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Make our delicious oil-free black bean burger patties with pantry ingredients like black beans and oats. Ready to eat in just 25 minutes!
Don’t be afraid of homemade vegan burgers
It can be intimidating to make black bean burgers from scratch, and even more to make them oil-free. I bet you’re thinking “What if it falls apart!” Well, as long as you know what to look out for, you’ll be alright. I promise!
The key to making these oil-free black bean burgers is the moisture within the patty mix. This is pretty easy to control with just a few tricks. First, definitely drain and rinse your black beans. This helps to get any excess bean juice out which gives you a dryer bean for processing. Next, if you feel that your mixture is too wet still, you can add more rolled oats working two tablespoons at a time until the mix becomes easy to handle. And lastly, you can leave the mix on the counter for 30 or so minutes. This will allow the oats to hydrate which will slightly dry out the mix.
The components of oil-free black bean burger patties
Oil-free black bean burger patties have a few components: the base, the binder, and the seasonings. The base of these patties is simply black beans and a red onion. I know it sounds kind of wild to put an entire onion into the mix, but the overwhelming flavor cooks out in the end. As for the black beans, you can’t have a black bean burger without them, so naturally, they’re a given in this recipe.
Next, the oil-free black bean burger patties need some kind of binder. This is where the rolled oats come in. I absolutely love oats in this recipe. They add some nice earthy-ness to the burgers.
And lastly, the seasonings! These are what give the oil-free black bean burgers all of the flavor under the sun. I kept things simple and went with some BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, lime juice, chili powder, and salt. Because the oats are so earthy, the lime juice and mustard really help level out the flavor, so don’t skimp on those ingredients!
What ingredients do you need to make oil-free black bean burger patties?
For the patties…
If you’re just interested in making the patties, here are the ingredients you’ll need for those
Black beans: You can’t have black bean burgers without black beans! For these oil-free black bean burgers, I used 2 cans. You can try using fresh beans instead, but be weary of the moisture content of the beans and try not to overcook them which can lead to an overhydrated mix.
Red onion: I absolutely love the flavor red onion brings to the black bean patties. If you’re not a big onion fan, don’t worry, the sharpness totally cooks out. If you’re still a little scared to toss an entire onion in the mix, try half!
Rolled oats: Oats bind the beans and the onions together which creates a nice patty that isn’t too dry or too wet. A lot of black bean burger recipes call for bread crumbs instead, but I like oats because they’re naturally gluten-free!
Lime juice and dijon mustard: Since the oats are kind of earthy, lime juice and dijon mustard add some brightness to the patties. If you are hoping to make this recipe with ingredients you have in your pantry but don’t have lime, you can sub the lime juice for 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or triple the amount of mustard to 3 Tablespoons total. Also just a tiny note here that not all dijon mustard is vegan due to the inclusion of non-vegan wine. Grey Poupon is vegan and is available at most grocery stores though!
BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce: For some extra savory flavor, I added BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce to the oil-free black bean burger patties. BBQ sauce is generally oil-free but you do have to watch out for added honey. And Worcestershire sauce is a funky one – most of the time it contains anchovies. I usually stick with Annie’s but have learned that the Worcestershire sauce from Kroger is vegan as well as the one from Thrive market!
Chili powder and sea salt: Lastly, you’ll need some chili powder and sea salt for the oil-free black bean burgers. I really like the extra flavor chili powder brings to the burgers and the sea salt just adds that extra bit of seasoning to bring out all of the flavors. Since Worcestershire sauce already has a lot of salt, you don’t need much!
For the rest of the burger…
If you like the burger you see in the photos, you’ll need some extra ingredients. Keep in mind that some of these ingredients are not oil-free so if you’re WFPB simply omit them.
Red onion and red bell pepper: There is nothing better than sautéed peppers and onions on a burger. Am I right? These oil-free black bean burgers are no exception. To stay as oil-free as possible, I sautéed these in a non-stick skillet and they turned out great!
Pretzel buns: You can’t have a burger without a bun! Well maybe if you’re really into lettuce wraps you’ll disagree, but here in the land of Hell Yes It’s Vegan, we’re all about the buns. If you can find vegan pretzel buns, great! If not any kind of bun will do.
BBQ sauce: If you haven’t caught on by now, I absolutely love BBQ sauce. I prefer it over ketchup any day of the week and think it makes for a better-tasting burger.
Vegan mayo and vegan cheese: If you are oil-free omit these two or use oil-free substitutes. This burger is great with or without cheese but I had some Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda slices lying around so I decided to toss them on top. IMO the vegan mayo is non-negotiable. If you can make an oil-free version with cashews, tofu, whatever, I strongly recommend it for this recipe. I used Follow Your Heart Vegenaise!
How do you make oil-free black bean burgers?
I’ll break this up into two sections! How to make the burger patties, and how to make the burgers like I have them shown in the photo.
To make the oil-free black bean burger patties…
Making the oil-free black bean patties is super simple but you will need some special equipment. First, you’ll need a strainer to drain and rinse the beans. Then, a food processor to pulse the beans, rolled oats, and onion. If you don’t own a food processor that’s ok! Simply mash the beans by hand, finely mince the onions, and use a blender to pulse the oats.
In addition to the strainer and the food processor, to make oil-free black bean burgers, you’ll need a bowl, a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon, a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, and a non-stick pan. The non-stick pan is crucial if you are looking to make these oil-free. I’ve used my cast iron skillet a couple of times and they will definitely need oil if that’s all you have on hand.
To start the oil-free black bean burgers, drain and rinse two cans of black beans. Next, add them to a food processor and pulse to combine. I have a very tiny (but mighty!) food processor and had to do this in two batches. Since the mixture is so dry, you’ll have to scrape the sides down a few times. You don’t have to go crazy smooth – just until you get some mashed bits and some slightly larger bits.
Add those pulsed beans to a large bowl and return to your food processor. Quarter up the onion pulse in the food processor until finely chopped and add it to the bowl. Next, wipe out your food processor to ensure it’s dry and add the rolled oats. Pulse until the oats are coarsely ground and add them to the bowl.
Now that the beans, onion, and oats are ready to go, all you need to do is add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl – the lime juice, dijon mustard, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and salt – and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix everything together.
The mixture should taste a little salty and very oniony. If the texture appears to be too wet, either add some more rolled oats, or let the oats hydrate on the counter for 30 minutes before moving onto the next step.
Working 2 patties at a time, use your hands to scoop some of the black bean burger mix and pat gently to form a patty. The mixture will stick to your hands slightly but for the most part, it should release. “Plop” each patty down on a non-stick skillet and cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes on each side. The patties should release easily from the non-stick skillet. If they don’t give them a few more minutes to brown and try again. Repeat the process until you run out of mix.
Alternatively, if you want to save the mix and make the burgers as you need them, they keep great in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
Making the rest of the burger…
Now that you have the patties made you’re probably wondering how to assemble them into a burger! For the rest of the equipment, you’ll need a knife, a cutting board, and another non-stick skillet.
Start by cutting the onion and red bell pepper into rings and add them to the non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Char the peppers and onions for a few minutes on each side, and then lower the heat so everything continues to cook. Remove from heat after another 2-3 minutes or until they’re cooked to your liking.
If you wish to melt your vegan cheese on the patties, add a piece of cheese on top of each patty after you flip the burgers and cover with a lid. Then, toast your buns! I did this in my combo toaster oven air fryer which I absolutely adore, but if you don’t have a toaster oven, you can simply brown them using one of the non-stick skillets.
Lastly, assemble your burger. Place the bottom bun on a plate, add a healthy dollop of BBQ sauce and spread it across the bun. Then, add the oil-free black bean burger patty with the melty cheese (or cold cheese if you chose not to melt), and layers of peppers and onion. Finally, take a healthy dollop of vegan mayo and slather it on the top bun. Then sandwich the whole thing together and dig in!
Substitution ideas and more
I absolutely love these oil-free black bean burgers, but the sky’s the limit to how you can adapt them to your liking. Here are some ideas I have:
Make the whole thing gluten-free: If you have a gluten allergy, substitute the bun for your favorite gluten-free bread, or simply serve in a lettuce wrap. Watch out for Worcestershire and BBQ sauces – not all of them are gluten-free.
How about all oil-free: This recipe is oil-free without the vegan mayo and the cheeze. To make this a truly oil-free recipe, simply omit the cheese and the mayo. Try adding a drizzle of tahini or cashew cream for some “dairy” goodness.
Make it a classic burger: If you don’t dig the peppers, onions, and BBQ sauce combo, make it a classic burger instead! Add lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard instead.
Spice it up: Looking for some heat? Consider adding some cayenne pepper to the burger mix and a chopped jalapeño to the bell pepper and onion. I do this often when making these for myself and my boyfriend!
Add Garlic: If you’re a garlic lover, this is for you! A few tablespoons of minced garlic in both the patty mix and the peppers and onions can add a lot of garlic flavor!
Mix in some more veggies: Add some corn kernels or finely chopped carrots to the black bean burger mix! Just be careful about the moisture. You don’t want it to get too wet!
Want more oil-free recipes?
I’m known for sharing an oil-free recipe here and there. If you liked these oil-free black bean burger patties, you might like some of my other oil-free recipes!
- Easy peanut dressing
- Sweet tomatoes salad
- Arugula blueberry salad
- Cashew mac and cheese
- Black bean lentil soup
- Jackfruit “chicken” noodle soup
In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make oil-free black bean burger patties! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s recipe jam is Victoria by The Fall.
If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing what you make!
Oil-Free Black Bean Burger Patties
- food processor
- large bowl
- measuring cup and spoons
- silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- cutting board
- 2 non-stick skillets
- toaster oven / a way to toast your buns
Oil-Free Black Bean Burger Patties
The Rest of the Burger (if you want to make it like the picture)
- 1 red onion, (sliced)
- 1 red bell pepper, (sliced)
- 6 pretzel buns
- 6 slices vegan cheese, (I used Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda Slices – omit if oil-free)
- 6 Tbsp vegan mayo, (I used Follow Your Heart Vegenaise – omit if oil-free)
- 6 Tbsp BBQ sauce
To make the burgers
- Add oats to food processor and pulse to combine until coarsely ground. Add to large bowl. Repeat process for onion and black beans. You will likely have to scrape the sides of the bowl for the beans a few times. Feel free to leave some larger pieces where you can still see the skin.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the burger patties into the bowl and stir with a silicone spatula until combined.
- The mixture should stick to your hands a little bit when you form the patties, but for the most part, you should be able to form a patty that will hold its shape. If this doesn't appear to be the case, return the mix to the bowl and either add more pulsed oats 2 Tbsp at a time or let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes to dry out. Try again until you reach the right consistency.
- If you are making the burger like the picture, jump down to the 2nd part of the recipe. If not, continue here. Add two patties to a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes before flipping. If the patties are cooked, they should release from the pan easily. If they don't, give them a few more minutes to brown. Repeat the process on the other side and then again for the rest of the patties.
- Serve the patties however you'd like. The patty mix keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week so you can prep it ahead of time and make them as needed. If the patty mix is cold, it helps to put a lid on the skillet as you cook it to ensure the middle gets warm.
For the burgers you see in the photo
- Add two patties to a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes before flipping. If the patties are cooked, they should release from the pan easily. If they don't, give them a few more minutes to brown. After flipping, place a piece of vegan cheese on top and cover the skillet with a lid. Once the cheese has melted, remove from the skillet and repeat the process for the rest of the patties.
- In another non-stick skillet, add sliced red bell pepper and red onion. Sauté on medium-high or until you see some nice dark char marks and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and set aside.
- Toast the buns using the method of your choice – I used my toaster oven, but you can use one of the nonstick skillets or carefully broil them in the oven.
- Place the bottom buns toasted side up and add a tablespoon of BBQ sauce on top. Then, add the oil-free black bean burger patty and a few pepper and onion slices. Add a tablespoon of vegan mayo to the top bun and sandwich the whole thing together. Serve with chips and salsa, potatoes, or other veggies!