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Gluten-Free Black Bean Pumpkin Burgers

December 1, 2012

ImageBlack Bean Burgers with a Twist (Pumpkin!)

Pumpkin and black beans? Don’t be a hater until you try it, I promise you will be hooked! And after you do, scroll on down to my recipe post for Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. It’s delicious!

And I might also add this recipe is perfect for those nights when the meat you planned to make is still frozen solid. Doh!

Here’s the recipe!

Gluten-Free Black Bean Pumpkin Burgers

(inspired by Sprouted Kitchen Pumpkin Black Bean Patties)

It looks like a LOT of ingredients, please come back…do not be deterred. This is SUPER easy!  And even if your pantry doesn’t have enough to survive a zombie apocalypse like mine, I am sure you can round these ingredients up. (Single? Got a cute neighbor, now is a great time to borrow a clove of garlic or some cumin. Strike up a conversation and invite him/her over for dinner. :::wink:::  Married with children? The flirt with the neighbor thing is probably out, so bring over some cookies or homemade jam. It’s a great time to make new friends and build community. Example: On Thanksgiving my neighbor sent her seven-year-old daughter over in search of lemon juice. I was glad to help. Of course I had lemon juice!)

:::Moving right along:::

If you are not gluten-free, just use regular oats and whole wheat flour. No pumpkin purée?  Use cooked sweet potato, cooked carrots, or any cooked veggie purée you have on hand. Try mashed potatoes! I haven’t, but you can. My cooking mantras are: take a deep breath, use what you have, experiment, and most importantly HAVE FUN! Cooking should be fun, in my humble opinion. And you are here, so I guess my opinion counts for something.


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot/ or 1-2 TBSP diced onion
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée (or any veggie purée)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  – 1 tsp. chili powder (if you like it “hot hot hot” add more)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (sea salt preferred)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice (I make a big batch and store the extras)
  • 15 oz. can black beans (or about 2 cups)
  • 1 TBSP ground flax
  • 1TBSP ground chia seeds (I pre-grind a 1:1 ratio of chia and flax and store in the freezer for baking, puddings, smoothies, making vegan eggs, etc…)
  • 1 egg (optional – see notes)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup GF AP flour (optional based on the consistency of the mix)
  •  1/2 cup GF oats (or GF breadcrumbs)
  • coconut oil for cooking


Regarding the egg. You can make this vegan by subbing in a vegan egg in place of the chicken egg.  To make a vegan egg: combine the ground flax and chia with 4 TBSP of HOT HOT, boiling is preferred, water. Stir up with a fork to make a “slurry”. It will be thick, if dry add a little more water. You are looking for something that is stirrable, but not watery or runny.  Let this sit and thicken while prepping the recipe. It will be a glob. You really can’t mess this up. This will act as a binder.The burgers in the pic have both the EGG and the chia/flax meal (not made into an egg) but added directly into the mix. If you do this and mix seems wet,  just add more oats and flour to absorb the liquid until desired consistency is achieved. I only added both because I desired the extra protein and omegas for my kids.

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, onions, pumpkin, olive oil, chili powder, salt and cumin. Pulse until well combined. Add the rice and some of the beans, flax/ chia meal egg or egg, and oats. Pulse them in a couple of times. Add the rest of the beans and give it and whirl it up a couple more times. The mixture will be sticky, with a little texture to it. If you like the mixture smooth, keep pulsing. If the mix seems too wet, add flour/ oats one teaspoon at a time. Either pulse it in or hand mix. You are looking for a wet cookie dough-like mixture.
  2. Form the dough into burgers. I found the easiest cleanest way is to take a notebook sized piece of plastic wrap, plop approx. 1/4 cup of the mixture in the middle. Fold the plastic wrap neatly (bottom up, top down, sides in) and mold into a round 1/2″ thick patty. Do this until you have about 4-6 patties. Viola, clean hands!
  3. Film your skillet with a small amount of coconut or olive oil over medium-high heat. (I highly recommend the coconut oil, if you have it, as it is super tasty and can withstand high heat.) Once the oil is hot and a water drop skitters, gently unwrap the patties over the pan, being careful not to let the plastic wrap touch the pan (this is where the neat folding comes in handy) and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side until you get a golden brown crust, (don’t flip early or it will stick), flip and repeat. Add more oil as needed to keep them frying up crispy and brown.

Tips: Use plastic wrap to form the patties, this will reduce waste of the mixture (from sticking to your hands) and once wrapped up, they are easily refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen for up to one month. (I have not tried freezing these, but I am sure it is possible. This may require additional protection, such as a freezer bag. I usually don’t advocate the use of plastic wrap, I probably go through a roll every 2 years. But this is one of those cases where it comes in handy.

My picky four-year-old thought they were burgers and dug in. Realized they weren’t beef, shrugged, and kept eating. “Mommy these aren’t burger-burgers, but they are yummy!” Success! My husband (who came home around 9pm) was sad there was only one left for him. (Sorry babe, I couldn’t stop eating them, Better come home earlier!  Just kidding, I’ll make more next time.)

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