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Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers

Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers Print

Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers

Consider pulsing a few dried mushrooms in your blender to create a powder. Add this to the mixture when you add the spices to get a deeper flavor without adding any mushroom moisture.

  • Author: Mary Leir
  • Prep Time: 75
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (not cooked)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Smoked salt
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper

To serve:

  • 6 hamburger buns
  • Vegan mayonaise
  • Onion slices
  • Fresh greens
  • Avocado slices
  • Sprouts
  • etc.


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the rice while the beets roast: Meanwhile, bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.
  3. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of smoked salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and deglaze the pan. Cook until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Process the oats in a food processor until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Process walnuts until they are a coarse meal.
  6. Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse until the beans are roughly chopped and chunky but not blended — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.
  8. Grate the peeled beets using a grater with the largest holes possible. Transfer the beet gratings to a colander. Set over the sink or a bowl. Squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid. Use reserved beet juice in another recipe (or drink it – it’s really good for you.)
  9. Transfer the dry beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Add the olive oil, nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, worcestershire (if using), ground flax, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke, and mustard powder.
  10. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add smoked salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavorings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal.
  11. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.
  12. When ready to cook, shape into burgers using a little less than 1 cup mix per burger. You should end up with 6 – 8 patties depending on how thick you make them.
  13. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer and a flick of water evaporates on contact, the pan is ready.
  14. Cook as many patties as will fit without crowding. Cook the patties for 2 – 4 minutes, unit a crispy crust has formed, then flip them to the other side. Cook for another 2 – 4 minutes.
  15. Cover pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through.
  16. Serve the burgers on soft burger buns or lightly toasted sandwich bread along with fresh greens, vegan mayo, avocado slices, onion slices, sprouts, etc.


You can also shape and size the burgers to be sliders. They hold together better as a smaller patty. Buy a pack of potato slider buns.

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