Here’s a vegetarian burger recipe that’ll satisfy skeptical carnivores. Canned black beans and roasted eggplant deliver an umami-rich punch of flavor, fleshed out with garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander. The beans provide texture and the eggplant, its natural sugars caramelized by roasting, adds richness. If you’re really ambitious, consider making our Hamburger Buns and Homemade Mayonnaise.
For more burger inspiration, check out our Falafel Burgers, Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers, and Veggie Burger. For more filling black beans meals, see our Cuban black beans recipe.
- Yields: 7 burgers
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 2 hrs
- Active: 45 mins
For the patties:
- 2 medium-small eggplant
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
For assembling the burgers:
- Sliced cheese (optional)
- 7 hamburger buns, split and toasted
- 1 red onion, sliced
- Heat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Brush with eggplant with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper, and sprinkle with granulated garlic. Bake until soft and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks until the eggplant is cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Chop the eggplant into rough cubes—you should have about 2 cups.
- Add the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor along with the onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, parsley, black beans, measured olive oil, almond flour, brown rice, smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, and thyme. Process until the mixture is finely chopped and clumps when you squeeze a little of it in your hand. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add the egg and process until blended
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the panko; stir until blended. Divide the mixture into 7 approximately 8-ounce portions and shape into patties. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to firm the patties at least 1 hour and as long as overnight.
- Place a large cast iron pan or heavy nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and add the canola oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, carefully lower the patties into the pan. Cook until the burgers are heated through and browned, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Lay a slice of cheese, if using, on each patty.
- When all the burgers are ready, place a patty on each bun bottom, garnish as desired, and cover with a bun top.