Chef Jeff Benda
Host of No Meat Meals

Black Bean Burger

Serves 4

Prep time: 24 minutes

Cook time: 6 minutes

Saint Gabriel Possenti, a patron of Catholic youth, is a great model for his fidelity to prayer and joyfulness of spirit. If you’re like me, you can reach a point in the Exodus exercises where you can start to lose your zeal and joy. That boost of energy we need to get back on track can be as simple as God refreshing us with a gift of His creation – a really great burger!

“I will attempt day by day to break my will into little pieces. I want to do God’s holy will, not my own.” – Saint Gabriel Possenti

For the Burger

  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup Baby Bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon for vegetables and 1/2 teaspoon for burger mixture)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 4 tablespoons butter (2 tbsp for burgers and 2 tbsp for buns)
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1/2 cup guacamole

For the Fried Onions

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Burger Dredge

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs


  1. Add red onion, peppers, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a dry skillet or sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and transfer vegetables to a blender or food processor. 
  2. While vegetables are cooking, add beans to another dry skillet or sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes to remove excess moisture. Remove from heat and add to the vegetables in the blender or food processor. Pulse mixture for about 10 seconds.
  3. Add the egg, garlic powder, onion, powder, paprika, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, panko breadcrumbs, and 2 tablespoons flour. Pulse for another 10 seconds. Stop the food processor or blender and scrape down the sides with a spatula as needed. Pulse for another 10 seconds until mixture is completely smooth.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to put your burgers on. Then pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the palms of your hands so the burger mixture doesn’t stick. Form mixture into patties, about 1/4 cup each, adding more oil to your hands as necessary. Place patties on parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  5. While the burgers are cooling off in the refrigerator, add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat. Add sliced onion and sauté for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until they turn a golden brown. Season with the salt and pepper, then transfer cooked onions to a plate and set aside.
  6. Prepare your burger dredging station by placing the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes. This allows you to dredge the burgers in the flour, dip in the liquid mixture, and then coat them with the breadcrumbs in an assembly-line fashion.
  7. One at a time, dredge each burger in the flour first, covering both sides. Next, dip both sides in the beaten egg. Finally, dredge them in the breadcrumbs, covering both sides.
  8. Heat the same skillet or pan you used to cook the onions over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the burgers for about 3 minutes on the first side, then flip over. Cook another 2 minutes, top each one with a slice of cheese, cover the pan, and cook for 1 more minute until the cheese is melted. Remove cheeseburgers from pan and transfer to a large plate.
  9. Use remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to spread over each bun. Add the split bun halves cut side down on the same pan you used to cook the burgers and toast for 1 minute.
  10. To assemble the burgers, top the bottom of each bun with 2 tablespoons of guacamole. Add the cheeseburger patties, then the fried onions. Add the bun tops. Serve immediately.