Meatless Monday Challenge

Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers

on August 11, 2020
last updated July 21, 2022
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5 from 2 votes
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These protein-packed smoky and spicy black bean burgers are the perfect meatless solution to curb your burger craving!
Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers - New Featured Image

There is absolutely no need to pity non-meat-eaters at BBQs. There are so many scrumptious pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly options for the grill, including these Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers.

They’re filling, they’re healthy, and they taste amazing with all the same fixings as a beef burger—perfect for a summertime backyard BBQ.

Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your meat consumption is one great way to reduce your ecological footprint.

But this recipe doesn’t even require a grill! These patties can be made rain or shine because they are awesome in a skillet, too.

The smoky in these Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers will give you that fresh-off-the-grill taste regardless of how you make them and have a little kick for extra flavor.

Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers - Portrait

Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reheat black bean burgers?

You’ve got options! You can reheat them on the grill, in a fry pan, or in the microwave. Just make sure they are heated all the way through.

From frozen, these Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers will reheat over medium heat in a frying pan with oil after about 3 minutes on each side. It takes about the same amount of time on the grill.

To use the microwave, wrap the patty in a paper towel and microwave on high for 3 and 1/2 minutes. Easy peasy!

Can I make black bean burgers vegan?

Definitely! Just substitute mashed avocado for mayonnaise and a flax egg for the egg.

What is liquid smoke?

It’s an all-natural product that is made from condensing smoke from burning wood. You’ll find it in a lot of BBQ sauces, cheeses like smoked Gouda, and lots of other products that are marketed as “smoked”.

In this recipe, it infuses that fresh-off-the-grill flavor into your burgers, even if you’re cooking them on the stove.

Should my black bean burger mixture be this wet?

Yes. I know it feels super wet, but once you bake them they will firm up and hold their shape perfectly. You want to avoid a dry patty as best you can! Using wet hands to shape them will help.

I highly recommend baking them on parchment paper to ensure they don’t stick to your baking sheet.

Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers - Ready For Oven

How long do black bean burgers keep?

This recipe makes 6 burger patties, so it is likely you will have leftovers (or not! I mean, no judgment, here😉).

Just individually wrap them in saran wrap or put them in a freezer bag. They will keep fresh in your freezer for up to 3 months. Just waiting for your burger craving to hit.

What should I use for toppings on my black bean burger?

These black bean patties taste awesome with any toppings you would generally use on beef burgers. In the picture below I topped it with tomatoes, arugula, caramelized onions, and cheese.

But, get creative here! Sometimes I will whip up an aioli or make my quick and easy Two-Step Pesto! You really can’t go wrong!

Why use rolled oats in black bean burgers?

You’ll need a binder for this recipe to sop up some of the juices and act with the egg to hold its shape. I like rolled oats because they are nutritious, filling, and fibrous. But there are plenty of other binders you can use successfully in this recipe.

Try substituting the oats for bread crumbs, cooked quinoa, or crushed up tortilla chips, or Ritz crackers.

Can I omit the mayonnaise to make these black bean burgers lighter?

Absolutely! However, they will turn out a little bit dryer. The mayo in this recipe is what keeps your patty moist. Try substituting half a mashed avocado or even applesauce instead.

Try these Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers out on your next burger night or cookout with this Grilled Street Corn. Or try it with these Roasted Potatoes!

Two black bean burgers stacked in a bun with vegan cheese, lettuce and tomato

Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers

5 from 2 votes
Marley Goldin
These protein-packed Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers are the perfect meatless solution to curb your burger craving!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 burger patties


  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 large egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Put all ingredients into the food processor, and blend until all ingredients are broken down and thoroughly mixed.
  • Use wet hands to form mixture into 6 burger-sized patties. Your mixture should be pretty wet. Bake for 10 minutes until just stuck together.
  • Either individually wrap and freeze, finish off on the grill, or transfer to oiled pan to brown both sides. Serve hot!

Pro Tips

  • You can use other binders aside from oats. Bread crumbs are great, or even Ritz crackers. Oats are just the healthiest option.
  • Your mixture should be pretty wet when you shape your patties. Using wet hands to shape them avoids too much mixture sticking to your hands.
  • I highly recommend baking them on parchment paper for a seamless transfer onto the grill.
  • Find more delicious meat-free recipes in this collection of my best meatless meals!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Black Bean Burgers, Healthy, Meatless Burger, Vegan Burger, Vegetarian Burger
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @marleysmenu on Instagram.

The Inspiration Behind These Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers

For our first date, my husband and I went to a nice restaurant (the same restaurant he would pop the question at 4 short years later). He didn’t know that I didn’t eat meat, and he ordered a steak (typical). Luckily, there was an awesome black bean burger on the menu as a veggie option.

I’ve always liked black bean burgers, but this one was a game-changer! It was smoky, a little bit spicy, and the best ever texture. Honestly, after the first bite, I was a little concerned that they brought me a regular burger instead of the black bean one (don’t worry, they didn’t).

Once I started this recipe development venture, I knew I had to replicate it. It took a while for me to figure out that liquid smoke was the key. But now, every time I eat this, I think about our first date. And about how we connected over that black bean burger and steak, a juxtaposition that would one day become the inspiration for this blog.

Never did our difference in diets deter us from enjoying great meals together, and cooking for the two of us has been a challenge I’ve welcomed and honestly enjoyed tackling. But I’m confident that whether you eat meat or not, you’ll enjoy these Smoky and Spicy Black Bean Burgers.


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