Black bean burgers have always been, and probably forever will be, my favorite type of plant-based burger. While I do eat burgers made from animals too, those made from beans can be just as flavorful and satisfying - and sometimes even more so. (Take into account the environmental impact of replacing beef with beans and my love for black bean burgers is even stronger.) While plant-based patties are widely available at grocery stores, here is a pantry-friendly recipe so you can have the pleasure of making your own.

I love the earthiness of black beans, and here I complement that with umami from canned mushrooms and tamari or soy sauce. The patties are seasoned with garlic powder and smoked paprika for even more flavor. Oats are a great pantry-friendly ingredient to use as a binder while adding texture. (Use gluten-free oats and tamari if you want to make the patties gluten-free.)

A food processor makes quick work out of mashing the beans and chopping the mushrooms, but you can just as easily make these burgers without one. One thing to note when preparing bean burgers is that it's important to let the patties rest for a few minutes so they better retain their shape and are less likely to fall apart during cooking.

As good as these patties are, toppings are equally important in determining the overall enjoyment of a burger. Feel free to grab a slice of cheese or your favorite condiments and call it a day. Or use the time while the burgers are resting to make balsamic-glazed onions that add acidity, a hint of sweetness and a little crunch.

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