Cilantro Black Bean Burgers over Polenta Cakes and Guacamole

Cilantro Black Bean BurgersThis months recipe redux theme is about using leftovers. This is something very close to my heart. I am always fighting the struggle of cooking just enough with having a stocked fridge. One of my staples are some kind of cooked legume. This contributed to the birth of these Cilantro Black bean Burgers. The general get-up of this recipe seems complex, but other than cobbling the polenta cakes, the rest of the meal comes together quite quickly.

I topped them with our favorite guacamole. While the meal took a bit of time, I made all of it with what I had on hand.

I had polenta that I needed to put to good use, hence the base of polenta cakes. This would be just and good and flavorful over regular burger buns. The black beans added a deep and smoky character to these burgers, making for a very satisfying meal. The next few months promise to be crazy and busy, guaranteeing that I shall be living in interesting times.

Black Bean Burgers with Lime and Cilantro

Despite all the crazy pace of things, I managed to squeeze in my first farm class, it was a vegan class and seemed appropriate for earth day. I have also made another variation of this recipe, as sliders and promise to update with slideresque pictures, assuming that the weather improves. I need to wrap up today and get my eight hours of beauty sleep before the weekend slips away.

Among other things, I am excited that I made my first batch of decent idlies in a long time, and of course made a killer vegan pasta for class. Am I the only one who gets excited with cooking successes? Actually, lots of simple things impact me and make my day. I find they are easier and more attainable that the harder, steeper things. After all, little drops do indeed fill a bucket. Of course, in terms of things being eventful it looks like my life’s bucket just might run over.

Cilantro Black Bean Burgers over Polenta Cakes and Guacamole

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

A open faced black bean burger with lime and cilantro served over gluten-free polenta cakes.


    For the Polenta Base
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • For the Black Bean Burgers
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 1 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped jalapeno (one jalapeno pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • To serve
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced red onions


  1. Bring the water, salt and black pepper to a boil and the polenta and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the polenta has a thick porridge like consistency. Pour the potenta on to a flat greased surface spreading to about 1/2 an inch thickness and let it cool for about 30 minutes, while you work on the black bean burgers
  2. Using a round cutter cut into small 3 inch circles.
  3. Heat the oil for shallow frying and add the polenta cakes and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden on both sides.
  4. Let it rest.
  5. Mash the black beans and mix with the red onion, chopped mushrooms, jalapeno, lime juice, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt and chopped cilantro. Add in the chickpea flour. Shape into small burgers to match the size of the polenta cakes or slider buns.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the olive oil on a flat skillet, add the burgers in a single layer and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  8. To serve and assemble, place a burger over a polenta cake. To with a little guacamole and sliced red onions.


%d bloggers like this: