Grilled Black Bean Burgers on brioche buns, topped with lettuce, cheese, guacamole & pickled red onion. The burgers are placed on a small metal tray, with jars of guacamole & pickled red onions in the background.

Grilled Black Bean Burgers

  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes inactive time)
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes, Sandwich & Burger Recipes
  • Method: Grilled, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Taking vegetarian burgers to the next level with these Grilled Black Bean Burgers! Finally, a plant-based burger recipe that uses simple ingredients, is easy to make, & holds up like a dream on the grill! Naturally dairy-free & gluten-free, easily vegan (tips shared below!).



  • 1 cup cooked Simply Nature Organic Quinoa
  • 1 14-ounce can Simply Nature Organic Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons Simply Nature Organic Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (or scant 1/2 cup oat flour)
  • 1 cup walnut halves & pieces 
  • 1 large egg (see Recipe Notes for suggested vegan substitutions)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (see Recipe Notes for suggested vegan substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (see Recipe Notes for suggested vegan substitutions)
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • oil or nonstick cooking spray, for the grill grates
  • for serving, as desired: Specially Selected Brioche Buns from ALDI, cheese, lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced onion or pickled red onion, ketchup or mayonnaise or burger sauce as desired, mustard, etc. 



  • Cook the quinoa: Cook about 1/2 cup quinoa according to package directions; you will need 1 cup cooked quinoa for this burger recipe. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Line a baking sheet or large plate with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Set aside.

Black Bean Burgers:

  1. Toast the black beans: Add the avocado oil to a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt & sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the onion is softened. Reduce the heat to low. Add the black beans to the skillet, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, until the black beans are toasted. Add the garlic, chili powder, & smoked paprika to the skillet. Stir to coat the onion & black bean mixture, cooking for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat & set aside. 
  2. Process the oats, chop the walnuts: Meanwhile, as the black bean mixture cooks, prep the oats & walnuts. Add the oats to a food processor. Process until the oats are broken down into a fine, flour-like consistency. Add the walnuts to the food processor. Pulse to chop into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients: Add the egg, mayonnaise, tomato paste, & Worcestershire sauce to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Mix the black bean burgers: Add the cooked quinoa, black bean mixture, oat & walnut mixture, & wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Use a spatula to fold, combining the mixture evenly. Take care not to overwork the mixture, crushing the black beans & quinoa, as you fold it together.
  5. Form the black bean burger patties: Divide the mixture into 4 even portions & shape into 1-inch thick burger patties. I find it’s easiest to roll each portion into a compact ball first, then pressing it into a patty shape. If the edges crack a little as you press it down, simply use your hands to press the edges in toward the center of the burger patty, keeping the mixture really tightly formed. It’s important that your burger patties are as compact as possible; this will help prevent them from crumbling or falling apart on the grill. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Chill: Transfer the black bean burger patties to the freezer to chill for 20-30 minutes. 
  7. Prep the grill: Prepare your grill for medium-high direct cooking, about 450 degrees F. Make sure the grates are clean. Immediately prior to grilling, grease the grill grates. Generously oil a paper towel (or spritz it with nonstick cooking spray). Use the grill tongs to run the oiled paper towel over the grill grates. 
  8. Grill the black bean burgers: Remove the black bean burgers from the freezer & place on the prepared grill grates, directly over the fire. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, flipping once halfway through. If desired, place a slice of cheese on each burger with 2 minutes cooking time remaining. 
  9. Serve, as desired. I opt for lettuce, some smashed avocado & pickled red onions on my black bean burgers – delish! Enjoy! 


  • Vegan substitutions: As written, this meatless burger recipe is vegetarian. With a couple of easy tweaks, you can make your black bean burgers vegan, too: 
    • Egg: Swap with your favorite liquid egg replacer or a flax egg. 
    • Mayonnaise: Use your favorite egg-free mayo or fabanaise.
    • Worcestershire sauce: Use a vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce or do a 1:1 swap for something of similar richness, such as soy sauce, tamari, aged balsamic, miso, or even vegan BBQ sauce.
  • Stovetop black bean burgers: If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also cook these black bean burgers on the stovetop. Rather than using a grill pan, I suggest using a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive or avocado oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the black bean burgers, working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook according to Step 8 of Recipe Directions, above.
  • 20-minute meal prep: A little bit of prep will go a long way when it comes to easily throwing these black bean burgers together any night of the week. I suggest dicing the onion & cooking the quinoa according to the Prep Notes above. Store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. At dinner time you can get straight to cooking. OR…
  • Make-ahead black bean burgers: Black bean burger patties can be mixed & formed up to 3 days in advance. Follow Steps 1-5 of Recipe Directions above. Rather than placing the formed patties on a baking sheet & freezing to chill, transfer the formed patties to an airtight container, separating them with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. When you’d like to make your black bean burgers, simply preheat the grill & get cookin’ – easy!

Keywords: grilled black bean burgers, vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy, easy