As is the case with many recipes, this one was born out of a need to clean my refrigerator. I had some barbecue sauce leftover after making a dish of tofubacue, and an almost-empty bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds that didn’t get used up when I last made Alfredo sauce. What was I to do? Squeeze them into a burger, of course.
The result is a sweet, tangy burger (no cow required) that pairs nicely with a toasted bun or bread and a topping of baby spinach or kale. Added plant-based bonus: black beans are a low-sodium, low-fat source of protein, and they contain bunches of essential minerals, including iron. Get wise to some more rad black bean benefits here.
Plus you can also make a bunch of these and freeze them (uncooked) for postponed munching (like say perhaps at a July 4 shindig, my fellow Americans).
BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger
- 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella cheese shreds (I use Daiya), plus a wee bit more for sprinkling
- Rolled oats, or breadcrumbs, as needed (probably 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup)
- 1/4 small to medium onion, finely diced
- 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce
- 4 drops Liquid Smoke
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- A dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 4 tsps dried cilantro (or 1/4 cup fresh, minced)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Ready? Set? Patty!
- Combine your liquid smoke, herbs, spices, cheese shreds, onions and black beans in a large mixing bowl, and smush the lot together until they’re combined, but the beans aren’t completely broken down.
- Add breadcrumbs to the mixture until it’s firm enough (and not too sticky) to shape into three patties.
To cook these little guys, you have two options. You can either go low-oil and bake them, or add a little bit more oil to the equation and fry them. Either way, your last step is to sprinkle a bit more cheese on top for the last couple minutes of cooking. I find they get much crisper when you fry them, but they taste great no matter the method.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (foil will aid crispiness more so than paper).
- Spray the patties lightly with cooking spray (I use olive oil), and bake for 7 to 10 minutes on each side (be sure to spray them again when you flip), until they’re slightly crunchy on the inside and warmed through.
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the patties to the pan and fry them over medium-high heat until their bottoms are browned and crispy (should take about five minutes).
- Flip the patties and cook them for another three to five minutes until they’re crunchy on either side and warmed through.
And what good is a burger without a side of chips or fries? If you muttered “worthless” to your computer monitor, you’d be correct.
Oven-Fried Potato Chips
- 1 large or 2 medium sized potatos
- Oil spray
- Salt and pepper, to taste
How to Chip
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Using a mandolin, food processor, or your own skilled hand, slice your potato into thin chips (pick a thickness you like. I prefer mine to be about 1/16 of a inch thick. Note that skinnier chips will cook faster, so keep an eye on them).
- Place the chips on a baking sheet, spray them lightly with oil, and bake for about 10 minutes on each side, turning half-way through (yes, this part is a beyotch). Keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not burning.
- Transfer the cooked chips to a paper-towel covered plate to cool off for a moment or two before you start chomping away.