This Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burger recipe is packed with warm, spicy southwestern flavors that are sure to shake up your dinner routine!
This post contains affiliate links.
When I took my El Paso to Phoenix road trip a couple months ago, I had the most delicious spicy black bean burger. I’ve been thinking about it ever since!
It was a delicious black bean burger (my fave) topped with gooey cheese and smothered in roasted green chiles. Yum!
Now, if you’ve been reading Hello Little Home for a while, you probably know how much I love spicy food. Well that burger, while super tasty, was a little too hot even for me. Let’s just say my mouth was on fire, although I still managed to eat it all … ha!
I wanted to recreate that spicy black bean burger … with a little less heat. This Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burger recipe is the result, and it’s so good!
Southwest Black Bean Burger
This Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burger is packed with so much flavor and a little kick, too!
These tasty burgers are a mixture of black beans, sauteed veggies, barley and walnuts for texture, and warm southwest spices. Chipotle peppers that are mixed into the burgers, and roasted green peppers on top, give the burgers a little spice … but not too much. Plus, you can totally customize the heat to your taste.
I used poblano peppers to top my burgers. They’re fairly mild, and you can find them at pretty much any grocery store. If you want to be more authentic to southwest cooking though, pick up some New Mexico chile peppers (look for Hatch, Pueblo, Rio Grande, or Anaheim varieties). You’ll find fresh Hatch chiles in grocery stores here in Texas and the southwest in late summer, and you can get them canned, too.
Whatever chiles you use, I know you’re going to love these Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burgers!
How to Make Southwest Veggie Burgers
So let’s talk about how to make these spicy black bean burgers!
This recipe does take a few steps, but I promise they are all easy. You’ll start by roasting the poblano peppers. I did this in my oven, but feel free to use your grill, too. Once your peppers are roasted, you’ll steam them to remove their skin, then chop them up. It’s pretty simple.
While the peppers are roasting, you’ll cook the barley. Make sure to use pearl barley, not quick-cooking barley. The barley give the burgers a chewy texture.
At the same time, you’ll also saute a carrot and an onion, then finish them with garlic, cumin, oregano, and ancho chili powder for tons of flavor.
Once your veggies and barley are ready, mix them with mashed black beans, walnuts (which add a great texture), cilantro, onions, a chipotle pepper, and a little adobo sauce. Season these ingredients to taste with salt, then add the flour and egg.
Then, you’ll shape the burgers into patties. The recipe makes four large burgers or six smaller burgers.
These Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burgers cook up fast on the stove top. I like serving mine topped with pepper jack cheese, plenty of those chopped poblano peppers, and some lettuce and tomato.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to love these flavorful burgers! They’ve got just the right amount of heat, but if you want to make them less spicy, check out my tips after the recipe.
Want to make this Veggie Burger recipe less spicy?
I get it, not everyone likes spicy food, and you can still enjoy this recipe without all the heat. Simply leave off the peppers on top, use monterey jack cheese instead of pepper jack, and skip the chipotle peppers in the burgers themselves.
To keep some of that smokey flavor from the chipotles, you could add a couple teaspoons of smoked paprika instead.
Want more heat?
Of course, if you’re like me and love all thing hot and spicy, you can make these spicy black bean burgers hotter, too. Just add extra chili powder, more chipotles, and spicier peppers on top. A few dashes of hot sauce certainly wouldn’t hurt either … this Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce is my current fave!
What to Serve with Southwestern Black Bean Burgers
Looking for more Veggie Burger Recipes?
If you love homemade vegetarian burgers as much as I do, then you’ll want to try these recipes, too!
- Halloumi Burgers
- Mushroom Swiss Veggie Burgers
- Korean BBQ Tofu Sliders
- Greek Veggie Burgers
- Vegetarian Teriyaki Burgers
- Black Bean Edamame Burgers
- Indian-Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Burgers
Southwest Black Bean Veggie Burger
- 2 large poblano peppers
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped (green part only)
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from chipotle peppers)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 slices pepper jack cheese
- 4 burger buns
- sliced tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Place poblano peppers on a baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Roast peppers for 15 minutes, flip, then cook another 10 minutes or until blackened on both sides.
- Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- After about 10 minutes (or when cool enough to handle), remove skin, seeds, and stems from peppers, then chop them.
- While the peppers are cooking, combine barley, 1 cup water, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small pot on high heat.
- Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook barley until tender (about 35 to 40 minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion. Season with salt, then cook until lightly browned and tender, stirring often.
- Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano to veggies; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Blot excess liquid from black beans with a paper towel, then place in a large bowl. Mash until about 3/4 smooth.
- Add barley, sauteed veggies, walnuts, cilantro, green onion, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce. Mix well, then season to taste with salt.
- Stir flour and egg into bean mixture until well combined.
- Heat remaining 2 tsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Shape bean mixture into 4 patties (or 6 patties for smaller burgers), then add to pan.
- Cook burgers until browned on one side, then flip. Top with cheese and cook until burgers are browned on other side.
- Serve burgers on buns with tomato and lettuce. Enjoy!
Looking for more burger ideas?
I’ve rounded up over 20 of my fave Veggie Burger Recipes here!
What is your favorite kind of veggie burger?