BBQ Black Bean Burger with Caramelized Onions Recipe

An image of a hand holding a vegan bean burger

Burger night doesn’t have to be a carnivorous affair. And THIS irresistibly delicious, vegan BBQ black bean burger with sticky caramelized onions, is proof of it.  

The patty is made with black beans, brown rice and spiced generously with bbq sauce. Black beans are a great replacement for meat in vegan cooking, as they have a natural meaty (umami) taste, and are a rich source of protein, fibre, and vitamin B. They also give a nice binding to the mix and help the patty hold its shape when grilled so that you get to bite into moist, chunky, umami-packed burgers. 

Fire up the barbecue, whack on the grill, crack open your favourite drink and get ready to drool, whilst this black bean patty grills away to perfection.

P.S. For some extra oomph, we suggest adding a side of fresh mango chutney.


2 (420g) cans of black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry

375g  cooked brown rice

1 onion, thinly sliced

150g BBQ sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp chili powder

1/3 tsp crushed red chili flakes

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salt, to taste

120g  panko bread crumbs

8 burger buns

For caramelized onion

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion thinly sliced

Salt, to taste

1 tbsp brown sugar

1  tsp maple syrup



  1.       Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove and cool.
  2.       Add cooled onions, chili powder, paprika, cumin, brown sugar, and red chili flakes to a blender or food processor. Blend till well combined
  3.       Pop black beans into a large bowl and mash them into a paste using a potato masher, leaving 1/3 of the beans chunky.
  4.       To the mashed beans, add onion and spice mix, cooked brown rice, panko bread crumbs, and BBQ sauce. Mix well till the mash reaches a mouldable consistency.
  5.       Flatten out the mash into ¾ inch thick patties. Place them on a lined baking tray and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6.       Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, till onion is lightly caramelized.
  7.       Add brown sugar, and maple syrup, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring continuously, over low-medium heat, till the onion is nicely caramelized.
  8.     Once the patties are set, barbecue or grill them for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until evenly browned and cooked thoroughly. 
  9. ·       Place the patties on toasted buns, top off with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomatoes, BBQ sauce, and other toppings of your choice, and serve!

Send us a pic of your plant-based burger feast on instagram @soulfulfoodco.