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Shiitake Black Bean Burgers w/ Spicy Aioli (Vegan)

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These Shiitake Black Bean Burgers are a unique twist on the classic black bean burger, with Asian flavors of ginger, shiitake mushrooms, Sriracha and peppery arugula. Also learn the tricks to make sure your burgers are FIRM and not mushy at all.

A shiitake black bean burger topped with sliced tomatoes, arugula and a spicy mayo.

One thing I love about cooking at home is knowing EXACTLY what goes into the food. No weird oils, cross contamination with meat, or extra butter/fat. This recipe for Black Bean Burgers is a perfect example of a truly healthy meal you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Why buy pre-packaged burgers (made with who-knows-what?) when you can make these fast, fresh, healthy oil-free burgers that taste way better?

How to make sure your burgers are NOT mushy:

Maybe you’ve had a black bean burger before that was “mushy” and it completely turned you off. That was me, until I figured out the secrets to making a ‘non-mushy’ veggie burger. There are a few things that can help, but my #1 tip is… dry out the beans!

That’s right. The #1 key to making veggie burgers firm is to make sure you get as much moisture out of the beans as possible. I’ll show you how to do that in this recipe.

Besides drying out your beans, there are a couple other important steps to make sure these burgers come out firm and not mushy:

  • Make sure the onions and mushrooms are chopped very fine. Big pieces will keep the burger from holding together and they will fall apart more easily.
  • It’s always important to use a binder for black bean burgers. Usually egg is used, but for egg-free, use a “flax egg” (as in this recipe) and that will do the trick.

And if you want to reeeaaeally want educate yourself on making the perfect veggie burger, check out this article or this one to get even more in depth.

Additional Tips for making these Vegan Black Bean Burgers:

  • I highly recommend using arugula in this recipe. It gives a unique peppery flavor that mixes so well with the spicy aioli.
  • I recommend using a coffee grinder to grind the flax seeds. I prefer to keep WHOLE flax seeds in a container in my fridge, as opposed to ground, because it tends to last longer. If you don’t have one and you can find ground flax seed, that works too. Just note that ground flax seed do not have as long a shelf life.
  • For a healthier option, you can try the burgers on lettuce wraps instead of hamburger buns.  
  • I love to serve these burgers with Kale Quinoa Salad. It also goes GREAT with this Edamame Sesame Quinoa Salad or Miso Peanut Coleslaw.

How to make these Black Bean Burgers:

To begin, preheat your oven to 375 F. Then prepare a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. For this recipe, you can use cans of organic, unsalted black beans (rinsed and drained) OR you can use 2 cups of these Instant Pot Chipotle Black Beans. If using the Chipotle Beans, make sure to rinse and drain these as well.

Add the black beans to the baking sheet in an even layer. They will most likely be a little wet, so pat dry with a few paper towels to get out most of the moisture (STEP 1 below). Don’t worry if they are still a little wet because we’ll be baking them to get out the rest of the moisture.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until beans are steaming and starting to dry out (STEP 2). You shouldn’t see any water on the pan. When finished baking, remove from oven and increase the heat to 425° F.  

2 baking pans filled with black beans, one is before baking and one after.
1) Beans before baking. Make sure to pat dry with paper towel.
2) Beans after baking. Notice how they are now dried out.

Meanwhile (while you’re waiting for the beans to cook), you can prepare your flax egg. If you are using whole flax seeds you can use a small coffee grinder to grind the flax (STEPS 1 and 2 below).

Then in a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water (STEP 3 below). Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

3 photos showing the process of grinding flax seeds and making a flax egg.
1) Add 1 tablespoon whole flax seeds to a small coffee grinder.
2) Process until ground.
3) Add to a small bowl with 3 tablespoons water and let sit for 5 minutes.

At this time (if you haven’t already), you can chop the mushrooms and onion (diced VERY fine), and slice the tomatoes.

Also, make the aioli by combining the vegan mayo and Sriracha in a small bowl and stir until combined (STEPS 1 and 2 below). Keep refrigerated until serving. 

2 photos showing before and after of stirring together Sriracha and vegan mayo.
1) Add the vegan mayo and Sriracha.
2) Stir until combined.

Next, add the unsalted vegetable broth to a nonstick skillet or pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and onion are softened. Remove from heat and drain out any liquid if there is any. 

In the same pot (no heat), stir in the soy sauce, pepper, breadcrumbs and flax egg. 

Chopped onions and mushrooms with spices in a skillet.

Then, when the black beans are ready, add the black beans to the pot. To do this, pick up both sides of the parchment paper carefully and transfer the beans by first shaking into the pan and then using a spatula for any beans that stick to the parchment paper. Save the parchment paper if desired (you’ll use it again later).

A pan of onions and mushrooms with dried beans added.

Lightly mash the beans in the pot using a potato masher. You want some beans still whole/halved; don’t over-mash. Once the beans are mashed, stir in the other ingredients with the beans until combined thoroughly. 

A skillet with black beans, mushrooms and onions mixed together.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into patties. To divide portions evenly, you can use your fingers to carve out 6 sections in the bowl.

A pan of an onion/mushroom/black bean mix divided into 6 sections.

Arrange the black bean burger patties on the baking sheet covered in parchment paper, spaced out so they are not touching. Let rest for about 5 minutes, to make sure the ingredients have time to bind together.

A baking sheet with 6 uncooked black bean burgers.

Bake at 425° for 12 minutes, then flip the burgers using a spatula and cook for another 12 minutes. They are done when they are firm and starting to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

To assemble, toast the hamburger buns. Top each bun half with a black bean burger patty, 2-3 tomato slices, 1 tablespoon aioli sauce, a handful of arugula, and the remaining top halves of the buns.

Suggested sides for these Shiitake Black Bean Burgers:

A shiitake black bean burger on a gluten free bun, with sliced tomato, arugula and spicy aioli sauce.

Looking for a more classic black bean veggie burger? Try these Black Bean Oat Burgers.


If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!

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Shiitake Black Bean Burgers w/ Spicy Aioli

2 Shiitake Black Bean Burgers on a cutting board.

These Shiitake Black Bean Burgers are a unique twist on the classic black bean burger, with Asian flavors of ginger, shiitake mushrooms, Sriracha and peppery arugula. Also learn the tricks to make sure your burgers are FIRM and not mushy at all.

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Burgers
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Asian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water)- see *instructions and **notes below
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced very fine
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted organic black beans, drained and rinsed (you can also use 2 cups of these Instant Pot Chipotle Black Beans)
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (for gluten-free) or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger (or ginger paste in tube) or 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, gluten free if desired
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 hamburger buns (gluten free if desired)

Spicy Aioli

  • 1/4 cup Vegenaise (or other vegan mayonnaise)
  • 23 teaspoons Sriracha (chili hot sauce), or more, depending on desired spiciness

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Add the black beans to the baking sheet in an even layer. Pat dry with a few paper towels. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until beans are steaming and starting to dry out (with no water/moisture on the pan). Remove pan and increase oven to 425° F.
  2. Meanwhile (waiting for the beans to cook), prepare your flax egg (see below for tips*). In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water. Stir and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  3. If you haven’t already, chop the mushrooms and onion (diced very fine), and cut the tomatoes.
  4. You can also make the aioli at this time. To do this, combine the mayo and Sriracha in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until serving.
  5. Add vegetable broth to a medium/large nonstick skillet or pot over medium high heat and add garlic, Cook for 30 seconds, stirring, then add mushrooms and onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and onion are softened. Remove from heat and drain out any liquid if there is any.
  6. In the same pot (no heat), stir in the soy sauce, pepper, breadcrumbs and flax egg until combined.
  7. When the black beans are ready, add the dried black beans to the pot. To do this, pick up both sides of the parchment paper carefully and transfer the beans by first shaking and then using a spatula to remove the beans that may stick to the paper. Save the parchment paper if desired (you’ll use it again later).
  8. Lightly mash the beans in the pot using a potato masher. You want some of the beans whole/halved; don’t over-mash. Once the beans are mashed, stir in the other ingredients with the beans until combined thoroughly.
  9. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into patties. To divide portions evenly, you can use your fingers to carve out 6 sections in the bowl (see photo above in recipe instructions). 
  10. Arrange patties on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, spaced out so they are not touching. Let rest for about 5 minutes, making sure the ingredients have time to bind together, then bake at 425° for 12 minutes.  Flip the burgers and cook for another 12 minutes. They are done with they are firm and starting to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
  11. To assemble, toast the hamburger buns, and top each bun half with a burger patty, 2-3 tomato slices, 1 tablespoon aioli sauce, a handful of arugula, and the remaining top halves of the buns. Serve with chips, sweet potato french fries or a small salad. These burgers pair perfectly with this Kale Quinoa Salad, Edamame Sesame Quinoa Salad, or Miso Peanut Coleslaw

Notes

  • These burgers are best fresh. Store these burgers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, you can put back in the oven for 12 minutes at 400° F. 
  • To freeze, put burgers between pieces of parchment paper so they don’t stick and put in a freezable container. Bake at 400° F (from frozen) for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through or until desired firmness.
  • Drying out the burgers in the oven IS an extra step, BUT it’s a really important one to make sure that your burgers are not mushy. Without drying out the beans, the recipe/flavors will still be good, but the burger will have a softer center. Check out this article or this one to learn even more about how to keep veggie burgers from being mushy.
  • Make sure the onions and mushrooms are chopped very fine. Big pieces will keep the burger from holding together.
  • I highly recommend using arugula in this recipe. It gives a unique peppery flavor that mixes so well with the spicy aioli.
  • I recommend using a coffee grinder to grind the flax seeds. I prefer to keep WHOLE flax seeds in a container in my fridge, as opposed to ground, because it tends to last longer. If you don’t have one and you can find ground flax seed, that works too. Just note that ground flax seed do not have as long a shelf life.
  • For a healthier option, you can try the burgers on lettuce wraps instead of hamburger buns.  

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 burger (including bun)
  • Calories: 329
  • Sugar: 7.9
  • Sodium: 522
  • Fat: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 57
  • Protein: 9

Keywords: shiitake black bean burgers, vegan black bean burgers, shiitake mushroom burgers

Update Notes: This post was originally published in January 2015 , but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and FAQs in August 2019.

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

8 Comments

  • Can I replace the shiitake mushrooms with shimeji mushrooms ?

    Reply
    • Hi Quinn, yes, I think shemeji mushrooms could work! Just chop them up really good so they don’t make the burgers break apart. =) Thanks!

      Reply
  • Made these tonight for a reluctant but hungry husband. He loved them! We both did. I halved the recipe and made 2 burgers. I also didn’t have panko so i used half the amount of ground oatmeal and it was fine. This one is definitely going into the rotation. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply
    • Yay, thank you Gina! So glad you liked this recipe. It’s one of my faves. =)

      Reply
  • Did you use dried shiitake mushrooms?

    Reply
    • Hi Jane, for this recipe I used regular non-dried shiitake mushrooms but I’m sure dried would work great too. 🙂 I’ve also made it without the mushrooms and it still tastes awesome.

      Reply
  • LOVE this recipe….the aioli and sweet potato fries are a MUST. I have made this recipe 2 weeks in a row!

    Reply
    • Wow, thank you Amy! This is one of my favorite go-to recipes! Glad you enjoyed it. =)

      Reply

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