Southwestern Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

If you think you don't like black bean burgers, then consider this a challenge. These are so much better than any veggie burger has business being. Forget the dried out hockey pucks you've had before, the strangely spiced, frozen, sad excuses for burgers. These are everything you'd want any burger to be: flavorful, moist, cohesive, filling. What makes them Southwestern? Black beans, corn, chipotles in adobo, and cilantro of course! Sounds pretty Southwestern to me. Served with slices of avocado and smoky-spicy chipotle sweet potato fries, I was seriously in heaven.

Southwestern Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

I was inspired to make these as part of this month's Daring Cooks challenge. The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties! Although the recipes they offered sounded wonderful, as soon as I read through the challenge I knew I'd be making black bean burgers. I've had them on my mind for some time now and this was just the kick in the butt I needed to make them. A bit of quick research proved that black bean burgers are incredibly easy to make. There are a million recipes out there, most of which say the same basic thing: mash black beans with herbs and spices (sometimes some chopped veggies) and mix with egg and bread crumbs. Chill, then fry. Easy! So I set about making my own variation. I've been eager to put my can of chili chipotles in adobo to good use and this seemed like a great place to start. I added 1 chili plus 1/2 teaspoon of the adobo liquid to the mix along with corn kernels, plenty of chopped cilantro, and garlic powder (I've recently discovered really fresh garlic powder from the spice store and it's wonderful stuff, but any will do). The sweet potato fries are just as easy to make. I simply cut sweet potatoes into thick matchsticks, tossed them with oil, salt, and chipotle powder, and baked them. Seriously, this was a delicious meal, and easy to forget that it was vegetarian!

Southwestern Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

4.9 from 14 reviews
Southwestern Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
These healthy black bean burgers are so good you'll forget that they're vegetarian! And the chipotle sweet potato fries are downright addictive.
Recipe Type: Entree
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
For the Southwestern Black Bean Burgers:
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (1 cup)
  • ½ cup corn kernels (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo (from can; reserve the rest for later)
  • ½ teaspoon adobo liquid
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For the Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries:
  • 1½ - 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Salt
For the Southwestern Black Bean Burgers:
  1. Put the black beans, corn, chipotle, adobo liquid, and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse a few times until partially pureed (be careful not to turn it to mush; alternately, mash together with a fork).
  2. Transfer to a bowl. Add the egg, bread crumbs, and garlic powder, and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Form into two large or four smaller even patties.
  4. Put on a plate or baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (can be made ahead at least a few hours at this point).
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add the black bean burgers and cook until browned on both sides, flipping once, about 8 minutes total.
For the Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss the sweet potato slices with the olive oil, chipotle powder, and salt.
  3. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and starting to get crispy. Shake halfway through.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Parve and Vegetarian These can easily be made gluten free by substituting GF bread crumbs. You can eat them on GF buns, or skip the buns entirely and serve on a bed of salad or with grilled vegetables on the side. Making them vegan is slightly trickier because of the egg - can anyone think of a good vegan binding substitute?


  1. What a perfect patty! I have been seeing black beans around a lot recently. I think I need to give these a try 🙂
    Take care….

  2. I like burgers… and I found a healthylicious one. Thanks for sharing =)

  3. I love black bean burgers and I adore your version and the sweet potato fries sound extra tasty a wonderful job on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. Mmmm, looks delicious! I love bean burgers, but must confess I’ve never made them myself. The sweet potato fries are the perfect side! 🙂

    • I held out for a long time but quickly learned that bean burgers are easier than I ever could have imagined! I hope you give it a try 🙂

  5. Ground flax seeds, oat flour, and even vital wheat gluten can provide the binding properties of the eggs.

    Oh She Glows has a great version that bakes, grills, and pan-fries well.

    • Aha! Thank you so much for the link and for those excellent suggestions. I’ll have to give one of those a try next time.

  6. Katherine,
    These burgers look so full and hearty. I’m always on the look out for a good vegetarian burger, and I love all the spices that you used. Sounds wonderful

  7. You have managed to make a black bean burger look exciting and appetizing, and that’s no easy feat. Looks great!

  8. Love this burgers! They look better than most beef burgers! Have to try them!

  9. I’ve never tried black bean burgers, or I should say I’ve never know there is such thing exists… It looks delicious though. It’s a lot healthier version. We don’t eat enough beans in my house…maybe kids might be more interested in bean burger than eating beans themselves… As a big sweet potato fan, I’m trying chippotle style next time!

    • Oh Nami I bet you and your kids will love this recipe! And if you like sweet potatoes then you’ll definitely enjoy the chipotle fries 🙂

  10. Oh I love these bean burgers, I just printed this to make, love that you added the chipotle in adobe sauce that sounds yummy. The sweet potato fries are cool too. Great post.

  11. Nice looking burgers there – great pictures. I’ve never done a black bean burger before. There are a lot of recipes out there, but yours is one of the better one’s I’ve seen (you use spices and flavorings similarly to the way I do). Garlic powder is a truly underrated product. I know fresh is always “better” but sometimes that powder really delivers more kick. Good post – thanks.

    • Thanks so much! All huge compliments coming from you 🙂 I’ve always liked garlic powder here and there but I recently discovered really fresh garlic powder and it makes all the difference. These black bean burgers are definitely winners.

  12. I have yet to try a black bean burger, but this sounds absolutely delicious! can’t wait to try this soon!

  13. This is the kind of burger I would love every day!

  14. I would happily eat this delicious burgers day and night. That looks yummy!!

    I hope to try chipotle in adobo soon. Sounds amazing 🙂

    • Thanks Kiran! Me too! I hope you get your hands on some chipotle in adobo soon too – it’s a great ingredient to have on hand!

  15. Wow!!! Those patties look healthy and fat!!!!! Love them 🙂 Will try to make them soon..

    • Thank you Ambika!! They are indeed healthy and delicious. I really hope you enjoy them – let me know how they turn out!

  16. I LOVE sweet potato fries! So yummy. These burgers look great as well.

  17. Both look fantastic!

  18. I do like black beans, so I am sure I would love these burgers-especially with all the spicy ingredients you put in there. They look delicious! Also, I would have to have the fries with them! Great post.

  19. I love black bean burgers! We have a restaurant in town that makes the best, I’ll have to give yours a try! Those sweet potato fries look real good too, awesome meal!

  20. I love black bean burgers. They are so nice and moist. Plus, if you put sweet potato fries with anything, they are a total bribe to get anyone to eat anything beside them. 😉

  21. This sounds so good! If you want a vegan binder then you can use flax seeds, chia seeds or (better yet) any type of bread crumbs! ^^ Heh, even beans themselves can be a binder.

  22. I’d be willing to try these burgers with your wonderful endorsement…and I’d definitely have a side of those gorgeous sweet potato fries! YUM!

  23. Glad you put those chipotles to good use, I haven’t decided what to do with mine yet. Though this looks great!

  24. Love this vegetarian burger, filled with all that goodness!
    J & C

  25. It looks fantastic Katherine, I will try to make it this week, it looks easy!

  26. Your patties look so perfect…and delicious! Theresa

  27. Great burger, Katherine! Never had a bean burger 🙂

  28. Now these are my types of burgers. While I’ve never had black bean burgers, I can tell from the ingredients I would love them. And those sweet potato fries…yum! So much better than regular potato in my opinion.

  29. Delish! I’ve actually never had a black bean burger – although I’ve seen the recipes and love ALL the ingredients in them! These look just about perfect!

  30. I’ve always wanted to make black bean burgers so I thank you for doing the research and posting such a great recipe! 🙂 Love the flavors! Then of course, the sweet potatoes are my favorite!

    • MJ you are so welcome! They are so much easier and more delicious than I ever could have imagined. And you can’t go wrong with sweet potato fries 🙂

  31. This looks so good! I’m going to make it this week!

  32. Mmmmm, I absolutely love black bean burgers!! I want one of these now!! Totally drooling!

  33. These sound (and look) super yummy…I will making this whole meal asap!

  34. You are so right about the black bean burgers being better than the veggie ones. They sure taste great. I will try your version with added corn. Thanks for sharing.

  35. I made this! They were good, I did make 4 small burgers since 2 burgers from the mixture were just too big. My mom and I loved them.

    • Awesome!! I’m so happy you liked them. And thanks for the note about the serving size – my husband and I have big appetites 😉 I’ll change it in the recipe to say 2 to 4. Off to check out your post! 🙂

  36. I made these the other night…OMG were they unbelievably good!!! We too divided them into 4 burgers which was great because we now have some already to go for another night!
    Thanks for a wonderful alternative.

    • Susan I am SO happy to hear that!! You’ve made my day 🙂 Thanks for letting me know how they turned out. And I’m glad they made enough for four burgers. I guess our two burgers were large… 😉

  37. Katherine, thank you for this wonderful bean burger recipe! They were delicious! Even my meat-eating husband loved them. I have experimented with lots of bean burger recipes, but this was the only one that did not fall apart when we cooked them. I was able to get 4 nice “burgers” from recipe so we had extras for lunch the next day. They were even better the next day. Thanks again for the great recipe. I will continue to follow you blog for other recipes.

    • Kris I am so happy to hear that they came out so well! Thank you so much for letting me know – you’ve totally made my day! And I love that your meat-eating husband loved them as well. My husband and I are both meat eaters too and I also thought this stood up to any burger. It’s good to know they were even better the next day as well! Thanks again Kris 😀

  38. Sherrie

    Delicious “burger”! Just had for lunch! Can’t wait to try the fries!

  39. Question for you. I can’t handle spicy foods very well. Are these burgers spicy? I am a weak when it comes to spice but my husband loves spicy hot things. If they are, should I add something else (for the adobo) or just not put them in? Thanks!

    • I didn’t find these to be super spicy, but if you don’t like spicy foods I would just leave the chipotle out entirely. Then, for your husband you can mix some chopped chipotle or chipotle powder into ketchup for a spicy topping with chipotle flavor. Let me know how they turn out!

  40. Hi. What can I substitute for eggs in this recipe? Thanks

  41. Hi! I made your burgers and fries tonight. I am a recently converted vegetarian and have always been curious about the black bean burgers. The fries were delicious! The first burger I made was too big so I made a second one that was smaller and flatter. I liked the second one a lot more because it was crispier. So I would suggest keeping the burgers small and flat! Thanks for the recipe. Here’s a pic:

    • Thanks so much for reporting back! I’m so happy that you liked them, and thanks for the note about keeping them small. Looks like yours came out great!!

  42. Tried these tonight with red beans (black beans are hard to come by here in Thailand). Simple and delicious!

  43. Heather

    Hi Katherine! I’m so excited to make these burgers. Do you know a good substitute of the chipotle in adobo/where they may sell it in Be’er Sheva ? I could not find it at tiv taam!

    • Hey Heather! Yay! I think you can just omit the chipotle and it will still be good, although you won’t get that smoky flavor. If you like spicy food then you can add in red pepper flakes or sriracha instead. Or try cumin or smoked paprika to boost the flavor. Let me know how they turn out! Next time you’re in Tel Aviv, I was able to find chipotle in adobo at a little shop called East West in the Carmel Market. It looks like an Asian store on the outside, but also has a great selection of other international foods.

      • Making these for the 2nd time tonight! My boyfriend hasn’t stopped talking about them since the first time! thanks for the wonderful recipe.

        • Yay! So happy you love them as much as I do. I always keep some in the freezer for a quick meal. Also – update – they have canned chipotle at Tiv Tam now!

  44. Andrea

    What is the best way to freeze these tasty gems?

    • I like to put the uncooked patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours or overnight, then transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container. They keep in the fridge for at least a few weeks and probably up to three months. When I want to eat them I put them directly in a hot pan until thawed and cooked through. Enjoy!

  45. These are simply amazing. I discovered them a couple months ago, and I have already made them three times. Absolutely delicious! My whole family loves them. Plus, this recipe exposed me to the little wonder that is chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed them!! It’s become one of my favorite recipes as well. And isn’t chipotle in adobo amazing?! I love how much flavor they pack!

  46. I am cooking-impaired, but was looking this up for a friend who isn’t and doesn’t have easy access to the frozen hockeypucks of southwestern black bean goodness. Since I usually eat the frozen ones, I’ve come up with my own ways to add a flavour boost. I can only imagine that an already amazing burger would only be made MORE amazing with any of these things I sometimes jazz mine up with:

    pico de gallo
    cheddar or pepper jack cheese (or a hefty sprinkling of a shredded taco/Mexican blend)
    ranch dressing (even better if it’s avocado ranch)

    I’m sure yours don’t NEED any flavour boosts, but you might want to give some of these a shot from time to time to change it up a little bit.

  47. Cassandra

    This was great!! I am vegan so I substituted the egg for a flax egg (1 T ground flax seed, 3 T warm water) and did two cups of processed quick cooking oats to substitute the bread crumbs. I also added some red onion and garlic- delish!

    • What fab substitutions and additions Cassandra – thanks so much for sharing!! And so happy you enjoyed 😀


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