Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw

Hello, Welcome to Djalali Cooks. I hope your week is going well. With all the meat-focused cookouts and barbecues this summer, sometimes a meatless burger is just the ticket. My experience with black bean burgers has never been anything to write home about; the often dry, hockey puck of a burger alternative has left me feeling very unsatisfied in the past. I am happy to report, though that my mind has been changed. Thanks to these Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw. So if you’re wanting a lighter burger option, these bean burgers are for you!

Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw

I used a combination of pinto beans and black beans for this recipe. You can use all black beans if you like. The other difference with my beans is that I used Cuban style black beans from Trader Joe’s. But plain ol’ black beans will work just as well. The Cuban style black beans have some onions and green peppers in the can, but we are making a seasoned pepper/onion mixture, so your bean burgers won’t be missing anything if you’re using regular black beans.

Bean Mixture

To start, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the 2 cans of beans and spread them out in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet tray. Bake the beans for about 15 minutes, until they are dried out a bit and begin to crack. Let the beans cool for about 10 minutes.

Bean Burger Seasoning

Bean Burger seasoning

Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add 2/3 cup each diced red onion and diced green pepper. You can use red pepper, or yellow if you like. You can also use white or yellow onion if you prefer. I tossed in a tiny little red pepper from my garden that needed using. Season the onions and peppers with 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Stir well and when it becomes fragrant after about 3 minutes, add the minced garlic and stir to combine. Let that cook another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Blend the Burger Mix

Transfer all of the baked beans to a large mixing bowl. Then, take 2 cups of the baked beans and add them to a food processor. To the beans, add two egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of the onion/pepper mixture, 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, and 1 teaspoon each Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Process until mostly smooth, about 20 seconds.

Add the blended bean mixture to the remaining whole beans in the bowl. Then add the remaining onion/pepper mixture to the beans. Use a silicone spatula to fully mix the blended beans, onions/peppers, and whole beans.

Form the bean mixture into four equal patties, about 4-inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. place the formed patties on a parchment-lined sheet tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the coleslaw.

Avocado Slaw

I have one package of pre-cut coleslaw mix. I want to tie the slaw into the avocado slices we will top the burgers with to give this burger a Southwest flavor, so I have an avocado ranch dressing. But if you like a less creamy dressing, make a quick vinaigrette with 1 part white wine vinegar, 2 parts olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. I like to go incrementally, so I don’t over dress the slaw, so I started with 2 tablespoons of dressing and that did the trick. Cover and chill the slaw until you’re ready to top the burgers.

Avocado dressing for the slaw.

Cooking the Bean Burgers

Cooking the bean burgers

In a large skillet, or braiser, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmery, carefully place the four burgers (one at a time) in the pan.

Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes. Use a fish spatula to carefully flip each burger. The burgers are delicate. They will break apart if you’re not careful, which is why I love the fish spatula for this – it’s super thin and handles flipping and transferring delicate food with ease.

Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado

Slice a ripe avocado and place a few slices on each burger bun bottom. Then lay a bean burger on top of the avocado slices. Top with slaw and a crank or two of black pepper.

Top with a drizzle of hot sauce, if you like – I went with Valentina Sauce. Place the top bun on and that’s it!

Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw

These Bean Burgers are moist, with tender beans, peppers and onions. The chili powder seasoning comes through really well. Texturally, the coleslaw adds a nice crunch to the tender bean patties. If you’re on the fence about Bean Burgers, you have to try these Southwest-style Bean Burgers! They’re kind of a game-changer when it comes to meat-burger alternatives.

Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw

If you’re a diehard meat-burger lover but want to try something a a little different, try my Green Chili Chorizo Burgers – a super flavorful pork burger with Mexican chorizo sausage, these burgers are a revelation! You can also find the recipe (and give me a follow) on Pinterest. Thanks everyone for stopping by today, take care and be well. xo Kelly

Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw

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Dinner, Main Course American
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 20 Minutes + 30 Minute chill Cooking Time: 10 Minutes + 15 Minutes for the Beans Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Moist, tender Southwest Bean Burgers with Avocado and Slaw are the perfect alternative to the meat-focused cookouts and barbecues this summer.


  • 2 15.5-oz. Cans of Black Beans (or a mix of black and pinto beans)
  • 4 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
  • 2/3 cup diced Bell Pepper (green, yellow or red)
  • 2/3 cup diced onion (white, yellow or red)
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 large Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Black pepper
  • 1-2 cups Shredded Coleslaw Mix
  • 2-3 tbsp. Avocado Ranch Dressing, or other slaw dressing of your choice
  • 1 Medium Avocado, sliced
  • 4 Burger Buns, toasted



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Drain and rinse the two cans of beans. Spread the rinsed beans in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet tray.


Bake beans for about 15 minutes, until the beans are dried out and begin to crack. Remove from oven and let beans cool for 10 minutes. Then transfer beans to a large mixing bowl.


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until shimmery. Add onions and diced peppers, sprinkle with chili powder. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.


Add minced garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.


Add two cups of the cooled, baked beans to a food processor.


To the beans add egg yolks, Panko, 2 tablespoons of the pepper/onion mixture, Kosher salt and pepper. Process until mostly smooth, about 15-20 seconds.


Transfer processed bean mixture to the bowl with the remaining 1 cup of whole beans. Use a silicone spatula to fully mix the processed beans and the whole beans.


Form the bean mixture into 4 equal patties, 4-inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Place patties on a parchment-lined sheet pan or large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, mix the coleslaw greens with the dressing, cover and refrigerate until ready to top the burgers.


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmery, carefully place each burger in the skillet (all four should fit, if not cook in batches of two).


Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes, using a fish spatula to carefully flip the burgers and transfer them to a plate.


Toast the burger buns and top the bottom bun with avocado slices, then the burger. Top the burger with slaw and a little black pepper. Top with the top bun.

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  • Terry
    July 29, 2021 at 10:59 am

    This looks really good, I never really liked bean burgers. I think I might try putting them on the bbq. I’ll keep you posted ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      July 29, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Mom, Sounds great, if you do them on the grill, you will want to do them in a pan. They are pretty delicate and likely to fall through the grates. Let me know how it goes! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    July 29, 2021 at 11:25 am

    I’m not a bean fan, but I think these could help me overcome my bean phobia. When my kids went vegan in high school, I made a lot of bean burgers. Admittedly, they weren’t bad, but I made a lot of them because the kids liked them. The avocado dressing certainly would have been a huge improvement, but 25 years ago, avocados weren’t so mainstream as they are now. When I read this recipe, it made me wish I had had something like it then! The recipe I had back then called for grinding several varieties of dried beans in a blender (hello Vitamix), adding spices, and storing it in a glass jar until you were ready to use the mix. I think we added water, formed the patties, and then fried them. My kids became omnivores in time, and I never gave beans a second thought, until now. Darn it Kel! I am going to have to make these. Just promise me you will never make anything with liver. My mother’s idea of cooking it was to fry it into submission, and then keep frying for good measure. I’m pretty sure that contributed heavily to an unnatural fear/loathing of organ meats in general. You don’t want to know what she did with gizzards. I still have nightmares.

    • Kelly Djalali
      July 29, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      Lol, Mari! Well, I do hope these bean change your mind. Your old recipe for them sounds like it would have made a very pasty bean burger. I think bean burgers have come a long way from the way I remembered them too. As for liver, the only way I like it is as a pâté. Smooth and savory topped with a fruit preserves and smeared on good crusty toast. I can’t promise I won’t make that sometime, but I can assure you there won’t be any fried liver and onions! Thanks so much for chatting today, do let me know if you try these bean burgers and if they change your mind about beans! Take care, xo Kelly

  • Deborah H
    July 30, 2021 at 12:46 am

    I have never made or eaten a bean burger, but you make it look so delicious I’d like to try it. I don’t have any friends who do not eat meat, so no need to make them, but I want to make them because they look fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing all your interesting recipes and the step by step instructions.

    • Kelly Djalali
      July 30, 2021 at 8:17 am

      Hello Deborah, I don’t have any vegetarian friends nearby me either. But I often cook vegetarian, or at least meatless, pretty often. It’s a lighter way to eat, especially in summer. I do hope you try these bean burgers, they are quite satisfying and healthy! Thanks so much for reaching out. Let me know how you like the burgers! Have a great weekend, xo Kelly