Black Bean and Brown Rice Patties

I love a good veggie burger.  If there is a veggie burger on a menu I always consider it for my option. That said,  I think the only really good veggie burgers are made from scratch.  If you're in a restaurant and they're serving a frozen veggie patty, skip it.  But if there is a house-made version, go for it.  Houston's restaurant has one of the best I have ever had.  It is totally worth eating a white bread bun which usually is what makes me chose something else.  I even have a whole cookbook dedicated to veggie burgers.  One day I actually may make something from it. Ha!

In the meantime, during our big snow storm, I saw a recipe for a bean and rice burger in a Macrobiotic cookbook.  I used the basic proportions but changed the beans and spices to make it something completely different.  Enter this Mexican-spiced, black bean and brown rice burger. If you have rice already cooked, this is a snap to throw together.  They bake in the oven for quite some time, so you do have to plan ahead, unless you want to pan fry them to get them on the table a little faster.  The long bake makes them nice and crisp on the outside without the oil of pan frying. 

 Like me, you can change the flavor profile based on what you have on hand and what you like. Use a white bean  and add olives, oregano, and lemon zest to make it Greek.  Basil, sun dried tomatoes, olives to make it Italian.  Adzuki beans or black soy beans with garlic, ginger, thai chili peppers, lemon grass, coconut to make a Thai version.  Curry powder with coconut, onions, fennel, cumin, corriander to make an Indian one.  The options are endless.  Just keep the same amount of rice and beans and you will be set.   This recipe is begging to be doubled.  It makes 6 pretty small patties, or three big ones.  I think 3 servings at most. If you have a bigger family, just double it.  I would start by doing 1 1/2 times the spices and adding more as needed.  Just taste as you go. 

I ate mine on the side of some coleslaw and skipped the bun.  Feel free to serve on a nice bun, in a pita, or on top of a salad.  This Mexican version would be great on a roll with some avocado, maybe some chipotle mayo, lettuce and onion.  Yum.  Enjoy! 

Black Bean and Brown Rice Patties

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer entree sandwich gluten-free vegan vegetarian black beans brown rice Mexican

Ingredients (6 small patties)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1 Tbsp mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (canned beans should be rinsed and drained)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for about 3 minutes until soften. Add garlic, carrots and mirin and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the carrots are softened.

Add the paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and stir to combine. Cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the black beans and mix everything together. Add 1/2 cup brown rice, mix well, and cook a minute or two until the rice is heated. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Place remaining 1 cup of rice in a food processor and pulse until the rice is mushy. Scrape into the skillet and mix everything together.

Using your hands or a large scoop form mixture into 3 inch patties, about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. The mixture will be sticky and will hold together nicely. Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the patties over and bake an additional 20 minutes. Serve.

Note: this recipe will serve probably only serve 3. It is easily doubled.

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