This is truly the best veggie burger I’ve ever had and tastes so much better than store bought! Hearty and delicious thanks to a meaty mix of black beans, vegetables and whole grains. Budget friendly too!
These vegan burgers won’t fall apart and are easy to pan-fry, grill, bake or air fry. If you love bean and veggie burgers like I do, be sure to check out my Chickpea Burgers and Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers.
You will forget about smooth or crumbly vegan burgers after trying the best veggie burger! Made with hearty black beans, brown rice and vegetables, every bite is delicious and satisfying. Even meat eaters will love this plant based burger!
To claim the title of “Best Veggie Burger,” the patties need to:
- Easy to make without many (or any) complicated components.
- There is a ton of delicious and meaty flavor.
- Hold them together while they cook, whether in a skillet, on the grill, or in the air fryer.
This recipe checks all the boxes – that’s why they’re the best veggie burgers!
Complete your backyard barbecue with kebabs, tempeh ribs, baked beans and watermelon feta salad.
If you want a burger that tastes like real beef, I recommend an Impossible or Beyond Burger instead. This recipe isn’t pretending to be meat, instead we’re celebrating how delicious veggies and beans can be as a burger!
Required components (including substitutions)
- ground hemp – Once it is mixed with water, ground flaxseed takes on a consistency similar to real eggs. They bind the meat mixture together and help prevent the patties from falling apart. If you don’t have ground flax at home, use chia seeds instead or replace the flax eggs with another egg substitute, such as Just Egg or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer.
- the water
- black beans – Black beans are responsible for the meaty texture and flavor of black bean burgers! Canned black beans are fine, or you can substitute them for another type of bean, such as kidney, chickpea, or pinto beans.
- cashew nuts – Roasted cashews give the burger a nice texture with a delicious nutty flavor. Almonds work well as a substitute. To de-seed the nuts, use sunflower seeds or pepitas (they don’t need to be chopped first).
- Brown or white rice – If possible use day old cooked brown or white rice, it makes the recipe much easier. Feel free to use cooked quinoa instead.
- the carrot – Crumble and mix with burgers. They give the burger more substance, nutrition and some color, but you can use almost any fresh or pre-cooked vegetable you like.
- green onion – They add a ton of flavor, but you can leave them out or substitute another onion if needed.
- Breadcrumbs – Oats are a great alternative if you don’t have breadcrumbs at home. Remember that oats can make the burgers sticky so only use 1/3 cup. To go gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs or oats.
- Smoked paprika – I love the subtle smoky flavor of the black bean burger, which comes with smoked paprika and chili powder. Feel free to spice it up even more or check out the Variations section for ideas!
- Chili powder
How to make the best veggie burger
Find the full recipe with measurements on the recipe card below.
Make flax eggs by stirring together ground flax and water in a bowl. Keep aside while the mixture thickens.
Next, mash the black beans in a large bowl until mostly a paste. Leave some beans whole so the burger ends up with more texture.
Use a food processor to grind cashews (not powder). Pour into the bowl with the beans along with the flax egg and remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine.
Scoop out about ½ cup of the burger mixture and use clean hands to form it into a patty. Repeat until you have 12 burger patties and use up all the burger mixture.
Pan Fried Veggie Burgers
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the patties and pan fry until they are golden and crispy on both sides.
Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Assemble the burgers on the buns with your choice of toppings, then serve!
Refrigerate the assembled burger patties to harden for about 30 minutes. This will keep them from falling apart on the grill grate. Then, grill the vegan burgers on a medium-high, oiled grill until crisp on both sides.
Place the patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then bake in a 350ºF oven for 20 minutes. Flip, then bake for another 15 minutes.
Air Fryer Instructions
Place 2 burger patties in the air fryer basket (cooking in batches will prevent the burgers from becoming mushy or soft). Air fry black bean burgers at 400ºF for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Veggie Burger Topping Ideas
These hearty burgers only get better with all the fixings on top! Consider mixing and matching any of the following sauces/toppings of your choice:
There are endless side dishes to choose from, but some of the best are Oven Roasted Potato Wedges, Easy Air Fryer Fries, Vegan Potato Salad, Vegan Caesar Salad, or Classic Vegan Coleslaw.
- Nut free – You can use sunflower seeds or pepitas instead of cashews, or omit them entirely.
- gluten free – Substitute gluten free breadcrumbs, almond flour or gluten free certified rolled oats (only ⅓ cup) for regular breadcrumbs.
- Play with the spices – Add dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, spice salt, nutritional yeast, or cayenne pepper or substitute paprika and chili powder.
- Use a variety of vegetables – Both fresh and pre-cooked vegetables can be used in this vegan burger recipe. Try diced celery, kale, broccoli or red onion. For cooked vegetables, try sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic, shallots, or roasted sweet potatoes.
Go ahead and save
The best way to make plant-based burgers ahead of time is to mix up the burger mix and form the patties, then cover and refrigerate them for 1 to 2 days. I do not recommend freezing uncooked burgers.
Once cooked, store the burgers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. They also freeze well! Don’t forget to thaw them in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, either give the burgers a quick zap in the microwave or reheat in a skillet on the stove.
Want more meat recipes made with plants?
In a small bowl, combine ground flax and water. Give it a little shake and keep it aside. This is your hemp egg mixture.
In a large bowl, add the drained and rinsed black beans. Mash with a potato masher (or fork) until most of the beans are a paste. Leave about 1/4 of the beans whole.
Place the cashews in a food processor and grind to a powder, not a powder. It’s okay to have a few large pieces. You can cut them with a large knife instead. Add to bowl with beans.
Now add the hemp/water mixture to the bowl with the beans/nuts and all the remaining ingredients. Mix very well with a large wooden spoon.
Shape into burger patties about 3/4 inch thick, using about 1/2 cup per burger.
To cook on the stovetop (my preferred method)
Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a medium flame. Add 4 patties at a time and cook until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes per side.
Carefully flip the burgers and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
on the grill
For easier grilling, refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes. Heat the BBQ to medium high, brush the patties with oil and cook for about 4 minutes on each side.
Serve with all the toppings
- Allergic to nuts? Sunflower seeds, or pepitas work in place of cashews, as well as nuts if you can eat them. Or just omit the nuts/seeds altogether.
- Gluten free? Substitute gluten free breadcrumbs, almond flour or gluten free certified rolled oats for regular breadcrumbs.
- Cooked quinoa or white rice can be substituted for brown rice.
- Other types of beans can be used, such as kidney, chickpea or pinto beans.
- Ground chia seeds will work in place of hemp. Or another egg substitute like Bob’s Red Mill or even just eggs.
- The recipe makes 12 burgers, so cut the recipe in half if you don’t want that many. However, they freeze well.
- How to save: Refrigerate leftover cooked burgers for 3-4 days. Cooked burgers can also be frozen. I like to wrap them individually, then place in a freezer friendly container.
- Proceed to: You can make the burger mixture a day or so ahead of time if you prefer. I do not recommend freezing uncooked burgers.
Worship: 112 burger patties | Calories: 218kcal | Sugars: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 466mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3684IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg
*This recipe was posted September 2018 and has been updated with better writing and options. Recipe unchanged.