Black Bean Burger Experiment

Some friends and I are planning to have a barbeque this Wednesday for Independence Day (like half the country no doubt). Since my partner and I are unlikely to want to eat meat burgers, I said I’d bring some veggie burgers. I’d planned to just slightly tweak the Veganomicon recipe but had an awesome thought earlier today: I have rye berries in my pantry and I bet they’d be tasty. But I shouldn’t inflict that on unsuspecting guests without testing, right? Fortunately, black bean and rye berry burgers are fantastic. See inside for an approximate recipe.

My method of cooking is to take recipes and modify them at will depending on what I have or like. Sometimes it fails horribly but most of the time it works pretty well. The last time I made the Veganomicon recipe, it was a little bland and had too much gluten flour in it, so I knew I’d need to experiment. All amounts here are fairly approximate because that’s how it goes for me.


1 cup (dry)Black beansDon’t worry much about overcooking.
1/2 cup (dry)Rye berriesCook until tender, took me 30+ minutes at a simmer.
1/2 cupBread crumbs
1/2 smallOnion, finely dicedOriginal recipe calls for grated.
2 clovesGarlic, minced fineOriginal recipe calls for grated.
1 teaspooncumin powderProbably used a bit more than this.
1 teaspoonchili powderI used mixture of chipotle and new mexican.
1 teaspoonsalt
1/4 cupgluten flourYou can make seitan from this! But don’t here.
4 teaspoonstomato sauceOriginal recipe called for 1 T tomato paste.
1 teaspoonwater


  1. Cook the black beans and rye berries (separately).
  2. Put rye berries and beans in a bowl and mash. Leave some half-ish beans, but not to many or it won’t stay together.
  3. Add all the dry spices: cumin, chili powder, salt.
  4. Add the onions, garlic and bread crumbs and stir it up a bit.
  5. Add the gluten flour and tomato sauce and water.
  6. Mix together well, working it a bit to develop the gluten.
  7. Form into patties. This should make about six that are 2-3 inches across and almost an inch thick.
  8. Heat a pan. I used a cast iron griddle pan. Coat with a little bit of oil.
  9. Cook each burger 2-3 minutes per side.
  10. Serve.

Serving Suggestions

Okay, actually this will be serving suggestion because we really only had them one way. Toasted light rye, some Karam’s Garlic Sauce, a bit of melted jalapeno-jack Daiya cheese and some sauteed onions. Actually for the second one I had some spicy onion jam.

For the barbeque I will probably add a bit more gluten flour and work it more to ensure it stays together better. I’m thinking about roast garlic spread for a topping. Maybe there should be some grated beets or pees in the burger. But it’s hard to think about modifications with a full stomach.