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Black Bean Rice Burgers

A salsa and sour cream sauce helps dress up these hearty vegetarian burgers. "My fiance, who's a confirmed meat-and-potatoes man, loves these sandwiches and asks for them often," relates Laura Wimbrow of Ocean City, Maryland.
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4 burgers


  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup salsa, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese (1 ounce each)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Optional: Sliced tomato and sliced red onion


  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook onions in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until translucent but not browned, 2-4 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. In bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment, pulse half the beans and rice until mixture forms a thick paste. In a large bowl, add processed bean mixture, remaining black beans and rice, onion, bread crumbs, egg yolks, 2 tablespoons salsa, salt and pepper; mix well with hands, squeezing until mixture holds together. Form bean mixture into 4 patties. Cook burgers over medium heat in remaining 1 tablespoon until firm and browned, 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream and remaining salsa. To assemble, place lettuce leaf, burger, cheese and sour cream mixture on bun. If desired, also add sliced tomato and red onion.
Nutrition Facts
1 burger: 482 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 101mg cholesterol, 1070mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 6g fiber), 21g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Cook38
    Oct 29, 2016

    Very tasty, but yes, fell apart easily and were a bit crumbly but were not dry at all. However, I did use instant brown rice, and even though it had virtually no liquid in the pan, perhaps the way instant cooks compared to regular could make the difference here. Will definitely try again, but will add a 2nd egg to see if that helps. Good suggestion to make them smaller as well since they didn't turn without falling apart. May also try baking them as suggested as well vs. frying in the skillet. Either way, will give it another go and we did enjoy them. The salsa-sour cream sauce was very refreshing! I may just make this recipe, burgers crumbly and all, and put both over lettuce instead of on a bun, and drizzle some of the sour cream and shredded cheddar, thus going breadless!

  • Happygirl9
    Jun 18, 2015

    Loved these but made many tweaks to the recipe. Used leftover spaghetti sauce for tomato flavoring. Had 2 cups of brown rice and used it all. Cracked in 2 eggs. I still used taco spices from a packet, about 1/4 of it. I chopped up some fresh mushrooms and then used a mixer to syn it all, then dropped into 12 large blobs onto parchment paper, ha. Baked them at 350 degrees for 15 mins then I flipped them and pressed them flat for another 10 minutes. They stayed firm and they tasted delicious and now I have leftovers. Hurray.

  • jdgd
    Nov 27, 2013

    These are very tasty but like others have said they fall apart easily. Next time I will try adding an additional egg, omit the salsa, and add some bread crumbs. I will bake a bit longer than I did my first time. Also, I will make smaller patties. I made the mistake of making 4 patties since the recipe states it serves 4. Both my husband and I liked them better than some of the other veggie burgers we've tried.

  • Melanie-Obrien
    Apr 18, 2013

    No comment left

  • dmv60
    Sep 26, 2012

    This is my daughter's go-to recipe when she has guests. They are always surprised that it is a meat-less burger.

  • honeysucklerose
    Jun 6, 2011

    I'm going to try this recipe tonight using quinoa instead of brown rice, and probably baking them after browning as per reviewer Sharan's tip. I'll report back after my husband gets home from work. :)

  • asnunez
    May 16, 2009

    These were absolutely delicious! If there's a problem with the burgers being soft, make sure that you're not using instant brown rice and that all of the liquid is absorbed before using. In fact, use a bit less water that is called for when preparing it. I'm sure that this will help you out a great deal. Also, the baking idea is a good one. It does help firm them up.

  • bbubbles
    Aug 3, 2008

    After baking at 350d. F for approx. 35 min, they were firm enough for me to not fall apart so easily, and reminded me more of real burgers. I added 1 tbsp. finely chopped chipolte pepper (in sauce), and a few shakes of granulated garlic. Nice and spicy. Next time I will reduce the amount of salsa and add more garlic.HTHShelley

  • bbubbles
    Aug 3, 2008

    I am having the same problem as Sharan, with the burgers falling apart. I am going to try browning and baking them at 350 d. F. until they are firm. Even after browning them for 4 min/side, they are still "soft". Will post back my results!Shelley

  • purrinpercy
    Aug 3, 2008

    I tried this recipe the other night, it was very good and easy to make, the sauce was very good. The only problem I had was that they fell apart. I thought maybe I had put too much rice in it, but when my daughter made them they did the same thing for her. Maybe if the patties were smaller it would help any suggestions?Sharan