By Cassie Johnston
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I think black bean burgers were one of the first standard “healthy” foods I learned to make at home for myself. I was a fledgling home cook, and I had recently read In Defense of Food (the book that, in more ways than one, changed my life). I knew I wanted to start trying to cook more foods from scratch, but homemaking a version of the frozen veggie burgers I loved so much for quick work lunches seemed so intimidating!
Then, I was sharing my veggie burger fear with one of my health-minded coworkers at the time, and she said she had a recipe for black bean burgers that were super easy, super tasty, and not at all intimidating. She emailed me the recipe, and I think I made them that night after work. They were great! I did some tweaking to that recipe, and eventually found a perfect recipe for our family (Homemade Black Bean Burgers). We almost always have a few of those black bean burgers stashed in the freezer for easy lunches!
Ever since I first got over my fear of the veggie burger, I’ve been experimenting! I love playing with different textures and flavors to make a tasty, hearty, and crazy healthy veggie burger.
I’m not nearly as awesome at veggie burgering as my friend Jenn (seriously, homegirl has some amazing recipes on her blog), but I could hold my own in the veggie burger Olympics! I probably wouldn’t end up on the medal stand, but everyone would say my performance was “respectable.”
I will say that this particular veggie burger is wayyyy better than just respectable. These pumpkin black bean burgers are amazingly delicious! The pumpkin puree isn’t super pronounced—there is just enough pumpkin flavor to add some sweetness. And that sweetness pairs really nicely with spicy chili powder and earthy cumin.
Remember a few days back when I was talking about how pumpkin is an ingredient that spans the healthy spectrum? Sometimes it’s used in not-so-healthy recipes (ahem, I’m looking at you, Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies), but other times, it can be used in a super healthy way? Well, these pumpkin black bean burgers are healthy to the max! They are vegan, gluten-free, and packed with whole grain fiber and plant-based protein.
If you’ve ever had a veggie burger that is mushy in the middle, you know that getting the right texture can be tricky. I tend to like my veggie burgers to be moist, but not mushy at all, and crunchy on the outside. I like ’em to crumble a bit (just like a ground beef burger would).
To get them this way, I bake them low and slow—at 325° for about 45 minutes. That really allows the burger to dry out all the way through. If you prefer a softer burger, you could always cook these babies in a skillet or over the grill—those methods tend to cook the burgers more quickly, making the outside crisp and delicious, and the inside tender.
Just like my original black bean burgers, these guys freeze wonderfully. You can freeze them before cooking, if you like—just freeze them flat on a baking sheet after forming, and then transfer to a zip-top bag once they’re solid. Or, you can do what I like to do, and freeze them after cooking. That way, all you have to do is pop them in the microwave or toaster oven to warm before lunch.
If I do plan on making these for freezing, I tend to undercook them just a touch so they can stay tender after reheating.
As far as toppings go, I like to top my veggie burgers with more veggies! We always have homegrown sprouts in our fridge (this time I had alfalfa sprouts), so those normally go on all sandwiches. If I have it, ripe avocado, fresh tomatoes, and onions are also favorites. And sometimes, I melt some cheese on top of the burger. And always, I top the whole thing with sriracha mayo—AKA: the best burger condiment on the planet. Have fun with your toppings! Enjoy.
5 from 3 reviews
These vegan, gluten-free Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers are hearty, healthy, and super tasty. They are also freezer friendly! Perfect for a speedy lunch.
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All of the flavors in this burger sound amazing. The Mexican notes of cumin with the pumpkin… I bet it’s wonderful.
These look amazing, especially since I’m on a plant-based, gluten-free plan! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for posting!
This looks amazing! A girl can never have too many veggie burger recipes! I can’t wait to give this one a try :)
What a great idea to add pumpkin puree! You’re right — there are sooooo many things you can use to make veggie burgers (hooray!). Keeping this recipe on hand for my next batch! Love it!
Really though… how can one not love this. I may try this meatball style like your chickpea meatballs and hide it in sauce! That way my littles eat it a bit better. I’m so impressed with this recipe!
Made these last night and they were out of this world delicious. LOVED THEM! Thanks so much! I topped mine with mashed salted avocado and my husband did as well with bbq added on top. LOVE!
Wowsers!! that looks so good, will be giving this ago on the weekend. that’s for sure. Thanks.
THESE WERE AMAZING! Made them for dinner tonight as an open faced sammie with spinach and sprouts. Even my boyfriend that is very wary of any meal that doesn’t include meat was happy! Will definitely make again!
I loooove this recipe!!! I’ve made it about 10 times now and it always turns out great and really tasty. Tonight I’m making the addition of Swiss chard (we have an over abundance in the garden) So I’m intrigued how that will turn out! Towards the end of cooking I always add thick slices of whatever cheese I have on hand to melt over the top….soooo good! Thanks for this recipe….it’s got me out of a “I dont know what to cook for supper tonight” quandary many times!
So glad you enjoy it!
First time making a vegan burger and this recipe is amazing! So hearty and delicious. Thank you
This is a really easy recipe to make and comes out perfect!!!! I just made it today and it tastes great but I feel like I overdid it with the cumin!??
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