From the author: Terrence Paschal: You can never have enough veggie burger recipes. This Southwest Black Bean Burger is a good one for those of you who like a little heat. The one pictured is topped with a raspberry chipotle sauce I picked up at New Seasons. This burger is very low in fat, and packed with protein and fiber. Enjoy! Estimated Cost Per Serving: $0.75

From Plant-Based on a Budget: This Southwest black bean burger is packed with flavor, protein, and fiber – while remaining incredibly budget (and pantry) friendly and simple to prepare (no sautéing required!)! Best of all, these vegan chipotle black bean burgers can be enjoyed in a bun, as part of a grain bowl, over salads, and more! Plus, cook them now and freeze for later!

Hearty, Protein-dense Spicy Southwest Black Bean Burgers

A decade ago, many restaurants (and take-aways) only meat-free option was the standard ‘vegan bean burger.’ While things have progressed since then (hello, meat-alternatives!), we here at PBOAB still definitely appreciate a cost-effective, pantry-friendly bean burger. So much so that we have several recipes, including spicy red bean burgers, white bean burgers, chickpea quinoa burgers, spicy sweet potato bean burgers, black bean bulgur patties, and these Southwest black bean burgers (aka spicy chipotle black bean burgers).

With a combination of 6 simple ingredients (with no egg alternative!) and a popular selection of Southwestern spices, these homemade black bean burgers are packed with flavor, are pantry-friendly, all-natural, and contains high levels of protein and fiber! Plus, with a bean base, these are definitely budget-friendly!

Best of all, all you need to prepare these spicy black bean burgers is a food processor and just minutes of hands-on prep- they’ll be ready to eat in under 20 minutes.! You can even prep them in advance and keep them stored in your freezer for special occasions like cookouts, 4th July, game days, and more!

Looking for more ways to enjoy black beans? You might enjoy this black bean onion pilaf, meatballs, chili (or 4-bean chili), or even something surprising like these decadent black bean waffles! For more Southwestern treats, you might also like these bean and corn southwestern lettuce wraps, southwest stuffed peppers or ‘cheesy’ southwestern soup.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

The black bean patties:

  • Black beans: All you need is one (15-ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained. You can also use soaked and cooked black beans from dry (heaping ½ cup dry or heaping 1 ½ cup cooked beans).
  • Chipotle: You need one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or more for extra spicy chipotle black bean burgers). You could substitute it with 1tbsp hot smoked paprika, but I don’t recommend replacing it unless needed.

  • Bell pepper: Use a red bell pepper with the seeds removed and finely sliced.
  • Cilantro: If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you could use another herb like parsley or even omit it entirely.
  • Jalapeno: Remove the seeds for less heat. You can also use a different chili based on how spicy you’d like it to be (i.e., poblano for milder, serrano for more heat). Omit it entirely for milder Southwest black bean burgers.
  • Spices: I used a popular Southwestern combination of cumin, chili powder, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • Breadcrumbs: You can use regular breadcrumbs/homemade ones. For gluten-free black bean burgers, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or even rolled oats blended into a slightly chunky flour (gluten-free certified oats if necessary).

The vegan black bean burgers:

  • Burger Buns: Use the burger buns of your choice or even lettuce for lower-carb burger wraps.
  • Toppings: You can use a mixture of your favorite toppings, including; lettuce, cucumber, tomato, avocado, red onion, pickles, coleslaw, etc.

  • Sauce: Use the sauce of your choice. I recommend vegan mayo blended with some of the chipotle adobo sauce for a spicy mayo. For a milder option, a spread of guacamole, avocado cream, or avocado sauce could work.
  • Cheese: Feel free to add a little vegan cheese like mozzarella or cheddar-style. Or even a dollop of vegan nacho cheese.

How to Make Chipotle Black Bean Burgers?

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions!

  1. First, add the beans, chipotle pepper, cilantro, bell pepper, and jalapeno to a food processor and pulse until it’s thoroughly combined and fairly smooth. You can make it slightly chunkier if preferred, as long as it still forms patties. If you plan to do the next step in the food processor, too, leave it a little chunkier than needed to make up for the extra ‘pulsing’.
  2. Then, either transfer that mixture to a bowl or keep it in the processor and add the seasoning and ¼ of the breadcrumbs and either pulse for a couple of seconds or mix by hand (if using a bowl). Continue to add breadcrumbs until the mixture is stickier and slightly malleable. You may need a little less or more than a cup of breadcrumbs, so you must feel by hand. Feel free to taste the mixture at this point and adjust any of the seasonings.
  3. Chill the vegan black bean burger mixture for 10 minutes, then remove it from the fridge and form into four medium black bean patties. If the mix is too wet, then add a tablespoon of breadcrumbs at a time until it easily forms patties without being too sticky. For even burgers, you can weigh the mixture when and/or use a burger mold/press.
  4. Next, heat a little oil in a large non-stick skillet and then add the patties. Lightly fry the black bean veggie burgers on both sides until lightly crispy and browned (around 4-5 minutes per side).
  5. Then remove from the pan and serve in buns with the toppings and sauces of your choice- enjoy!

How to Make Ahead and Store?

This recipe for vegan black bean burgers is excellent for preparing ahead and storing. You can prepare and shape the patties a day in advance, storing them on a baking tray wrapped with plastic wrap.

Once cooked, store any leftover chipotle black bean burgers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze the chipotle black bean burgers for around 3 months. I do this by laying the patties on a parchment-lined tray (not touching) and freezing until solid, then transferring to a freezer-safe container/bag. Allow the burger to thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for several hours.

What to Serve with Chipotle Black Bean Burgers?

If you don’t feel like enjoy these spicy black bean burgers the ‘regular’ way, in a bun, then there are still plenty of ways to enjoy these black bean patties, including:


How to reheat the Southwest black bean burgers?

You can reheat the spicy black bean burgers from frozen or thawed. Add them to a skillet with a bit of oil and fry until slightly crispy and warmed through (this will take an extra 4-5 minutes from frozen). You could also reheat the burgers in the microwave, though they won’t crisp up.

Can You bake the chipotle black bean burgers?

To bake the vegan black bean burgers, I recommend trying between 25-30 minutes at 200C/400F, flipping once halfway. For crisper results, you can broil the burgers at the end of the process.
You may also be able to grill the burgers on a lightly greased grilling silicon mat/tin foil until warmed.

Can I make this recipe without a food processor?

Yes, though it will take a little more time and effort. You can mash the beans by hand with a potato masher (or fork) and make sure to finely chop all the peppers. Doing it by hand will make the easy black bean burgers with a little more texture/chunkier.

Top Recipe Tips

  • Ensure the pan is hot: This will help you achieve crispier results for the Southwest black bean burgers.
  • Use a large pan: Don’t try to fit them all in a smaller one; otherwise, their proximity to one another means you end up with softer burgers as they essential ‘steam’ rather than fry. Fry them in batches if needed.
  • Adding extra veg: It’s possible to up the nutrients in these protein-dense spicy black bean burgers further with the addition of ½ cup corn (folded/ pulsed in after the mixture is processed) or shredded zucchini (salted, left to rest for 15 minutes, then squeezed to remove all excess liquid).
  • For mini sliders: Divide the vegan black bean burger recipe mixture into either 6 or 8 smaller patties to make mini vegan black bean burger sliders. Perfect for game day snacking!

More Vegan Mexican/Tex-Mex Recipes You’ll Love

For more inspiration, browse through our entire collection of Mexican recipes!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

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Southwest Black Bean Burger

(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
5 from 1 reviews
  • Author: Terrence Paschal
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This southwest black bean burger uses classic ingredients that hit the spot everytime. You won’t be able to get enough of this savory, spicy burger!


Units Scale
  • 1 Can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup of Cilantro
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Cumin
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce (add more if you want it extra spicy!)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • Buns
  • Burger Toppings


  1. Place the beans, chipotle pepper, cilantro, bell pepper, and jalapeno in a food processor and pulse until it is all mixed together and smooth.
  2. Place the bean mixture into a bowl, add all seasonings and mix together with your hands. Slowly mix in bread crumbs until mixture becomes sticky. You may need more or less than a cup.
  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the bowl from the fridge and form 4 medium patties. If the mixture is too wet still, add more bread crumbs.
  5. Place the patties on a non-stick pan. Cook until both sides are crispy and the burgers are warmed through.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve on buns, top with your favorite burger toppings.

Keywords: vegan, vegetarian, southwest, burger, vegan burger, plantbased burger, summer, BBQ, black bean, bean burger

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