Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tropical Black Bean Sliders

Trust me when I say this is a recipe everyone should have. Notice how I didn't say every vegan. Or every vegetarian. Nope, everyone. I made the massive mistake of just making one batch of these suckers for our housewarming party this weekend, and if I wasn't a few drinks in, I would have been seriously concerned about an uprising. They are good, and they go in a flash. And they are MINI! Which means, not only are they tasty, they are CUTE. I love all things mini almost as much as I love all things mango. Speaking of which...

I am really thinking I should have named my blog Banana Mango, given my love of mango and my almost constant substitution of banana for oil in baked goods, but in any case, I digress... The first time I served these black bean burgers with mango guacamole and a slice of mango. The second time (yes, just a few days later- we were trying to use up leftover buns from the party) I made them with pineapple salsa and mango puree. Both times were delicious. I can't decide which I like better, so best to just serve all of them ;-)

These little burgers are really easy to make, and I especially love that they can be made ahead. Both times I've made the patties the night before, so that I can easily just throw them in a pan and cook 'em up. Prep time is about 30-40 minutes, and cook time just under 10. Not bad for something so delish.

These hail from my new cookbook Chloe's Kitchen, which I think is great. I thought she was adorable on Cupcake Wars, love her espresso chip cookies, and have seen her on a few other spots with yummy looking recipes, so I was excited to see what else she had up her little vegan sleeve. We're off to a delicious start with these!

Recipe adapted from Chloe's Kitchen Black Bean Baby Cakes (I altered a few things, so see the cookbook for the original!)
Makes ~12 sliders (depending on patty size)
Black Bean Sliders
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 medium or large onion, finely chopped (or more if you really like onion)
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded finely
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (I used coarsely ground, but fine should work as well)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I recommend Panko)
  • 2.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning*
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
*I'm Maryland born and raised, so I think this makes a difference! But if you don't have Old Bay (what's wrong with you?!) or can't find it, you can just use 1 Tbsp chili powder. Trust me, it's not too much- the little bit of spice is good. 

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp (1-2 if you are using more onion) of olive oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion, and saute until browned and caramelized- this will take about 15 minutes. Make sure you watch the onions and stir them every now and then, but as they are cooking you can proceed to the next step.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients besides the olive oil into a large bowl and use the back of a large spoon to begin mashing it all together- you want to smooooooosh those beans, but it's ok to have some not completely mashed.
  3. When the onions are cooked, add them to the bowl with the bean mix, and complete your mashin': what you are looking for is the mixture to stick together enough to be able to form patties. If needed, and depending on the type of cornmeal and breadcrumbs you used, you may need to add a little more water to get it all to hold, but don't add more than a Tbsp at a time.
  4. Form little patties with your hand- the size of little slider buns. This is where you can stop and store the patties (Chloe says they can be frozen for up to a month or stored in the fridge for a few days), or proceed to cooking them.
  5. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan - you will likely need to cook in two batches, so you might need additional oil between batches (just a little!) - and cook the patties until browned on each side- about 3-4 minutes per side. 
Serve on a warmed slider bun with some lettuce and one of the toppings below- or all of them!

Don't go lazy and serve these with ketchup. DON'T. I love ketchup almost as much as my niece, who would eat it for breakfast on a spoon if she could, but it just won't do here. Step up your game and get tropical.

Mango Guacamole
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime, plus some zest
  • 1 cup fresh mango, sliced into bite sized chunks 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Additional mango slices for serving, optional
Mash the avocado and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Mango Pureé
  •  2 mangos, peeled, pitted, and sliced
Place in food processor until smooth. Yep, that's it ;-)

Pineapple Salsa
  • 1 cup pineapple, sliced in small chunks (fresh is better, but you could use canned)
  • 1-3 tsp finely chopped jalapeno (depending on how spicy you like it! Again, you could use canned here)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
Mix together.

As mentioned, I altered Chloe's burger recipe just a tad- I used slightly more carrot, less oil, a little less onion, and swapped out some of the regular old chili powder for Old Bay. I must admit, I usually don't like onion very much- I remember in one of the first cooking classes I took, I told the teacher I was vegetarian (at the time), and couldn't eat peppers or onions because they upset my stomach. She looked at me like I was an alien, and said, "Well I don't know what you can have. Everything has onions." Since then, I've learned that cooked onions, in moderation, are just fine- and believe me when I say they make a huge difference here. Even if you think you don't like onions either, carmalizing them changes everything- enhanced flavor, sweetness, and completely in concert with the rest of the ingredients. (Yeah, I just said "in concert with." It was that or "you complete me.")

These are definitely a new stand-by in my recipe favorites, and meat eaters and vegans alike love 'em. I highly recommend these sliders to anyone from a long time vegan to a meat lover who wants veggie options or has no clue what to serve vegetarians or vegans- since they are easy to make and easy to love!

Up next: pineapple quinoa and tropical take-me-aways....oooooo ;-)


  1. These look soooo yummy! I especially love that they don't contain any soy products or odd binders. Awesome! Thanks for your thoughtful feedback on my blog today (relating to the use of honey). I really appreciate your openness and positivity!

    1. thanks! and but of course! enjoyed your post, as usual!

  2. wow, these look fabulous! can't wait to try them. sounds perfect with a mango margarita!


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