Learn how to make black bean burgers with the perfect texture in the air fryer! These air fryer black bean burgers can easily be made ahead of time and can even be frozen.
I’ve been living and breathing black bean burgers this summer, y’all. A summer WELL spent if you ask me!
It took MANY batches to get these burgers perfect, but we finally landed on a winner! Made in MINUTES with a little help from the air fryer!
With vegetarian and vegan versions included. And so many make ahead options so you can have black bean burgers all.the.time. (trust me, you want that)
These black bean burgers honestly rival any storebought or restaurant version I’ve ever had. And we’re not doing any fancy techniques or using any complicated ingredients either!
Ready to be obsessed? Join the club, we’re still not over these.
These Air Fryer Black Bean Burgers feature…
- Crispy exterior and creamy black bean interior texture
- Flavorful southwest flavors from sweet pepper, onion, and spices.
- Many make ahead options including freezing
- Less mess and healthier thanks to the air fryer
Making the Air Fryer Black Bean Burgers
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Black beans
- Sweet pepper
- Egg or flax egg
- Barbecue sauce
- Olive oil
- Nonstick cooking spray
How to Make Burgers Vegetarian and Vegan
Be sure to purchase vegetarian barbecue sauce, but other than that, you can follow the recipe as it is written.
Same as above, make sure you purchase a vegetarian barbecue sauce. You will also want to make sure your breadcrumbs are vegan-friendly.
In place of the egg, you will want to use a “flax egg”. To make this, whisk 1 tablespoon flaxseed together with 2 tablespoons water and let sit 5 minutes before adding to the bean mixture just as you would the egg.
As far as buns and toppings go, you will want to find a vegan-friendly bun and omit the cheese.
Tips for Perfect Black Bean Burgers
- Dry out the beans – spread the beans out onto a sheet pan and blot them dry with paper towels. Bake the beans at 350F about 10 minutes to dry them out a bit.
- Saute veggies, then squeeze out liquid – saute the pepper, onion, and garlic on the stove until tender, then gently press liquid through a sieve to remove as much of it as possible.
- Mash beans to a semi-chunky paste – use a fork for this part, you want the beans mashed fairly well with just a few chunks for texture.
- Air fry at 375F 6 minutes – flip the burgers halfway through cooking for even cooking.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
For Uncooked Burgers:
Stack patties between parchment paper and seal in a container. Store patties in refrigerator up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month.
Follow recipe instructions for cooking patties from refrigerator. For frozen, either thaw patties in refrigerator or add an extra few minutes to the cook time if cooking directly from freezer.
For Cooked Burgers:
Store patties sealed in refrigerator up to 6 days or freeze up to 1 month.
Reheat patties at 375F in air fryer or microwave several minutes (add an few extra minutes if reheating from frozen) until patties register 165F on a kitchen thermometer.
Air Fryer Alternatives
- Stovetop – sear burgers in a nonstick pan greased with a little vegetable over medium-high heat, flipping once until burgers are golden brown and heated through.
- Oven – place burgers on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 400F 10-15 minutes until burgers are golden brown and heated through.
What to Serve with Burgers
Feel free to load up these burgers with all your favorite toppings and sauces! A few of our favorites…
- Sliced cheese – cheddar, swiss, provolone, etc.
- Fresh veggies – sliced tomato, pickles, lettuce, red onion, etc.
- Sauces – barbecue sauce, ketchup, ranch dressing, etc.
These burgers, y’all. They were worth every single bit of trial and error to get them perfect.
And boy are they ever. Perfectly crisp on the outside with an incredibly flavorful, creamy black bean interior. The only question now is, will you go light or heavy on the toppings?
When in doubt, add more toppings. Promise there’s no missing the meat here.
More air fryer favorites to try out next!
Air Fryer Black Bean Burgers
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg (use flax egg if vegan*)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Warmed buns and desired toppings (sliced cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, barbecue sauce, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and spread beans out in a single layer. Bake beans at 350F 10-12 minutes until just slightly dried out. Allow to cool.
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and saute 3-4 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 additional minute until fragrant.
- Scrape vegetables into a fine-mesh sieve and gently press on vegetables to drain out liquid. Set aside.
- Place beans in a large bowl and use a fork to gently mash to a paste (you will want several chunks) Add vegetables, paprika, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold black bean mixture until just combined.
- Form black bean mixture into 4 patties. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to use (patties may be refrigerated up to 4 days and frozen up to 1 month)
- When ready to cook, spray the grate of a 4-qt air fryer with nonstick cooking spray and preheat to 400F.** Lay burgers in a single layer (we typically cook 2 at a time in our 6-qt) and air fry at 375F 6 minutes, flipping burgers halfway through cooking.
- Remove burgers from air fryer and serve warm in buns with desired toppings. Enjoy!
- Burgers may be cooked on stovetop in a large nonstick pan with 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat, flipping once until burgers are golden-brown.
- Burgers may be cooked in oven on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 400F 10-15 minutes until burgers are golden brown.