Whole Grain Black Bean Burgers

I hesitated to post this recipe because of the longish list of ingredients but it’s mostly things you probably have in your fridge and pantry. These bean burgers get their texture from a mixture of whole grains. I suggest using a blend of grains like barley, Kamut, farro and some wild rice because these grains tend to have a chewier texture than brown rice and quinoa (although these are fine too). I served these with a quick pickled cabbage slaw, arugula, red onion and a drizzle of herbed buttermilk dressing (recipe below). They are delicious served on top of a salad or on a thin, whole-grain flatbread with a spread of plain yogurt.


Whole Grain Black Bean Burgers


2 cups cooked whole grains (barley, Kamut, farro, wild rice)*

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup uncooked oats

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Add grains to a medium saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a saute pan. Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. When grains are cooked, drain and add them to a large bowl. Add the cooked mushroom mixture. Add the oats, soy sauce, pepper, cumin, coriander and cayenne.
  4. In a medium bowl, add the black beans. With the back of a fork or potato masher, mash about 1/2 of the beans, leaving about 1/2 of the beans whole.
  5. Add beans to the grain mixture and stir until combined. Adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed. Shape mixture into 8 burgers.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan. Add 4 bean burgers to the pan. Cook on medium-high heat until brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 4 burgers.

*Note: I used a mixture of Kamut, barley and wild rice in these burgers. About 1 cup cooked Kamut, 2/3 cup cooked barley and 1/3 cup cooked wild rice.

Herbed Buttermilk Dressing


1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs like basil, dill, and parsley

Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste


Add buttermilk, mayonnaise and herbs to a small jar with a tightly fitted lid. Shake until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note: This is a thin dressing. It’s more like a sauce. You can double the recipe and use the sauce as a light salad dressing, mix it into tuna fish salad, or as a sauce for grilled salmon. Since you’ll have leftover buttermilk, use it for muffins and pancakes, in smoothies (instead of yogurt), and to marinate chicken.



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