Beet and Black Bean Burgers

beet and black bean burger

When your kids are begging you to make veggie burgers from nutritional powerhouses like beets and black beans, you know you’ve landed on a keeper of a recipe. I have made tofu burgers and grain burgers, bought frozen veggie patties from the grocery store and certainly ordered my share of non-meat restaurant burgers over the years. But these veggie burgers are true standouts. The beets keep the patties from drying out. They hold together well, even if you leave out the egg for your this-week-I’m-a-vegan daughter. Their flavor is nuanced and vegetable-forward — they do not try to hide what they are. The biggest downside is that preparing the “batter” is a time commitment. I often make a batch on the weekend, eat them once for a quick weeknight dinner, and then pack them in lunch boxes for days. Makes 12-15 patties.

Recipe inspired by


  • 3 large beets (about a pound)
  • 2 cups dried black beans, soaked for one hour
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg (optional; leave out for vegan burgers)


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, about an hour. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook rice. Rinse and cook beans. They should simmer for about an hour.
  3. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft. Set aside.
  4. Combine spices from paprika to black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  5. Grind oats in food processor until they form a fine flour. Add to bowl of dried spices.
  6. Once beets are roasted and cooled, gently peel off skin. Then grate in food processor. Remove and add to a large bowl.
  7. Drain cooked and cooled black beans. Add to food processor. Add raisins to the processor. Pulse in short bursts until all is chopped but not mush. Stir into bowl with beets.
  8. Add cooked rice to bowl with beans and beets. Add onions and garlic mixture. Add spice mixture. Add egg, if using. Stir well until all is combined.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days in airtight container.
  10. Form into thick patties and cook over high heat in cast iron skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes more until patties are heated through.
  11. Refrigerate cooked patties and reheat in oven as needed.