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The Best High-Protein Black Bean Veggie Burgers

I love veggie burgers, but they are often seriously lacking in protein.

We’re changing that with this high-protein veggie burger recipe. Each veggie burger contains 265 calories and 20 grams of protein, making it an incredible way to get your daily protein in.

High Protein Black Bean Burger

These veggie burgers are packed with flavor, and unlike many veggie burgers out there, are surprisingly filling.

I love a good beef burger, but something about a veggie burger just really hits the spot sometimes. And thanks to black beans, corn, pepper, and onion, these veggie burgers are loaded up with a ton of veggies (and fiber) to keep you on track.

While plant-based meat, like the Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger, is a great way to substitute meat in your diet, a delicious veggie burger is just what you need sometimes.

And to make these high protein veggie burgers, we’re mixing some wheat protein into these patties. The wheat protein (otherwise known as vital wheat gluten) acts as a binder in these veggie burgers and gives us the extra protein we are after.

Holding veggie burger

This recipe makes 6 large patties, and as someone with a pretty huge appetite, I can vouch for just how filling each one is. Plus, when each high protein burger contains as much protein as a protein bar, it’s more than enough protein to help you hit your protein goals.

If you prefer a smaller patty, like the Morningstar veggie burgers, you can very easily form smaller patties instead!

Unfortunately, this black bean burger recipe is not fully vegan, but you can definitely make substitutions to accommodate a vegan diet. I didn’t test a vegan version, but I provided notes at the bottom of the recipe card for that.


How to make High-Protein Veggie Burgers

These veggie burgers come together by blending up all of the ingredients and then forming veggie burger patties, but there’s one important step that must be done before that.

We’re going to drain & rinse the two cups of black beans, then bake them in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Black beans on baking sheet

I learned this trick from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and it is extremely beneficial when making black bean burgers.

When you bake the black beans, you dry them out so the final burger patties are not extremely moist and mushy. Essentially, it helps the burgers hold their structure!

The only other prep that is needed for these veggie burgers is sauteeing together some pepper, onion, and garlic.

Sauteed pepper and onion

After about 5 minutes, the pepper and onion should be cooked down enough, and we’re ready to blend everything together!

We’re going to add all of our ingredients to the blender except for the black beans and corn. Here’s everything we’ll be blending together:

  • Pepper & Onion
  • Tomato Paste
  • Eggs
  • Feta Cheese
  • Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Red Pepper Flakes (can be omitted for slightly less spice)

Blend everything together for a few seconds until all of the egg and seasoning/wheat protein have mixed together. You can mix by hand, but a blender will make this significantly easier.

Add the corn and black beans in last, then pulse or quickly blend everything together until it is all incorporated.

Black bean burger mixture in blender

The mixture will be very loose, but that’s to be expected! Since we’re not using any breadcrumbs in this black bean veggie burger recipe, the mixture isn’t quite as thick as you may expect.

Still, you’ll be able to scoop the mixture right out of the blender and form the burger patties directly on a baking sheet.

Simply scoop the mixture out for your patties, then use your hands to pat the mixture down into patties. If you find the mixture to be a bit sticky, you can wet your hands with a little cold water to make it easier.

Veggie burgers on baking sheet

I chose to make six patties, but they are definitely on the larger side. 8 smaller patties would work as well, but I enjoy them being a bit larger.

Bake the veggie burgers in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. I chose not to flip my burgers and they still came out great, but you can also flip them halfway through if you want both sides to crisp up a bit.

These burgers can also be made in the air fryer, but since you can’t make as many at one time, I prefer the oven.

If you prefer a crisp to your burgers, I recommend heating a small amount of olive oil in a pan and quickly frying up your veggie burger patties before serving.

Protein black bean burgers

Once they’ve baked, remove them from the oven to cool for a few minutes, then assemble your veggie burgers!

These black bean burgers are packed with a ton of flavor, so you likely won’t need a ton of toppings on your burgers, but add any of your favorite burger toppings.

You can’t go wrong with a buttery brioche bun as well, but you can also use whole wheat buns, bread, a gluten-free bun, or leave the bun out all together.

Black bean burger patties

Since these burgers have a southwest flavor to them, I chose to top mine with guacamole, red onion, and hot sauce. A chipotle mayo or spicy ketchup would also be great additions.

Pair your homemade veggie burgers with some French fries, and you’ll have yourself one incredible meal.

Protein veggie burgers

Keep any leftover burger patties stored in an airtight container the fridge and heat them up throughout the week to enjoy a quick lunch or dinner whenever you need it.

If you want them to last even longer, you can freeze them individually to reheat at a later date.

And if you get tired of the same meal time after time, these black bean burgers also make great quesadillas.

Black bean quesadillas

Break the burger patties up in a pan to create a quick ground “meat” for quesadillas, add some guacamole, cheese, and salsa, and you’ll have yourself a high-protein quesadilla in just minutes.


Substitutions for Veggie Burger Patties

One great thing about making veggie burgers is that you can add or remove your favorite vegetables and customize the flavor to your preference. For example, you can replace the black beans & corn with chickpeas to create Mediterranean chickpea burgers, or add sweet potatoes to turn these into delicious sweet potato burgers.

The black beans give these burgers a nice meaty texture, but you can also accomplish that same texture with any other favorite bean of yours, like kidney beans or white beans.

Here are some other possible substitutions for this recipe…

Vital Wheat Gluten: The wheat gluten in this recipe acts as our binder and protein source, and I’ve found that it works the best. However, I know that most people aren’t stocked with it in their pantries. I highly recommend buying some, but if not, unflavored protein powder will also work. The patties didn’t hold up quite as well with whey protein powder, but they still worked!

You can also replace the wheat gluten with oat flour or almond flour, but the overall protein content will be lower.

Egg: The egg holds everything together in this recipe, and without it, the burger will likely fall apart on you. If you need a vegan substitute, you should be able to use flax egg or bottled vegan eggs that you find at the store.

Feta Cheese: I recommend feta cheese for these because it blends up extremely well to act as a thickener. I wasn’t sure if the flavor would work with black beans and corn, but you don’t end up tasting a distinct feta flavor at all. You can use another cheese in its place, or even a dairy-free cheese if you need to keep this dairy-free.


More High-Protein Plant-Based Recipes

Bite of veggie burger

My specialty isn’t plant-based foods, but I’m slowly trying to add more vegan recipes to my arsenal! Whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, or simply want more plant-based foods in your diet, here are some more delicious recipes for you:


High protein black bean burgers

High-Protein Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Yield: 6 Veggie Burgers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

I absolutely love veggie burgers, but they are often lacking in protein. Our homemade high-protein veggie burgers contain 20 grams of protein per patty, making it easy to hit your protein goals every day.



  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (can be omitted for slightly less spice)


  1. Drain and rinse the black beans, then spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes to dry them out. This makes a very big difference so the patties aren't too moist, so don't skip this part!
  2. While the black beans bake, dice up your pepper and onion and add them to a pan with your minced garlic. Sautee over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until they are slightly cooked down, then remove them from the heat.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add all of the ingredients except for the black beans and corn.
  4. Run the blender for a few seconds, scrape down the edges, then run again. We want to blend the mixture until all of the egg and spices have mixed together, but we don't want to completely blend it down into a paste.
  5. Once the black beans have dried out, add them to the blender along with the corn. Pulse or blend for a few seconds to incorporate them into the mixture and break them down a bit, but not completely. Note: you can hand mix everything as well and mush up some of the black beans and corn, but using a blender is the easiest method.
  6. Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  7. Scoop out some of the veggie burger mixture and place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I chose to make 6 large patties, but 8 slightly smaller patties will work great as well. The patties will be loose, so simply scoop the mixture onto the baking sheet then pat them down to form them into patties. Wetting your hands with cold water also helps limit the stickiness.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. You can cook these patties in a pan as well, but baking in the oven keeps the process hands-off.
  9. After 20 minutes, remove the veggie burgers from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying them.
  10. Assemble the veggie burger any way you'd like, or keep leftover veggie burger patties stored in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week.


  • To make vegan burgers: Use a vegan egg substitute, like flax, and swap the cheese out for vegan cheese. The veggie burgers may not hold together quite as well without the egg, but it will definitely still work.
  • I know that Wheat Gluten isn't a super common ingredient, but it works really really well as a binder here. I did a test batch with unflavored PEScience protein powder, and it also worked, just not quite as well (the patties ended up spreading a little more). You can use any flour as a binder as well, but it will lower the final protein count.
  • I chose to not flip the burgers in the oven and it worked totally fine, but if you want to get a slight crisp on each side, you can flip them halfway through.
  • If you make 8 smaller patties, each veggie burger will have 200 calories and 15 grams of protein, which is still a great protein source.
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    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1 Veggie Burger Patty
    Amount Per Serving Calories 265Total Fat 4gCarbohydrates 39gFiber 11gProtein 20g

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    About Matt Rosenman

    With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More

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