Black bean burgers with garlic rosemary fries (vegetarian)

I love burgers.

I love those burgers that are so big that you can’t even open your mouth wide enough to take a bite out of them. The ones where beef juice is running down your hands; the ones that you can’t put back on the plate because it will just fall apart (Mike, you know what I mean). Yeah, those burgers. I used to eat them all the time when I was younger. But as I’ve gotten a little older, I have tried to limit the amount of red meat I eat. Meaning, I don’t usually get to experience the greasy, dripping mess of a burger that I love.

I am always looking for recipes for “burgers” without ground beef. I have come up with some really tasty ones, especially these BBQ chicken burgers I made earlier in the year. But, I still found myself missing that beefy flavor that you just can’t get from anything other than red meat.

Until now. These have a meaty and rich taste that makes you feel like you are eating something other than beans and vegetables. They are really really good! The mushrooms give it that meaty flavor and the beans add a really nice texture to this burger. Also, the addition of the steak sauce adds an amazing, but subtle flavor that reminds me of eating meat.

These burgers are super easy to prepare and can definitely be made ahead of time. They freeze really well so if you wanted to make these a few days/weeks/months ahead of time, you can just throw them in the freezer and have an amazing, meat-free dinner ready in no time!

I served these burgers up with some homemade french fries that are addictingly good. They have a garlic rosemary salt on them which gives them amazing flavor and once you start making fries like this, you will NEVER go back to however you were doing it before!

Ingredients

2 can black beans, drained and rinsed but kept separated
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbl basil, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian seasoned)
3 Tbl Al Steak sauce
salt/pepper
olive oil
Cheese, optional
Buns

In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute onions and mushrooms with some olive oil until softened. This should take about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside

In the bowl of a food processor, blend ONE CAN of beans until pureed. Remove from the food processor and place in a large bowl. In the same food processor bowl, add in cooled onions and mushrooms and puree. Add onion mixture to the bowl with the pureed beans. Fold in the drained and rinsed remaining can of beans. Mix in cream cheese, herbs, egg, breadcrumbs and steak sauce. Once combined, place in the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour. If the mixture seems really sticky after one hour, add a small amount of extra breadcrumbs.

1 hour before ready to cook, form patties and place them in the freezer. This will help them really firm up and with make it much easier to cook them.

When read to cook: Heat a large skillet, grill pan, or grill to medium high heat. Add some olive oil. Place burgers in the pan and cook until browned on one side. This should take about 5 minutes. Flip burgers and cook an addition 5-10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through and browned. At this point, lower your heat and add cheese if desired. Allow cheese to melt and then remove from heat and place onto buns.

Garlic Rosemary French Fries

3 russet potatoes, sliced into fries
3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbl salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 2 Tbl of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to heat (You want your pan to be hot before you place the fries on it).

Place cut potatoes into a large bowl. Cover the potatoes with hot water and allow to soak for one hour.

Place rosemary, salt and garlic powder in a bowl and mix to combine.

Drain the potatoes and pat dry. Remove hot pan from oven and place potatoes on the pan – making sure they are in one even layer. Place in oven.

Once 30 minutes have elapsed, turn the potatoes and sprinkle them with the garlic salt mixture. Place back in oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until browned and crispy.

Serve alongside your black bean burgers!

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