Candle 79’s Famous Black Bean Chipotle Vegan Burgers


In my opinion, a collection of healthy recipes isn’t complete without a good homemade veggie burger. It’s time to forgo the frost-bitten, pre-made patties for nutrient-rich vegan burgers that you can whip up at home!

Candle 79 Black Bean Chipotle Vegan Burgers - a healthy recipe from a famous vegan restaurant!

These black bean vegan burgers come from the chefs at Candle 79 and their prized collection in the Candle 79 CookbookThe recipe is packed with wholesome ingredients, and for the most part, it uses everyday foods, but it does have one little twist. The chefs add a little bit of kombu, a type of black seaweed used in Japanese cuisine, when the cooking the beans. Kombu reportedly adds flavor while improving the digestibility of the beans. If you can’t locate any kombu, you can omit it … but seek it out in the Asian food section of your grocer (or purchase online) if you get the chance!

Special Diet Notes: Black Bean Chipotle Vegan Burgers

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

Candle 79's Famous Black Bean– Chipotle Vegan Burgers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan burgers and fries are perennial lunch time favorite. At Candle 79, we spice our hearty bean and rice based vegan burgers with the rich and smoky flavors of chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika. We top it with slices of creamy avocado and serve it with a side of polenta fries (recipe also in the Candle 79 Cookbook) and no one ever misses the meat. Note that the dried beans must soak for at least 6 hours, and while the cook time is long, it is mostly hands off.
Serves: 6 to 8 burgers
  • 1½ cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1-inch piece kombu
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 6 to 8 burger rolls (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Avocado slices, for serving (optional)
  1. Put the beans in a saucepan or bowl and add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover and soak for at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse.
  2. Put the beans, kombu, onions, chipotle powder, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1½ to 2 hours. Most of the liquid should be absorbed by the beans, but add a bit more water if they seem too dry. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the kombu and bay leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, put the rice and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat, stir once, cover, and simmer until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and season with pepper. Cook the pumpkin seeds, stirring and shaking the pan, until they are lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Combine the rice, beans, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth, adding the reserved cooking liquid from the beans as needed to keep the mixture moist enough to stick together. Return the mixture to the bowl, mix everything together, and form patties about 3-1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.
  6. To bake the burgers, preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and put the burgers on it. Brush the burgers with oil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes, turning the burgers halfway through cooking. To pan-fry the burgers, coat a sauté pan with olive oil and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for about 4 minutes per side.
  7. To grill the onion slices, lightly brush with olive oil and sauté them in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, 2 minutes per side.
  8. Serve the burgers on toasted burger rolls with the onion slices and avocado slices, if desired.
Wine Pairing Notes: LaRocca Cabernet Sauvignon, California Farming organically in Butte and Sutter Counties for twenty-six years, LaRocca makes full-flavored wines with no added sulfites. Their Cabernet Sauvignon, at home on many a backyard picnic table, is dry and rich, with cedar and spices on the finish that pair perfectly with smoky black bean burgers.

Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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