‘So, what do you eat at a BBQ then?’ is a question I get asked at every BBQ party. In reply, I point them to this scrumptious recipe, which is guaranteed to satisfy the most sceptical non-vegan. Made with black beans and walnuts, these easy burgers are full of amazing flavour and a brilliant source of plant protein, fibre, folate, magnesium and iron. Serve on a bun with all the trimmings or with grilled slices of courgettes and aubergines, and toasted flatbread.

Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole [Vegan]

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4 large burgers or 8 small burgers


For the Black Bean Burgers:

  • 50g (1/2 cup) wholegrain bread (to make breadcrumbs)
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots or 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-cm dice 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400 g  (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Guacamole:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tomato, skinned* and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. To make the burgers, tear the bread into large pieces, add to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. Add the walnuts to the food processor, pulse until crumbly (but not too fine), then tip into the mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and fry the shallots or red onion, aubergine and grated carrot for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 further minute.
  3. Tip the mixture into the bowl of the food processor with the beans, spices, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper; process for about 30 seconds or until you have a coarse purée. It should not be totally smooth – you still want some whole beans in there for texture. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and walnuts and mix in the coriander.
  4. Use a large spoon to scoop out 4 or 8 patties and flatten them into round shapes. Transfer to a large plate and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  5. Brush the patties with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and grill on a BBQ or fry in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes on each side until golden. Alternatively bake in a preheated oven at 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5 for 25 minutes.
  6. For the guacamole, halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with the lemon or lime juice. Stir through the onion, garlic, tomato, coriander and seasoning.
  7. Serve the burgers on wholemeal seeded buns with a spoonful of guacamole and tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and pickles, if you like.


(*To skin the tomato, make a cross in the skin at the base, plunge into a bowl of just boiled water for 30–60 seconds. Remove the tomato from the water and peel with a sharp knife. The skin should come away easily.)


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