Black Bean-Portobello Burgers with gluten free option

Is anyone else familiar with the SOS column in the LA Times food section? I just discovered it. Every week, people write in with recipe requests from restaurants and the newspaper does their best to get the restaurant to divulge the recipe. If the restaurant complies, the columnist adapts the recipe for home kitchens and publishes it. There is some good stuff there; I’ve made two great recipes since I discovered it last week.
I already have a black bean burger recipe on the blog, but this one looked better than mine. Also it let me experiment with a gluten-free option. Veggie burgers are usually bound with bread crumbs or oats, which are very often contaminated with gluten when being packaged, and thus off limits to people on a gluten-free diet . Another blogger (I wish I could remember who) used quinoa flakes, which are gluten free. I wanted to compare oats and quinoa flakes to have a conversion handy for future recipes. So, I divided the dough in half and made them two ways. The two versions looked different when the burgers were raw, but they were equally easy to handle and form into burgers; once cooked, the differences were nearly imperceptible. The quinoa version was slightly softer and held together better, but the flavors of both versions were identical. I used 1/3 cup of quinoa flakes for half, while the other half used 1/2 cup rolled oats.
Since I wasn’t trying to be faithful to a restaurant recipe, I made a few other changes, replacing some of the black beans with frozen corn for convenience, using store-bought pico de gallo, and reducing the sweetener somewhat.  We topped these with more pico and quacamole. Verdict: Best. Burgers. Ever. Next time I’m making twice as many so I can have some in the freezer.

I am sending these burgers to My Legume Love Affair, the event created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, and hosted this month by Vanessa of Sweet Artichoke. 

Black Bean-Portobello Burgers with gluten free option

Yield: 4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

For gluten-free burgers, use the quinoa flakes and rice flour options. Quinoa flakes can be found in health food stores, usually in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal. I used store-bought pico de gallo; see the original recipe to make your own.


  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for sautéing the burgers
  • 1/4 cup minced onion, red or yellow
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, about 4 to 5 ounces without stem, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 1 cup rolled oats or 2/3 cup quinoa flakes
  • A couple of tablespoons semolina flour or rice flour


Heat oven to 350 F. Oil a baking sheet. Pulse beans, corn, agave nectar, molasses, cumin, and salt in a food processor until the beans and corn are broken up. Leave the mixture a bit chunky. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and mushroom until brown, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pico de gallo and heat through. Add the mushrooms to the black beans. Add the rolled oats or quinoa flakes. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.

Divide into 4 portions and shape each into a burger. Transfer to the oiled baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until firm. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet and heat to medium. Cook patties for 2 to 3 minutes a side.


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3 Responses

  1. Ooh, I’m always up for trying new veggie burger recipes! I definitely love that this is breadcrumb-free and the molasses is a nifty touch. I bet I could feed this to my mushroom-hating boyfriend and he’d never know. :)

  2. Oh my goodness, that looks amazing Claire. Sitting here drooling. Yum!

  3. Thanks for sending your recipe to MLLA!
    I have a big weakness for veggie burgers and this one looks delicious!

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