{recipe} White Bean Burgers

We eat a lot of beans in my house. I love beans.

I love them on salad or in stir fries, pasta or soup.  They are versatile and good for you, as well as tasty.  Just about any bean can be made in to a “burger”.  I typically use black beans to make burgers, but since I love the taste and texture of Great Northern or its larger-sized relative, the Cannellini bean, I decided to try them out burger-style.  The result was delicious.

I have done a lot of research on bean burgers and there is quite a lot of variety in ingredient options.  You generally need to start with one can of beans (the consensus seems to be that starting with dried beans is a waste of time, since from the can they are just as good).  Add an egg, some sort of carb-y binder, like bread crumbs, rice or bulgar, and then add flavorings.  If you have a food processor, making bean burgers is an incredibly easy and quick way to make dinner.  Since I always have cans of beans in my cupboard, bean burgers are a quick solution to making dinner from an otherwise empty kitchen.

Recipe: White Bean Burgers

1 can Northern White (or Cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko are yummy)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 egg
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper

Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor for about 30 seconds, or until it’s all blended but with small chunks.  Add more bread crumbs if the mixture seems too soft, but remember that if you leave it for 20 minutes or so it will firm up a bit.  You want the mixture to be firm enough that it will retain a patty shape, although it won’t be as firm as actual ground beef or turkey.  Heat up some oil in a pan over medium heat while you form 3 to 4 inch patties with your hands.  Let the patties cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve on hamburger buns with condiments (best part, in my opinion), or on top of a green salad with avocado.  I forgot to melt cheese on these burgers, but some swiss would have been lovely.  If anyone has had any success keeping bean burgers whole while cooking them on a grill, please let me know.  It would be fun to include them in a cook-out style meal without having to fry them inside.


25 Comments Add yours

  1. I make black bean burgers often…this looks like a terrific variation!

    1. Alexis says:

      Thanks! I hope you like it!

  2. Never considered white beans before for burgers before! I do like using dry just because they are so much cheaper. I make a bag in my slow cooker and freeze them in 2 cup batches (equiv to about 1 can).

    1. Alexis says:

      Good point about using dry beans. Do you have any tricks for getting dried beans as soft as canned though?

  3. Delicious! I too love beans, lots and lots. These burgers look great!

    1. Alexis says:


  4. John Larsen says:

    Yum, this looks good! (I love beans, too). I have a thin perforated metal tray like thingy I use for grilling shrimp/fish on my BBQ grill that I think can handle these. Will give a try this weekend and let ya know! Thanks!

    1. Alexis says:

      John – please do let me know. We grill a lot in the summer and I would love to have bean burgers as an outdoor option on those super hot summer days.

  5. to get dry beans as soft, use the quick soak method, which involves boiling them for an hour, then letting stand until cool. I sometimes wish my dry beans were as firm as canned! Maybe I should use the overnight soaking method.

  6. ginamodschooler says:

    Alexis, I cook all my beans from dried too – we have allergy and sodium issues here, so it’s just easier to do from scratch for most things. In my crockpot, I just toss the dried beans and lots of water in, set it for 4 hours on High, and let it go. I don’t soak or anything. I cook chickpeas like this. If you want them super soft, just extend the cooking time (make sure there’s water). The slow cooker I use has an automatic “Warm” feature, so once the High cooking is done, it holds things at Warm until you turn it off. If you have one of those, you can just leave it going in the background til the beans are the consistency you like. Each slow cooker can vary, so you’ll figure out what works best for your particular one. Personally, I’ve found the chickpeas cook well at just 4 hours High, but mileages may vary, as do personal tastes 😀

    1. Erin Olson says:

      I use the crock pot as well. I usually soak my beans for about 24 hours to break down anti-nutrients and then I cook in the crock pot. I cook them on high for 4 hours and then either take them out or set it to low and cook them even longer if I want them super soft.

      Also key to getting them really soft is not adding any salt or acid of any type until they are completely cooked. Salt and acids like tomato will make for tough skins.

      1. ginamodschooler says:

        Oh, another thing I forgot, there’s an issue with doing this with red kidney beans – http://www.home-ec101.com/cooking-kidney-beans-slow-cooker-crock-pot/

    2. Christina says:

      Hey Gina, Christina here… Wanna write a guest on cooking dried beans in the crockpot? Let me know. You would send the text & jpegs to fromscratchclub (at) gmail (dot) com. Include a small bio on yourself, a head shot and any place you want us to link to , like your blog. LMK!

      1. ginamodschooler says:

        Christina, that’d be great, thanks!

  7. Alexis says:

    Helpful tips on cooking dried beans guys, thanks!

  8. Fantabulous! I would think you could grill it on tin foil on the grill. Or use an indoor grill…work great! Or…you could try a “mesh” like those splatter-proof mesh covers to put it on and grill. Just a few initial thoughts!

    1. Alexis says:

      Thanks! I think foil would be worth a try.

  9. websiteguides says:

    very interesting concept and this is the first time I have heard of making burgers from beans. At least they are healthier for you than the standard old grease fried ground beef. I will have to try your recipe soon. Sounds like I will have to add this to my new way of eating now since changing my eating habits. Thanks for the post

    1. Alexis says:

      MUCH healthier and remember you can be flexible with a lot of the ingredients to suit your taste (or whatever you have in the pantry)!

      1. websiteguides says:

        that is what I have been looking for. Much healthier. LOL I definitely am going to try this out. Thanks Alexis

  10. C.D. says:

    They look so good and healthy! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe,
    Artphalt (http://artphalt.wordpress.com)

  11. I’ve had luck with cooking bean burgers on the grill in little molds made out of tinfoil, but you have to either cook them on only one side OR flip them onto a fish grate for the grill (think kind that looks like a cookie sheet with wholes in it, not the mesh kind). It’s so sad to watch food you’ve made fall apart on the regular grill (the slats are too wide) or get stuck in a mesh grill thingy!

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