Vegetarian or Vegan Black Bean Cakes with Avocado Cream will become your go-to recipe on Meatless Monday...or any time you want to enjoy a tasty and healthy burger of black beans, corn and lots of spice. Cool things off with a quick avocado cream sauce topping! Tips to customize and make ahead!
I am unapologetic about my love of black beans (and cilantro too...but, that's another story!) If your kids, or any naysayers for that matter, say they don't like beans, then introduce them to a recipe using the mild-flavored black bean variety that includes other flavors or types of cuisine they already enjoy.
And, if burgers make a regular appearance on the menu, try these Black Bean Cakes with fresh corn, green onions and Panko breadcrumbs. Put it on a bun, top like a burger...or slather on some avocado cream.
We call that the "icing" on the cake. Pun intended. 🙂
How to Make Black Bean Cakes Step-by-Step
Make Vegetarian or Vegan Black Bean cakes. Since my daughter is vegan, we make them both ways.
Mash about 3 cups of black beans using a fork or potato masher until they are the desired consistency. We like the beans a little chunky. Use a food processor for a smoother consistency.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the mashed beans: corn off the cob, fresh cilantro, whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, mayonnaise (clean-eating and/or vegan alternative) and red pepper flakes.
These cakes pack some heat due to the red pepper flakes. Leave that spice out for a milder taste.
Use about a ¼ cup of the mixture and form 12 patties. They will be on the small size, which makes them easier to work with in the frying pan.
It's best to let them congeal for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) in the refrigerator, if possible. We're going to cover the second pan with a lid and plastic wrap and freeze them for later. We did this all the time at our make ahead meal assembly store!
When you are ready to make dinner, spray a pan with olive oil. But, don't put use too much. If you do, the black bean cakes will quickly soak up the oil and become extremely fragile during the cooking process. Allow them to cook for about 4 minutes on each side, turning only once if possible.
Once cooked, remove the black bean cakes to a paper plate lined with paper towels. If you let them sit for a few minutes, they will firm up a little more.
Top the black bean cakes with sour cream, Greek yogurt or fresh guacamole. Or, make avocado cream which is a pureed mixture of a Hass avocado, sour cream (or vegan substitute,) lemon juice and garlic. This cool topping perfectly offsets the heat!
Black Bean Cake Recipe Variations
If you want to:
Make them ahead of time and store in the freezer - Assemble them into patties and freeze for up to two months. Defrost completely before cooking.
Make vegan black bean cakes - Use a vegan "mayonnaise" and "sour cream." The mayonnaise is the "glue" of this recipe so to speak. This recipe was tested using vegan products!
Keep them clean and healthy - Use mayonnaise and sour cream or Greek yogurt with real, minimally processed organic ingredients and whole wheat breadcrumbs.
Make gluten-free cakes - Use gluten-free bread crumbs or cooked quinoa.
Make them kid-friendly - Leave out the crushed red pepper and create a burger complete with ketchup, cheese and bun.
Leave out the cilantro - Do it!
Make appetizer-sized cakes - Make small Tablespoon-sized cakes. They're a sure party hit!
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Black Bean Cakes and Avocado Cream Sauce
Black Bean Cakes
- 30 ounces black beans 2 cans drained, but not rinsed or about 3 cups
- ½ cup green onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup corn cut off the cob (about 1 corn cob)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs whole wheat
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- Olive oil cooking spray
Avocado Cream Sauce
- 1 Hass avocado
- ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 garlic clove minced or pressed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Black Bean Cakes
- Mash black beans with a potato masher or fork. Mixture will be slightly chunky.
- Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Form mixture into patties about a ¼ cup each in size.
- Allow patties to gel in refrigerator for 30 minutes if possible (or overnight.)
- Lightly spray frying pan with olive oil.
- Place black bean cakes in pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once.
- Remove to plate lined with paper towels and allow to set for several minutes.
- Serve with avocado cream or toppings such as sour cream or guacamole.
Avocado Cream Sauce
- Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.