This is one of the base recipes featured in Part 2 of our Whole Life Meal Plan. Substituting beans for part of the beef in a traditional burger helps cut saturated fat while still providing quality protein. This beef and bean burger recipe is packed with plenty of flavor and moisture to satisfy your burger cravings!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Beef and Bean Burger
Learning how to make this beef and bean burger recipe is way less complicated than it sounds! Follow these culinary tips for guaranteed success.
If you have picky eaters, dice the onion or shallot finely so that they don’t notice them.
When mixing the ingredients or forming the patties, don’t overwork the meat. Otherwise, the burgers will turn out tough.
Match the patty size to your bun, noting that they will slightly shrink as they cook. No one likes a tiny patty on a big bun!
Use a food thermometer to check for doneness for food safety; 155ºF is the desired internal temperature.
You can cook these burgers on the stovetop instead of the oven, but note they don’t stay together quite as well. Heat a skillet over medium. Add oil to the pan. Once the oil is shimmering, add the patties. Cook 4-5 minutes per side.
If cooking burgers on the stovetop, remember the 3 F’s of flavor: fire, fat, and food! Heat your pan, heat your oil, then add the burgers. Once the burgers are on the skillet, don’t move them around. Keeping them in place helps ensure maximum flavor development and browning.
- Beans: use any low-sodium beans of your choice. Black, pinto, lentils, chickpeas, cannellini, kidney, etc. You can also use 1 ½ cups of leftover beans from our stovetop or Instant Pot beans base recipes.
- Ground Beef: substitute ground bison, lamb, venison, chicken, or turkey. If using venison, chicken, or turkey, add 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to the burger mixture, as these are lower fat meats.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: substitute plain, whole wheat, or seasoned bread crumbs, but cut back on the added salt if you do. Panko is typically very low in sodium. If you want burgers without breadcrumbs, leave them out! Just note that they might not hold together as well.
- Shallot or Onion: use white, yellow, red, or green onions. You can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.
- Fresh Herbs: use any herb or combination of herbs, keeping in mind the final flavor or cuisine that you want. Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, Italian parsley, and rosemary are all great choices. Don’t have fresh herbs on hand? Substitute 1-2 Tablespoons dried herbs. Note that some herbs, like sage and dill, have stronger flavors, so start with 1 Tablespoon. You can also substitute pesto, but note that it may slightly affect the final texture due to its higher (healthy) fat content.
- Garlic: substitute ½ teaspoon garlic flakes, ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute canola or avocado oil or cooking spray.
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste!
Change up these burgers by changing the meat. Make juicy turkey burgers or healthy chicken burgers for leaner variations.
Choose optional mix-ins that pair well together. It is helpful to have a cuisine or flavor profile in mind when choosing ingredients. Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Indian, or Mediterranean ingredients are just some options that would be delicious with this recipe.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
Turn these beef burgers into sliders by reducing the patty size to ~2 inches in diameter.
While we recommend cooking beef burgers with beans in the oven or on the stovetop, you are welcome to try grilling them. We’d love to hear how they turn out for you!
Use these other burger and meatball recipes for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors and ingredients!
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Spoons & Cups
- Cutting Board
- Chef’s Knife
- Pastry Brush
- Baking sheet or griddle
Is this beef and bean burger recipe healthy?
Not all burgers are healthy on their own, but they can definitely be included in a well-balanced diet. These bean and beef burgers are a much healthier choice than their greasy counterparts; by adding beans, you increase fiber while decreasing saturated fat. The featured ingredients in this recipe are beans, grass-fed beef, and fresh herbs.
Beans of all varieties contain plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. Beans are a key component of longevity diets around the world.
Red meat is not inherently bad. Most people just eat way too much and the wrong kind. Even people in the world’s longest-lived populations eat meat on occasion! The key is to eat high-quality meat, in small portions, and not too often.
Beef is a rich source of protein, B vitamins, and iron. Grass-fed ground beef is higher in healthy monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. (4, 5) We recognize that grass-fed beef is usually more expensive than grain-fed beef, but because you are “stretching” the meat by adding beans into the recipe, it is definitely worth the cost, and the price difference essentially works itself out. By cutting back on the amount of meat you eat, you can afford to eat the high-quality stuff when you want.
Not only do fresh herbs add a pop of freshness and flavor to a dish, but they add nutrition too! Herbs are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that promote health and help fight diseases.
Depending on the flavor combinations you choose, serve burgers with traditional ketchup and mustard, lettuce and tomato, a tasty pesto spread, or pickled veggies and avocado. Pair with roasted vegetables and a salad for a balanced meal that the whole family will love!
Serve leftover patties crumbled on tostadas or quesadillas, or on top of a salad drizzled with vinaigrette.
How to Store and Reheat Beef and Bean Burgers
Cool leftover burgers completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Leftover burgers can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place on a baking sheet and freeze for 1-4 hours. Once the burgers are partially frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating.
To reheat, place burgers on a pan and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to heat to 350ºF. Once the oven hits 350° F, your burgers should be warmed and ready!
Want more nutritious dinner recipes?
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Beef and Bean Burger Base Recipe
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
- 1 – 15 ounce can low-sodium beans, drained
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs (whole grain suggested)
- 1 medium shallot or ¼ small onion (~¼ cup diced)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced (or 1 large clove)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash pepper
- ½ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray (for the baking sheet)
- 8 whole grain hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup pesto
- ¼ cup shredded or crumbled cheese
- ¼ – 2 teaspoons spices and/or dried herbs
- Sliced tomato
- Lettuce or leafy greens
- Pickled vegetables
- Sliced or mashed avocado
- Ketchup, barbecue sauce, or hot sauce
- Greek yogurt ranch dip or aioli
- Sliced or shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.*
- Place beans in a large mixing bowl and lightly mash.
- Add beef, shallot, herbs, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and any optional mix-ins. Mix until just combined.
- Lightly brush a baking sheet with oil. Create 8 patties with your hands and place on the pan, spaced at least 1” apart.
- Cook 10-12 minutes or until cooked through to 155ºF. Serve on toasted buns with desired toppings. Enjoy!