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Best bean burgers on a board topped with saucy onions and guacamole.

Black Bean Walnut Burgers with Saucy Sweet Onions Reicpe

A flavor packed and nourishing veggie burger with a bit of a kick. Top it with Saucy Sweet Onions and take this burger over the top! Easy to prepare, make ahead and freezer friendly. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free.
*UPDATE 5/21* These scrumptious burgers are GRILLABLE!! See "to cook" section for details! AND I added a video below to share just how easy these burgers are to pull together!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 or 8 Patties
Calories 386kcal
Author Traci | Vanilla And Bean


For the Patties:

For the Saucy Sweet Onions:

  • 3 Tbs Vegetable Oil I like coconut or olive
  • 3 (745g) Large Sweet Onions like Walla Walla or Vidalia sliced into thin 1/2 moons
  • 1/3 C (75g) Bourbon* or sub veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

Optional, but Suggested Toppings:


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.
    To Freeze (optional): slide the pan in the freezer for one hour then stack the patties 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.

To Cook:

  • In the Skillet: 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.
    On the Gas Grill: Clean grill and oil with vegetable oil (like canola or olive oil). Heat gas grill on highest setting. Brush both sides of the veggie burger with oil and gently transfer to the grilling grates or a grill pan (use a grill pan if the grates of your grill are thin). Cook for about four to five minutes on each side, taking care when flipping the burgers. Adjust heat as needed so that the burgers don't burn.
  • To keep warm, transfer the patties to the preheated oven.

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 about 35-40 minutes, to caramelize them, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary so they don't burn. When done they'll be golden and very soft.
  • 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. Bring to a simmer on medium low for about two minutes, to simmer off the liquids. Remove from heat and put a lid on the pan until ready to serve.

To Store:

  • After cooking the burgers, store them in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three weeks.
    When freezing the patties, freeze first on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, stack patties between parchment squares and place in a freezer bag.
    Thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat at 400F (200C) for about 15 minutes.



New to Homemade Veggie Burgers? It has been my experience that homemade egg-free veggie burgers have a tenderness and squeeze-out factor. When preparing the burgers, handle them carefully after forming the patties. When pan frying the patties, use two spatulas when flipping, if needed. This gives the patty added support. There will be a bit of squeeze-out when biting into the burger. I usually end up with a fork in my hand to finish off a veggie burger. To me, these are acceptable characteristics of homemade veggie burgers.
*Find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Mexican food section of your grocery store.


Serving: 11/2 C patty + onions | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg