Recipe: Walnut & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

(Image credit: Christopher Broe)

Veggie burgers can be a gamble. They often crumble under the weight of the lightest topping or require a laundry list of ingredients to prepare. But these Walnut & Black Bean Veggie Burgers make use of a few versatile plant-based ingredients and smart technique to ensure veggie burger success every time.

Walnut & Black Bean Veggie Burgers: Watch the Video

Get the Texture Right

The key for a sturdy patty is maximizing its texture. We start by toasting a good amount of California walnut halves. This boosts their nutty flavor and crunch, and is a surefire way to give the burgers excellent texture. The healthy fats keep us satisfied without feeling heavy, and the boost of omega-3 is always welcome. After the nuts are toasted, canned black beans get a similar treatment. A quick turn in the pan removes excess moisture — further insurance that the burgers will hold up in the bun.

The walnuts and half of the black beans go for a quick spin in the food processor with some oats and seasoning to keep things interesting. Finally, the second half of the beans are joined by fluffy, cooked quinoa (follow the package directions). A few more quick pulses in the processor brings it all together without turning it into a paste.

(Image credit: Christopher Broe)

Straight to the Skillet

For these burgers, we’re skipping the grill and opting for a diner-style pan-fry. The rule here? Maximum contact on the skillet means maximum texture. Letting the first side cook undisturbed until a brown crust forms allows for more flavor to develop. It also allows for an easy flip without fear of falling apart. Plus, an indoor cooking option means these burgers are always accessible. It’s an easy, healthful way to incorporate more plant-based meals and the omega-3 from walnuts all year long.

We’re sliding it onto a burger bun and having fun with the toppings — this burger is ready for whatever we’re piling on.

(Image credit: Christopher Broe)
22 Ratings

Walnut & Black Bean Veggie Burgers


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 18 minutes


  • 1 cup

    California walnut halves (4 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    black beans, drained and rinsed, divided

  • 1 tablespoon

    soy sauce or tamari

  • 1 teaspoon

    tomato paste

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cups

    cooked quinoa

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • For serving: hamburger buns, lettuce, sliced avocado, sliced tomato


  1. Toast the walnuts in a large regular or cast iron skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, and set aside to cool.

  2. Add the beans to the skillet and toss gently over medium heat until the beans are dry and a film develops on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the beans to a large bowl. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.

  3. Add 1/2 of the black beans, oats, tamari or soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together but is not puréed, 10 to 15 (1-second) pulses. Add the remaining beans (reserve the bowl) and quinoa, and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is coarsely textured, 5 to 7 (1-second) pulses.

  4. Transfer the mixture to the large bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions (1/2 cup or 4 ounces each) and shape into 4-inch wide patties.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the reserved skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the patties and cook until a brown crust forms, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until the brown crust forms, about 3 minutes more, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon oil if needed. Serve on hamburger buns or lettuce leaves with desired toppings, such as sliced avocado or sliced tomato.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Make ahead: Freeze uncooked burgers between layers of parchment paper, then store in a freezer zip-top bag for up to 1 month.

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