Summer is all about a few trips to the beach, baseball and a good burger. Unfortunately, the traditional American hamburger isn't diet-friendly. Unfortunately, hamburgers are full of things that are bad for you–mostly a lot of calories and heart-clogging fat.

Luckily, there are substitutes, and one of the best is the black bean burger. It's filling, it's tasty and, most importantly, it's incredibly healthy. Here's why:

  • Black beans, which make up the majority of the black bean burger, are incredibly high in fiber, protein and molybdenum, an essential element that fights cancer. More importantly, they have a texture that is more similar to red meat than other non-read meat burgers
  • Of course the beans don't stick together by themselves. They need an agent that allows you to shape them into perfect patties. Black bean burgers are held together by a mixture that includes eggs, which are extremely high in protein
  • Olive oil, which is high in all the cholesterol-fighting good fats your body needs, makes up the other portion of the mixture. You can never go wrong with olive oil–unless you use too much
  • Farro, a little-used grain, is the secret ingredient in a black bean burger. Farro is full of fiber and magnesium, which every body needs to burn maximum calories and function properly
  • Of course no burger is fulfilling without proper seasoning, and the black bean burger calls for liberal amounts of basil, cilantro and pepper–all of which taste great and give the body a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.


  • 1 ¼ c. dry black beans: rinsed, soaked for four hours and then drained
  • 3 ½ T. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. farro
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. basil, chopped
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 t. ground pepper
  • 8 buns, lightly toasted


  1. Cover the beans with 2 in. of water in a large saucepan. Simmer over low-medium heat for approx. 1 hour until tender, stirring occasionally. Make sure to add water to keep the beans submerged in 2 in. of water.
  2. While the beans are simmering, heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the farro and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring throughout. Then add 1 ½ cups water and a little salt and boil. Once boiling, cover the saucepan and simmer for approx. 30 minutes until it is al dente.
  3. In a skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Incorporate the onion and cook over medium-high heat, until the onion is soft. Then incorporate the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for approx. 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. In a food processor, add the beans (minus ½ cup) and pulse into a chunky mixture.
  5. Add the pureed beans, remaining ½ cup of beans, farro, onion mix, lightly beaten eggs, bread crumbs, chopped basil, chopped cilantro, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Form this mixture into 8 burger patties, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Heat 1/8 in. vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the burger patties and cook over medium-high heat for approx. 3 minutes, until brown. Then flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes, until both sides are brown and the patties are heated through.
  7. Transfer the patties into the toasted buns and serve.