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The Simplest Bean Burgers (Mark Bittman)

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“This is based on a recipe from Mark Bittman's cookbook, "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food". You can choose whatever beans you prefer. When made with chickpeas, they're golden brown and lovely; with black beans, much darker; with red, somewhere in between. Lentils give you a slightly grainy texture. If you start with beans you've cooked yourself-especially well-seasoned ones-the results will be even better. Like almost all veggie burger mixtures, these will hold together a little better if you refrigerate them first (ideally you'd refrigerate both before and after shaping, but that's only if you have the time). If you use the soy flakes rather than rolled oats, it will be higher in protein..”
4-6 burgers

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups well-cooked beans (can be white, black, or red beans or chickpeas or lentils) or 14 ounces beans, drained (can be white, black, or red beans or chickpeas or lentils)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 12 cup soy flakes (preferably not instant) or 12 cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
  • 1 tablespoon mixed spice, of your choice (for example 1 tbs chili powder or a mix of cumin, smoked paprika, and chili flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • bean-cooking liquid (or other liquid wine, cream, milk, water, ketchup, etc.) or stock (or other liquid wine, cream, milk, water, ketchup, etc.)
  • extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil or corn oil, any neutral oil, as needed


  1. Combine the beans, onion, oats, spices, salt, pepper, and egg in a food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed, adding a little liquid if necessary (this is unlikely but not impossible) to produce a moist but not wet mixture. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if time allows.
  2. With wet hands, shape into whatever size patties you want and again let rest for a few minutes if time allows. (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to a day or so in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Film the bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with oil and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the patties. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned.
  3. Serve on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

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