America's Test Kitchen Southwestern Black Bean Veggie Burgers


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, plus 1 cup leaves, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed coarse (½ cup)
  • 8 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Chipotle sauce
  • 6 hamburger buns, toasted if desired
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced thin
  • ½ cup pickled red onions


  1. Spread beans onto rimmed baking sheet lined with triple layer of paper towels and let drain for 15 minutes. In large bowl, whisk eggs and flour into uniform paste, then stir in scallions, minced cilantro, garlic, hot sauce, cumin, coriander, and salt.

  2. Process tortilla chips in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add black beans and pulse until beans are roughly broken down, about 5 pulses. Stir processed bean mixture into egg mixture until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

  3. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions. Using your lightly moistened hands, tightly pack each portion into ½-inch-thick patty. (Patties can be frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, transfer patties to parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Stack patties, separated by parchment paper; wrap in plastic wrap; and place in zipper-lock freezer bag. Thaw patties completely before cooking.)

  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place 3 patties in skillet and cook until well browned and crisp on first side, about 5 minutes. Using 2 spatulas, gently flip patties, add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet, and cook until well browned and crisp on second side, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer burgers to prepared rack and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining 4 teaspoons oil and remaining 3 patties. Spread chipotle sauce over bun bottoms. Serve burgers on buns, topped with avocados, pickled onions, and remaining 1 cup cilantro leaves.

"Why This Recipe Works: As with many meatless patties, black bean burgers often get their structure from fillers that turn the burgers into a gluey mess and rob them of their black bean flavor. We wanted burgers that featured earthy bean flavor at their heart with just enough seasoning and mix-ins to give them a little zest and intrigue. For convenient and reliable beans, we turned to canned. Thoroughly drying the beans and grinding them coarse helped prevent pasty, soggy patties. Scallions and cilantro added fresh bite, while garlic, hot sauce, cumin, and coriander amped up the Southwestern-inspired flavor of the bean mixture. To avoid an overly soft, mealy patty, we used a combination of flour and ground tortilla chips, which added pleasant texture, to bind our spice-infused burgers. Refrigerating the mixture for at least an hour before forming patties allowed it to firm up so the patties would better hold their shape when cooked. For easy veggie burgers on a busy weeknight, make the patties in advance and freeze them. When forming the patties, it's important to pack them together firmly."