Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Black Bean Burgers

By Lindsay S. RSS Tue, June 29, 2021

by Breshay Woods, Culinary Literacy Center Intern

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center. Our mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. For the time being, all Edible Alphabet classes are being run virtually in the interest of public health and safety. During weeks when virtual classes are on break, we will be sharing weekly recipes from our class curriculum and participants.

Burgers are a staple in American cuisine. With summer here, more Americans are pulling out their grills to cook up all sorts of variations on the classic hamburger. U.S. Americans eat over 50 billion burgers a year, making it one of the most popular foods in the country!

Today, many of us are working to eat more plant-based dishes and reduce (or even eliminate) meat consumption. Today we are sharing a recipe for a plant-based burger by Edible Alphabet Chef Instructor Shayla Dorsey. This recipe is great for vegetarians and vegans, as well as anyone looking to incorporate more plant-based dishes into their diet, whether for health, environmental, religious, moral, or financial reasons.


Black Bean Burgers

(Serves 4)


  • 1 can black beans (15-ounce) 
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 egg*
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (you can substitute soy sauce)
  • 3-4 Tbsp neutral oil
  • Black pepper, kosher salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, and / or garlic powder to taste

*To make the recipe vegan, substitute the egg for 2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed, mixed with 6 Tbsp of water.  Let sit for 10 minutes before using.


  1. Open the can of black beans and drain in a colander.
  2. Blend oatmeal in a blender or food processor.
  3. Put half of the black beans into a bowl and blend/puree the other half.
  4. Add black beans, black bean puree, oatmeal, coconut aminos / substitute, and egg / flax eggs into a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Season with black pepper, kosher salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, and / or garlic powder, as desired.
  6. Form into patties or balls and place onto a plate.
  7. Pour the oil of choice into a sauté pan.
  8. Pan-fry patties or balls for 5 minutes on each side. 
  9. Once fried, place them on paper towels on a plate to drain / blot.
  10. Serve with lettuce, onion, pickles and / or any toppings of your choice.


Looking for more burger ideas? Check out these burger titles available from the Free Library's catalog:

Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories by Randy Garutti
Shake Shack has emerged as one of the most popular burger chains in the country. Founder Danny Meyer started the company with a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park and donated the profits to the park to give back to the community. Now, this single hot dog cart has blossomed into hundreds of restaurants around the country. Garutti gives readers an inside look at Shake Shack by sharing recipes as well as stories.

Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet: More than 100 Plant-based Recipes for Vegan Burgers, Fries, and More by Joni-Marie Newman
This cookbook incorporates some of the best recipes for plant-based burgers that are healthier, are less processed, and incorporate more whole-food ingredients rich in plants. Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or just would like a healthier alternative to typical hamburgers, this book will give a variety of options to choose from.

Billion Dollar Burger: inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food by Chase Purdy
This book gives a glimpse into how the future of meat production could look in the world. The meat industry and all its various components contribute to pollution and are damaging to the environment. To combat this reality, a group of doctors, scientists, activists, and entrepreneurs have been working on a way to produce meat in a laboratory without having to kill any animals.

Edible Alphabet is made possible through the generous support of the Dry Family Foundation and Dietz & Watson.

For more information about Edible Alphabet and the Culinary Literacy Center, visit freelibrary.org/cook or email kitchen @ freelibrary.org.

Enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and stay tuned for more Edible Alphabet recipes in the coming weeks

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