Nourishing, and delicious with a bit of a kick, Black Bean Walnut Burgers with Saucy Sweet Onions are freezer friendly and easy to pull together. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free.
One of my favorite foods in the world is sandwiches. Burgers, cold sandwiches, toasts, open-faced, or pressed, I’m always in the mood. Especially during picnic and alfresco season. My almost famous Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich and Italian Pressed Sandwich are on the regular during Summer around here.
The bread? Rustic sourdough or whole grain is my favorite, but I’m just as happy with Naan or a big ol’ brioche sesame seed bun.
The contents? Veggie-packed, hearty and full of flavor is how I roll. And there’s got to be variety in texture and flavors. A little creamy with a bit of crunch is always a must.
Veggie burgers are the ultimate convenience food.
Not the kind you can buy in the store. But the ones you make at home, prepared and frozen ahead of when you need. Like this past weekend, for example. Rob and I worked in the yard and flower gardens for a full day, getting our ass kicked by weeds. We were exhausted.
Needless to say, I was happy to have these Black Bean Walnut Burgers with Saucy Sweet Onions on the ready.
Basically after toasting the walnuts and a quick onion sauté, the ingredients are tossed in a processor, then mixed with some of the whole ingredients and mashed together, shaped, chilled, then cooked in a skillet.
Whip up those boozy Saucy Sweet Onions while the burgers are resting to have on the ready.
Throw those mouthwatering burgers in the skillet, cook for four minutes on each side, then Boom!
Here’s the other good news. The patties can either be frozen raw or after cooking for the ultimate convenience. For frozen pre-cooked patties, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a warm oven while baking up crispy oven french fries… because, hello!
What’s a burger without fries?
The Saucy Sweet Onions can be made boozy or not, subbing veggie broth if needed. Bourbon plays off the sweet of the onions and the tangy subtle bite of balsamic vinegar without being overpowering. And it’s fabulous in the BBQish caramelized onions; a natural fit.
In addition to the onions, this burger holds up well to any condiments you can throw at it. I prefer a quick aioli with mashed avocado and sweet/spicy peppers. Mama Lil’s are my favorite. Have you tried them? Of course pickled banana peppers are fabulous too.
Oh hey, if you’re a sandwich lover like me, then join me on Pinterest where I’m pinning the most delicious vegan and vegetarian sandwiches (and burgers) from bloggers around the web. And…
…if you LOVE veggie burgers, you gotta give my Spicy Cajun Chickpea Burgers with Jalapeno Aioli a go!
Boring but important! Be sure to take a look at the recipe notes if you’re new to making egg-free veggie burgers.
Black Bean Walnut Burgers with Saucy Sweet Onions
For the Patties:
- 1/2 C Walnuts shelled, 60g
- 1/2 C Rolled Oats not quick cook or instant, 50g
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce***
- 1 tsp Adobo Sauce 2 for extra spicy, gluten free if needed
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 3/4 tsp Garlic Salt
- 2 tsp Yellow Mustard
- 1 tsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce regular or gluten free (Tamari may be used instead)
- 1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke gluten free if needed
- 2 1/3 C Black Beans rinsed (2 cans), divided, 340g
- 1/2 C Cooked Short Grain Brown Rice divided (be sure to use short grain, it makes a difference - and not instant), 100g
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil or olive oil + more for cooking the patties
- 1 C Yellow Onion diced, 100g
For the Saucy Sweet Onions:
- 3 Tbs Coconut Oil
- 3 Large Sweet Onions like Walla Walla or Vidalia sliced into thin 1/2 moons, 742g
- 1/3 C Bourbon* 75g
- 1 1/2 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Optional, but Suggested Toppings:
- Mashed Avocado
- Pickled Sweet & Spicy Peppers
- Pickled Banana Peppers
For the Patties:
- In a nonstick pan, dry-toast the walnuts on medium heat, tossing and flipping them for about four minutes. Remove from heat and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the oats, tomato paste, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, sea and garlic salt, mustard, worchestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Process until pasty. A few chunks are fine. Add 1/2 the black beans, and 1/2 the rice. Pulse until the mixture comes together, scraping down as needed. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan on medium. When shimmering, add the diced onion and cook on medium for about three minutes. A bit of charring is okay. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 of the black beans and rice to the mixing bowl. Into the large mixing bowl, add the processed bean/spice mixture. Using your hands, mix thoroughly squeezing and pushing the mixture together.
- Use a 1/2 cup (130g) scoop (this yields 6 patties - the last patty is slightly smaller) or 1/3 cup (82g) scoop (this yields 8 patties) to portion the patties. Roll them into a ball. Using the back of a metal measuring cup, press each ball into a patty using gentle pressure about 1/4"- 1/2" (.6 - 1.2 cm) thick.
- Place the patties flat on a parchment lined sheet pan in refrigerator for at least one hour. If freezing, slide the pan in the freezer for one hour then stack them between pieces of parchment paper and into a freezer bag for longer storage. Now is a good time to get the boozy onions going (see below).
- Preheat the oven to 200F (95C) and line a sheet-pan with parchment paper. Place the pan in the oven. This will keep the patties warm after they're cooked.
- Add two to three Tbs of coconut oil to a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Heat until shimmering. Add three patties. Be sure to give them plenty of room. Cook for 3 1/2 - 4 minutes on each side, being careful when flipping the patty. Slide the patty on the parchment lined sheet pan in the oven. Sprinkle with sea salt. Finish cooking the remaining patties adding more oil as needed.**
For the Onions
- In a large pan, add the coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium-low for 30 minutes, to caramelize them, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, remove from heat (we do not want alcohol near an open flame) and stir in the bourbon (or veggie broth), maple syrup, vinegar and mustard. Stir and warm on low for one minute. Remove from heat and put a lid on the pan until ready to serve.