Black bean cakes packed with hot sauce and herbs give this dish a Mexican touch. Make everything except the fried eggs in advance and just reheat, assemble, and serve for your next brunch.

What to buy: Dried beans can be substituted for the canned beans if you prefer. Use 1 1/2 cups cooked beans for each 15-ounce can of beans called for.

Game plan: The avocado crema can be made a couple of hours ahead; just cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The black bean cakes can be made up to 1 day in advance, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. To reheat, place on a baking sheet and warm in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes.

We prefer to serve the black bean cakes with fried eggs—the crispy edges of the eggs nicely complement the soft texture of the cakes. But poached eggs work well, too.

This recipe was featured as part of our Cooking with Winter Ingredients photo gallery, and currently on our Summer of Clean Eating channel.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Active: 25 mins

Ingredients (15)

For the black bean cakes:

  • 1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

For the avocado crema:

  • 1 medium avocado, cut in half lengthwise, peel and pit removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

To assemble:

  • 6 fried eggs


For the black bean cakes:

  1. Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish and set aside.
  2. Place beans, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, onion, hot sauce, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse until ingredients are incorporated and beans are broken down but some whole beans remain, about 15 pulses. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula during processing.
  3. Form 6 (3-inch) patties and dust each patty on both sides with cornmeal. Place on a baking sheet.
  4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Place 3 patties in the pan and fry until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the second side. Return patties to the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining patties.

For the avocado crema:

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until smooth. Season with salt.

To assemble:

  1. Place bean cakes on serving plates. Top each with a fried egg and 2 tablespoons of the crema.