Indian Spiced Black Bean & Tofu Burgers

Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

Hi! Here’s another way to incorporate more tofu in your life! I create delicious tofu recipes for Mori-Nu Tofu, made right here in the USA. Enjoy! Jaden

Y’all know I’m a true omnivore, given a choice between a vegetarian taco and a pulled pork taco, you know which one I’d choose. The closest I had ever gotten to a vegetarian burger was once I was accidentally given a Gardenburger at a restaurant instead of my order of a fancy $18 grass-fed, local, organic, massaged and manicured burger (the Gardenburger was for the other table).

Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

But when you go to a mostly vegan/vegetarian cafe like Simon’s Cafe in Sarasota, Florida, the burger of the day is a lentil burger. It came highly recommended from the waitress when I asked, “What do you recommend??”

Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

I love hearing what the waiters and waitresses recommend – but then I sort of feel obligated to order what they recommend. I guess I feel rude for asking them to take their time to rattle off their menu favorites and then totally disregard what they just said!


Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

The burger was nothing like I had imagined (While waiting for my meal, I was dreadfully thinking that the lentil burger would be dry, chalky, lentil-y, NOT MEAT….and then pissed off at myself for ordering it…..then pissed off that the waitress had recommended it.)

Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

All that huffing and puffing was totally unnecessary, and energy wasted. The vegetarian burger turned out to be everything that a meat burger WAS NOT…and in the most delicious way. It was seasoned generously with a blend of inviting, warm Indian spices and made of finely minced bell peppers, mushrooms, lentils, oats and other grains. The goat cheese was a perfect match – creamy yet assertive (a little goes a long ways) with a tangy punch.

Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

At the Steamy Kitchen kitchens, we’ve been testing different variations of bean burgers and came up with one that is just as fabulous as Simon’s – and maybe just slightly even better since these are very simple to make and really a 3-step recipe!

Throw vegetables and canned black beans in food processor. Mix in silken tofu (acts like a healthy, low-calorie, protein rice binder) and panko bread crumbs. If you have any leftover grains (rice, quinoa, wild rice, couscous) you can add that too. Form into patties and fry both sides. Of course, I couldn’t leave out the goat cheese!

Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

Indian Spiced Black Bean & Tofu Burgers Recipe Video


Indian Spiced Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

Servings: 6 (makes 6 burgers) Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
tofu blackbean sliders featured-0052

This recipe is also great for using leftover rice, brown rice wild rice, couscous, farro or quinoa. You can substitute up to 1/2 cup of bread crumbs with any of these items. So, if you have 1/2 cup leftover rice, you can use that + 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. In the video and photos, I used 1/2 cup quinoa + 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. You can make Black Bean and Tofu Sliders instead - just make 12 small patties and use slider buns.


1/4 red onion
1 bell pepper, cored
6 ounces fresh mushroom of your choice
One 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons garam masala seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
6 ounces soft silken tofu (I prefer Mori-nu brand)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons cooking oil
12 burger buns
mayonnaise (or soy mayonnaise)
2 cups fresh arugula
6 ounces goat cheese (or soy cheese)


Roughly chop the onion and bell pepper (it makes it easier for the food processor). In a food processor, add the first 6 ingredients. Pulse until the mixture becomes finely minced.

Drain the tofu and pat dry. With a large spoon, mix the tofu and the panko bread crumbs into the patty mixture. You can taste the mixture and add additional garam masala seasoning or salt, if needed. Refrigerate the patty mixture for at least 20 minutes (or up to overnight). The mixture should be moist, but just firm enough to hold a patty shape - if it is too wet, mix in 1/4 additional bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into 6-8 patties.

When ready to cook, heat a frying pan over medium heat and swirl in the cooking oil. When hot, carefully add as many patties that can fit without touching. Fry each side until it is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Assemble the patties onto each bun with mayonnaise, arugula and cheese.

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Comments 24

  1. megan

    I have been a vegetarian for years and I think you are completely right when you say a delicious Veggie burger is not like a meat burger at all. I love the complexity and vast array of good meatless patties and their endless combinations. In my opinion they can be so much more complex than a regular ol’ beef patty. I love making my own and I will add this one to my list of ‘burgers’ to try. Cheers

  2. Christiane ~ Taking On Magazines

    I would have been exactly like you, opting for the beef instead of beans, but seeing your burger, wow, I might reconsider. I would have never thought to use tofu as the binder, but if making a vegetarian burger, it makes total sense.

  3. Amy

    Hello, I am allergic to all soy.. could I use eggs to bind? Or other suggestions? almond meal or flax seeds?

  4. Vicki Bensinger

    Jaden these look amazing. I love black bean burgers and am always looking for a new recipe. These might me on my Sunday night menu. Great recipe and I love your video. Oh and my preference would be goat cheese too!

    I look forward to checking out your new book. Have a great weekend!

  5. Jeanne Kays

    I just made these tonight! Instead of a bell pepper, I used two roasted green chiles. I also “fried” the garam masala in a little oil (with the onions–I like my onions on the cooked side). They turned out great–even my 16-year-old daughter ate one and enjoyed it. Next time, I will use more spice for a bigger burst of flavor. We happened to have curry ketchup on hand, which complemented the burgers very nicely (I am vegan, so I passed on the goat cheese). Thanks for the delish recipe!

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  7. Dan S

    Wow! Looks amazing! Such a creative dish! Looks pretty easy also. I’ve gotta give it a try. thanks for sharing!

  8. French Cooking for Dummies

    They look so cute!!! I’m not a big veggie burger eater either but I’m definitely going to try these 😉 The lentil version you mention sounds interesting too, I might be cooking and eating more veggie burgers in the near future after all!

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  11. Elsa

    Great Recipe!!!!! I’ve experimenting with different combination of ingredients for a percfect veggie burger. Your recipe is spot on. My picky eaters love this burgers. My search is over, for now on this is the veggie burger we will be eating at home. Thank you for sharing it.

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  13. Joe

    Looks like a great recipe. I am definitely a carnivore but these days, I need to rethink my ways and this recipe could definitely help me do that. Would I be able to substitute oatmeal (roughly ground) for the panko?

    1. Post

      Hi Joe – I’ve not tried oatmeal instead of panko. I can imagine that the oatmeal probably wouldn’t be a good substitute, since it needs to be cooked. How about cooked quinoa? I’m sure that would be excellent substitution.

      1. Kea

        I’ve always used oatmeal as a binder – no need to cook it it’s totally great to use raw. I’ve also pulsed almonds and used almond meal, usually that works as well. I can’t see cooked quinoa giving the same texture! Flour (any variety) can be used, you might not get the same texture though.

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