If you guys have been with me here for more that 10 seconds, you know that I am a huge, huge, huge sports fan. And the #1 sports love-of-my-life is college basketball. I went to my first college basketball game at five months old, and man, did that obsession ever stick.


If you are a basketball fan, you know that today starts the NCAA tournament (aka: March Madness, The Big Dance, the most nerve-racking three weeks of the year). In this area of the country, pretty much everything revolves around the tournament. Basketball is religion in these parts. And March is our holiest of months.


My team doesn’t play until Friday afternoon, but the first few games of the tournament are today, and I can promise you, I’ll be tuning in. In fact, I pretty much rearranged my schedule this week to make sure I was inside, near a TV during game time.

March Madness isn’t necessarily about your specific team (although, of course, I’d love to see my Hoosiers win a sixth national championship). It’s about the love of the game. Even the years we didn’t make the tournament, I watched as many games as I could. I love March Madness. All of it. Every second of it. Magic happens during the tournament, my friends. Magic.


Of course, I had to pay homage to my favorite time of year with a perfect game time black bean sliders. I absolutely love sliders. And I think they are a perfect option for a game day party. Sure, there is something really nice about a big, juicy burger, but I love the control you have with sliders. Since they are so small, portable and easy-to-eat, you can really craft a perfect, flavorful bite. Plus, everything tastes better when it’s mini, right?


The black bean patties are an incredible, flavorful base for a burger, but the sriracha mayo is the real superstar of this sandwich. If you’ve never had sriracha, it’s a type of hot sauce that’s I personally think is pretty special. Honestly, I’m not a big spicy food fan. I like a little touch of spice, but I’m definitely not one of those folks who carries hot sauce in her purse. The great thing about sriracha is that it has the spice, but it also has a lot of really intense, interesting flavor under the spice. I love sriracha!

You can pick up sriracha in the international foods sections of most major grocery stores. You won’t be sorry.


I know these burgers are technically veggie burgers, but I promise, carnivores and veg-heads alike will love them. I’ve been perfecting my black bean burger recipe for years, and the result is a flavorful patty that is almost the texture of a beef burger—no mushiness here! These burgers freeze beautifully and are a great option for a speedy lunch. I like to make up a double-sized batch of them, freeze them flat, and then stash them in big zip-top bags for easy eating.

black bean slider

Oh, and did I mention that even in mini form, these guys pack a serious protein punch? Each slider clocks in at 11 grams of protein! That’ll help you grow up big and strong, and maybe even help you land that crazy 360° dunk you’ve been working on.

Happy March Madness, friends! May your team of choice make it as far as possible in the dance. That is, until they play Indiana, and then may they cower in sheer terror at our overwhelming amount of talent. Nothing personal.


Slamdunk Black Bean Sliders with Sriracha Mayo

Slamdunk Black Bean Sliders with Sriracha Mayo

Yield: 12 sliders
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Because slider are so small and easy-to-eat, you can really craft a perfect, flavorful bite. These black bean sliders prove it!


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 12 lettuce leaves
  • 12 red onion slices
  • 12 whole wheat slider buns
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the basin of a food processor, pulse together the black beans, green pepper, onion, garlic cloves, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce until well-mixed. The mixture will be pretty liquid-y.
  3. Transfer the black bean mixture into a medium mixing bowl, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Form mixture into 12 slider-sized patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking. Or until the burgers have begun to dry out and turn golden brown.
  4. While the burgers are in the oven, mix together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. To assemble sliders, place a leaf of lettuce, one slider patty, some red onion rings and a dollop of the sauce onto each slider bun.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 sliders Serving Size: 1 slider
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 816Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 158gFiber: 29gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Who is your team in the tournament this year? Who are your betting will take it all?

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  1. Hi Cassie! I came across your blog via a web search for black bean sliders. Awesome blogging and I’m now a happy follower. 🙂 I am preparing a vegetarian meal for a business colleague and his family that are visiting the states from India. I haven’t met his wife before and I hear she’s a heck of a cook, so I thought it would be nice to cook up something unique and different for them. Your sliders turned out GREAT on my test run…my skeptical, carnivore husband was very impressed too! I’ll definitely be preparing these for our gathering! Would it be ok if I post my results on my new blog? I, of course, would post a link back to your recipe as credit. Is that proper etiquette?? I’m also from a little town in Indiana that no one has heard of. Haha. Go IU!

  2. Beautiful pictures, and an awesome looking recipe! As a vegetarian myself—I wasn’t one when I wrote my book, but have been for about three years (the vegan/vegetarian sequel comes out in July! w00t.)—I’m always on the hunt for great veggie burger recipes! Can’t wait to give this one a try. Cheers!

    Viva la Sriracha,
    – Randy Clemens –

  3. So I don’t know much about march madness but what I do know is that I have to make these sliders ASAP! And that Sriracha mayo- YUM! I want to slather that on anything and everything!

  4. well these just look incredible. and I’ve been seriously wanting to make black bean burgers… woo hoo!

  5. Whenever I try to make bean burgers they are WAAAY too moist to form into anything other than a mess. It’s very maddening. Especially when they would pair SO WONDERFULLY with sriracha mayo.

  6. Uh-oh. I hope we can still be friends. (I don’t like basketball. SHH.)
    I do love football, though! You know why I think I don’t like basketball? There is too much of it. Yeah, I know. But with football you have to wait and it’s only on at certain days and times. Basketball seems like it is on ALL.THE.TIME. Good for basketball fans, not so good for us that would rather watch a Bones marathon on TNT. lol! Enjoy your games this week Cassie! And the Sriracha mayo is definitely making an appearance in my kitchen!

  7. …and this is where we differ.
    I won’t tell you my true thoughts on March Madness because I don’t like when someone doesn’t love something that I love.
    But, I AM a big fan of those burgers! I haven’t made black bean burgers in way too long- and I have never topped them with siracha mayo for sure! Mmm… this may have to be my dinner tonight!

  8. I have been reading your blog for a little over a year, and have absolutely loved every recipe I’ve tried! Recently I went vegan though, and while most of your recipes I now have to skip, you talked these burgers up so well I’d really like to try them out! 🙂 Any suggestions for egg substitutions that won’t turn the burgers into a crumbly mess instead of a patty? Thanks in advance!