These aren't so much burger substitutes as delicious, lightly Southwest-feeling black bean sandwiches. The patties get nicely crisped on the outside, but remain finger-licking soft on the inside.

Serves 6


  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 small tomato, plus additional sliced tomato for serving
  • 1/4 small red onion, plus additional sliced onion for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups cooked, well-drained black beans, divided
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 hamburger buns (sprouted wheat, gluten-free, vegan, or other preferred type), cut sides lightly toasted
  • Whole-grain mustard, for serving
  • Green or red leaf lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Sliced avocado, for serving


Cover a baking sheet or large platter with parchment or waxed paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and half of the beans and pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining beans and salt to taste. Divide the mixture equally into six balls, arranging them on the prepared baking sheet or platter.

With dampened hands, flatten each ball into a patty about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in each of two medium skillets over medium heat. Carefully add three patties to each skillet (it helps to use the parchment or waxed paper to flip a patty into your hand, one at a time, then carefully place it in the skillet). Cook until well browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve the burgers with mustard, lettuce leaves, sliced onion, sliced tomato, and sliced avocado. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Clean Plates Cookbook © 2012 by Jared Koch with Jill Silverman Hough, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

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