Veggie Black Bean Burgers with Green Tea Basil Aioli


I drink more tea than water. Okay, technically, most of what I drink isn’t truly “tea” – I’m an herbal fan, as I’ve never tolerated caffeine very well – but green and white teas are often a part of my morning wake-up call. Yet, even with the many mugs I down a day, I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with any of these brewed hot beverages. That faux pas is finally coming to an end thanks to this wonderful recipe for black bean burgers and its source: the new cookbook Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, by my friend Annelies.

Veggie Black Bean Burgers with Green Tea Basil Aioli - this flavorful recipe is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free and a feature from the cookbook Steeped, by Annelies Zijderveld

To be clear, Steeped is a vegetarian cookbook, but aside from that, it isn’t specific to any type of special diet. There are recipes with flour, eggs, and yes, even dairy, but it’s still a gem, in my opinion, for any tea lover or person interested in a little culinary adventure.

Steeped: Recipes Infused with TeaWith its old-fashioned hard back look and embossed gold accents, Steeped is a wonderful throwback to the simple pleasures of afternoon tea, but the recipes are delightfully modern and innovative.

Aside from the black bean burgers below, there are many naturally dairy-free recipes in Steeped that have perked up my interest. Just a few include: Sally’s Masala Chai Pumpkin Bread, Cranberry Coconut Rooibos Porridge, Ginger Mango Green Tea Smoothie, Earl Grey Soba Noodle Salad, Chamomile Corn Chowder, Orange Jasmine Brussels Sprouts, and Jasmine Cacao Nib Meringues.

For my dairy-free and dairy-low gang, a little less than half of the recipes in Steeped are naturally dairy-free (about the same for gluten-free), and a handful are very easy to adapt with a quick ingredient swap. The rest are best for those who have moderate to advanced skills in altering recipes to be dairy-free and/or would simply love some tea cooking and baking inspiration. Personally, the Swedish Mushroom “Meatballs” and Mini Chai Cherry Pies are on my “must modify and make” list!

But lets start off with one of those naturally dairy-free recipes for a sneak preview inside Steeped, shall we? The aforementioned Veggie Black Bean Burgers with Homemade Green Tea Infused Aioli follows …

Veggie Black Bean Burgers with Green Tea Basil Aioli - this flavorful recipe is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free and a feature from the cookbook Steeped, by Annelies Zijderveld
Photo credit: Stephanie Shih

Special Diet Notes: Veggie Black Bean Burgers

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

Confuse Eggs with Dairy? You’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?

Can this Recipe by Vegan? I think it can. To make the black bean burgers egg-free, I would use a hearty substitute like Neat Egg, or swap in mashed avocado or tomato paste thinned lightly with a little liquid (tea perhaps?!) – about 1/3 to 1/2 cup total, to get the right consistency. The burgers will be a little softer. Another option that isn’t soy-free is pureed silken tofu. For the aioli, skip the egg yolks, oil and Dijon, and use vegan mayonnaise instead. You’ll want to adjust all ingredients to taste – this may take a bit of experimenting!

Veggie Black Bean Burgers with Green Tea Basil Aioli
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Toasted pecans are the key to these black bean beauties, along with the matcha in the piquant aïoli. Serve as you like (perhaps in a lettuce wrap?). I put them on whole wheat buns smeared with aïoli and dressed with lettuce and tomato.
Serves: 6 to 8 burgers
Black Bean Burgers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, shredded (½ cup)
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (see notes in post above on eggs)
  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs (gluten-free, if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Green Tea Basil Aioli
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves
  • 3 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
To Make the Black Bean Burgers:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 18-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place a 2-quart fry pan over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the oil to coat. Sauté the carrot, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and salt for about 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Turn off the heat.
  3. Drain both cans of beans. Pour one can into a large bowl. Pour the other into a food processor with the pecans and cooked vegetables and pulse to a coarse paste.
  4. Add to the whole beans. Mix in the eggs, breadcrumbs, and red pepper flakes. Mound ½-cup patties onto the baking sheet, pressing lightly to flatten. Leave a ½ inch between patties.
  5. Bake 45 minutes, or until dry and a bit crisp.
To Make the Green Tea Aioli:
  1. Purée the garlic, basil, matcha, yolks, lemon juice, and mustard with a blender or food processor. Add the oil in a slow stream until smooth.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Recipe reprinted with permissions from Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea by Annelies Zijderveld, Andrews McMeel Publishing.

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.


  1. I LOVE Annelies’ book too! It’s such a thoughtfully-crafted collection of beautiful recipes. I’ll be sharing my review of it soon. 🙂

    These burgers are gorgeous and I love all the flavors from the different veggies going on…and that aioli – yum!!

  2. Annelies’ book is gorgeous… she was recently in Portland and sampled us several delicious recipes. I have had my eye on this basil aioli since I received the book, one of my favorite things!

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