Spicy butterbean burgers

Butter bean burgers
I’ve finally discovered the secret to great bean burgers.

A lot of beans burgers are too soft and mushy, and squish out of the bun when you’re eating them. (Remember: mush burgers aren’t us.)

You can make a bean burger firmer by adding wheat gluten, but I must admit I’m not a fan of bean burgers with added gluten. They tend to be dry and the texture somehow just doesn’t seem right.

The solution to mushy bean burgers is an easy one. Don’t make them too thick, coat them with cornmeal and make sure you cook them long enough to form a nice crunchy crust. I’ve found the best way to achieve this is to first pan fry them in a small cast iron griddle, then place them, griddle and all, in the oven to finish them off.

These butterbean burgers are delicious and have just a bit of heat from the jalapenos. Thanks to happy vegan face, whose recipe I adapted.

The original recipe called for saltine crackers, which aren’t available here in the UK. However, I’ve found that Doriano crackers — available in supermarkets — are very similar to saltines, and work beautifully in this recipe. I also added ground raw cashews for a protein boost, as well as a bit of arrowroot to help bind the burgers.

You can either use a 400g (14oz) tin of butter beans, or cook your own from scratch. If cooking from scratch, 110g of dried beans will make about the equivalent amount of a tin.

Spicy butterbean burgers

British American
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon
60g red pepper, finely diced 1/2 cup
60g onion, finely diced 1/2 cup
1 clove garlic, minced 1 clove
400g tin butterbeans 14 oz can
(or 1-1/2 cups of cooked butterbeans)
70g saltine-type cracker crumbs (I use Doriano) 3/4 cup
1/4 cup raw cashews, finely ground 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 2 tablespoons
3 slices pickled jalapeno peppers 3 slices
2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon arrowroot 1 teaspoon
to taste salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons cornmeal 2 tablespoons
olive oil for frying

1. Saute red pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil for 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

2. Meanwhile, mash butterbeans. Crush crackers into crumbs (I use a blender). Mix together butterbeans, cracker crumbs, ground cashews, nutritional yeast and jalapenos.

3. Add the cooked vegetables to the bean mixture and combine well. Stir together the arrowroot and water, and add this to the burger mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine well.

4. Form into five burgers, pressing mixture firmly.

5. Spread cornmeal on a plate and gently press each burger into cornmeal to lightly coat.

6. In a heavy frypan (I use cast iron), gently pan-fry burgers until golden on each side.

7. For an extra-crunchy outside, place burgers, frypan and all, into 160C (325F) oven for 20 minutes.

Makes five burgers.


  1. YUMMY! This looks wonderful. I know what you mean about not wanting them to be mushy. Yours look perfect.

  2. That burger looks great! Thanks for sharing your recipe, I like that it doesn’t have gluten flour in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *