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Black Bean Chipotle Burgers

A spicy specialty from New York City's famed Candle 79 restaurant

Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics

  • No need to travel to New York—enjoy Candle 79's black bean-chipotle burgers at home. Rita Maas

Makes 6 to 8 burgers

1 1⁄2 cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over (* see note below for quick version)
1-inch piece of kombu 
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 1⁄2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
6 to 8 burger rolls
1 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
Avocado slices, for serving (optional)

*Note: To save time, canned beans may be substituted. The HSUS suggests using 3 cups of cooked canned beans instead of dried beans, and eliminating the kombu, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of the salt. If using canned beans, skip Step 1, follow the quick version of Step 2 below, then go to Step 3.

Quick Version Step 2. Saute the onions. Put the beans, onions, chipotle powder and the pepper in a large saucepan. Add ½ cup water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let cool.

To prepare the mixture

Step 1. Put the beans into a saucepan or bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by about 2 inches. Cover with a lid and soak the beans for at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse.

Step 2. Put the beans, kombu, onions, chipotle powder, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the mixture by about 3 inches and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender (about 1-1⁄2 to 2 hours). Most of the liquid should be absorbed by the beans, but add a bit more water if they seem too dry. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the kombu and bay leaves.

Step 3. Meanwhile, put the rice and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat, stir once, cover, and simmer until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender (about 35 to 40 minutes). Remove from the heat and let stand (covered) for 10 minutes.

Step 4. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and season with pepper. Cook the pumpkin seeds, stirring and shaking the pan, until they are lightly toasted (3 to 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Step 5. Combine the rice, beans, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth, adding the reserved cooking liquid from the beans as needed to keep the mixture moist enough to stick together.

Step 6. Return the mixture to the bowl, mix everything together, and form patties about 3 1⁄2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.

To cook the patties

To bake the burgers, preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and place the burgers on it. Brush the burgers with oil and bake until browned (20 to 30 minutes total), turning the burgers halfway through cooking.

To pan-fry the burgers, coat a sauté pan with olive oil and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for about 4 minutes per side.

To grill the onion slices, lightly brush them with olive oil and sauté over medium-high heat, 2 minutes per side.

Serve the burgers on toasted burger rolls with the onion slices and avocado slices, if desired.

Adapted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York's Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, Calif.


All figures are per serving (assumes 7 servings).

Calories: 454
Fat: 12 g
Carbs: 64 g
Fiber: 14 g
Protein: 21 g
Sodium: 238 mg

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