spicy jalapeno black bean burgers

by Stacy

My husband and I started dating in 2003. We only saw each other in large groups of people, eventually going on chaperoned dates after a lengthy correspondence, and made the important decision to hold hands before we were married.

…At least that’s what we’re going to tell our kids someday.

My previous boyfriend was a vegetarian — I think he still is. My husband is definitely not. People always ask how we can possibly coexist with such different dietary constraints, but like many circumstances in which people are more concerned about my dietary choices than I am, we don’t think much of it. His previous girlfriend was a vegan with wheat and nut allergies and a tendency towards anorexia, so a vegetarian was nothing.

However, I don’t buy or cook meat. A few times I caved in and bought my husband sliced turkey for sandwiches, but after two, maybe three lunches, it would sit in the fridge and spoil. He eats meat at restaurants or friends’ houses and is content with that, but sometimes it’s nice to have a burger for dinner. I try to oblige.

spicy jalapeno black bean burgers

This is a riff on the veggie burgers I made before with a few modifications. I used all black beans instead of a mixture and added a minced jalapeno. The first round, I left the beans too chunky and my patties fell apart. After I mushed them up more I had much better luck forming patties that stayed together in the pan.

Don’t be scared by the inclusion of the jalapeno pepper — the spicy part is the white inner pith and the seeds. If you don’t want it spicy, just remove them before mincing the pepper. Just don’t scratch your nose or eye (or anything, really) afterward as the oils will stick to your hands. Trust me. The pepper adds a nice juicy crunch and pop of flavor to the burger. Minced bell pepper might work, too.

spicy jalapeno black bean burgers

These buns are actually whole wheat! Recipe coming soon!

Spicy Jalapeno Black Bean Burgers

Makes 6 burgers

If using canned beans you may want to omit the salt.


  • 15 oz cooked black beans (or canned, rinsed and drained)
  • ½ cup pecans, diced
  • ½ medium onion, diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • vegetable or olive oil for frying


  1. Place beans in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher or the back of a spoon until broken up. It shouldn’t be a paste, but most beans should be broken.
  2. Add nuts, onion, garlic, spices, through egg white and mix well with a spoon or your hands. Add flour last and fold in until combined. Chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Place a skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add a tablespoon of oil and wait until it shimmers.
  4. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop up a heaping cupful of the bean mixture. Form into a ball, then flatten slightly before placing on the pan. Cook 3-5 minutes per side until crisp and brown and heated through.
  5. Serve immediately on a bun with your favorite toppings.

spicy jalapeno black bean burgers

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn June 9, 2010 at 12:36 am

Those burgers look awesome! I tried some lentil burgers not too long back, but they weren’t awesome – I think I’d like black beans much better, esp. with jalapeños added in!


Stacy June 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm

It can be tough to walk that line between falling-apart and mushy with bean patties. I’ve never tried using lentils in burgers or a loaf but I really should. It’s going on the list!


Alexandra June 10, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Yum, I have to try these sometime!


Kate June 11, 2010 at 6:51 am

Your story about you and your husband made me laugh out loud! We always add jalapeno when we make beef burgers, but I definitely need to try one of your veggie burgers sometime soon. We’ve cut a lot of meat out of our diets and now beef burgers taste kind of…blech to me.


Stacy June 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm

It was a long courtship, too. ;p

The trick with these, I think, it to make sure the edges are nice and crisp so you don’t end up with mushburgers. My hubby really liked these and they’re so variable based on what you have. You could use pinto and kidney beans or another combination since you don’t like black beans.


Kimberly June 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

I made these for lunch today (and several lunches to come). Today’s burger was California style with the addition of avocado on top :)


Stacy June 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Ooh, good plan. I’m out of avocados. =(

The fact that a few minutes of work provides meals for several days makes this recipe even better to me. Plus you have to use up your avocado!


Barb March 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I’m vegan, so if I double the amount of flax & soak it in water until it thickens will that replace the egg white? I keep trying veggie burgers but they always fall apart. This recipe sounds wonderful.


Stacy March 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Barb, I think I’ve used a flax “egg” when I was out of real ones once and it worked fine. The trick for me is packing the mixture firmly in the measuring cup as a mold so it sticks together decently before I plop it in the pan.


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