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  • Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Black Bean Burgers and Waffle Fries

These hearty Black Bean Burgers are so flavorful, your family won’t mind eating this meatless meal. Made from black beans, peppers, and onions, seasoned with garlic, cumin, oregano and more, this meal will have you excited to start a “Meatless Monday” tradition.

The traditional American diet is heavily meat-based. These days, there’s a lot of buzz out there about giving up meat and animal products for a purely plant-based diet. Honestly, there is a lot of science behind the health benefits of incorporating more plant-based foods. It protects against cancer and heart disease, improves high blood pressure and diabetes and so much more.

So yes, there is a lot of good reason to eat more plants. But don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you to become a Vegan. As an advocate for practical nutrition for regular, everyday people, and as a dietitian opposed to anything extreme, I will never recommend cutting out entire food groups. Animal-based foods also add a lot of nutritional quality to your overall diet. What I will tell you is to shift the balance by choosing plant-based foods more often than you do right now. To do this, it helps to have a few really good meatless recipes!

This meal is quite easy to prepare. Basically, you put all the ingredients in a bowl, mash them together and form it into patties. Then you brown the patties in a skillet and serve them hot.

A few tips to ensure a successful black bean patty—be sure to drain, rinse and pat dry the black beans before mashing them. Also be sure to press out the excess liquid from the onions and peppers. Too much liquid is the most common reason that black bean patties fall apart when trying to cook them.

I served these up on a whole grain thin-bun so that there was less bread and more burger (however I gave my kiddos a traditional hamburger bun). Top it with Pepper Jack cheese, spinach, avocado and tomatoes and you’ve got a pretty awesome burger!

I paired this with steamed green beans and Waffle Fries. This is a simple recipe involving hashbrown potatoes, seasonings and eggs. Mix it up and cook it up in a waffle iron and you get a tasty, crispy “waffle fry”.

I will be honest, my kids were a little less impressed with this meal. They tried it and then proclaimed they liked real hamburgers better. But hey! They tried it! It was definitely a new food, and hamburgers are definitely a favorite. I get it! But I’m certain with more exposures to this meal, they will be more receptive to it.

So in conclusion, it’s always a good idea to eat more plants. And this meal is a great way to do just that.

The Meal:

  • 1 Black Bean Burger

  • Thin bun, 1 oz Pepper Jack cheese

  • Spinach, avocado, tomato

  • 1 serving of Waffle Fries

  • 1 cup steamed green beans

Recipe Used in this meal:


Black Bean Burgers

Serving size: 1 patty

Servings per Recipe: 6


  • 3 ½ cups black beans

  • 1 small bell pepper

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 ½ tsp minced garlic

  • 1 ½ Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

  • ¾ tsp cumin

  • 1 ½ tsp oregano

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¾ tsp pepper

  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder

  • 2 eggs (beaten)

  • Cooking Spray


  1. Drain and rinse the black beans. Pat dry with a paper towel. Mash well with a fork.

  2. Chop onion and bell pepper in a food processor. Place in a strainer and press out the excess liquid (Too much liquid will prevent the patties from holding together well). Add to the mashed black beans.

  3. Add garlic, chia seeds, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and chili powder to the black bean mixture. Mix in beaten eggs until well combined.

  4. Measure a ½ cup of the bean mixture and form into a patty. Shape on wax paper.

  5. Cook in a skillet, well coated with cooking spray. Cook 5-7 minutes per side, until browned and crispy. Serve hot on bun with desired toppings.


Waffle Fries

Serving size: 1 waffle section

Servings per Recipe: 6


  • 6 cups shredded hash brown potatoes

  • 2 eggs (beaten)

  • ½ tsp seasoned salt

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ½ tsp paprika

  • ½ tsp garlic salt


  1. Allow hash brown potatoes to thaw for 10 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, mix seasoned salt, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, and garlic salt together. Stir to combine.

  3. Add beaten eggs and seasonings to the potatoes. Toss to coat.

  4. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and cook in batches for 10-12 minutes. Waffles should be crisp and golden brown. Hold hot in oven set to 170º until ready to serve.


Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts label for Black Bean Burger (patty only):

Nutrition Facts Label for Waffle Fries:

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