet red onion, mixed greens, romaine, baby spinach, arugula, zucchini, diced cherry tomatoes. Added a dollop of guacamole on burger for fun! YUM YUM WOW!

S. Alfano A

Great that you sent a detailed comment! I’m taking notes.


Yummy - though be warned, when they first go on the hot pan, let them cook at least 8 minutes before turning! Or they will stick and smear and be messy (though the smeared ones can be sort of reformed and cooked longer). I also chilled in the freezer on parchment paper, so they held together getting to the hot pan. I will make these often!!!


One little tip re processing oats if you want an oat flour vs the rolled oats - use an electric coffee grinder. Less messy than an immersion blender, less cleanup than food processor.

Veronica Bambach-Tarrant

Love how easy and delicious this recipe is! Thanks

Judy Petty

Best bean burger I have made so far! Yummy.

Skye Gibbins

These were very good; I modified them a bit (mostly due to convenience), so here are my changes: 1/4 dried onion flakes instead of fresh chopped. A sprinkle of hot smoked paprika, instead of hot sauce Onion and garlic powder - liberal sprinklings! 1 TBSP. Balsamic vinegar instead of lime juice A few pieces of jarred roasted red pepper (the rest were reserved for the vegan queso recipe). I baked them at 350 for about 12 minutes per side on parchment paper. Then I cut a burger in half, and put it in an Ezekiel tortilla schmeared with avocado and some tomato slices (I could have added sweet onion and green leaves of some kind. I added a schloop of Vegan Queso Sauce, too. This was a yummy meal - living with a meat-eater, I don't often take the time to make something "special" for myself. This was great!


Has anyone tried with using dried black beans? Cooking the right amount? Instead of canned. Would love feedback if this has worked or if anyone here thinks it can work. Thanks!


Hi! I have substituted dried beans for canned in many recipes. Where I live, our cans are 540ml. I have found that 1 cup dried beans, soaked overnight and then cooked as per package directions makes the equivalent amount. They taste the same as canned. Good luck!


Has anyone ever tried making this into a loaf? Or used a different bean than black?


I made these tonight, they were divine! A few things I did: I whizzed the oats first into a fine flour as per a suggestion below and the burgers held together so well that I didn't even need to chill them. They went straight into the air fryer. I used red onion in the mix. I figured the flavour would be more subtle/ pleasant than yellow onion since it was going into the mix raw. I added garlic powder and smoked paprika as seasonings into the mix and I think it gave the burgers a big flavour boost! It was so nice to stuff my face with a burger and feel good knowing it was totally healthy and good for me. Can't believe how quickly they came together. This will become a midweek staple in our household!


I did these . I added a few touches like rice n smoke flavor .. Yummy

R Hamilton

New to this site, have health issues, changing to plant based


How long did you cook them in the air fryer? Temp & setting?

Deck Decker


Geoff Ireland

How about cooking these on the grill? Would that create any of the carcinogens you get from grilled beef?

MJ Wood

I have not made this recipe yet but I make one that is practically identical. The one trickI found is to start with turning the oats into a coarse flour first and then add the rest of the ingredients. Burgers hold together very well.


The veggie burger recipe in the 'Fireman's FOK" book is the best! It's a bit labor intensive. I double the recipe and it makes 8 big burgers that fit on one tray. Bake 15 minutes per side is perfect. My husband loves them. I freeze most of them because they can be microwaved from frozen state or thawed.


Nancy is it The Engine 2 Cookbook? I’ve been thinking about getting that one.


I use an immersion blender and then I have better control over the texture. We have these as burgers and balls a few times a month. They freeze well, too.

Carol Lang

good idea with the veggie balls.

Kathleen C

I read the comments and modified the recipe this way: I used regular rolled oats instead of quick and used a immersion blender to pulverize some of the oats creating some oat flour. I added chopped onions into the burgers which gave them a lot of flavor as they cooked. I also added 2 teaspoons of cumin and pressed garlic cloves. I used a hand potato masher to mix the ingredients because pulsing with the food processor makes the texture too smooth. Plus easier cleanup. The finished burgers had an excellent texture and cohesiveness. I topped with a spicy guacamole. Yum. In summary, try using the recipe as an excellent base and modify to suit your mood.

Sharon S.

Excellent ideas! Thank you!

Alison A Gordon

In making these burgers I included several suggestions below. First I blitzed the onions first in the food processor. I then added the remaining 4 ingredients plus garlic, cumin and paprika. I then refrigerated the mixture for 40 minutes. Finally I made patties and put them on parchment paper using a baking sheet. Baked them 12 minutes then turned them over for another 15 minutes. 375 oven. They turned out great, not mushy in the middle.

Carl Zingle

Excellent addition to this recipe!

Kathleen C

Loved your suggestions— thx!


I tried these and they were browned on the outside but were mush on the inside. It just squeezed out the side. I guess I did more of a pureed just trying to get it all mixed together. I have changed the recipe to use pinto beans and more oats, but do admit I do more of a pureed. I cook them about 6-7 on each side. I know they are healthier than the store bought ones my husband has been buying, but they don't taste anything like a beef burger. It is a more solid patty.

Carol Lang

One of the previous messages they said they mixed with a potato masher, maybe that would help.


Can you batch these? If you can, about how long can you freeze them to use later before it starts to affect the texture? OR How long do you recommend freezing?

Matt Barlow

This was pretty good for a basic recipe. Need a lot more spices, and some liquid smoke to take them to the next level, plus add some fonio flour for for better texture. Like others mentioned it needed something to give it better texture like vital wheat gluten. I did half the batch with the VWG and the other half with Fonio flour and the fonio flour was so much better, plus it's a whole food with more nutrients and fiber. I baked them at 375॰F for 20 minutes, flipping at halfway mark. The patties with the VWG were so mushy it was difficult to flip. The patties with the fonio were firm and easy to flip while holding their shape. P.S. baking them instead of pan frying them first helps dry them out more and creates a firmer, less mushy, patty. Plus, they can be frozen for later and when ready to serve simply pan fry them like you normally would over a medium low heat for about 4 minutes on each side.


Matt, could you tell me how much fonio you used with this recipe. Did you use it in addition to the recipe ingredients or did you replace the oats. I’m new to this and horrible cook so I have no clue what I’m doing.

Lynette M Dummer

How much fonio did u add?

Renee Nash

I can not wait to make these burgers.....sound so good and easy.....I am not a good cook but I have been vegatarian for over 30 years.....

gracie hacker

That is not a veggie burger but a black bean burger. Just saying...

Matt Barlow

That's true. Is your one star for the title or the burger?


I had to laugh when I saw to use a non stick skillet! Those are not supposed to be good either. Only stainless steel, cast iron or glass.

Jim Felder

You might be thinking about non-stick coatings that use PFOA in the manufacturing process. Cookware that uses PFOA were banned in the US and Canada starting in 2015. So if the pan is newer than this, it is likely not a health hazard. Teflon (or PTFE) is not the same as PFAO. HoweverPFAO was used in the manufacturing process of PTFE used in cookware before 2015, so still get rid of that old teflon pan. PTFE can be made without PFAO, so non-stick "Teflon" pans can still be sold. An alternative to PTFE pans is ceramic non-stick coatings. The ceramic non-stick generally will withstand higher temperatures than PTFE coated pans will. Still no non-stick pan should ever be allowed to get over about 400-450 F since above that the coating starts to degrade. And it is not just non-stick coatings that can be hazardous. Oil that is heated pasted its smoke point gives off carcinogenic fumes (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) be that in a stainless steel or cast iron frying pan or as oils drip onto coals or hot grill elements while grilling.


This is a great recipe. If you can't take a basic recipe and make it taste good by making it your own, then uh, sorry but you're a bad cook. Obviously don't make this if you're not a fan of black beans.

Catherine Manson

Enjoyed this burger - definitely a real balancing act between oats and moisture. i added more spice - garlic, paprika and black pepper.

Kathleen Osika

I am on a plant based diet because of my kidneys, so I have to watch my protein. I notice that in your comparison of burgers you did not list the protein for any of them. I believe this would be good to know for those of us who need such information. Thank you.


This is a great point!!! I was looking for protein count too!!!

eddie freeman

easy recipe


The protein are in the beans, just look on the can.

Elin Crabtree

I have yet to find a homemade veggie burger recipe that HOLDS TOGETHER without adding vital wheat gluten to it, which I did successfully with this recipe. I also find that baking the patties (vs. stovetop) helps them solidify and hold their shape. I don't especially LIKE adding wheat gluten, for nutritional/calorie reasons, but to truly get the feel and "bite" of a burger, I have found it makes a huge difference. How do you at FOK feel about this solution?


Are you able to find any organic wheat gluten? If so, where do you get it?


Would nutritional yeast work?

Kimberley Downey

I wish that you would include the nutritional info. It's helpful, and absolved us from inputting the recipe into other apps/websites to try to figure that out before we proceed with the recipe.

Eileen Mallinson

Can you bake them instead of frying?


Can you grill them???


This was awful! It is not usual for-me to have rhis happen but i threw the whole batch in the garbage


Any burger recipe will 'bind' better if you add a chia/flax 'egg' or a Tbs or so of Vital Wheat Gluten


I suggest that the onion be added first to blender and whirr up before adding other ingredients. It got caught in the blades and never really chopped up.

Fiona Baxter

The onion was meant to TOP the burger I think....

William D Leahy Jr

That's not a bad idea. And the onion in the recipe is supposed to be ground up with the beans. There is also more onion (red) called for in the list of things to put on the burgers.

Sonja Gross

I thought these were really tasty and my entire family ate them. I placed them a parchment covered baking sheet and press them down flat...baked at 375 for 25 minutes turning over midway. I also made the vegan cheesy sauce with this...tastes nothing like cheese :) but tasty nevertheless.


I'd like to try this recipe but how do you know when the patty is "cooked through"?


Oats and onion are the only things that are not already cooked. Just go by the timing in the recipe.


its not meat so it won't hurt you if it isn't cooked through.. about 10 minutes on each side


I prefer other recipes with walnuts in for texture... the lime/chili flavor was a bit weird to us, maybe I didn't get salt right... I had to add a lot more oats to make it less wet (still wet despite that!). But I've seen others asking and wanted to add that the air fryer DOES work well. I coated them in cornmeal for handling, and they firmed up well on the outside. Some we just formed by hand. They worked better formed up in a burger silicone mold (also coated with corn meal), and frozen about 30 or 60 mins, then air fried. Those made nice firm burners.


It's beans. It doesn't matter.

Shari Larson

How long, what temperature and do you preheat?


Yes Elaine, it does matter. Getting the burger cooked to the right firmness is a matter of time and temperature. This is a nice base recipe that will allow for a lot of additions. I put chopped onions and mushrooms in mine and have been experimenting with different seasonings. Also, I’ve found that in my Ninja Foodi grill, a 1/2” patty at 375 for 20 minutes, flipped half way, produces excellent interior and exterior textures.


Will bulgur work instead of the oats? I'm thinking texture here.


No food processor in my small apartment. Will try this by hand. They sound great...and easy, too!


Can these hamburgers be grilled?

Cheryl Jimenez

So the rolled oats gets mixed in dry?

Deborah Garrard

These burgers are a hit!! The recipe is delicious and easy - a winning combination. I made the "burgers" open-faced on toasted gluten-free bread with red leaf lettuce and topped them with guacamole. Amazing. I was able to make 6 good-sized burgers, and we can't wait for leftovers. Each burger is satisfying and nutrient-dense, with staying power. Thank you, Nancy, for a great addition to meal planning!


Very easy to prepare.


I wish you would include nutritional information including carbs.

Linda Kommer

Wendy It’s a little iffy to use.


These burgers are delicious and easy to make! I love when I can look up a recipe like this one and already have all the ingredients I need at home. I took the liberty of adding minced garlic, garlic powder, turmeric and cayenne to the mix and they turned out so tasty. I decided to add some of the bean water to the mix and I think it made it too wet, so I would not add any next time. As with all bean burgers they were a little difficult to keep in one piece when cooking them.


Would oat flour be better - add more stability? Are these good if made in an air fryer?


FINALLY a delish burger!!!!


This sounds nice and easy. Could you use old fashioned rolled oats?


Old fashioned take longer to cook I think


A quick run through my Vitamix, and those old fashioned oats become quick cook in seconds!


What can you use in place of lime juice!

Janet Noonan

I’m gonna try lemon juice

Cousin Jimmy

My vote is to replace black beans with black eyed peas yeah baby!


Do you know if black eyed peas are easier to digest than black beans? I get these weird super uncomfortable esophageal spasms when I eat black beans, kidney beans, and white beans. I can eat adzuki beans and chickpeas though. I’ve never tried black eyed peas.


@Curly, forget canned beans and make your beans from scratch in a pressure cooker or instant pot. Soak dry beans for at least 12 hours, and then pressure cook them with a small (2" or so) piece of Kombu (a kind of seaweed, found at Whole Foods, or online). The Kombu markedly improves digestibility (and reduce uncomfortable gassiness and stomach cramping for many people; after cooking, chop up what's left of the Kombu finely and just mix into the beans as it's very nutritious). I've had many friends who thought they couldn't eat beans who could eat MY beans without any problem -- it's all in the care taken to cook them.


I should add: those on potassium pills or thyroid meds cannot eat Kombu without medical supervision. It is a wonderful source of iodine (a nutrient many U.S.-based vegans struggle to get enough of), but what is a benefit for most of is turns into a problem for those on certain meds.


Can we use pinto beans? We cooked up a whole pot of pi tos, and my son says he doesn't line pinto beans...though he loves garbanzo beans. Thank you for your help. We are most appreciative.

JoAnn Gallagher

Any idea of calorie count.?JoAnn


You don’t need to worry so much about counting calories. I just eat my plant meals until I’m full. I make sure to get in all my daily nutrients and I continue to loose weight and get in shape.

Marilyn Miller

Can you cook, refrigerate, then reheat in a skillet? If yes, for how long will they keep in the fridge? I don’t have a microwave.

Karen Sedor

I make a burger like this and bake at 375 for 20 mins Freeze well and just mucro for 45secs to warm up and defrost at once


Very bland


Are these bean burgers ok to go on the BBQ?

Liz Turner

These burgers do best when cooked in a very hot nonstick skillet--they get nice crispy edges that way. You can cook them on the grill, but we suggest using a grill basket for extra support. This is a good trick for grilling any homemade veggie burger, since they tend to be more delicate than beef or turkey burgers.

Debra Ledsham

Perfect burgers for a hot day!! Could not even think about doing my usual burgers in the oven with the temperature above 80. I did add some extra spice and cooked them a lot longer than it says to get them crispy, but other than that, so easy and delicious!


Can you freeze these burgers? Cooked or uncooked?

Liz Turner

Yes! Cook before freezing.


Susan, I freeze mine uncooked. I allow them to completely defrost. I always bake on a parchment lined pan for 20 min. turning once after 10 min. My wife and I love these. I also bake my own whole grain burger buns and serve with baked ripple cut "French fries." It's a quick meal that is very filling.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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