Fat-free Black Bean Burgers

Black bean veggie burger
I haven’t had a chance to talk to you about Freddie or Lucy recently, and I wanted to post an update for those among you who have been wondering what’s up.Lucy’s doing pretty great. She’s almost through her chemotherapy now, and will then go on a maintenance dose. Our experience, overall, has been much better than what we anticipated. Chemo for dogs is not as life-wracking as chemo for humans can be, because the doses are much smaller. This means side-effects are minimal– in Lucy’s case she gets nauseous for a day or two, stays away from food, and then it’s back to getting into everyone else’s food bowl.As for being three-legged, she does tire more easily than she used to because she is a big dog and there’s one less leg to support that weight. So long walks have to be punctuated by a few sitting-down breaks, but that works perfectly for her walking companion Opie who loves nothing more than to sit around and people-watch, thank you.Freddie, meanwhile, has been diagnosed with what could be a soft-tissue sarcoma– also a cancer– under one of his front legs. This is a less aggressive kind of cancer than the one Lucy has, and given his advanced age– he’ll be 18 in December– and limited physical reserves, the doctor has advised we don’t try to do anything to treat it. Apparently he doesn’t feel any pain.

Freddie has been showing signs of his age over the past year, which means he’s slowed down quite a bit, and has some signs of senility. But no– he’s definitely not ready to roll over and die. He still enjoys his drives and his treats, and he’s happy being the cute old man that he is. They say senior dogs, when adopted, get a new burst of life– and nothing could be truer of Freddie who adopted us when he was 12. He actually came with us as a foster, and just stayed on.

Now on to today’s recipe, a simple one, but one you can make in advance and enjoy for days and days of blissful brown-bag lunches: my spicy black-bean burger.

The fat-free burger is packed with great nutrition: black beans, walnuts, brown rice, chickpea four, oats, herbs, and a few sizzling spices. What’s not to love?

Black bean veggie burger
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, all!

Fat-free Black Bean Burgers
Cook time
Total time
Fat-free black-bean burgers
Recipe type: Burger
  • 1 cup dried black beans, soaked for a few hours and cooked until tender, then drained (you can skip the soaking if you use a pressure cooker). Substitute, if you like, with 2½ cups of canned black beans, drained.
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour or chickpea flour or besan
  • ½ cup rolled or instant oats
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (reduce, for less heat, or substitute with 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce)
  • ½ cup minced savory herbs (like sage, marjoram, oregano or thyme)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor, and process until grainy and still very textured.
  2. Heat a cast-iron or non-stick skillet and spray lightly with oil.
  3. Form two-inch discs with the burger batter and drop them into the skillet. The batter will be a little runnier than you’d expect, but it will set and form into firm patties as the burger cooks.
  4. Flip over when the underside is golden-brown, and cook on the other side about 3-4 minutes.

 Serve hot with salsa, guacamole, and atop a delicious roll like my soymilk pompoms.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    BIG hugs to Lucy and Freddie! muuaah!
    The bean burgers are FAB! I have tasted the morning star frozen ones and felt their inadequacy in the taste dept. These, on the other hand… I MUST try! :)

  2. says

    So glad to hear about Lucy! I was wondering about her. And also happy to hear that Freddie is doing well.
    This recipe is a keeper, Vaish! I have GOT to try this.

  3. says

    i keep forgetting to try these burgers.. these will be great for my burger craving hubby… on some nice freshly baked bread!

    Great to hear about Lucy doing better. I am sure Freddie has had some really lovely years with you and that will help him have painless and happy journey to the rainbow bridge. My mom’s pom had mammary tumors on and off and 2 surgeries. At 16 we decided not to have another surgery and also had to make the hard decision to let her go when the pain started to overshadow most of her daily activities. But everyday she always had smiles for us.

  4. says

    So glad to hear updates about your darlings= kudos to you for nursing them with such love and care. You’re good people, Vaishali.

  5. says

    Glad to know about Lucy and Freddie. Burgers can’t be healthier than this with these many good ingredients. I am bookmarking this recipe.

  6. says

    Good to hear about Lucy and Freddie. You are doing such a wonderful job of taking care of them.

    Burger recipe is a keeper. Wondering if we can BBQ it? Must try once.

  7. says


    God to hear an update about Lucy and Freddie. I can see still lot of things going on with them. i wish them speedy recovery.

    On recipe side, I love this, on my current no spend month experience I will make this as I have beans at home. By the way, your tips are very useful! Thank you.

  8. says

    Glad to hear that Lucy’s doing great. And lovely burger, we just had black bean burger for dinner a few weeks ago. So love it…

  9. says

    Oh I love bean burgers; black bean burgers are a favorite in our household. This weekend we’ll be grilling outside, and I already told my daughter I would be making her favorite Black Bean burgers.

    I’m glad to hear Lucy is doing well, it can be hard seeing our furbabies sick. After all, they’re part of the family too.

  10. says

    Hi Vaishali,

    I made these for my lunch yesterday. There were so good! When I read this post I thought this was a nice recipe to try, you just “throw everything in to the food processor” and it’s done, sort of :). I didn’t have black beans, so I used red beans and I was so surprised by their color after being cooked – they looked like real meat, actually my dad thought they were real meat and started to joke about it! I added a few drops of soy sauce, to balance the seasoning.
    Thank you so much for updating us about Lucy and Freddie. It’s good to hear that Lucy is managing her treatments well, I firmly believe that is because you and Desy care so much about her and all the good wishes your blog readers sent to her ;)- after all Love heals everything! and this applies to Freddie as well. we can’t stop aging, it’s part of our lives, humans, animals, plants, etc., but we can help each other going through this time, and Freddie is an excellent example of how this task can be a tremendous success.

    Wishing the best for all,

  11. Anonymous says

    Dear Vaishali

    Good to know about the pets.Thank you for sharing the news about their health.

    This recipe is great. I skipped all the seasoning and also besan, brown rice since I didn’t have any. I replaced it with whole wheat flour. It made so many burgers and I still have the batter in the fridge. At least I don’t have to worry about tomorrow’s lunch and dinner :)

  12. says

    Hello There,
    I just found your recipes and am excited to try some of the fat free ones as I am currently on a no fat diet for a gallbladder flare up. I did want to ask if there is any substitute you would recommend for the walnuts as walnuts are not fat free and so I can’t incorporate them in my diet. Thank you!


  13. Tita Mahoney says

    I belong to a few other Vegan websites and enjoyed looking at and finding yours. I had a hankering for some fat free ethiopian dishes so made a cabbage, potato dish and lentil dish to eat with enjera bread.

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