Veggie Burger Deluxe: Smoky Black Bean Burger

An expanded version of the basic plant burger recipe, this burger has been specifically hailed as a huge hit with families transitioning to plant-based eating.

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By Lani Muelrath, MA,

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Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 large baked sweet potato
  • 1¼ cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 4 ounces firm tofu (or tempeh)
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (any kind)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Splash of unsweetened, unflavored plant milk

Instructions

  • Lightly pulse the beans in a food processor, leaving some chunks for texture, or partially mash them with a potato masher. Place the beans into a large bowl, along with the rice, sweet potato, and tofu.
  • Add the ketchup, garlic powder, tamari, vinegar, nutritional yeast, and paprika to the bowl, and knead to make the mixture workable for forming burgers. Add unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, 1 splash at a time, if the burgers don’t hold together well. Chill for an hour or more, if time allows.
  • Form the mixture into palm-size patties about ⅜-inch thick.
  • Roll the edges against a flat surface to make a round shape with flat sides.
  • Cook the burgers in a nonstick pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 4 to 5 minutes more. You can also bake the burgers on a baking sheet at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve on buns or alone with your favorite condiments.

    Note:

    Rice: Short-grain brown rice has a stickiness that holds the burgers together; substituting long-grain rice or another grain may result in a burger that falls apart more easily. For a more savory flavor, cook the rice in vegetable broth instead of water.

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About the Author

Headshot of Lani Muelrath

About the Author

Lani Muelrath, MA

Lani Muelrath is an award-winning teacher, author, and certified specialist in behavior change and plant-based nutrition. Presenter for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Complete Health Improvement Program, and guest lecturer at San Francisco State University, Muelrath is associate faculty at Butte College where her book has been adopted as required text. She is the author of The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight, recognized by VegNews as Top Media Pick for 2015, and Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Workouts. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook for more info.
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