Black Bean Bruschetta Burgers

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4

Canned black beans are a must-have staple to have on hand for quick protein-rich meals. Because these burgers work best if the patties are chilled before cooking, this is a great do-ahead choice for a busy weeknight dinner. If you can’t find good tomatoes at the market, you can top the burgers with guacamole instead.


  • 5 ripe plum or Campari tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz./470 g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./45 g) panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 slices Monterey jack cheese
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 ciabatta buns, split and toasted


In a nonreactive bowl, combine the tomatoes with half of the garlic and 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss and let stand at room temperature.

Place the beans on a plate lined with paper towels. Using paper towels, blot them dry. Transfer to a bowl and, using a potato masher or fork, smash the beans just enough so they still have some chunks. Add the bread crumbs, onion, egg, the remaining garlic and the cumin. Season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Form into 4 patties and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

In a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the black bean burgers and cook, turning once, until golden brown and warmed through, about 4 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, top the burgers with cheese and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt.

Just before serving, stir the basil into the tomato mixture. Set the black bean burgers on the bottom buns and top generously  with the tomatoes. Close the burgers and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Burger Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2015)

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