Easy Vegan Black Bean and Corn Burgers

Easy Vegan Black Bean and Corn Burgers | The Full Helping

As I mentioned recently, I took an exam this morning. I wish I could say it went smoothly, but all I can say is that I came home and pretty immediately started baking a cake. That says it all.

In any case, enough grim exam talk. Instead, let’s talk instead about the hurry up vegan meal I made on Monday night, T-3 nights before the big test. There wasn’t much time to cook, given the laundry list of equations I was supposed to memorize. But this meal came together almost instantly, making it a perfect pre-exam recipe–and a keeper for busy times.

This dinner was easy for a few reasons. First, I made a few things beforehand, and I also used my pantry. The night before, I stuck some brown rice in my rice cooker and let the machine take over. The cooked rice was put in the fridge overnight. I had canned black beans and a ton of fresh corn on hand, both of which went into the burgers. In wintertime, having a giant bag of frozen corn, or even some organic cans, would work just as well for the whole meal.

On the menu:

Summer corn and coconut soup
●Black bean and corn burgers
●Fresh garden salad with smoky red pepper mesquite dressing

The salad was self explanatory: just a big bowl of greens, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber, and my new red pepper dressing, which I love.

Easy Vegan Black Bean and Corn Burgers | The Full Helping

And here are the burgers, which are the latest in my eternal quest to make the perfect veggie burger. I’ve had some successes in this department, like my ridiculously healthy black bean, yam, and millet burgers:

Ridiculously Healthy Millet, Kale & Yam Burgers | The Full Helping

My foolproof tofu burgers:



Or my ginger lime edamame sweet potato burgers:

Ginger Lime Edamame Sweet Potato Burgers | The Full Helping

Or, in the raw department, my spinach burgers:


All personal favorites, except that they’re usually preceded by some struggle! I have a really hard time getting the texture and flavor of veggie burgers right. Typically my MO is to add too little binding agent (oats, potato, grain, whatever), then too much, so I end up with a gummy burger and the spices get cut in half. The following black bean burgers took some adjusting (and I tweaked what I did vs. what I’m posting a little), but the final result was great, and the leftovers even better.


Easy Vegan Black Bean and Corn Burgers
Recipe Type: vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 burgers
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (or finely ground, rolled oats)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 salt (or to taste; use less if your canned beans are salted)
  • Black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions. Sauté onions for 7 minutes, or until clear, soft, and fragrant. Add the corn and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add beans and tomato sauce. Stir all of these ingredients together in the skillet until they’re warmed through.
  2. Place the rice into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade. Add the skillet mixture and pulse a few times. Add spices, oat flour, and 2 tablespoons water. Continue pulsing until the ingredients are combined evenly but plenty of texture remains. If the mixture feels too dry to shape into patties, add another tablespoon water.
  3. Shape mixture into 4-6 patties. Clean your skillet and place it back on the stovetop (or heat up a grill plan) over medium heat. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and pan fry the burgers for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy.* Serve, topped with guacamole and any fixings of choice!
*If you prefer to bake the burgers, you can preheat the oven to 350 before step 1. Bake the burgers for 20-25 minutes, flipping once through cooking, or until they’re crispy on the outside but tender-firm on the inside.

Easy Vegan Black Bean and Corn Burgers | The Full Helping

What a stupendous meal these turned into! Along with the soup and salad, a perfect dinner.

And right now is a perfect bedtime for this very tired lady. Night, friends.


Photographs courtesy of Lighter.

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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes
Ingredients: Black Beans
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free
Recipe Features: Quick & Easy

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  1. I cannot find the recipe for Quick coconut corn bisque. I would love to make this with the black bean burger tonight! Could you please provide the soup recipe? Thank you!

  2. No more ‘fake’ veggie burgers am I going to be caught buying @ the grocery store after making this recipe! Even the ‘so called’ healthy veggie burgers don’t hold a candle to these right here. Anyone wanting to serve veggie burgers for a meal… do yourself a favor and make these Black Bean and Corn Burgers! Gena did it again and got the ingredients and spices just right. I’m beginning to think Gena and I have taste buds that like similar flavors ’cause her recipes nail it for me every time!!! They’re always so yummy and satisfying! Thanks, Gena!
    We’re fans of yours! 🙂

  3. LOVE all the corn you’re using here! Just got back from the farmer’s market and there was corn EVERYWHERE! I really want to try those corn & black bean burgers.

  4. Actually purchased the WORST vegan burger yesterday for lunch and resolved to make a much better version myself. Then I remembered this post and have returned for inspiration. Thanks for all the great ideas 🙂

  5. im so sad your visit to nyc doesnt overlap with mine. and im pretty jealous youre going to vida vegan con. but now for my reason for commenting…
    do you always pan fry your burgers or have you ever tried them on the bbq? i figured your nyc apt wasnt exactly outdoor grill friendly but perhaps youve brought them to an outdoor party or some other venue? just wondering bc im trying to get a home-made burger from falling apart on me when it makes its way to the grill.
    ps hang in there with the pre-reqs. they blow and everyone feels that way. soon enough they will be distant memories (or recurring nightmares, who’s to say). my dad says he still wakes up in the middle of the night occasionally in panic about missing or failing o chem. and hes been a physician for decades. just thought you could use some words of encouragement. hugs friend!

  6. Ah yes, getting vegan burgers to adhere is tricky! I too have my standby ingredients waiting in the wings during assembly!

    Re. future topics of discussion, perhaps it would be useful to many in this community if you were to cover Bone Health for Vegans (with special considerations for those with ED histories.) This topic might be too complex for one post, but it might warrant a mini series – each focusing on various components such as the supporting roles of Calcium and Vitamin D; prevention and risk factors for osteopeonia/osteoporosis; diagnosis of low bone density; risks associated with “bone restoration” drugs (Fosomax, Boniva, etc.)

    Happy weekend, Gena!

  7. Aww, girl, I bet the exam went better than you think it did. I always think I did worse than I did in reality. I sent my mom the link to these burgers! She is gunna love em!

  8. I’ve been on a burger quest lately, too! For some reason, I’ve made 3 black bean-based burgers (try saying THAT fast 3 times) in the last few weeks. Now I have these to try as well. They look fantastic!

  9. The burgers look wonderful, Gena. I love the chunky, hearty texture of the corn pieces and the beans, too. Nice!

    The red pepper dressing and that soup…nice! Can’t wait to hear about that. It’s just about soup weather around here. Sounds perfect.

    And I am loving the different look and vibe your new pad is giving your food photography backgrounds. Nice change up and pretty pics 🙂

  10. They look awesome. And I think I have all the ingredients in at the moment – I love finding recipes where you don’t have to do any shopping in order to make them!

  11. You naughty naughty tease! My heart leapt at the corn bisque comment, and now I have to wait? Patience be damned! 😉

  12. Don’t think I’m not grateful for the burger recipe, but what really caught my attention was the bisque. Share? Please?

    Don’t worry about your exam. Once you are a doctor, no one is ever going to ask you to recite of those equations 🙂

  13. I’ve been looking for a good black bean veggie burger recipe, so I will def be trying this. My biggest struggle with veggie burger has been getting them to stay together. Do you think these will hold up on the grill? Thanks for posting!

  14. Have you tried using mushrooms with your burgers? I have a recipe for black bean – portobello burgers that are one of my favorites. There are egg whites in it, but I’m sure a flax egg would work.

    225 grams black beans, undrained and chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
    75 grams green chilies, 1 small can
    14 grams flour, 2 T
    1 tsp chili powder
    ¼ tsp onion powder
    ¼ cup egg whites
    85 grams mushrooms, one large portobello
    1. Puree beans until slightly mashed. Add chilies.
    2. Mix beans with mushrooms, spices, and bread crumbs.
    3. Form into 6 patties. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Flip once.

    • Fabulous! I do actually find that egg whites can make or break a burger, and in all my vegan years I’ve not quite successfully replicated them. But I bet you’re right, and flax would work. I’ll keep you posted.