Bean Burgers

For years, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything has been one of our “go-to” cookbooks.  Whenever culinary difficulties and disputes arise, Bittman is consulted.

One of our standard meals (usually on Fridays, as we generally avoid meat on Fridays) is bean burgers.  They are delicious and the kids will eat them with no complaints.  How can you go wrong?  A friend asked me about the recipe the other day, and rather than sending a link with my variations, I thought I should just post the recipe here.

There are a bunch of variations, but this is the way that I make them.

Bean Burgers, Adapted from Mark Bittman

  • 2 cups well-cooked chickpeas (I use a 19oz can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 medium onion , quartered
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • a bit of ketchup (usually a couple of good squeezes)
  • extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil or corn oil , any neutral oil, as needed


  1. Combine the egg and the onion in the food processor and pulse until chunky (this is to make sure you don’t have big onion pieces in the burgers, as this will upset the kids)
  2. Add the beans, oats, spices, ketchup (start with a little bit and add more if necessary), salt, and pepper 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
Let me know if you try it!

One thought on “Bean Burgers

  1. OK. You can tell that I’m catching up on your blog because heres another comment for you. Rather its a question. We don’t have a food processor, but often discuss getting one once we have multiple children. The thinking is that an immersion blender, blend, and magic bullet will do until then. I think we could get one before this happens. So do you think a food processor is useful? Do you use it often? Would you suggest getting it sooner rather than later?

    Also, I love those burgers! Now only to convert Robbie to them. I’m sad to say that’d be a bit of a miracle.

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