This simple vegan hamburger is so yummy that meat eaters and non meat eaters alike will love it! Plus it’s easy to make ahead and freeze!

vegan hamburgers with toppings on a cutting board

I love a delicious vegan hamburger, but all the recipes I have tried end up being too time intense, or too dry or too crumbly or just don’t taste great. I decided to develop a black bean veggie burger that was gluten free, plant based, and tastes amazing! They store well, and can even be made in advance!

I often make most things from scratch, but this vegan hamburger can use a good amount of ingredients that don’t need a lot of work on your part, making them a super simple addition to your weeknight menu! I will show you both from scratch, as well as quick options so you can choose what works best for your family.

Any time I find a recipe that can be made in advance, it is a huge winner in my book! That’s why I love these. It’s a recipe that I can make ahead, and that stores well once they are complete. While I don’t mind cooking, I find that my schedule is hectic enough that cooking every single night just isn’t feasible for our busy family. I need to find options that are healthy, but that require 15 min or so to throw together. That’s where these veggie burgers really shine. They are so fast to cook once they are made in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer!

Another plus is that they are plant based, gluten free and vegan, but you’ll never taste the difference!

Firsts Steps to vegan hamburgers

Taco Seasoning:

The first step I take when I make this vegan hamburger is to have homemade taco seasoning on hand. I make my own for so many reasons. First, it tastes amazing! We made the switch when my children were small, so they didn’t even notice the difference. They’ve grown up with it and love it!

Secondly, there are so many additives in the pre packaged kind that I find sometimes my guests can’t eat it. I always want to make sure I’m being sensitive to the people I have in my home, so making my own tends to negate that issue.

While some people think making it from scratch is more cost effective, I’ve never actually done the math to see. It might be, but I feel that even if it’s about equal, the benefits outweigh the fact that it costs a similar price.

Lastly, it’s so much easier to whip up a batch with things I have on hand rather than running out to the store to buy it when I’m out. Any time I’m making dinner and need it, I never have to wonder if I have it on hand, because I can quickly make it if I don’t.

I make a huge batch at once, and then I just keep it in a mason jar in my spice cupboard for when I need it. Get the recipe here.

taco seasoning in mason jar

Black Beans:

The second step to making my vegan hamburger is to make the black beans. This is absolutely NOT necessary! You can easily buy canned black beans and I often do that because it’s simple and cost effective. However, I often will make my own, using my Instant Pot.

There are so many reasons to make them from scratch. First, it is cheaper. I know when you’re talking about a $1 for a can of beans, it’s not a huge difference. You won’t see your grocery bill plummet. But I find that little things add up and this is one way to save money overall.

Secondly, they have SO much less salt! Any canned items tend to be pretty high in sodium. By making them myself, I can add the amount of salt I want.

Lastly, cans aren’t great for the environment. I know recycling is huge and we do try to do that, but any time I can reduce or reuse, that’s my first choice. This is an easy way to do that!

black beans in strainer over bowl

Let’s get started on my vegan hamburger!

Gather all the ingredients:

2T. chia seeds, ground

6T. water

1 1/2 cups oatmeal, ground

2 small cans of black beans or 3 cups homemade

1 large green pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

2T. taco seasoning

I have made this recipe in a bowl with a potato masher, with a Vitamix, and also in my food processor. All of them work just fine! But you won’t need fancy kitchen gadgets to make it – just use what you have.

Prepare the chia egg:

The first thing I do is to grind the chia seeds and mix with 6T water. I let this sit about 5 min while I begin to work on the rest of it. That gives it time to gel up and make the consistency of an egg. I love to make things plant based whenever I can, so this is an easy way of replacing the egg you would find in a typical veggie burger. It’s something I always have on hand, plus it makes it a bit healthier!

chia egg in bowl

Grind the Oatmeal:

The next thing I do is to grind the oats. I start with 1 1/2cups of old fashioned oats and then grind them in my Vitamix for about a minute until they resemble flour. You can just grind them in a blender or a food processor if you don’t have a Vitamix. I’ve actually added them whole in a pinch, and they were still fine!

I decided to use ground oats in this recipe instead of the flour you would fined in a typical veggie burger recipe. They’re so healthy for you and it’s a super easy swap to make these gluten free!

ground oatmeal in Vitamix and taco seasoning in a bowl

After you chop the veggies, you’re done with the hardest part! Once you’ve got all that done, these really come together so quickly!

3 methods of preparation:

Potato Masher:

This is the simplest method of all of them and has the least clean up, so it’s kind of a winner in my book! I throw the black beans into a bowl and use a potato masher to get most of them mashed up. After that, I add all the additional ingredients and mix it all up. See? Simple!

mashed black beans
vegan hamburger ingredients in a bowl

Food Processor:

I love using the food processor for this, but honestly it’s such a pain to clean! But if I have it out already because I’m making salsa or grating cheese, I’ll use it!

Usually I still prepare all the veggies and chop them up since I want to make sure I don’t end up with any hunks of onion that won’t cook down. So at this point I’d add the beans on bottom, then all the other ingredients and pulse until they are combined.

Vitamix:

Before I had a food processor I always used my Vitamix to make these. It makes it pretty quick and easy. I usually still prepare all the veggies and chop them up since I want to make sure I don’t end up with any hunks of onion that won’t cook down.

Add the onions and green pepper first, beans next. Use the stick to push it all down as it processes. I like to keep some of the beans whole, so I mostly get the bottom part chopped up and then put it into a separate bowl. At this point I add all the additional ingredients and mix it all up.

Shaping the vegan hamburger:

Now it’s time to shape the vegan hamburger. I like to make mine thick, so this recipe tends to make about 7-8 fat ones that fill up a bun. Once they are shaped into burgers, you can throw them in the fridge or freezer with parchment paper between them to keep from sticking. The cooking portion remains the same no matter if you cook them right away, refrigerate them, or freeze them.

vegan hamburgers shaped on a plate

Cooking the Vegan Hamburger:

Cooking on a cast iron pan:

My preferred method is to cook these on a cast iron pan. I was gifted this cast iron pan and I’m obsessed with it! I use it for everything! In this case, I take the top off and use it like a skillet. I find that with my family of 5, I can cook more at once, so it’s more time efficient than using a small circular cast iron pan.

Preheat your cast iron pan until it’s pretty hot, then turn down the heat to medium low. Drizzle with olive oil or canola oil and put the burgers on to cook. Salt to taste before you flip them. Cook for a few minutes, and when the underside is golden, flip it for a few more minutes until cooked through.

You want to make sure you keep the heat relatively low, because they tend to crisp up on the outside, even if they aren’t fully cooked in the middle. I don’t love raw onions in this, so I take it a little slower.

vegan hamburgers cooking on cast iron pan.

Cooking the vegan hamburger in an air fryer:

While I love the taste of them cooked in olive oil on a pan, I do find that the hands off approach of the air fryer is SO easy. They turn out a little more dry, but they cook while you are doing something else, which is a huge benefit!

When I cook them in the air fryer, I rub them with a little olive oil and salt them. Then I pop them into the basket and cook for 15 min on 400 degrees, flipping halfway.

vegan hamburgers in air fryer basket

That’s it! I told you these are simple! The great thing is that if you keep beans on hand, either in the freezer or in cans, and you have an onion and a green pepper, these just use pantry staples and are a breeze to whip up.

Food Prepping ideas:

I always try to think ahead when I’m cooking so the next meal will be easier. For these black bean veggie burgers, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make the meal come together faster.

Make a large batch of taco seasoning to keep on hand.

Make a large batch of black beans and freeze. When you’re ready to make these, just pull them out of the freezer the night before or the morning of.

Chop the green pepper and onion while you’re cooking another meal earlier in the week. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.

Make the black bean burger mixture while you’re cooking another meal and store in the fridge for a day or two until you’re ready to make them.

Make the black bean burger mixture, shape into patties, and freeze with parchment paper between layers. When you’re ready to cook them, cook as directed, adding a little extra time for them to defrost as they cook.

How to serve a vegan hamburger:

My favorite way of eating these is to put a couple on a plate with homemade salsa, fresh avocado, or homemade guacamole, and that’s it! You can add some veggies your plate or a salad and it’s a super simple lunch or dinner in a hurry.

I also LOVE them as pictured here. I chop up all the veggies I can find to make a colorful, healthy salad. Then I top it with a black bean burger, homemade salsa, and homemade guacamole. It’s amazing! My kids always add sour cream too. It’s like a taco salad but even healthier!

vegan hamburger on salad topped with salsa and guacamole

I’ve also recently learned that I love them on a bun or a lettuce bun, eaten like a burger. I butter my bun and toast it up, then I add mayo, lettuce, purple onion, tomato and a thick, delicious black bean veggie burger. It’s so good! My kids even put barbeque sauce on them!

I hope you’re able to try these out and fall in love with them like we have!

veggie burger on salad topped with salsa and guacamole

Easy to make Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Ingredients
  

  • 2 T. chia seeds ground
  • 6 T. water
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal ground
  • 2 small cans of black beans or 3 cups homemade
  • 1 large green pepper finely diced
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 T. taco seasoning

Instructions
 

Make Chia Egg

  • Combine 2T ground chia and 6T water. Mix with fork until well combined. Let sit while you work on the rest.

Grind Oats

  • Grind 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats in blender, food processor or Vitamix for about 1 minute until it resembles flour.

Mash Black Beans

  • If using canned black beans, rinse and drain black beans and put in bowl. If using frozen, just place defrosted black beans in bowl. Mash with a potato masher until about 3/4 of the way mashed. I like to keep a few whole ones in there.

Combine

  • Combine finely diced onion and green pepper, mashed black beans, ground oats, chia egg, and seasoning. Mix well

Shape and Cook

  • Shape into 7-8 large black bean veggie burgers.
    Cast iron: Heat cast iron pan until hot. Lower heat to medium low and drizzle olive oil on the pan. Cook a few minutes on the first side. When underside is golden, salt to taste and flip burger. Cook another few minutes until golden on the final side
    Air fryer: Rub veggie burgers with oil and salt to taste. Place in air fryer and bake at 400 degrees for 15 min, flipping halfway through.

Serve

  • Serve as a burger on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo.
  • Serve as a taco salad by topping salad with burger, salsa and guacamole.
  • Serve on a plate topped with fresh avocado and salsa.

PIN FOR LATER!

vegan hamburger with text

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