These easy Mediterranean black bean burgers are topped with whipped feta, roasted onions and peppers, and basil for a super satisfying vegetarian meal that everyone will love!
Much as I enjoy a classic cheeseburger, I like to step outside the box with my toppings too, sometimes. And my favorite way to do that is to go the Mediterranean route.
Roasted red peppers and onions, whipped feta, and basil are great on just about anything, and a burger, veggie or otherwise, is no exception.
If you've never had or made whipped feta, I don't think this'll be the last time you do. I love it on this rustic zucchini and tomato tart, as a dip for vegetables and pita chips, as a crostini topping, and so many other things.
There are a few different ways to make whipped feta, but for the purpose of these Mediterranean black bean burgers, I went with the traditional Greek version made with Greek yogurt.
The food processor is the easiest way to get a creamy texture, but you can definitely just mash the ingredients together with a fork for a chunkier result that is just as tasty.
Why are these the best black bean burgers?
Let me also say that I went to some effort to save the black bean burger from the all-too-common fates of dryness or mushiness. It can be hard to achieve the perfect balance with veggie burgers. Here's why this one works.
- Moist but not mushy: Drying out the canned beans a little in the oven keeps them from adding too much moisture to the patties, which keeps them from getting mushy. This is a cool trick from Serious Eats.
- Never dry: Feta cheese and eggs keep the burgers from being dry while helping them bind well so they're easy to handle, and don't fall apart in the pan or on the bun.
- Patties with lots of flavor: To give the patties tons of Mediterranean flavor, I added some finely chopped red pepper, onion, parsley, dried oregano, and crumbled feta.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Make the whipped feta: In a food processor, combine the feta, Greek yogurt, olive oil, and oregano on high speed until light and creamy.
- On a baking sheet, toss together sliced peppers and onions (save a little of each for the patties) with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to the preheated oven to roast for about 20 minutes.
3. To make the patties, gather these ingredients.
4. After taking out the roasted vegetables, lower the oven heat to 350 F. Drain and rinse the canned black beans and spread them out evenly onto a baking sheet lined with a baking mat, or foil. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the beans are looking gray and dry, and the skins are starting to crisp up a bit. Transfer to a large bowl, and mash the beans with a potato masher or fork, keeping some texture.
5. Add the remaining patty ingredients to the bowl, and stir to combine well.
6. Form the mixture into 6 patties.
7. Heat up a grill pan drizzled with olive oil over medium heat, and cook, about 4 minutes per side. Note that, unlike beef burgers, black bean burgers need to cook over lower heat to cook through evenly without burning the outside.
8. Spread some whipped feta onto the top bun, and top the burgers with the roasted peppers and onions, a tomato slice, and a couple of fresh basil leaves.
If you're vegetarian, or just looking for a healthier way to get your burger fix, these easy Mediterranean black bean burgers won't disappoint. Head over to my vegetarian page for more great veggie mains.
These burgers are also perfect if you're following the Mediterranean diet. If you're into that, head over to my Mediterranean diet/flexitarian page for more information and recipe inspiration!
Mediterranean Black Bean Burgers
- 1 red onion sliced crosswise into rounds
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- ¼ cup finely crumbled feta
- ¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 burger buns
Additional toppings: fresh basil leaves, tomato slices
- Preheat the oven to to 425. On a large baking sheet, toss together the onions and peppers with the olive oil, salt and pepper (reserve a little of each for the patties). Transfer to the preheated oven and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
- While the oven is heating, add the whipped feta ingredients to a food processor, and process on high for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
- When the vegetables come out of the oven, lower the heat to 350. Spread the black beans evenly onto a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat or aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven for about 15 minutes until the beans look gray and dry, with the skins slightly crispy.
- Transfer the beans to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork. Keep some texture. In a large bowl, combine the beans, eggs, bread crumbs, feta, finely chopped red pepper and onion, parsley, olive oil, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 6 patties.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers, 3 at a time, about 4-5 minutes per side., pressing down with the spatula occasionally. * see notes for other cooking methods
- Transfer cooked patties to a plate and lightly grill the burger buns.
Assemble the burgers
- Place a patty on the bottom of each burger bun. Spread some whipped feta on the top half. Top the burgers with roasted vegetables, a tomato slice and a few fresh basil leaves.
- To cook on an outdoor grill: Heat a well-oiled grill to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes per side.
- To cook in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat, or greased foil. Cook about 20 minutes total, flipping once halfway through.