Black Bean Smash Burgers

This black bean smash burger recipe gives you all the crispy-edged goodness of a traditional smash burger—sans the meat. Add your favorite toppings for a memorable meal.

Plate of Black Bean Smash Burgers

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

I don’t eat hamburgers, but if I did, I’d choose a smash burger. The crispy, craggy patty, the melty cheese, the secret sauce—it all comes together for the perfect-looking bite. 

Recently, as I was making a batch for my fiancé (his birthday request), I began wondering what would happen if I smashed a black bean patty. After all, most homemade veggie burgers are too mushy, too gummy, too bland. Couldn’t this all be solved with a hot pan and a good smash? 

The answer, my friends, is yes! This recipe is for all the vegans and vegetarians who crave the experience of a smash burger sans the beef. The patty is packed with smart flavor boosters, smashed to crispy-edged perfection, then piled high with all the classic smash burger fixings. According to my fiancé, it tastes pretty darn close to the real thing.

I like to serve these on weekends as part of a build-your-own burger night, complete with crinkle fries, pickle spears, and soft drinks. But if you make the patties in advance, a weeknight smash burger is absolutely in your future. 

Key Ingredients for Black Bean Smash Burgers

This recipe is inspired by the black bean burger at Smashburger, which is made with onion and jalapeño and seasoned with cumin, garlic, and hot sauce. In a brilliant move, they use tortilla chips as a binder, which add more flavor and texture than rolled oats or breadcrumbs. (It also makes the patties gluten-free.)

My version also includes mushrooms and soy sauce for extra “meatiness” and umami flavor, and skips the eggs and cheese to keep the patty entirely vegan. 

Black Bean Smash Burger on a Plate with French Fries, and in the Background, a Plate with More Burgers and a Tray with More Fries

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Tips for the Best Black Bean Smash Burgers

  1. Dry out the beans (but save the liquid). Black bean patties often suffer from one of two ailments: they’re too wet and mushy, or too dry and crumbly. Drying the beans in the oven solves the too-wet issue, and if the mixture feels too dry as you’re forming it into patties, you can stir in a splash of the starchy, flavorful bean liquid. 
  2. Put your food processor to work. If you use your food processor to chop the veggies, grind the tortilla chips, and mix up the patties, the only thing you have to chop is pickles for the sauce.
  3. Smash gently with a spatula. While smashing with a heavy skillet is admittedly more fun, it’s too rough for these delicate patties. Instead, press down several times with a wide, solid spatula until they’re super thin and no longer perfectly round. The more jagged edges, the better!
  4. Make it a double: These patties are so thin you’ll want two on each bun. Trust me. 

Customizing Your Burgers 

Not a fan of heat? Omit the jalapeño and hot sauce. Breadcrumbs can be used in place of tortilla chips, shallots in place of red onion, and fresh garlic in place of dried. These burgers also taste great with fresh cilantro, so add it to the food processor if you’ve got some on hand.

Black Bean Smash Burger on a Plate with French Fries, and in the Background, a Plate with More Burgers and a Tray with More Fries

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

More Swoon-Worthy Veggie Burgers

Black Bean Smash Burgers

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 4 servings
Yield 8 black bean patties


For the patties

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans

  • 8 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms

  • 1/2 red onion, quartered (save the other half for topping) 

  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 ounces tortilla chips (about 2 cups) 

For the smash sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise 

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon diced dill pickle

  • 1 teaspoon dill pickle juice

To serve

  • 4 burger buns, split and toasted

  • 4 slices American cheese or vegan cheese

  • Lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion

  • Dill pickle chips

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  1. Prepare the black beans:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

    Open the can of black beans, reserve 1/4 cup of the bean liquid, then drain and rinse the beans. Spread the beans onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until dry to the touch and beginning to split, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Canned Beans on a Baking Tray for Black Bean Smash Burger

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  2. Chop the vegetables in the food processor: 

    Meanwhile, place the mushrooms, onion, and jalapeño in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until finely chopped, about 6 (1-second) pulses (a few larger pieces are okay).

    Vegetables Chopped in a Food Processer for Black Bean Smash Burger Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  3. Sauté the veggies: 

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until golden brown and the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Minced Vegetables Cooking in a Cast Iron Skillet for Black Bean Smash Burger

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Cooked Minced Vegetables in a Cast Iron Skillet for Black Bean Smash Burger Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  4. Add the seasonings: 

    Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the soy sauce and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic powder, cumin, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat.

  5. Make the patty mixture: 

    Meanwhile, wipe out the bowl of the food processor and add the tortilla chips. Process until finely ground, about 20 seconds (you should have 1/2 cup). 

    Add the black beans (reserve the baking sheet) and process until mostly broken down, about 5 (1-second) pulses. Add the mushroom mixture and pulse until combined, about 3 (1-second) pulses. 

    If the mixture looks too dry, add up to 2 tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid. The mixture should be on the dry side but hold together when formed without crumbling apart. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

    Tortilla Chips Finely Ground in the Food Processer for Black Bean Burger Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Black Beans and Mushroom Mixture Added to Food Processer for Black Bean Smash Burger Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  6. Form into patties: 

    Divide the mixture into 8 portions, a little over 1/4 cup each. Use your palm to flatten each one into 3-inch patties. Line the baking sheet with fresh parchment or plastic wrap and place the patties on top. Refrigerate while you prepare the sauce and toppings. 

    Simple Tip!

    If chilling the formed patties for longer, wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap. Raw patties can be refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. They can also be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place them in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before cooking.

    Black Bean Smash Burger Patties on a Parchment Lined Baking Pan

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  7. Make the sauce: 

    Stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, chopped pickles, and pickle juice. 

    Simple Tip!

    If you prefer the taste of Smashburger sauce, omit the ketchup and add it to the bun separately.

    Bowl of Sauce for Black Bean Smash Burger

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  8. Cook the burgers: 

    Wipe out the cast iron skillet, if necessary. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. 

    Place 4 of the patties in the pan and press down in gentle, short presses with a wide, solid spatula to form thin, 4-inch wide patties. If your pan isn’t big enough, cook 2 patties at a time.

    Cook until the edges are browned and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip the burgers (they will be fragile), top with the cheese, and cook until the second side is browned and the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes more, lowering the heat as necessary. Transfer the burgers to a plate. 

    Wipe out the skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and repeat with the remaining patties.

    Black Bean Smash Burger Frying in Cast Iron Skillet

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Black Bean Burger Patty Smashed Down Using a Spatula While It Continues to Cook in the Cast Iron Skillet

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Black Bean Smash Burger Topped with American Cheese

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  9. Assemble the burgers: 

    Spread the smash sauce onto the bottom and tops of the toasted buns. Transfer 2 patties to each bottom bun and top with tomato, lettuce, sliced red onion, and pickles.

    These patties are best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 

    Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Black Bean Smash Burger Assembled on a Cutting Board (Tomato Slice, Lettuce, Onion Slices, and Pickles Topping the Patty in a Burger Bun)

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Black Bean Smash Burger on a Piece of Parchment Paper with French Fries, and in the Background

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
662 Calories
36g Fat
68g Carbs
19g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 662
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 1548mg 67%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 11g 41%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 346mg 27%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 872mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.